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Every day we are being hired by clients to help them buy or sell real estate. Everything we do as agents is geared towards getting our clients to the closing table. The degree of your success can depend on your skills as a negotiator yet so few agents take courses specific to increasing their skills or ask for special training on how to be a good negotiator. I have seen buyers lose a house they really wanted because of the poor negotiation skills of their buyer’s agent.

I have seen listing agents be so unbending and domineering that the buyer’s agent gave up and suggested their buyers look elsewhere. A good negotiator keeps emotion at bay, is patient, asks questions and tries to substitute options or trade offs. Although everyone can’t always win every point, everyone can come away feeling they got ‘something.’ Say your client agrees to pay a little more in price but the seller throws in a home warranty. This could add some value to the price they are paying and the benefit to the buyer is they won’t have to worry about spending all their available cash and then having the dishwasher or furnace go out.

By the time you get to the negotiation table you should know your clients wants and needs by asking them lots of questions. If you understand what are their “must get” versus “we would like but it wouldn’t be a deal breaker”you can negotiate from a postition of knowlege rather than a guessing game. Consider the benefits of planning your strategy so you can give focus to the negotiation and help guide the parties to a successful conclusion.

Begin each negotiation by setting the stage. This is when trust is established and it is the time to set the atmosphere. If trust is not established, the negotiations will usually fail. It’s usually more productive to create a friendly, cooperative climate. Avoid getting down to business too quickly.

Here are some actions we can do to establish a cooperative climate when we approach a negotiating situation:

 Shake hands
 Establish rapport
 Show empathy
 Have a positive attitude
 Keep the atmosphere warm and friendly
 Show respect

Things we do that might influence the negotiating climate in a negative way include being too demanding, close-minded or unresponsive to the other party’s needs and interests. If you are successful in establishing a cooperative climate, you will never have to negotiate with a stranger. Remember many times the tone for the coming negotiation is set when the two agents first begin their communications. If it takes one agent 4 days to get the other agent to respond to a phone call, the impression is ‘great I am going to be chasing this agent for responses throughout the whole deal!” If that other agent treats our questions with impatience or unimportance, we are immediately going to label that agent as ‘difficult’ to deal with. In representing our clients our job is to be cooperative, enthusiastic, encouraging and helpful to the other agents. If both sides practiced this was of doing business think how much fun negotiating could be.

As a guide your negotiation, take a look at these negotiating rules.

Rule 1: Separate people from the problem. Often, during the negotiating process, emotions become involved. Then it becomes necessary to deal with emotional issues using emotional means.
For example:
 If the buyers or sellers display high emotions, allow them to let off steam. Don’t react to their outbursts. Try to change the focus of the discussion to a less emotional area.
 If they have inaccurate information or inaccurate perceptions, you may need to educate them. Try to understand their point of view and where they are coming from. Remember that understanding their point of view is not the same as agreeing with it.
 Use written documentation and third-party information to change their perception. Discuss each other’s perceptions and never say “You’re wrong.”
 If misunderstanding has occurred, look for ways to improve communication. Listen actively and give feedback when appropriate.

Rule #2: Show respect.
You are not going to necessarily see eye to eye with all parties in the transaction, even your own customers/clients. If a negotiation can fail, it will fail here. When you lose respect, you lose the ability to effectively do your job, to negotiate on behalf of your customer/client. You must maintain your integrity and respect, even in the most difficult moments. This is the time when professionalism counts. Show respect by observing the following:
 Listen and be courteous
 Don’t be defensive of your position
 Express appreciation for their time and effort
 Ask open-ended questions
 Emphasize your concern with meeting their needs
 Communicate, communicate, communicate

Rule #3: Focus on interests, not positions.
A “position” is a statement that reflects the decision “here’s what I want.” When negotiators bargain over positions, they tend to lock themselves into those positions. A person’s “interest” can be uncovered by simply asking why. When you
ask why, make it clear that you are not asking for justification, but seeking solutions and trying to understand what interests lie beneath the position they defend.

Often Open-ended questions can help identify underlying interests: Ask the why, what and when questions.
Why is that important to you?
What is driving that concern?
When could you feel comfortable ___?

Positions and Interests are demonstrated in the following buyer example:

Position: (What I want) “I have to close in 30 days. A closing of 45 days simply because the seller can’t move until then is just not an option.”
Interest: (Why it’s important) “We have given notice to the apartment manager and have to be out in 30 days.”

