I hate negotiating. (Hate negotiating.) To me, a negotiation always feels at least a little confrontational and I’m a confrontation-averse guy.
Unfortunately, negotiating is a fact of business life.
So if you, too, are an admitted negotiations dodger, here are a few ways to make negotiating a little less stressful, a little more fun, and a lot more successful:
1. Go first.
Many hesitate to make the first bid because they think going first could mean missing out on an opportunity. “If I quote a price of $5,000,” the thinking goes, “and he would have offered $7,000, then I leave money on the table.” In the real world that rarely happens, though, because the other side usually has a reasonable understanding of value.
The value of an offer is highly influenced by the first relevant number—an anchor—that enters a negotiation. That anchor strongly influences the rest of the negotiation. So go ahead and set that anchor. Make the first offer.
Research shows that when a seller makes the first offer the final price is typically higher than if the buyer made the first offer. Why? The buyer’s first offer will always be low. That sets a lower anchor.