In order to negotiate well, it helps to understand what’s happening on both sides of the table. People seldom buy a product for the reason you want to sell it. If you show more interest in making a profit than meeting their need, you’ll fail. So here are a few things to keep in mind when negotiating with someone:
(1) The right attitude. Nobody likes being taken for granted, coerced, and pressured.
(2) The cost involved for others. There’s a world of difference between negotiating with someone who has so much money that whatever the cost they can afford it, and someone who is sacrificing because they really need your product. If you want a long-term customer rather than a short-term sale, practise the Golden Rule: ‘Whatever you want others to do for you, do for them.’ (See Matthew 7:12).
(3) The proper timing. Solomon tells us there’s ‘a time to gain, and a time to lose.’ (Ecclesiastes 3:6 NKJV) Whether you’re asking for a raise or trying to sell a product to a customer, timing is all-important. When someone is hungry, lonely, angry, tired, stressed or in a crisis, you risk losing out, whereas if you’d waited for the right time, chances are you’d have won. Does God really care about stuff like that? Yes. ‘The Lord watches to see if we are fair or if we cheat others.’ (Proverbs 16:11 CEV)
As a follower of Christ, you want both sides to walk away feeling they were treated fairly.