The 40 Most Common Mistakes Negotiators Make



I have needed to negotiate several times this week; nothing unusual about that, but it got me thinking about why so many sales professionals do not have this most basic and essential skill; why so many leave so much money on the table; why margin is not defended resolutely enough? Maybe if they were using their own money, as I do, things might be a whole lot different.

So here - in my opinion - are the 40 most common mistakes made by negotiators …..

• Failing to prepare effectively for the negotiation

• Underestimating your own power

• Assuming the other party knows your weaknesses and strengths

• Being intimidated by the status of the person with whom you are negotiating

• Concentrating on your problems, rather than those of the other party

• Forgetting the other side has things to gain from agreement, as well as yourself

• Making assumptions about what the other side wants

• Having low aspirations for yourself

• Giving too much credence to time deadlines set by the other side

• Assuming the other side is aware of the short and long-term benefits of reaching agreement

• Being intimidated by rules set by the other side

• Misunderstanding tactics used by the other side

• Talking too much

• Failing to listen effectively

• Believing everything the other side says about you, your service, your competition, etc.

• Being forced into discussing price too early in the negotiation

• Revealing your “hand” too early

• Aiming too low with your opening bid

• Accepting the first offer

• Giving away concessions for nothing

• Conceding an important issue too quickly

• Making concessions too easily and raising the other side’s expectations

• Feeling guilty about asking for a concession

• Making concessions before knowing all the other sides’ demands

• Failing to make concessions conditional on final agreement being reached

• Making concessions of equal size to those on offer

• Paying too much attention to price, rather than value

• Discussing issues for which you are not prepared

• Being inflexible

• Losing sight of the overall agreement when deadlock is reached over minor issues

• Responding to a high demand with a counter offer, instead of challenging the validity of the high demand

• Assuming deadlock means agreement is not possible

• Feeling deadlock is only unpleasant for you and not the other party

• Trying to be liked during the final stages

• Bluffing without having a strategy ready should your bluff be called

• Taking things personally

• Offering to split the difference

• Being intimidated by “This is my final offer”

• Not preparing for the possibility you may need to walk away

• Not carrying out a “post-mortem” with the other side

Did you recognize any of these when you think back to the last time you negotiated?


News: Did a great interview with Tamara Schenk yesterday – “Round Pegs in Round Holes” and later today we announce last week’s Top Sales Article of the Week, plus of course this week’s ten nominees .. it’s non-stop action over at Top Sales World


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