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The Art of Negotiation: Dancing Your Way to More Deals

We’ve been trained as a society to view negotiations as a bad thing. With a simple reframe of the mind, it’s actually quite the opposite.




THE WORD NEGOTIATION, for many, brings to mind a negative connotation and gut punch feeling of uncomfortability. We’ve been trained as a society to view negotiations as a bad thing. With a simple reframe of the mind, it’s actually quite the opposite. Negotiations between buyer and seller are a natural stepping stone to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. The beauty of negotiations is that it’s a key indicator in the purchaser’s level of interest. No interest in negotiation? More often than not, it doesn’t lead to a closed sale.

In fact, a buyer’s willingness to negotiate can be a strong indicator of their interest. Consider it a glimpse into their mind, revealing their true objections and purchase stage. It’s a radar into their true objections. Having spent years studying and practicing a variety of negotiation tactics, these are a few important strategies and observations I’ve picked up along the way.

1. Control the Tempo: A Negotiation Tango

The negotiation process should be executed like a dance. The right pace, the right tempo and the right controlled environment. It’s a back-and-forth tango between two parties where there needs to be give and take at the right moment, at the right pace, in order to keep the sale in play.

Even after years of negotiating with retail clients, I still need to remind myself to go low and slow. Refine your volume, and don’t rush the process. Sales professionals will give away far more margin than necessary in order to close the deal quickly. In negotiations, buyers need to earn the concession. A quick drop of price shows lack of integrity in the item’s value from the beginning.

Instead of immediately offering a discount, start with a small price concession delivered confidently and firmly including reasoning. “I want to be the one to take care of you. I can offer it to you at [the lower number] but I want to earn your business on this piece and your loyalty moving forward.” If that doesn’t close the deal, refocus on romancing the product’s value and explore alternative pricing options before further concessions.


2. Body Language: Speaking Volumes Without Words

The most skilled professionals in any sector of business are hyper sensitive to verbal and non verbal cues. Non-verbal cues are crucial in negotiation, especially when phone conversations replace visual cues. Negotiations are far more challenging when your voice and word choice are the only variables you can control.

Throughout the sales process, there is much to be learned by a buyer’s non verbal cues.

Without a single spoken word, their level of interest will be clearly expressed by body language and eye contact. Paying attention to these cues is imperative during negotiations. As a seller, you need to project confidence and comfort through your body language. Maintain eye contact, stand tall with your shoulders back, and speak with a crisp, confident tone. These micro cues reassure the buyer they are working with an expert.

When presenting price, use a confident tempo and language. Their eyes and proceeding physical reaction will provide clues to follow as to where the negotiation sits. A slight head tilt, leaning in, or relaxed body language are excellent non verbal indicators that they are comfortable with the price.

3. Setting the Stage: Location Matters

The environment for the negotiation process needs to be front of mind. If possible, the buyer and seller should both be seated with only the item of interest on hand. This keeps the buyer focused and interested, and not distracted by additional pieces. Negotiations are best conducted privately in a controlled environment away from distractions and interruptions. This creates intimacy and exclusivity, allowing the negotiation to unfold without unnecessary pressure.

Ideally, negotiations should take place seated and away from a public audience in a private room or an area free from distractions. A price concession should be a special right, not a common place activity on the show floor with other shoppers nearby. Remember, not everyone negotiates at a low and slow pace. Certain cultures are accustomed to a negotiation process that needs to be apparent, loud and aggressive for them to feel satisfied with the result.

If a private room isn’t an option, consider sitting or standing on the same side of the counter as the client. This simple move not only creates intimacy, but it also puts the buyer and seller in the position to collaborate and achieve a mutual price agreement. A simple tip that will produce extraordinary results!




This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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