Preparation is an essential yet often overworked foundational step to becoming an effective, accomplished, and seasoned negotiator.
Preparation is the one step in negotiation you do control; the one area that is truly up to you. If you do not adequately prepare, your success quotient will dramatically diminish. Inadequate preparation, or “winging it” as you negotiate, will likely give the other side an undue, unearned advantage.
Preparation is the necessary warm up to any healthy workout.
“FAILING TO PREPARE IS PREPARING TO FAIL”
Those famous words of that most esteemed and venerated UCLA basketball coach John Wooden are as relevant in basketball as they are with any real estate negotiation.
Always do your homework. The more you know, the more you plan for, the better you position yourself to negotiate on your terms and get the deal you seek. Successful negotiators are prepared negotiators. It has been said that negotiation is a process, not an event. You must master the process and the foundation will be solid with good and thorough preparation.
Strategic strengths and weaknesses, prepare to play the take away, be aware of all the requisite particulars, the time constraints, the numbers and players in play. Preparation can make you a deal closing champion.
For example, when negotiating a real estate deal, a seasoned negotiator knows that price is but one negotiable element of the transaction. Others are terms and conditions. If you do not get the price you seek, with preparation, you can be smooth and comfortably creative. Ask for more favorable terms and conditions. If that is not working, work the price down. Accomplished, assured, seasoned negotiators are those prepared and supremely capable of submitting many different versions of the same offer, getting what they seek in the end.
Confidence is never a substitute for preparation but preparation will bring confidence. With preparation and confidence together, you more than likely can overcome any unexpected challenges or problems that may arise.
INFORMATION IS POWER
The resourceful, experienced, and ultimately successful negotiator will often be the one with the most complete dossier, the most information, and clearly, the most preparation. This includes knowing as much as possible, not just about the object of the negotiation, but about the motives, needs, wants, and objectives of all involved. Be the negotiator to mold the other party to do what you want without them even realizing it.
Good preparation allows for this to happen almost all the time. The aerobics. Then the workout.