You might be a good negotiator, but making mistakes while negotiating with another party makes you vulnerable in the interaction. One mistake in an important negotiation can be the difference between coming out on top and hitting rock bottom.
It’s easier to avoid making mistakes when you know exactly what they are and why people tend to make them. Below, we’ll outline 5 negotiation mistakes you can make that will cost you a deal along with how you can steer clear of making these mistakes.
Keep these in mind to become a better negotiator!
5 Negotiation Mistakes That Will Cost You a Deal
1. Taking the first offer
Sure, you might technically make a deal, but it won’t be a good one. If you don’t counter offer to the other party’s first offer, you’re setting the bar awfully low. You’re telling them that the lowest possible price they imagined you’d go for is exactly what you’re worth, and that’s a mistake that could taint your business relationship.
To avoid it: Don’t ever settle for the first offer–always counter, even if it’s for a small increase.
2. Keeping quiet about your needs
The other party isn’t telepathic and doesn’t know what you need or expect out of this deal. To get the ball rolling in your direction, explain why you need a concession from them or a specific term you’re bargaining for. People respond more favorably when you’re putting all your cards on the table.
To avoid it: Speak up about your needs to give yourself the best chance of having them met. Ask and you may receive.
3. Being unsure what amount you’ll settle for
If you don’t know your target price, it will be obvious. You won’t appear professional or confident when reviewing, making, or considering offers from the other party, and that’s a big mistake to make in a negotiation.
To avoid it: Before you go in, decide on the price you’re willing to take before you walk and say “No thanks” to remove the guesswork.
4. Expecting an unrealistic deal
Your expectations are a major factor in the success of a negotiation. If you expect a great deal in your favor, your actions will follow your expectations and cause you to be more confident and positive in the process, resulting in a better deal for you. Likewise, if your expectations are too high, you could come across as arrogant or ignorant to the other party. If your expectations are too low, you could be taken advantage of or pitied by the other party.
To avoid it: Try to go in with realistic expectations for what you should expect from the negotiation. What can the other party realistically concede? What about you?
5. Appearing desperate
If you come across as desperate during a negotiation, you alienate the other party from you. They feel like you’re a different type of person, one who may be unpredictable due to desperation. That’s not going to result in a positive negotiation for you.
To avoid it: If you notice yourself appearing desperate at any point during a negotiation, remind yourself to stop and let silence work in your favor.
When you’re negotiating with anyone–a car salesman, your spouse, child, the owner of the sweet bike you’ve always wanted–keep these mistakes in mind and be sure to avoid them. The most important thing in any negotiation is confidence, so be sure of what you want and be willing to walk away if you don’t get it. Good luck!