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We die. Ever­y­thing else is nego­tia­ble.

We die. Ever­y­thing else is nego­tia­ble. Even taxes — in some places, at least. I don’t know what you do for a living, but I know one thing for sure: you can’t get or lose as much with any­thing as you can with good or bad nego­tia­ting.

Let’s say you earn € 100 000 a year. If you work the usu­al almost 1680 hours a year, that makes an hour­ly wage of about € 58. When nego­tia­ting, you can earn that much in one second: ima­gi­ne you buy a car for € 50,000. At the right moment, you use the right nego­tia­ti­on tech­ni­que — just as you imme­dia­te­ly choo­se the right key from a bunch of keys — and you get a dis­count of seven per­cent, i.e. € 3500. The nego­tia­ti­on las­ted one minu­te and € 3500 divi­ded by 60 seconds just makes € 58. The­re you go.

In other words, it pays to nego­tia­te. To put it nega­tively: if you don’t nego­tia­te, you will miss out on a gre­at deal.

It’s not for not­hing that they say the­re are two pri­ces for ever­y­thing: the negotiator’s and the douchebag’s.Jack Nas­her

It’s not just sales and purcha­sing that nego­tia­te: in fact, every dis­cus­sion is a nego­tia­ti­on about who’s right. We nego­tia­te about 40 hours a week and our lives and tho­se of our com­pa­ny could be so much bet­ter if we knew how.

When you’­re mana­ging peo­p­le, con­sider what’s slip­ping through your fin­gers even in the few minu­tes you’­re rea­ding this artic­le: Not only do your employees make bad deals, but you say “yes” when they should have said “no.” And many will think that good nego­tia­tors need to be tough as nails and mer­ci­less — ask Lidl how well that did their purcha­sing depart­ment (spoi­ler: not well). They say the pro­fit is in the buy­ing. That’s non­sen­se. The pro­fit lies in well-nego­tia­ted purcha­sing, just as it lies in good sales. Pro­fes­sio­nal nego­tia­ti­on is a mat­ter for the boss in every com­pa­ny. Our Nego­tia­ti­on Insti­tu­te recom­mends three steps:


Find out how nego­tia­ti­ons are con­duc­ted in your com­pa­ny. To do this, use a com­bi­na­ti­on of four methods: simp­le sur­veys, obser­va­tions of nego­tia­ti­ons, inter­views, and focus groups to go in-depth and real­ly under­stand the company’s nego­tia­ti­on weak­ne­s­ses but also strengths.


It is cru­cial that it is also wort­hwhile for ever­yo­ne in the com­pa­ny to nego­tia­te. If you’­re only con­cer­ned about sales and not about pro­fit, there’s no need to nego­tia­te. The important thing is to set up the incen­ti­ve struc­tu­re in such a way that ever­yo­ne is pul­ling in the same direc­tion and spea­king the same lan­guage. If you want to mea­su­re suc­cess pre­cis­e­ly, you can also intro­du­ce a balan­ced score­card in which fac­tors rele­vant to you are lis­ted. In any case, it is important that you can record the befo­re-and-after effect and eva­lua­te the mea­su­res at any time.


Invest in excel­lent nego­tia­ti­on trai­ning. Don’t make the mista­ke of trai­ning only sales or only purcha­sing. The more diver­se the group, the bet­ter — ever­yo­ne can learn from ever­yo­ne else. The buy­er who sits one office away can help the sales­per­son immense­ly, becau­se he or she ticks like the buy­er the sales­per­son also regu­lar­ly sits across from, and vice ver­sa. Don’t think that trai­ning is all it takes. Regu­lar refres­hers, even if only once a year, help soli­di­fy what you’­ve lear­ned. Employees love nego­tia­ti­on trai­ning: it’s eye-ope­ning, it’s very fun thanks to simu­la­ti­ons, and it bene­fits ever­yo­ne in every area of life — pro­fes­sio­nal and per­so­nal. Nego­tia­ti­on helps indi­vi­du­als rea­li­ze their per­so­nal poten­ti­al in life, just as it helps a com­pa­ny shi­ne at its ful­lest. An impul­se lec­tu­re on this can be the initi­al spark to draw atten­ti­on to the topic and arou­se curio­si­ty (cough).

Published in Spea­k­ers Excel­lence


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