Negotiation: Everything Is Negotiable

03/03/2023by dang tin0

Everything Is Negotiable

“EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE” should be your attitude and your approach to life and business from now on. One of the greatest obstacles to success and happiness is passivity. Passive people merely accept the current state of affairs, and they usually feel helpless to change the situation. Proactive people, on the other hand, see opportunities and possibilities everywhere, and are always looking for ways to change the situation to their own advantage. This should be your strategy as well.

Think Like a Negotiator

There are very few fixed prices or terms on anything, even if they are written down or printed. You must remember that no matter how firm or inflexible the prices and terms seem to be, everything is negotiable. Your job is simply to find out where and how you can get a better deal than the one that you are being offered.
When people began trading and bartering 6,000 years ago, in ancient Sumeria, it was generally understood that every price was negotiable. In the markets and bazaars of third-world countries, and even in the flea markets and garage sales that may be popular in the neighborhood where you live, every price—either buying or selling—is merely a starting point where the good negotiator begins on the way to getting the very best price possible.

But elsewhere in the modern world, negotiating is not encouraged. It is considered by many people, especially those selling a product or service in the commercial marketplace, to be avoided at all costs. Instead, people print a price list or put a price tag on a product or service and then present this price to you as though it were carved in stone. But a written price doesn’t really mean anything. It is not a fixed fact. It is the best-guess estimate of someone, somewhere, of how much a person is likely to pay. Any price set by someone can be changed by that person, or by someone else.

Prices Are Arbitrary

The fact is that all pricing is arbitrary. Businesses set their prices based loosely on costs, anticipated profitability, and competitive conditions. As a result, with changing information, all prices can be revised and adjusted in some way. Whenever you see or read about a sale of any kind promoting lower prices, you see an example of the company having guessed wrong when it set the price in the first place.
You should develop the attitude that no matter what the asking price is at the moment, you can improve this deal in some way in your favor. You may be able to get what you want cheaper, faster, or with better terms. Make it a habit to continually look for opportunities to improve the prices or terms in some way.

Contracts Are Merely Starting Points

For example, when you are presented with a contract or an agreement, you are perfectly entitled to cross out or revise any phrases or clauses you don’t like. Be aware that any contract presented to you by a vendor (or by anyone else) has been written for and on behalf of the vendor. There is very little in the contract that exists to serve your interests in any way. Never allow yourself to be intimidated by the fact that a contract or sales agreement is written down and official looking.

Some years ago, we took out a five-year lease on new space in a new office building. A few years later, the building owner sold the office building to another property company. The new property managers visited each of the tenants and explained that for legal reasons, the tenants would all have to sign a new lease agreement with the new owner. But, we were told, there was nothing to be concerned about. The terms would be more or less the same as the original lease that we had signed, with only a couple of minor alterations. When we received the new lease for signing, it was about ten pages longer than the original lease. A friend of mine, a commercial office leasing specialist, reviewed it and found fifty-two additions and subtractions from the original lease! And every one of them, without exception, was immediately detrimental or potentially detrimental to our business.

What we did was simple. We went through the new lease agreement and crossed out, revised, and initialed all fifty-two changes. We then returned the marked-up lease to the building owners. A few days later, they came back to us with a clean new contract with all fifty-two revisions made, as we had requested.

The moral of this story: Never allow yourself to be intimidated by the terms or conditions of any sale or purchase agreement. No matter what the other person says or asserts, or writes down in the form of a contract, it is all negotiable. An agreement is merely the first step in the process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *