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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Sean Adams, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    Some people love to negotiate - others avoid it like the plague. I was doing a little reading and here was some decent information I found about skillful negotiating.

    Remember — it’s not personal. “As soon as emotions enter into the transaction, you’re going to lose,” says Kit Yarrow, a professor of consumer psychology at Golden Gate University, in San Francisco.

    Do your homework. You’ll feel confident, and “if you tell the salesman that you know it’s last year’s model, you will disarm him,” says Ken Hall, the chief Teamsters Union negotiator for 215,000 UPS drivers.

    Stay calm. Starting an argument won’t help your chances.

    Start simple. Practice negotiating where the stakes are low, like at a yard sale.

    Follow through. If you get the offer you were looking for, take it. “Don’t keep angling for more,” says Dominick Misino, a retired hostage negotiator for the New York Police Department.

    Here is another good tidbit I found....

    "If you want something done right, do it yourself."

    Beware of hiring someone to negotiate for you. Too often hired negotiators are little more than mediators. Their reward stems from the reaching an agreement rather than the actual terms of the agreement.

    Companies who hire real estate negotiators and reward them based on performance are asking for trouble. The very people who should be protecting the operating viability of the company are rewarded for something else, making the deal. People are human and incentives are important. Attorneys pose a different challenge to their clients. Some attorneys enjoy the process, the fight. They would rather fight to the end then compromise and settle. This is good for their egos and billable hours!

    Knowing your bottom line is important. The bottom line is the point that you should either be prepared to walk away or to start bluffing seriously. In most cases, you should walk away. The deal was not meant to happen. When you walk away the other party may reach out to bring you back to the table. That is when you know they want the deal more than you do and that you might be able to agree on your terms.

    Do not confuse goals with bottom lines. Your goals are what you want to achieve while your bottom line is what you need to achieve.
  2. Supper Grassy

    Supper Grassy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,582

    good thread as always
  3. HandyHomeMedic

    HandyHomeMedic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Good information. Thank you.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    That's great, except how many folks have a good deal in front of them and either don't know it, or instead of leaving well enough alone they apparently can't stop themselves and keep going and going until they've bargained themselves right out of the deal.

    Another way to say it is, it's all fine and dandy to bargain until you've got what you had in mind, but not when the price is double that, worse still is when the current price is already lower than everyone else's, what part of leaving well enough alone isn't getting through here?

    I ought to print this out and give it to every one of them kind,
    except I don't think it would do any good, at all.
    And sorry for the fire.
  5. xpnd

    xpnd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    Within the art of negotiations, there are two distinct types. The majority of people always go for arterial bleeding.

    The first and that which is probably practiced most often and equally inappropriately is the 'Kick butt, take names and no prisoners' type. This type of negotiations should be reserved for the one times deals where there is no expectation of a continued relationship. An example of this would be dealing on used equipment from a business shutting down. There is no expectation of doing business with them ever again, there will be no long term relationship and there is no benefit to leaving any of your cash on the table after the deal is done.

    The second type requires finesse. When dealing with your major vendors, the last things you want to do is wear them down to the last penny. It is okay to let them win a little. It's okay to leave a LITTLE bit of your cash on the table for them to pick up. An example of this would be my service/parts dealer. I receive a discount. It is the discount the owner suggested when he set me up. I know for a fact some of my competitors are receiving slightly bigger discount on their purchases. Does this bother me? Absolutely not because taking a smaller discount and not wearing the owner thin for the very last penny has paid out dividends to me. Several years ago, my bicep on my right arm detached from the insertion point on the forearm. For nearly 4 months I was in PT and was not allowed to even lift a cup of coffee for two months after surgery yet I still needed to run my business. I needed the blades on my Z sharpened. I took it too my dealer, the owner stepped away from the counter, drove my Z into the shop and installed NEW blades. Labor cost-0, Parts-0. Had I wore him thin for every penny in my favor, I highly doubt I would have received immediate service from the owner and I surely would have paid for the blades.

    Those that you have long term relationships, those that support the success of your business should not be abused while negotiating a deal.

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