By Jeremy Vlasich

I really love to negotiate. In fact, coming to an agreement with a buyer or seller in a win-win negotiation brings me a lot of joy! It’s is kind of my jam.

Over time, I’ve had a lot of people ask me to coach them or help them with negotiating. I always love to do this for other people. I truly believe that the ripple effect from helping others out as a mentor or coach is beyond our understanding.

So I’m going to share with you a few things I’ve learned over the years about negotiating.

It’s an art

What I think a lot of people don’t realize is that negotiating is part science and part art. The science is easier to teach. After all, it’s all in the scripts and other things that are very tangible. The art is a different story, because the art is less tangible.

To be the best at negotiating, you need to master both the science and the art.

Does that mean we can’t teach or learn to negotiate? Not at all. Most of the art of negotiating comes down to philosophy and understanding. Great news! This can be taught and learned, as well.

There is an old saying that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. The premise is to listen at least twice as much as we speak. This is great to live by, however, I want to expand this concept and explain how it relates to the art of negotiating.

Not only did God give us two ears, but He gave us two eyes.

Eyes are just as important as ears

Think about this for a second. Non-verbal communication—such as facial expressions, tone of voice, and physical gestures—are as important to understand as the spoken word. And our eyes can give us visual clues that our ears do not pick up.

Have you ever met with a person or company that you’re trying to buy something from, and the other person either doesn’t speak much or they mask their personality? This can happen when we don’t feel comfortable or don’t know each other well, and it can often cause us to misunderstand what the other person is meaning with their words.

On the other hand, masking our body language is much more difficult to do. This is why noticing body language is a strategy many people use in card games. Some people know what cards you have (good or bad) by your body language.

This awareness can be used in negotiating as well.

My experience

Once I had a mentor in real estate tell me that the other person in the negotiation will tell you everything that you need to know through their body language. I will admit as a young gun in real estate I overlooked this in the beginning.

However, my mentor’s comment stuck with me and has helped with hundreds of negotiations since.

I am not only more aware of body language, but I even speak about body language and demonstrate visually. I say things (including motions with my hands and body) about “removing the stress and weight on their shoulders.” This statement includes me acting like a mime to remove something from their shoulders and throw it to the ground.

Exercises like this have allowed me to relate and communicate with the other person. Plus, I then can read their body language as they tend to start to smile and elevate their posture.

At that point, I have what I need to move forward with the negotiation.

So, next time you are in a negotiation with another person or company, watch with your two eyes in addition to listening with your two ears. I think that you will be surprised at how much is said with the other person’s body language.

And please comment and let me know about your success. I love to see the ripple effect in action!

(Note: While business strategies are incredibly important, they are best paired with making sure you have your life where you want it first! You should really hear some of the life-changing stories coming from our Getaways lately—you might even consider joining us for one sometime soon, if you’ve not been lately.)

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