In the words of the immortal George Costanza, “Why don’t people don’t haggle anymore? Are you telling me there is no room to move on pasta?”
We agree with one of the most legendary characters to ever grace the silver screen!
The truth of the matter is, every day folks like you and I just don’t have the stomach for negotiation and haggling like we used to. For whatever reason, we’ve grown to accept that the price on the sticker is the price that we are expected to pay, and we just kind of go along with the flow.
Well, if you’ve ever wanted to break down your negotiation skills and become a real “shark in the water” when it comes to haggling, you are going to want to pay close attention to all of the tips and tricks included in this quick guide.
Believe it or not, it’s a lot easier to become a master negotiator these days than maybe at any point in human history – if only because so few people are interested in really developing and sharpening this skill!
Think of the information that you gain access to below as your foundation in how to haggle, and do absolutely everything you can to practice these skills in everyday life.
Sure, you might not win every single time that you put them into play – but the odds are pretty good that you’ll win more often than you ever would have otherwise.
Let’s get right into the meat and potatoes of this guide!
It all boils down to what people want most
The real secret to negotiation in anything is the understanding of what everyone involved in the negotiation actually wants, and then finding ways to give every party at least a piece of that pie.
It’s not always going to be possible to give everyone absolutely everything that they’re looking for in a negotiation, and a lot of times there’s going to be a very clear winner and a very clear loser.
However, if you are a skilled negotiator and a master at haggling, you’ll be able to find ways to make everyone feel as though that they won. The real key of a master negotiator is creating win-win situations seemingly out of thin air!
Keep your eye on the prize
It’s almost too easy to get sucked into trying to figure out what everyone else involved in the negotiation wants that you forget what you’re looking to get your hands on in the process!
This is a major mistake that too terribly many rookies out there make on a regular basis.
Never allow yourself to become so distracted that you forget to focus on what you’re after, that you allow yourself to get veered off-track or sucked into some side negotiation that ends up crippling the original deal you were hoping to make in the first place.
It happens more often than you think!
Keep it simple
If you spend any amount of time whatsoever researching this skill and really trying to develop it, you are going to come across a tremendous amount of information, tips, and tricks that try to complicate the process with “out there” language, weird exercises, and all kinds of other nonsense that you would be better off ignoring.
At its root core, a negotiation or haggling between two people – worry group of people – always boils down to who has the most powerful frame, who is willing to walk away with nothing, and who is able to dictate the emotional pace of the process.
Remember this, and you’ll be well on your way to winning most of the time!
Never let them see you sweat
Because walking away from a deal is the ultimate form of leverage, you never want to show that you are desperate for a deal – even if you are basically salivating at the mouth or absolutely on your last legs unless this one goes through.
If they get a chance to see you sweat, or see any weakness in your negotiating and haggling position whatsoever, you had better believe that they are going to press those buttons as frequently and as hard as they can to try and buckle you under the pressure.
This is not a position that you ever want to find yourself in.
Project a strong exterior, a unified front, and an almost uninterested – but active – attitude towards the entire negotiation process. If you’re able to pull it off (no matter what they throw with you) you’ll be able to dominate negotiation situations much more easily than you would have been able to before.
He who speaks first loses
One of the more “professional tips” from master negotiators that you would do well to pay attention to is the concept of allowing silence to create a vacuum that pulls the weaker party into it.
You see, if you have made your points in a negotiation and there is really nothing else to say, you’re much – MUCH – better off keeping your mouth shut completely, no matter how uncomfortable the silence might get.
This is a powerhouse negotiation tactic used by some of the most influential people in the world, and one that works 99.99% of the time just because of the awkwardness and feelings of discomfort that it stirs up.
The first person to break the silence is going to be considered to be in a weaker position, and will almost always be the party that gives up the most when haggling.
You do not want to find yourself here.
Instead, create the vacuum yourself, and allow them to get sucked into it. You might have to practice your facial expressions and your body language during silence in front of the mirror so that you don’t display any signs of pressure outwardly during the silence, but that’s time well spent.
If you’re able to master this, you’re going to find negotiating to be ridiculously simple and straightforward in the future. If you’re not able to master this skill, you’re going to have a difficult time coming out on top with any real regularity at all.