Rule #4: Seek options.
Once you understand the interests that are driving the stated position, explore all the options that might give a satisfactory solution. The following options address the interests of the purchaser above:
Options:
 Close in 45 days and negotiate for the buyers to remain in their apartment for an additional 15 days.
 Close in 30 days and negotiate for the sellers to find interim housing upon closing.
 Close in 30 days and negotiate for delayed occupancy, with the sellers paying rent to the buyers for the additional 15 days until they can move.
 Close in 45 days and negotiate for the sellers to cover the buyers’ extra 15 days of rent by either reducing the sales price, paying additional closing costs, or paying the buyer directly. It is important when creating options not to be critical or judgmental but to open your mind to the possibilities. Explore each option individually and find the best solution that meets the needs of both parties.

What would happen if you don’t get ____?
In bringing the negotiation to a conclusion, it is important not to give up because of sustained frustration. This is where the top negotiator shines with mental toughness. Look for ways to make the other person feel like he has a win so he will
compromise on issues he has been stubborn on. Establish finality gradually but firmly. Two little words can be very helpful in this trade-off process: “if” and “then.”

For example:
If we could agree to that price, then would you agree to a 90- day escrow?
If the sellers would agree to paying interim rent, would you be willing to close in 45 days?
Negotiations often fall apart for the following reasons
•Lack of confidence
•Overconfidence
•Not recognizing the other side’s situation
•Viewing as a win/lose situation

I hope you will all think back over any failed negotiations and review why they didn’t work, what made you uncomfortable, what you could have handled in a better way and was there any way you could have negotiated for a different outcome?

Now take a look at your successful negotiations..the sales that closed. What did you do differently to secure the sale? How was the interaction with the other agent different? Was there something that you said or did that you felt really good about? A negotiation is successful if it is efficient, produces a wise agreement when agreement is possible, and improves or at least does not harm the relationship between the negotiating parties.

Building a relationship of trust, understanding, respect and friendship can make later negotiations smoother. Base the relationship on accurate perceptions, clear communication, appropriate emotions, and a forward looking outlook. Trying to focus on the basic interests of each side, rather than on “winning” or “losing” will likely produce more efficient results. Keeping an open mind yet being well prepared pro¬vides an opportunity to invent options which could serve the interests of both sides and speed up the negotiation.

I hope this has given you some negotiation tips that you can use and will help you close more sales.

Have a Safe and Prosperous Weekend

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Carve out your Niche!


Traditional prospecting can be downright scary – cold calling, door knocking – who knows what ghost or ghouls await you. There’s no magic potion to make prospects call you when they need a REALTOR®, but there is one “spooktacular” tool available that can be exceptionally powerful – social media. Here’s what social media can do for you, and more importantly, how it helps clients and prospects: Leveraging social media marketing is just plain smart, especially for those who are running their business on a budget. (who isn’t?) How else can you reach thousands of customers and prospects all over the globe without zero advertising costs?

Social media is not the beginning, nor is it the end. It is a part of the journey. Your message, be it educational, call to action or your brand awareness is your top priority. Use all the necessary channels to reach and meet your target audience.

1) Provide a way to expand your sphere of influence, allowing you to interact with clients and prospects in a way they are growing increasingly accustomed to, making it easier for customers to do business with you.

2) Give you a voice to make connections and build relationships. You can control the message, demonstrate your market knowledge and expertise, and more importantly, learn about your clients and prospects needs and concerns. Helping customers solve their problems is what makes a good REALTOR® a great REALTOR®.

3) Provide a means for more referrals, passed on by trusted friends, associates and families rather than through a search engine. Plus, customers have the opportunity to work with someone they feel a connection with.

4) Offer you a fast means of communication. Post property photos and home tours and ask your friends to spread the word about your listings. By posting videos and photos, you are making it easier for prospects to check out your listings without a scheduled tour.

Treat your customers to good listening skills and engaging, relevant content.

