Negotiation Skills and Influencing Other’s Perceptions

A very key element in negotiation involves learning what is key to negotiation. It’s not redundancy. Its truth.

The process to learn effective negotiation skills is like an attempt to climb a sheer rock wall. It can be done, it has been done, but the sooner one identifies solid places to put her foot or grab a ledge, the faster… and more safely… the wall is scaled. Similarly, the sooner the “key” concepts are learned, the faster and safer the path to successful negotiation.

One foundational “key” issue in successful negotiation is perceptions. Learn the way these mold the process and you will learn how to use them to your advantage, every time.

Perceptions are present in a negotiation whether people want them to be there or not. The fact is, whether a negotiation is happening over the telephone between two different parties on two different continents or whether it is happening in a crowded, dimly lit lounge on leather couches, there will be perceptions of each party by the other party and those perceptions will influence the process and the outcome, in a big way. In a previous article, I talked about the attitudes and actions of negotiators that can help or hinder the reaching of a successful agreement. But there is more to negotiation skills than just the perception of the other party’s attitude. They include the perception of their perceptions.

What does the other party perceive you will do? What are they going to do if you surprise them? What are they going to do if you play it exactly as they would have planned? These are questions that will arise in the mind of the parties. The real issue here is whether you can influence the other party’s perceptions before they act on them.

The fact is, you can. You can do it honestly and legitimately and if you are good, the other party will have no idea it was planned.

There may be a limitless number of “perceptions” the other party will have of you, and here we will address a few. Learning about how to influence one perception will show you how to actively influence almost any that could surface in a typical negotiation scenario.

Accepting the first opening offer – consider what will happen in a negotiation when the buyer makes an offer, and the seller immediately takes it. What is the feeling (perception) created in the buyer? Does he think he just made a good deal, or does he become worried he just offered too much? In truth, the buyer will often react with fear when his offer is immediately accepted. He wonders if he was too aggressive. Too positive. Too hopeful. He wonders if maybe he really did not know the true value of the item for sale and that is why the seller had no hesitation to accept.

Learning successful negotiation skills will show you that accepting the opening offer is often a bad idea. This is because people expect to negotiate, even if it’s only a little. So if the seller accepts without complaint or condition, it creates fear and anxiety in the buyer’s mind that there is something she doesn’t know about, something that should have been researched. Otherwise, why no debate over the price? Once a buyer feels this way, the gloves come off. Then the parties are in a fight mode because the buyer has this gnawing feeling that she was just taken… and doesn’t even know why.

Become an astute seller by not accepting the opening offer, even if you want to. This is the time to get creative. It may be that you are going to come back requesting a small concession of the buyer, something like a shorter escrow or a larger deposit or a higher interest rate. Whatever it is, significant or insignificant, ask for a concession, even if you like the present agreement as it stands.

This methodology influences the other party’s perceptions (in this case, the buyer). It tells them (without telling them) you are still moving toward a deal, and that they don’t need to worry that they just fell for a trap you set. Remember: negotiation is a process.

Making concessions – consider how the opposing party would feel if you made absolutely no concessions to your terms of the deal. How will that influence their perception of you? Will it make the other party defensive?

Concessions are necessary; the other side expects them. If you don’t make them, and make several, they will sense you are not going to budge on anything. And that is not what you want them thinking, even if it’s true.

Every known a seller to present something for sale, and after he got an offer, he raised his price? The average reaction of buyers in this situation is something between bewilderment and anger, and rightfully so. To take this position is simply insulting to the other party.

Well, making zero concessions isn’t much better. To work to a successful deal, you have to have concessions built into your negotiation. In other words, you have to have concessions planned, concessions that you will make as the process goes along.

Don’t overlook this point. It is very important. The main reason to have concessions planned is simply this: you don’t get any credit for concessions you don’t bring up. If you make your offer and load everything you would possibly give in to in that offer… you have nothing to work with down the road in the negotiation. You can’t deplete your ammo at the first sight of the enemy or you’ll have nothing to shoot with later on. And the carelessness could get you killed.

So how to do this? Make a systematic plan on paper or in your mind of what you will give, what you can concede. Put in order of priority. Then, as the negotiation proceeds, pull out the smaller, less important concessions first. The other side will push again, asking for more. Proceed to the weightier ones, the ones that cost you more. But each time you give up something, you will make certain you are getting what is important to you in the deal, and you are getting closer and closer to a successful completion.

Putting the plan into action is what it’s all about. And there’s no way to put a plan into action if there isn’t a plan. So do yourself a huge benefit and before you get into any negotiation, large or small, make a plan of how you will influence the other party’s perception of you and how you are going to negotiate. Try it; you’ll perceive the difference right away.

