What Your Negotiation Power Depends On

PurchTips edition #122


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Is Your Negotiation Power Maximized?

In many previous editions of PurchTips, I've shared with you many negotiation tactics that can help you be a more successful negotiator. In this edition, I'll teach you about one ingredient that could improve your ability to execute those tactics and, as a result, give you more negotiation power: confidence.

Power persuades. And confidence translates into power. Can you learn to be confident? Yes. Here are four specific things to do to be more confident in negotiation.

Visualize – Early in your preparations for negotiation, take some time to visualize a successful end result. Picture yourself shaking hands with your supplier and smiling. Imagine the feelings you'll feel when you've secured a great deal for your organization. Most tangible results start with a thought that is later brought to reality. If you can't think it, you will have a harder time achieving it. So visualize and feel the power!

Affirm – Say this out loud to yourself throughout your preparations: "I am a confident negotiator." The last time you are by yourself prior to commencing a negotiation, say it to yourself again. The negotiation power that your supplier will sense about you stems from outward evidence that you believe in yourself. Affirmations strengthen your belief in yourself.

Use Only Positive Statements – Suppliers who are trained in negotiation look for signs of weakness in you through your behavior and the words that you use. So never appear subservient or in doubt. For example, saying "Your brochure said that technical support is included with every purchase, but your proposal said that support is available for an extra charge. So I guess that you can't include support for free, right?" is weak. Don't expect to change a supplier's mind about the deal with words like that. Saying "Your brochure said that technical support is included with every purchase, but your proposal said that support is available for an extra charge. Let's fix that." sends the signal that you are confident and in control and that you have power.

Self-Assess – During a negotiation break, always ask yourself "Was I confident? Did not appearing confident hurt me? What can I do to appear more confident?"

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