Where does the time go? Check out these stats to find out

• Each Facebook user spends on average 15 hours and 33 minutes a month on the site
• More than 250 million people access Facebook through their mobile devices
• More than 2.5 million websites have integrated with Facebook
• 300,000 users helped translate Facebook into 70 languages
• People on Facebook install 20 million “Apps” every day
• YouTube has 490 million unique users who visit every month (February 2011)
• Wikipedia hosts 17 million articles
• People upload 3,000 images to Flickr every minute
• 190 million average tweets per day occur on Twitter (May 2011)
• Twitter is adding nearly 500,000 users a day

(Sources: Facebook statistics, Royal Pingdom, Twitter, Techcrunch Sept. 2011)


Yikes! I left my listing presentation on the copier at the office and my appointment is in 30 minutes.
First of all, the client will probably thank you. You see contrary to what most agents believe the majority of clients are bored to death sitting through an agent’s listing presentation. “This is what my company is all about; this is what I do for my clients, this how great I am, this is what others have said about me…yada.. yada.. yada…”

All the time you are talking at them the client is really waiting for the bottom line. What price will my house sell for? How long will it take? How much will I walk away with? Will I get anything out of my house? Remember talking at someone is the fastest way to lose their attention.

Having said that sellers are bored with your presentation, don’t get me wrong. I think the clients need to know about your company, your marketing, your plan to get their home sold and what others have said about you, but not at the listing table! Why read to them what they can read for themselves?

Whether you do a one stop listing or a two stop, (where you go by and preview the home and take some photos prior to your listing appointment) the client should have all the information about you, your company, your marketing plan and all the paperwork that the client will be completing if you decide to work together, PRIOR to your listing meeting.

I suggest filling in all the paperwork you will be leaving them as thoroughly as you can ahead of time and that includes your commission. Give them samples of the marketing you will be doing and sites to go to.ie your website, facebook business page, Utube if you video homes and neighborhoods, your blog, etc.
(oh, be sure to look at your website because they will I can assure you and it wouldn’t hurt to Google yourself to see what others are seeing as well)

To take this one step further, I was at a network gathering and an agent said they now send their listing presentation to all of their clients, so they know what it will be like working with them BEFORE they are ready to sell… Then when their clients are ready to sell, they said they always get the call first! That was an interesting concept.

Just like you should be prequalifying the seller prior to your meeting, you will ask the client to review everything ahead of time and you will cover any questions they might have during the listing meeting. When you walk into your listing appointment it is a business meeting and the focus is on the clients, their home, their needs and taking the listing. You bring only the CMA presentation. They already have everything else. If they have concerns, they will address them, otherwise focus on the market and what that means to them and the sale of their home.

Your time to shine comes during the listing meeting so practicing presenting price is something I highly recommend. You want to be able to confidently and powerfully, without coming across arrogantly, be able to discuss market values with your client. They are looking to you for direction and must trust you as their professional advisor to educate and lead them to the right decision for their situation. Have the courage to tell the truth up front about the right price. A great way to open the conversation at the beginning of the listing meeting is by asking them this question. “Is our objective tonight to list your home or to properly position it to be purchased?”

Decide ahead of time, based on your potential listings competition, a price range at which you are willing to take the listing. Do not take it if it’s going to be an overpriced listing. You are actually harming the client if you do. The longer a home sits on the market, the harder it is to sell. If it isn’t selling in 45 days, it’s overpriced and that is, in any market in any area, a fact. Be honest with the client up front about what price it will take to actually get the home sold, and not just have it listed. Your opinion of the right listing price is primarily what the client wants to hear. That doesn’t mean that they might not try to dissuade you into taking it a little higher “we can always come down can’t we” but in today’s market that could mean months on the market as an unsold listing. No, if you are convinced of the range the house should be listed, stick to it.

A couple of last comments regarding taking overpriced listings.
1. Don’t take them. No listing at all is better than advertising you can’t sell a house and that is what you are doing when you take an overpriced listing.
2. Most agents value referrals. Overpriced listings do not refer you.
3. Overpriced listings sell for below market value when you have to resort to price reductions. All the sellers remember is that you cost them the $$ difference between the original list price and a final sales price, if it eventually does sell.
4. Let them list with someone else who is willing to take it at their price but suggest to them that when that agent asks for the first price reduction, say no thank you and call me because I was the one who was honest with you.
5. When you have clients in your pipeline, you will choose to be selective. If an overpriced seller is the only prospect on your horizon you will lie to yourself just to have busy work.

Remember this question: Are you listing a house or positioning the seller for an offer?

Have a safe and prosperous weekend!


If you have been in sales for any length of time you have at one time or another experienced running into what I call the “Slump Hump.” It is that barrier in your path to success that can come at any time in your career and no one is immune to it. Whether it is market driven or activity driven, everyone who is in sales can point to a time when they worried at night about where their next sale was going to come from. It’s how you pull yourself up and get over the “slump hump” hurdle that will make the difference between your having a successful year or a dismal year. As soon as you feel concern about where your next sale is coming from it’s time to run a self analysis. You don’t want to wait and see what’s coming next, or not.

