How can I be a better negotiator? When the subject comes up, everybody is interested. The in-box starts to fill with questions. Everyone wants to improve. I could easily come up with dozens of tips, but these 3 can be put into practical use today.
In this article I will give you 3 tools to help you improve your skills and become a better negotiator. Acting on these tips is totally in your hands, but these will get you on the path. There is no magic bullet. No one secret thing will work for everyone, but there are things you can do to improve. And yes, I will be promoting a book in this post.
- Negotiate on at least one thing every day. Be alert for situations you can negotiate. Ask for anything and everything. Who knows? You may get it. Try for an earlier dock time. Negotiate with your wife on where you’re going for dinner this weekend. Get your kids negotiating on getting chores done. Just be on the lookout for situations you don’t realize are negotiable.
- I just talked with a friend who calls to cancel his SiriusXM radio subscription every year. He ends up getting it for half price. He’s saved around 600 bucks in the last 5 years.
- We call our cable TV and internet provider every time they run big promotions for new subscribers and ask for the same deal. I’ve never gotten it, but I generally get a one time discount or a few extra features.
- Enter one negotiation per day that you know you will loose. Rejection is a funny thing. You will naturally shy away from encounters that have a high degree of rejection. Train yourself to accept no, and keep moving forward. It isn’t a bad word. When you hear no, it just gives you information to move forward. Ask for a discount on your fuel or your groceries. I listened to a Ted Talk on negotiating and the speaker asked for a giant doughnut in the shape of the Olympic symbol. They not only made it, they gave it to him.
- Read this book. Never Split The Difference is by far the best book I’ve read on negotiating. It’s full of easy, actionable steps that you can put into place today. Chris Voss is a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI. His experience is priceless. My favorite part of Steve’s book is how much it involves working over the phone. The book is a quick read, and he shares some great stories.
Truckers generally don’t like reading long blog posts, and I don’t really care to write them. This is short, sweet and actionable. It’s up to you to act on it. You didn’t learn to blind-side a 53 foot trailer into a tight dock overnight. You won’t become a skilled negotiator overnight either. But you can put these steps into action today and you will be a better negotiator tomorrow.
You should also read this article, Load Boards and Building Relationships. Negotiating is the key to many things, but it’s one of the best skills to master if you want to make more money and build your own book of business.