When it comes to negotiation advice this often seems to be aimed at the salesperson. But what if you’re the one looking to acquire as opposed to sell? Whether you’re a manager or an entrepreneur running your own business you are likely to have a whole range of pressures that make it important to get a great deal. So, how do you improve your negotiation skills as a buyer to ensure that you achieve a positive result?
Go in well prepared
That means finding out as much as you can about the product or service and the company or person who is selling it to you. In particular, do what you can to establish the actual value of what you’re purchasing – research online, look at competitor pricing and read information and reviews from other customers. This type of knowledge will be useful when working out where you might have leverage in negotiations – and avoiding an inflated starting price – as well as demonstrating that you’ve done your research.
Avoid timing issues
It’s well known that salespeople will often try to inject a sense of urgency into a situation with deadlines and schedules. The idea of this is to put pressure on a buyer to agree to purchase at a specific price and without further negotiation. If you want to avoid feeling this pressure don’t let yourself be rushed through the sales process, take your time. It’s also a good idea to look out for other common sales tricks, such as ‘this discount is only available today’ or the suggestion that your business might start losing money if you don’t buy within a specific time limit.
Be aware of your physical cues
It’s very easy to accidentally give things away in negotiations, for example by the facial expressions you use when certain figures are suggested. Try to keep your expressions and reactions mute during a negotiation and adopt a confident posture and gestures.
Know your limits
Before you go into the negotiation decide what your upper spending limit is going to be and then don’t move from it. Start from a lower price and, if necessary, gradually move towards that top limit but don’t allow yourself to be pushed over it.
Ask for what you want
If there’s something missing from what’s on the table that you feel should be there then ask for it. If you’ve been pushed higher and higher on the price then don’t be afraid to look for value add ons that will justify paying more for the product or service. If you don’t ask for what you want then there is no way for the salesperson to know what that is.
Walk away if you need to
The ultimate fallback for any buyer is having the ability to walk away from the deal. If you’re really just not getting what you want and the seller isn’t going to change their position then cut your losses and start researching other vendors to deal with.
Negotiating as a buyer takes a lot of skill and the ability to stand firm when necessary. It’s something that anyone can learn with the right training.
Find out more by booking onto our Negotiation Skills course