Negotiation is about mastering a few skills: patience, focusing on the other side’s pressure, and offering something the other party wants in return for what you want – whether it’s a house for your client, or, a pair of earrings from Antigua.
I visited Guatemala last November, and found that negotiating at a market in Antigua was similar to my experience negotiating for my condo. In Antigua, there is a huge market filled with vendors. I’d admire something I thought I might like to buy, and the vendor would tell me a price, and try to sell me on that price. But at this market, just like the housing market, options are open – there could be something better at the next vendor’s kiosk, where I’d get a better value for what I pay. Just by turning my back as if I was willing to walk away got every vendor to offer me a lower price to reel me back in and buy from them, and I was able to buy my mother jade earrings for $15 less. By being patient and focusing on both the street vendor and the seller’s need to sell, I was able to get more for my money – with my condo, I negotiated a closing date that better fit my schedule, and a lower price that included some of their indoor and all of their outdoor furniture.
Check out our tips in our cover story and you’ll be well on your way to being a master negotiator.