Recently in an article I wrote about the 7 mistakes most often made in negotiation, I mentioned that it takes confidence to be a good negotiation. How can you get the confidence you need to be a good negotiator? Simple, it just takes skill and skill comes through repeating the process over and over again.
Think about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington VA. The military members that guard the tomb do so with precision and skill. They would not be permitted to guard the tomb until they have done hours of training to become proficient. It’s the same with negotiation or anything you want to become good at. It takes drilling your skills over and over again. You can’t become good at anything until you experience it again and again. The thing is, you have to start somewhere and often times that where people stop because of fear.
Fear of the unknown often stops up from doing things that we could get good at with a little training. Fear of failure or rejection are other reasons we stop short of getting better at something. Negotiation is often one of those things that many people have fear of accomplishing because of some of these reasons. We fear looking like an idiot in the negotiation or performing poorly and tanking the deal.
We have the ability to get good at anything we put our mind to if we just do the work. The power is in the work but most people don’t want to do the work. You won’t feel comfortable negotiating if you don’t negotiate.
For some, it may take a little more experience than other. How do you get the experience you need and skill when you don’t know how or fear doing it? Unfortunately there is no simple solution, you have to just do it to get better at it. There is no magic pill or quick fix, but you can train your skills before you have to sit down and do the big deal. Where can you do that? How about going to a yard sale, asking for a discount at a department store or a restaurant? Starting with small steps is the way to go and will lead to bigger leaps in the future.
Getting into the habit of asking for the deal when the stakes are small builds confidence when the stakes are bigger. Go out and get some experience!