Sunday, November 15, 2009


To me, there is something missing in this art. And make no mistake, negotiation is an art form.

There are many things that great negotiators do to get their way, and if they are really good at their trade, they do it in such a way that you don't feel bad about giving up something up to them.

They are able to talk in a way that convinces you that this is a fair deal. They can communicate something to you in such a way, that you don't feel taken advantage of. -This is the lost art of negotiation that most people are missing.

If that is the characteristics of a really good negotiator, then it is the person who is simply a BAD negotiator that really bothers me. These people are only out to get their own way at any cost. -They don't care how it affects you; only as long as they get their on way.

Conquer at any price.

People like this often say things like, "it's not personal, it's only business" Well, to most people that I know, taking money out of their pockets and taking food out of their family's mouths is pretty personal.

I think the reason that these con-men negotiators say this, is to make their own conscience feel better about taking advantage of someone's situation or exploiting a position to make themselves benefit.

The problem with negotiation is that most people don't take the time to understand their opponent. To some, if you don't or can't negotiate, they look down on you. To others, if you ask for too much and negotiate extensively, they get tired of you always asking for more and then they don't want to deal with you.

Obviously, there has to be a middle ground.

Another problem is that to most of the rest of world outside of North America, negotiation is a way of life. For example, if you grew up as a child in China and went to the food markets with your mother, there are prices on everything and there is always a person to negotiate with. You would learn at a young age on how to negotiate by watching your parents as they did it in front of you. However, in North America, that doesn't happen. If you go to a store here, we have very fixed prices and very rarely can you negotiate a better price. It's just the way we do things around here. But to a person coming from a country where that's a way of life, it removes the ability to save money and get a better deal.

I think we as North Americans hate negotiation. If you look at Real Estate, or buying a car, you will see people get all pissed off in the negotiation process by a low offer, or not getting what they think they THINK they should be getting. They take all these things personally, especially in Real Estate where someone has low-balled not just their house, but what they call "home".

So here's where my 2 cents comes in. I don't like negotiation. I think it demeans me, and makes me feel cheap. I realize that I can save more money by low balling someone, but I don't think that I would like it if someone did it to me, so I pretty much don't do it to them.

If I go down to Mexico, or some other less fortunate country than my native Canada, I always think that the extra dollar or two that I would save really wouldn't make much of a difference in my life, but it certainly makes a big difference in their lives. Same thing with tipping for good service. An extra dollar here or there won't break me, but it certainly makes a difference to the waitstaff at the end of the night if everyone thought this way.

I'm just tired of people always trying to bully others to save a buck. I like the approach my old marketing teacher and mentor Gord McLeod would say...

He would tell me, "Chuck, in a Bull. Be the biggest bull that you can be. -But don't be a Pig."

Remember, that you can shear a sheep many times, but you can skin it only once...


  1. Perhaps Kevin Spacey should have consulted you before taking on Samuel L. Jackson.

  2. While low balling on real estate may at times be an insult to the vendor, sometimes what appears to be on the surface as a 'low ball offer' may really just be an offer at fair market value... In the Toronto core, alot of housing is really really overpriced and I have seen alot of examples where the price is being driven up by the games played by real estate agents... When one really takes the time to assess whether or not the purchase price is fair, one usually finds that it has been grossly inflated and not justifiable... However, this over-inflation of prices continues because people are actually paying the insane prices, with crazy offers over asking... Alot of this mat happening because of rich parents helping their kids, or low interest rates, but my fear is that this is happening because people desperate to buy in a rising market for fear of being shut out indefinitely... Hence, when this is going on, what else is the prudent buyer to do - try to low ball to get a fair price? or be stupid and overpay with hard earned after tax dollars? what would you do?

  3. I would not take it personally the way everyone who looks at the offer does. People are way too emotional about their homes. If it's so personal, then don't sell it and die there.
    I watch these real estate shows and it just makes me sick to see how many clueless stupid people are out there. I would hate to deal with idiots like that...


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