Begin by tracking your daily schedule hour by hour for one week, then the next, then the next. Do you see any patterns in how you are spending your time (no excuses)? You will discover one of a couple of things. Either you are not doing enough activities that are high gain (prospecting) or you are using the wrong approach and need some new scripts and skills for the current market. Either way, it is fixable.

First and foremost go back to basics. This is what all sales people and athletes must do when their performance has gone off kilter. Get out your client/sphere roster and start making phone calls on a regular systematic basis again. Few of us like making calls, but if you’re in sales, you have to pick up the phone. Don’t forget while making these calls to ask for referrals. If you are in a slump, you need help so don’t be afraid to ask.

Start sending hand written follow up notes, birthday cards, anniversary cards, sending out emails and going to coffee or lunch with friends again. Really work on your social skills. Engaging in conversation with people is what we are best at. It’s too easy in this business of becoming stuck in paperwork and problem solving. Make sure you are enjoying the business as well. My motto has always served me well and that’s “when I quit having fun at work, that is when I need to quit working.”

Get dressed for business and go to work. If what you are doing between Monday and Friday isn’t getting you the business, take a look at how you are treating your business. Are you dressing as a professional or have you started letting yourself get sloppy? Are you going to work each day with the intention of setting a new appointment or are you just ‘going to the office?” Maybe you have to start working nights and weekends again. If the hours and days are generating leads, you might need to work more days and or longer hours to regenerate your business.

Have you given up doing open houses? What better place to meet new people who want to talk houses than at an open house? One of my agents was not only behind in her desk fee she carried over a deficit from the year before. Rather than giving up, she started coaching every week and working a plan. One month before her new year was up, she had her deficit and her desk fee paid and she did it by holding several open houses a week and even some on weekdays to meet new people. FSBO, Expireds and canvassing neighborhoods are still viable prospecting opportunities as well.

Build some new relationships. Join a new club, social group, sports activity, non-profit. Any area that is of interest where you will meet people with similar likes, is great. This will pay off two fold. You are meeting people with common interests and they are new to you and can be added to your network. People like doing business with others who share common ground. This is highly overlooked in our industry and you really should consider looking into it.

Engage and Educate your Sphere.
•Direct mail. It’s not dead, in fact, there’s more opportunity than ever since fewer people are using it.
•Hosting events. For first time home buyers, investors, expireds, FSBOs, — any focused group is a terrific way to differentiate yourself as an expert while making those all-important connections.
•Social media. Heaven forbid none of you are still “not engaging” in Social Media from a business standpoint. You should all have a business page by now. There’s no denying that these platforms are most definitely extending agents ability to reach out and stay engaged.
*The next step is to start creating videos and posting them. Did you know that 73% of homeowners are more likely to list with a Realtor that is willing to do video, but only 12% of the real estate industry current even have a YouTube account.
•Look at your front page of your website. You all have customizable websites that are provided to you. What have you done with yours? Does it jump out and say check me out I am an expert or is it B-O-R-I-N-G… Take a look at a few others and see how they are using market statistics, video, and links to say I am a specialist and you should call me. (go look at http://www.grahammarden.com for great example of a website that screams I am a specialist for homes on the water … and Graham will be the first to tell you he is not a techie kind of person!)

Sales agents who are in a slump must not join the “misery loves company” group. It’s easy to migrate to the low producers and share sob stories but that isn’t going to help one bit. Instead engage in learning and self improvement. Go to any and all sales training classes, motivational classes, office network groups, on line webinars or read a motivational book. Hang out with the productive agents and go where they are going. Visit them at their open houses and don’t be afraid to ask them how they got the listing, etc. Most successful agents like to share their stories. Learn from them.

Get A Business Plan or Revisit the one you have and tweak it if needed. A business plan is your formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons why you believe they are attainable, and your plan for reaching those goals.

Let go of your “perfectionism” and in the words of Nike, “just do it.” Fear can be a slump hump maker. When we are trying to get out of our comfort zone, it’s natural to experience some fear. We can get hung up on what others will think or frozen because “what if I come across a little corny. OK, now I am not insinuating that you don’t care about looking professional but you also shouldn’t take yourself so seriously that you can’t try something new out of fear. After all, Jerry Lewis, Lucille Ball and Jim Carrey all became millionaire stars for being corny.

As always, we are here to help.

