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When you Negotiate Check Your (Perception)

» Introduction
When you negotiate, do you make allowances for the manner in which you perceive things? If you know you're the type of person that possesses prejudices towards a particular situation, people, or things, you should prepare to address those situations before they occur in a negotiation.
» Step 1
When you negotiate, do you make allowances for the manner in which you perceive things? If you know you're the type of person that possesses prejudices towards a particular situation, people, or things, you should prepare to address those situations before they occur in a negotiation.

Not too long ago, I was sitting in a Mercedes Dealership waiting for some minor repairs to be completed on my car. While there, I observed what appeared to be a homeless woman in her late 50s, come in, sit down, and ask for assistance from the sales staff, with the remote for the TV. When she came in, she was pushing a small cart that appeared to have a few personal items in it. I thought here's a contrast.

This poor deprived woman cast a impression that was truly in contrast to the $60, $90, and $120 thousand dollars cars that were carefully positioned throughout the showroom. I was further amazed at the kind of professional and gentle treatment the staff displayed towards her. I thought this should be interesting. Lets see how they get rid of her. I thought the staff was humoring her so as not to create a scene or alienate people that were perusing the showroom.

For those of you that have attended my seminars, or have been following this series for some time, you know I pride myself on being very aware of any environment I'm in. I always try to live for the future by living in the moment that I exist in. If that sounds like an oxymoron it's not.

When the staff walked away from the homeless lady, I went over to her and asked if I could help her with anything. With a quizzical look on her face, she asked if I worked for the dealership and I replied, no. Then she asked why I would want to help her with anything. I explained that I was just trying to be polite. She asked me to sit down beside her and we began to talk.

To cut to the chase, it turned out the woman wasn't homeless. She told me, she had been to several Mercedes dealerships, dressed in the manner that led me and others to think she was homeless. She said she dressed that way deliberately, to see the response she received. She leaned over and whispered, Thats the way I negotiate with the sales staff. If they don't think I have a lot of money, they will be easier on me. She was in the process of purchasing a 2007 SL 550 Mercedes that carried a sticker price of $102,705.00!

Before sitting down at the negotiation table, assess the perceptions you have and how they might influence the outcome of the negotiation. While in the process of the negotiation, check your perceptions against reality, by validating those perceptions. Make sure you're not assuming a position you hold to be valid simply because you are predisposed to what you think the outcome may be. If you remember this simple guideline throughout every negotiation session you're in, you'll save yourself countless number of hardships ... and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Lessons Are...

* When you negotiate, never act upon unsubstantiated assumptions. To do so could be at your own peril.

* If something appears out of place, don't assume it should not be there,question it's validity. Remember the clinch that says, don't judge a book by its cover.

* When you negotiate, always treat people with respect, even if you think they're homeless.


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