Compromise- The Art of Negotiating


I’ve never been to a class on negotiating nor read a book about Compromise, I don’t even know if I’m good at it. I do however practice it often and know what I just negotiated in less than a week:

  • I sold my son’s hover board. Originally the asking price was $85, I sold it for $100.
  • I worked with a vendor to return around $3,000 of inventory despite a no-return policy.

I have a philosophy that almost everything is up for negotiation. In my own personal experience, there are some concrete barriers that no matter how hard you try, you just won’t move them. These include:

  • A bull-headed person. This can come in the form of someone who doesn’t understand compromise or thinks their shit doesn’t stink. If you are dealing with these people, my recommendation is: don’t even try. These people aren’t interested in sharing. They can’t comprehend that there is another way to do things. You can always try to wear them down but sometimes, it’s not even worth it.
  • Red tape. If you are negotiating with the bottom rung of an organization that has to go up 20 levels to get something signed off, you’ll retire before you get an answer, that’s if it even get’s to the appropriate person.
  • Not being clear on what you want. Lack of clarity leaves the door wide open for a compromise that is not mutually beneficial.

How  I Compromise/Negotiate

So here is what I use. I think many of these you’ve probably heard of and if it works, why fix them?

  1. Have all your facts straight including a clear picture of what you want. You need to think about what questions you may be asked and have an answer prepared. You can never be overly prepared.
  2. Keep a level head. If you need to walk away to avoid an adult meltdown, do it. Pretend you have to go to the bathroom or something.
  3. Much of my negotiating occurs over email. I make sure to address the person by name (if I know it) along with a hello. Often times I find my emails start out with, “I’m hoping you can help me out with something.” I make sure it’s well written and to say thank you. All common sense practices that seem to not be so common these days. It’s gotten so bad I completely do not understand what some people are asking sometimes because they talked their email and didn’t check it.
  4. Reread all emails and don’t use curt language. I hate curt language and doesn’t make me want to help you. Things I would never put in an email includes: ASAP, demanding something, starting out a sentence with “you need” and lastly, I would never, ever sign an email with “regards”. It’s so impersonal in my opinion.
  5. You need to explain how this compromise will benefit both partie. If it’s strictly a problem you are attempting to solve and the other party gains nothing, this is when you must rely on the relationship you’ve built with this person/organization. Perhaps you’ve helped them out in the past?
  6. When I receive a “no”, I then respond back, asking how can we find a “creative” solution. I received a no today and currently I’m in  this step.
  7. And sometimes a “no” sticks but does it really? I simply put the no in my pocket and when the time is right, they will need something. I then consider this the moment to reopen the negotiations.

Right or wrong, that is how I work. I should tell you I am a Buyer and much of my job is negotiating. If I don’t, we can’t secure the best price or best terms. So what are your thoughts on this? How do you negotiate? Would love to hear your thoughts!

This post stems from the WordPress Daily Prompt:Compromise

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