How To Negotiate Well

Two people negotiating

Extracts from The Word for Today….

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

In order to negotiate well, it helps to understand what’s happening on both sides of the table. People seldom buy a product for the reason you want to sell it. If you show more interest in making a profit than meeting their need, you’ll fail.

So here are a few things to keep in mind when negotiating with someone:

(1) The right attitude. Nobody likes being taken for granted, coerced, and pressured.

(2) The cost involved for others. There’s a world of difference between negotiating with someone who has so much money that whatever the cost they can afford it, and someone who is sacrificing because they really need your product. If you want a long-term customer rather than a short-term sale, practise the Golden Rule: ‘Whatever you want others to do for you, do for them.’ (See Matthew 7:12).

(3) The proper timing. Solomon tells us there’s ‘a time to gain, and a time to lose.’ (Ecclesiastes 3:6 NKJV) Whether you’re asking for a raise or trying to sell a product to a customer, timing is all-important. When someone is hungry, lonely, angry, tired, stressed or in a crisis, you risk losing out, whereas if you’d waited for the right time, chances are you’d have won. Does God really care about stuff like that? Yes. ‘The Lord watches to see if we are fair or if we cheat others.’ (Proverbs 16:11 CEV)

As a follower of Christ, you want both sides to walk away feeling they were treated fairly.

Woman negotiating in meeting

Both riches and honour come from You.
1 Chronicles 29:12

To negotiate well, you should do these three things:

(1) Talk to God before you talk to others. Involve Him in all your decisions. The Bible says, ‘Both riches and honour come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.’ (1 Chronicles 29:12 NKJV) ‘Also, every man to whom God has given riches and possessions, and the power to enjoy them and to accept his appointed lot and to rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God.’ (Ecclesiastes 5:19 AMPC) If God can negotiate the price of our salvation at the cross, don’t you think He’s qualified to help you negotiate successfully in business?

(2) Think long-term. When someone feels ‘burned’ in business dealings with you, you may make a sale but you’ll lose a repeat customer. Billionaire Sam Walton said he rarely invested in a company because of where it would be in eighteen months. Instead he invested in companies that would still be successful ten years ahead. You may be irreplaceable today—but you won’t always be. And if you pressure your boss for a raise by threatening to leave, your short-term gain may result in long-term loss.

(3) Don’t be pressured. Run from the salesperson who insists, ‘This is the last day of this sale!’ Generally speaking, when you return a month later they’ll still do a deal! Many times they need your purchase more than you need their product. Your opinion deserves to be heard and respected. Just make sure it’s at the right time, in the right atmosphere, and with the right attitude.

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