Have a Safe and Prosperous Weekend


Are you working in today’s world or are you stuck in the pre-2000 era when it comes to marketing and where you spend your $$. Print was the marketing media of choice by real estate companies and brokers alike. Placement of ads in magazines and newspapers was expected of brokerages by both the clients and their brokers. As brokerages started paying out higher splits, they begin passing more of the marketing decisions and costs on to their brokers.

In the days of print media, brokerages judged their results by the number of ‘ad calls’ or visitors to open houses. Since few brokerages have the old ‘floor desk’ concept any longer, we have no tracking system for where the calls are coming from if the ad was in print form. In my old days we used to have a floor call log and every time the phone rang the floor person had to fill in the time, who the caller was, what they were calling on and how did they find us, sign, ad, magazine, yellow pages, etc.

Many agents have decided the little trade magazines were the worst investment for time sensitive material so we have seen those dwindling as well. I think some hang onto them because of their shelf life and the fact they like to see their own picture and homes in color in print. I am sure used right they can still generate some leads for brokers. With any type of marketing you should always be asking “What am I actually getting for my money?” Is the exposure great enough and is my return paying off

In a society that now expects to get their data in real-time, it became apparent that brokerages and brokers were throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars at print media for marking that was dated by the time it hit the newsstands. The other issue was the lack of ability to track their results with any proof of the impact they were having on the consumers they were trying to reach. Now that consumers have made the shift from print media to online media in the real estate search process, brokers have a wide array of online ad opportunities. If they are affiliated with a tech savvy brokerage, their online advertising offers the opportunity to measure and track consumer behavior, and to know when real estate advertising is effective.

Of course with any marketing you can still be throwing money to the wind hoping that it will get picked up and read by the right person or you can work with a company that understands how consumers search, what they see, what they choose to click on, are all pieces of information that can give us insight into what consumers are looking for, what makes them gravitate toward one website, one listing or one blog versus another, and most of all, exactly how many consumers saw the marketing you put out there and how many leads were generated as a result. Knowing different behaviors can provide us with different degrees of consumer interest, it’s important that your formats allows for making weekly, even daily updates easily. While your job is still being in front of the clients, listing and selling homes, you do have to pay attention to what your marketing is saying about you and your business 24/7.

Unless you have hired a marketing director, most of you are responsible for doing most of this yourself. Because we understand website design and online marketing covers a lot of arenas, we are using the last couple of months of this year to hold small workshops to help our brokers create the marketing image they want the world to see for 2012. Are you as happy with your online presence as you could be? If not, come join us!

Friday Flash: Great news Pru Agents: In addition to accessing the news and videos available through the new Real Estate Information Network starting next week you will receive:
The daily communication “Today’s Real Estate Advisor,” which will be provided by Prudential Northwest Properties to help keep you informed about what is happening in the industry, provide tips for success in today’s environment and updates on issues you should be aware of to better serve their clients.
• A monthly e-newsletter titled “Social Media Matters,” which will focus on the best practices and strategic ways you can leverage social networking to increase your business.
• A digital subscription to Real Estate magazine each month, to review the latest industry news publication, chock full of interviews, studies and new ideas on how to enhance and increase your business.

• Additional benefits will be announced soon. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the new information being made available to you.

Have a Safe and Prosperous Weekend


http://youtu.be/eqjs10PgG4Y

Negotiate your way to Closing


A broker is a party that arranges transactions between a buyer and a seller  and gets a commission when the deal is executed and closed. In order to close the transaction a broker has many negotiations to handle along the way.  Not all two transactions are exactly the same but the steps and skills we use are. 

 One of my many mentors told me being a good negotiator is all about using common sense and having a clear understanding of those for who you are negotiating and their needs.   For example it’s a given that if someone is coming to the bargaining table, it’s because they want something.  The challenge for an agent when acting as the messenger is being able to dig deep and aim to understand what the particular objective is that is most important for your client.   What would a satisfied outcome look like for them?  Is it price, terms or some sort of added value items that is most important? We can’t risk making assumptions for our clients that could lock them into a positional bargaining corner that they can’t get out of and still save face.  I have heard agents make statements at the table that flat out say NO ‘my client will not___!  The opposite side then folds their arms and says, well they better or we will quit talking to them.   Now you have a standoff.  Ultimatums are seldom successful at the negotiation table.  It is only when the client says NO MORE, I am Done that you ever want to play that card.   Instead try to if you can keep it going with “I understand your position but could we maybe come up with at a couple of alternatives?  Let’s see if we can’t agree to a compromise that both sides could work with?”  