“Bad, bad, says the buyer, but when he goes his way, then he boasts.” Proverbs 20:14

To learn more about how to take the right stance in a negotiation, look at “A Positive Approach”

How to Pick a Personal Present for Christmas

I do not know about you, but Christmas shopping seems to get more difficult every year. If you want to get a loved one something they need, chances are they have already purchased the item for themselves. If you want to get something unique, the local department store is the wrong place to go. Everyone in the community frequents the same retailers. So, what is special about revisiting a place you have been to at least 100 times? May I suggest you pick a personal present for Christmas?

Why should personal presents be reserved for showers? You know what I mean. When a friend and the fiancé have both lived on their own for some time, they do not need household items. In fact, the problem is combining two houses full of necessities into one home. The newlyweds certainly do not need any more toasters or towels. So, to celebrate the event, friends decide to throw a personal shower. Instead of buying pots and pans, the guest of honor will receive perfume, cologne or eye-catching lingerie.

So, I ask the question again: why should personal presents be reserved for bridal showers? You can put a little something special under the tree this year. For example, how many friends will splurge on beautiful lingerie, when the bills need paying? Thus, you can put something with a little sparkle beneath the wrapping.

Lingerie makes an excellent personal present for the holidays. After all, everyone needs lingerie. But, most people will not typically buy quality lingerie for themselves. Another purchase always takes priority. But, if your priority is making someone special happy this holiday, you can shop for quality lingerie.

When you pick a personal present for Christmas, you do not have to be concerned whether it is an extravagance you can do without, and thus talk yourself out of the purchase, like when you buy it for yourself. Since it is a present, you can buy lingerie simply because you love the recipient and want to get them something special. In addition, it will definitely be something unique.

So, when you are trying to figure out what to get that someone special for Christmas, think lingerie. You do not have to worry whether they need it, already have it, or would not normally purchase lingerie for themselves. Your goal is simply to pick a personal present for Christmas.

Commercial Agents – Effective Sales Presentations for Leasing Commercial or Retail Property

Leasing commercial real estate is quite a specialised service and should be sold and pitched for by local real estate agents on that basis.

Have all the facts at hand!

As the local agent you can lease all types of property today, although market knowledge and leasing skill always comes into play. The leasing of property can and should be a specialist service in your agency office; it can involve skilled people and marketing tools relevant to the property type.

The leasing team in a large agency can comprise of a leasing manager, tenant advocacy specialist, lease administrator, property manager, and tenant liaison person. In large retail premises to be leased you will add a marketing manager to the leasing team.

In real estate agency you can have specialist strategies developed on:

Office property leasing
Retail free slanders and small premises leasing
Shopping Centre and Mall leasing
Industrial leasing
Warehouse leasing
Fitout works and controls
Tenant advocacy services
Tenant mix strategies and planning
Renovation and relocation plans for leasing
Project leasing of new properties and developments
Know Your Leasing Market!

It is in fact very difficult to pitch for and list a property to lease unless you really know the market trends and solutions. That is why many agents specialise in leasing and special segments within it.

Here are some key elements of the presentation to be handled when you are pitching for the leasing listing appointment.

Supply and demand for leased premises in the local area will be based on tenant enquiry today. Explain what the supply and demand factors are today and how they are expected to change given the local business and population demographics.

The type of tenant target market that will be attracted to and served by the property should be defined (in this way you can design more relevant marketing packages)

The best methods of lease given the age of the property and the cash flow requirements of the landlord should be defined. Use a Gantt chart to explain the leasing stages and time line.

The types of rent to be used in the promotion of vacant areas will be based on the history of other rents in the local area. Explain the best types of rental (gross or net) for the situation at hand and give sound reasons for this choice.

Comparable properties that have an impact on your subject property. They should be located and details of the relative asking rents provided. Explain the differences between those properties and the subject property.

The timing of the lease promotion given the seasonal business community will have some relevance to your pitch for the appointment to lease

The methods of handling outgoings recovery for the landlord given the tenant enquiry out in the market today should be incorporated into the lease type selected.

Definition of landlords works and the timing of such should be quite clear from the outset

Lease documentation strategies and implementation programs should be considered (this is highly relevant when many vacancies are being leased in a new development)

Explain the methods of marketing the vacant property or tenancies to different targets (primary and secondary level tenants). In properties with multiple vacancies this will become a complex process taking into account the tenancy locations and priorities for specialty or anchor tenants.

Inspection strategies to take tenants through the property given its design and function should be explained (give due consideration to other tenants in the mix or customers to the property)

The size of the tenancies to be leased and their locations will create different asking rents.

The impact of incentives to lease in the current market should be defined and strategies struck.
To win a presentation or pitch to lease a property you need all the facts and the solutions. When you seek to specialise your leasing services this becomes much easier for the agent.