Negotiation: Overcome Your Negotiation Fears

04/03/2023by dang tin0

Overcome Your Negotiation Fears

THE KEY TO getting a better deal is simple. Ask. Ask for a lower price or for better terms and conditions. Ask for revisions and changes in the agreement. Ask for additional inclusions, discounts, concessions, or extra products or services to be included as a part of the overall deal. Ask pleasantly. Ask expectantly. Ask confidently. Ask courteously. Ask adamantly, if you believe it will be more helpful. But always ask definitely and clearly for what you want. Always ask why, and why not? The future belongs to the askers. The future belongs to those people who confidently and boldly ask for what they want, and ask again, and continue to ask.

If this advice is so simple, why is it that so few people step up and ask for what they want? For many of us, it goes back to early childhood. It stems invariably from the fear of rejection as the result of criticism and the lack of unconditional love many people experienced as a child. When children do not experience a fully nurturing environment during their formative years, they grow up lacking in self-esteem and self-confidence. As a result, they often don’t feel that they deserve to get a better deal than the one they are offered.

This fear of rejection can hold people back throughout their adult lives. They will often accept agreements, conditions of employment, prices—both buying and selling—that are far less advantageous than they could actually accomplish, just because they are afraid that someone will say no.

You can overcome a fear by engaging in the opposite behavior. If you have a fear of rejection and your normal behavior is to passively accept the terms and conditions offered you, you can overcome this fear by continually asking for a better deal, and by not caring if the person says “no.”

Do it repeatedly, and the fear soon diminishes and disappears. This is the process of “systematic desensitization.” By confronting your fear, and by repeatedly doing the thing you fear, the fear eventually disappears.
Just as fear is a habit, courage is a habit as well. By forcing yourself to act courageously, especially in asking for better prices and terms in a negotiation, you actually build your own self-confidence and self-esteem.

Cold-Calling Builds Courage

One of the most important lessons in my life came when I began door-to-door selling and cold-calling, hour after hour. At first, I received more rejection than I ever thought possible. Virtually every door I knocked on was closed to me, since I ended up being rejected and told that the person did not want, and was not interested in, my product. I heard the word no hundreds, even thousands, of times. Then one day, I asked an experienced salesperson how he dealt with this nonstop rejection. He shared with me these magic words: “Rejection is not personal.”

Don’t take rejection personally. When someone says “no” to your request in a negotiation, it is not a reflection on you or your personal value. It is not a statement about whether you are a good or a bad person. As far as the person saying no is concerned, it is merely a commercial response to an offer of some kind. It has nothing to do with you. Don’t take it personally.

Once I learned this key idea, I became a selling machine. I would confidently go from door to door, asking people to buy my product. No matter how many times I heard the word no, I just laughed. I realized that the other person was not thinking about me at all. The other person was merely engaging in a knee-jerk reaction that takes place whenever anyone proposes anything that is different from the status quo. Rejection is not personal.

Building an Empire

One of my seminar attendees was a construction worker in Phoenix who decided he wanted to buy older homes and rent them out for enough to pay the mortgage, plus make a profit. But he didn’t have very much money to start.
Nonetheless, he began going through the newspaper looking for homes that were put on the market “by owner” instead of being listed with a real estate agent. He began calling on these homeowners and would arrange to view the house, and after determining that it would be a good house to buy, fix up, and rent, he would turn to the owner and offer him 50 percent of the asking price. Some homeowners were angry. Others were furious. But out of every twenty homeowners he called on, one of them was invariably going through a life situation that made the owner a highly motivated seller. There were people whose business had shut down, or who had lost their job, or they were going through a divorce or a bankruptcy, or they had decided to move to another part of the country, and the only thing holding them back was selling their house.

So for every nineteen rejections, someone would counteroffer with a price that was 60 percent or 70 percent of the asking price, which he would eventually accept.

After a few years of his willingness to hear the word no over and over again, he owned forty-two houses and was earning more than $10,000 a month. He was on his way to becoming a millionaire. And all because he was not afraid to hear the word no when he asked for what he wanted.

Negotiating as a Game

Think of negotiating as a game. It is not a serious, do-or-die matter. It is merely a form of sport. In fact, it is one of the great games in life. Your job is to play the game as skillfully as you possibly can, and then to get better and better at it.

Top negotiators insist upon negotiating on almost every occasion. They haggle and bargain because, for them, it is a form of fun. When you begin to look upon negotiating as an enjoyable activity, and remain calm, confident, and cheerful, you will begin to see opportunities to negotiate on your behalf everywhere you go and in almost everything you do.

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