The negotiation process involves a great deal of give and take and our job is to offer   options and alternatives that might allow our client to accept giving up one concession in return for getting another.    Remember this rule: Every concession must yield a reward.   

 Mary Parker Follett was a woman who had to negotiate to get where she wanted to be.   Although she graduated from Radcliffe College in 1898, she was denied a doctorate at Harvard on the grounds that she was a woman.  Mary Parker Follett went one to be one of the few great women management gurus in the early days of classical management theory.   One of her quotes stands out in my mind.

“There are three ways of dealing with difference: domination, compromise, and integration. By domination only one side gets what it wants; by compromise neither side gets what it wants; by integration we find a way by which both sides may get what they wish.”  

She wrote in an article published in 1926 and used the following as an example to support her teachings.  I think it demonstrates her theory well.

  “A Dairyman’s Co-operative League almost went to pieces last year over the question of precedence in unloading cans at a creamery platform,” Two groups of truckers, one coming up a hill and one going down, both wanted to unload first.   According to Follett, both sides’ thinking was “confined within the walls of these two possibilities.”

However, she wrote that an outsider came up with a different approach:  Change the position of the platform so that “the up-hillers and down-hillers could each pull in on different sides and unload at the same time.”

This remarkably simple solution allowed both sides to get what they wanted without having to toss a coin, take turns, split the difference, or carefully analyze their underlying interests.

Whenever negotiators are in a conflict, as when they’re haggling over a mutually desired resource, they are likely to view the situation from vastly different perspectives. You may think you’re acting strategically and legitimately, but your counterpart probably disagrees.

 In addition to understanding the motive and outcome desired by our clients, we need to be aware that bargaining styles are highly culture-dependent as well.  While the German culture is averse to bargaining in general, the Asian, Hispanic, Russian, Armenian, and Turkish cultures are some cultures that see hard bargaining as a necessary part of the buying or selling process but also as a way of life.  

While most everyone wants a good deal, people from negotiating countries must believe they got a good deal or they simply will not go through with the transaction. The good deal isn’t bases just the lowest price or cheapest commission but you must demonstrate to them that the price or commission has good value.   They take great pride in their bargaining skills and if they believe that they are overpaying, they will start renegotiating.  As their messenger your job is to understand this and know that it is not uncommon to continue asking for concessions even after an agreement has been reached.  Of course in this situation sellers/buyers and the agents become quickly irritated.

A well-educated client is the easiest client to work with.  It is a good practice to invest time in educating your customers on the real estate business and process. By seeing for themselves ( through Property Search and the PIPS) the comparable active, pending and sold properties, you are helping your clients to have realistic expectations. Pointing out time on the market, list to sold prices and data for the area that is pertinent to them will help the client understand the market dynamics. Talk to them about next negotiating step once a contract is agreed upon which will be the repair addendum and following that will be the appraisal process and the possible scenarios if a property does not appraise for the contract price.

 Check your emotions at the door and be professional. Calm and assertive communication gets deals done.”Buying and selling real estate for our customers is our business and you can’t let it become about you and personal.   The best ways to keep peace between the buyer and seller is not passing along nasty comments made by one to the other. You can give them the information but keep the tone calm.  As a real estate agent, never say anything bad about the buyer, seller or make the other agent the ‘bad’ guy.

Document the client’s wishes in writing via sales contracts, counter offers or addendums.  Be timely, be clear and keep in mind that whatever you put in writing should be able to be read by an uniformed 3rd party and they should be able to read back what the intentions of the parties were, without a verbal explanation by you.  One last piece of advice. There may come a time when negotiations reach a point when “we have to know that talking and dealing with this person isn’t going to happen at this time and we need to be able to move on.”  You can’t want the deal more than the client!

10 tips for better negotiations in any situation.

1) Seeking first to understand, then to be understood because suspending judgment is the foundation of clear thought.

2) Explore – Don’t debate. Attack the problem – Not the person.

3) Listen for agreement – not disagreement.

4) Ask questions, don’t restate your position.

5) Don’t prepare your response while they are talking.

6) Don’t interrupt.

7) Treat the person’s values, needs and interests with respect.

8) Manage your reactivity and take responsibility for your actions.

9) Keep focused on the goals and values.

10) Be assertive about the need to collaborate!

Have a safe and prosperous weekend!