The negotiation process is important

Last week, I watched my lawyer mentor engage in negotiations. I was privy to his thoughts before he made his moves and offers. It was very interesting to watch.

I came away understanding that it is important to have a bottom floor number set in stone with your client. You need to know what dollar amount they are comfortable with.

I also came away thinking about what my style would be in negotiations. I imagined that I would just let the other side know what my bottom floor number was and tell them to take it or leave it.

I think this strategy can work.

But, I may be leaving money on the table if I do this. It seems if I skip the negotiation game, I skip the opportunity to make more money.

In reading the Art of Lawyering, I have learned that there are psychological laws in play during negotiations.

An example is given in the book where you imagine you are buying a used car. You have done your research and decide to make an offer on a certain used car. You want to get the best deal you possibly can and throw out an offer of $3,000 when the owner had advertised the price of the used car as $5,000.

Imagine how you would feel if the owner almost immediately accepts your offer.

Let me guess, you wouldn’t feel too good about the car now? Yeah, I wouldn’t feel too good about the deal either. There is something comforting when the other side puts up a negotiation fight. It seems to let you know that the good/service/person is valuable and in good shape.

After pondering on this example, I now believe in the negotiation process. It is important and needed. I think my strategy will be to set my sights tens of thousands of dollars higher than my bottom floor and then to be willing to compromise.