Be a Better Negotiator

In Negotiations classes I taught for a few semesters, the first principle I share is what I call The Rule of Bob.

I once worked for a guy named Bob who had accumulated millions of dollars.  The secret to his success is that he LOVED money.  He had one particular trick for adding to his wealth.  He said “you don’t get nothing in this world without asking.”

He continually asked for outrageous things.  He would ask employees if he could have their bonuses, and many relented because they thought their generosity would win points and bigger bonuses in the future (it didn’t work).  He always asked for free stuff, unusual concessions, and enormous benefits.

423AC6E3-CE05-4560-AB4D-400D178BD244I eventually learned the lesson.  It turns out that a person who WON’T negotiate will be no more successful than one who CAN’T negotiate.

We often fail to ask because we are afraid of appearing greedy or selfish or clueless. Because, for some reason, we value the opinion of strangers more than we do our own selves.

I have lost $640,000 (estimated) because I have been afraid to ask for somthing that should have been mine.  Don’t you do the same thing.

Are you afraid to ask directions when you are lost?

Have you failed to reach your goal in a negotiation because you wouldn’t ask for a concession?