5 Tips When Negotiating For Yourself

In a recent article I mentioned that there are five obstacles to negotiating on your own behalf. We’re inclined to get too emotional and to react to offers personally instead of professionally. Add to this the fact that we’re more likely to spoil the deal with impatience, a lack of objectivity, and inexperience in negotiation encounters, and you bring to life that adage about lawyers that represent themselves in court.

“They have fools for clients,” or so conventional wisdom says.

Despite the fact that negotiating for your own account is tricky and perilous, most of us will be doing quite a lot of it during our lives.

When we walk into car dealerships or call leasing companies, we’re negotiating. When we rent or buy housing, we’re doing the same, whether Realtors are part of the mix, or not.

And anyone who has children can tell you that negotiations with them begin in gestation, when you circumscribe travel plans, dedicate space to your new family members, and select their names.

I happen to be somewhat iconoclastic in believing that negotiating is an acquired taste, it’s something at which we can become connoisseurs, providing we get into the kitchen, roll-up our sleeves, and concoct deals for ourselves.

Here are five tips for mastering the psychology of negotiating on your own behalf:

(1) Do your research. Who is your counterpart? What’s his or her title and latitude of authority? Is this person a peer, a fellow business owner, homeowner, or someone on par with you, or is she a flunky, someone who can say maybe or no, but not yes? If you’re not sure, ask up front. Because you are a PRINCIPAL you’re a heavyweight and you have every right to determine whether the person in the ring with you is in your class.

(2) You don’t have to say yes during the negotiation. Always give yourself an “out,” saying you need to check with your lawyer, your spouse, or even your “team,” back at headquarters, to get their input and feedback. I’ve dealt with CEO’s that do this all the time, and sure enough, they may want to do business with me but they line their ducks up to gum me to death on the details.

(3) Make sure you have viable alternatives in your pocket. Mentioning that you’re going to receive bids from others, or that you need to make a good arrangement or none at all can alert your counterpart to the fact that you’re not NEEDY.

(4) Don’t be worn down by so-called “tiger teams” or negotiating committees. If you’re facing more than a single person at a time, invite them to chat among themselves and then to appoint a single individual, invested with deal making authority, to conduct business.

(5) Set a deadline for each meeting. Tell your counterparts, “I have an hour, so let’s see what we can do.” Deadlines create efficiency and there is pressure to consummate a deal before the sands of time run out.

Most negotiation consultants will tell you that principals tend to make poor negotiators because they care too much about making a deal, not wasting time, and about not offending the other party.

If you look at negotiation as a game, a challenge, and as a fact finding opportunity and learning experience, instead of as a must-win situation, you’ll care, but not too much.

Are you looking for training or guidance with your negotiations, sales, customer service or telemarketing? Contact us for the best-practices in these fields.

Christmas Presents for Cats: Santa Paws Is Feline-Ing Generous!

This festive season, how can you please a fickle feline?

Cats are notoriously hard to please: They turn up their whiskers at toys and regard the comfy cat-bed with distain. You buy an expense present only to have them show more interest in the box than the contents. So this Christmas, do things differently and apply a little cat psychology to the dilemma of what to buy as the purr-fect present.

#1: The Tall Cat-tower
If you want to really get kitty pruuping with pleasure, the give her a high perch to use as her sentry post. Yes, a tall cat tower is an investment, but it’s one your cat will purr-sitively adore. Cats love to get up high to watch the world go by. Site the tower next to a window and she can sit on the platform and survey the scene for hours. Plus, she’ll want to mark her new favorite territory by scratching it, which could save from the best furniture a shredding.

#2: A Cat Dining Table
Indoor cats craze the roughage that chewing on grass provides. Giving your cat access to fresh, growing grass gives them the opportunity to satisfy this nature urge to chew, and a cat dining table does to in style. There are so many things to love about a cat dining table, from the angled bowls (less strain on the neck for elderly cats) to the side order of growing grass -plus they look nice for the humans.

#3: Wing-on-a-String
If it simply isn’t Christmas without a toy, then chose one that triggers your cat’s natural instincts to hunt. You can’t do better than a Da Bird and those fluttering feathers to get your cat’s heart pounding and the chase is on. It is a rare cat who can ignore the allure of a Da Bird in flight, which could be your key to getting a cuddly kitty burning the calories and back in shape.

#4: Zoom Groom
Every cat wants to look their best, and for velvet soft fur – especially in short-haired cats, your feline friend will go limp with delight when brushed with a Zoom Groom. This clever rubber brushes mimic the feeling of being licked by another cat, whilst shifting shed fur out of the coat like a magnetic to iron. This Christmas gift is one the cat will enjoy again, and again, and again, and look super sleek for it.

#5: A Cardboard Box
There’s no denying that simple is sometimes best. Don’t be bashful about giving your cat that old standby- the cardboard box. After all, if it’s good enough for Maru…

Furr-bulous festivities pet people!

Looking For A Christmas Present?

With shopping season in full gear, I began to wonder what the best presents are for your partner. Should you get something you know they want? Maybe something that they have not mentioned that you think they would like? Or would a present that touches their heart be the best? I did not have the answer – so I asked our community …

“What is the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?”

Our most recent poll shows that most men (42%) prefer a gift “that was a complete surprise” while women (56%) would enjoy a present “that touched my heart”.

So to all you women out there – put your thinking caps on and surprise him with a great find you know he’d like but hasn’t come across yet. While it’s no huge shock that surprises are great presents, keep in mind the meaning behind the gesture when planning. Surprises are great because they show your partner that you care. Surprises require an in-depth knowledge of their likes and dislikes as well as time and planning. So make this holiday special with a surprise for your man.

Now on to men. As I’ve stated in multiple articles, women want to feel cherished; and the holidays are a great time to remind her of your love. Throw a present under the tree that will let her know what she means to you (something inspired by your relationship and your feelings). Not only are you showing your love through the time it takes to plan this little surprise, but it also reaffirms your love and gives her something to look back on and cherish. It’ll mean so much more than all those nice-to-have presents combined!

The holidays are a wonderful time to show your partner you care. You get to spend more time together and think of new and exciting ways to surprise each other! Whether you’re new to romance or have been romantic for years, the holidays provide the perfect opportunities to show you care.