A stage most deals eventually reach – negotiation. Some wither at the mere thought of it, whilst others spread their negotiating wings and dive right in. Whichever you are, you’ll need some handy techniques to ensure you come out the other end with the best deal possible.
Over the course of your website investing journey, you’ll find yourself in situations where utilizing specifics techniques will be extremely beneficial. Once your understanding of these becomes set in your conscious and subconscious, you can further apply them in many other areas of your life, including offline situations.
Similarly, some shouldn’t even be classed as techniques, but rather general qualities of a person which seemingly bring due kindness from others.
The first being, you guessed it – kindness.
Not only is kindness a great overall quality for a person to have in general life, but it can greatly benefit you whilst negotiating with sellers. Swap positions for a minute and put yourself in the seller’s shoes.
You’re in negotiations with two buyers:
- One buyer is disgruntled, unwilling to act in good faith, demanding non-pertinent information, and generally a rude person
- The second buyer is understanding, friendly, reasonable, and a genuinely nice person
Negotiations are coming to a close and both buyers have put up an offer for the same amount. If neither were willing to go higher, who would you choose? You know who.
A seller will 99.8% of the time rather do business with the party they like the most if all else is equal. Seems obvious, but it’s often overlooked.
Unless you’re one special person, you won’t be able to easily switch kindness on and off whenever it’s required. Practicing this skill in all areas of your life will allow you to consistently access it, even in strenuous situations.
If your deal involves the use of a broker, apply the above ‘technique’ on the broker as well.
Most deals through a broker have come about by the seller seeking out a broker, indicating trust from the seller to allow the broker to handle the deal.
It’s much harder and will take far more time for you to try and gain the same level of trust with the seller, compared with utilizing the already existing relationship trust between the seller and broker. So how can you tap into this trusting relationship? Simple – gain the trust of the broker.
If it’s your first time dealing with the broker – communication, genuineness, and kindness will build up trust quick smart.
Brokers will always have the seller’s ear, and if you’re able to slide the chair so they’re sitting further on your side of the table, you’ll have the broker’s ear.
Keep in mind, without actually selling websites, broker’s commissions drop rapidly. Brokers need and want good relationships with buyers to ensure quick sales. And if you let them know you are one, they’ll always strive to keep you happy (best deals, best prices).
Human emotions are one of, if not the most wonderful aspects of life, but they can also hinder you in treacherous ways. And most of us, allow our emotions to overcome ourselves when dealing with financial situations. Especially when closing deals through negotiations. Don’t let that be you.
Just because you’ve found a site with plenty of opportunities and huge potential to increase its earnings (as stated by the seller), doesn’t mean you should be paying 2 times market value.
Money is money. Emotions are emotions. Generally speaking, mixing the two together will end badly.
This is one of the hardest aspects to accomplish, but once you’re able to effectively separate the two when required, you’ll be in for a damn good time.
Emotions in negotiation haven’t been studied all that long (less than 40 years), but studies which have been undertaken show great insights into the disastrous outcomes when they’re combined.
Stuart Diamon, author of Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World, wrote a great post detailing how emotions are the enemy in negotiation.
That said, once you’re able to control your own emotions, you can use your knowledge to manipulate the seller’s emotions. Manipulate is a great word, but it’s been ridiculously negatively skewed by the media – it simply means to influence cleverly in a skillful manner.
‘Inception’ the seller’s emotions, bring them closer to the thought – selling their website to you for an awesome price will make them happy. Easier said than done of course.
If there’s a single word you should aim to incorporate in all your debates, arguments, and negotiations, it’s fair and its opposite – unfair. These two words have a deep psychological effect on the receiving end.
At our primal levels, humans desire to be fair to fellow humans. It’s who we are, it’s our instinct. Being called unfair by a fellow human can play on these instincts and force them to realize they’re unfairly treating an equal member of the same species. It may seem preposterous, but it works.
Don’t call the seller unfair when they clearly aren’t. This could have the opposite effect and turn them off you for being condescending and irrational.
If you’re interested, you can read more about the one word that can transform your negotiating skills here.
One of the classics, yet I still hear about many people completely misplacing it during their negotiations.
If there is one thing Suits taught me, whatever you do, your first offer should never be the highest you’re willing to go. Always start off with a figure below your budget, and work up from there if need be.
Any intelligent seller will never accept the first offer a buyer puts up either, so if you’re already at your limit, you could be forced to stretch yourself or back out completely. Neither a good outcome.
Start below your limit to leave yourself with wiggle room when the seller inevitably comes back with a counter.
On top of that, refrain from offering the full listed price. Sellers usually enlarge the number above what they’re willing to accept so buyers will be happy when they feel like they’ve got a deal.
The seller gets the number they’re looking for, and the buyer thinks their getting a deal – win-win.
You may come across some sellers with a long story as to why they’re selling the site. They could be starting a new project, looking to cash out and do some traveling, may pay down some debts with the funds, or use it to come to a settlement with the now ex-wife.
Whatever the seller’s situation may be, it’s just that, the seller’s situation. Under no circumstances should any of the seller’s problems be forced upon you, to better the deal for them.
Of course, you may be a compassionate person and generously do so, but we’re talking strictly business-minded deals here.
Say the seller’s site has come in at a market value of $15,000, would you pay $16,400 because they told you they need another $1,400 for rims on their Accord? You’re on a Bill Gates level of kindness if you do.
On second thought, I’m bailing on this website investing nonsense to become a professional photoshopper. Damn those are some sweet rims.
Back on topic.
You can come back to fair here. Simply advise the seller you don’t think it’s fair their personal situation is having an impact on your part of the deal. If they refuse to budge, it may be time to walk away.
Leverage – the single greatest tool you can use in negotiating. Always try and put yourself in a position where, if the deal isn’t completely beneficial for you, you can walk away. And the other party should know that.
You can put yourself in those situations by turning your attention to sites which have been on the market for a while, require specific skills which you have to maintain the site, or there are impending changes in the market which you can easily handle.
All of these can be seen to be quite similar to the negotiating your leverage in the real estate market.
Avoid flaunting the leverage over the seller unless you truly have them in a corner. Too much of shoving it in their face, and they’ll do what most people will do – get pissed off and then tell you to piss off.
Be kind with your leverage, and you’ll find it’ll be kind to you.
As with all new skills we learn, we perfect them by deliberately practicing them. And it’s what you should be doing too.
I’ve mentioned in other posts to talk with seller’s and get to know how the process of buying works, but the negotiation phase is one step further. It’ll be tough to practice online negotiating without actually purchasing anything, so let’s head offline.
There are plenty of opportunities for you to develop your negotiating. I’m not sure if it’s the same in your area, but in Australia, most larger retail stores (furniture, electronics) are generally open to negotiation on their floor items. Head in there and get negotiating.
You don’t have to purchase anything, just get in there, find an item, pick a number below the list price to aim for, and find the nearest store assistant. When you eventually reach your number (and you will, eventually) just say you’ll think about it and come back later if you’re wife agrees.
Over time, you’ll come to enjoy the process of negotiating instead of panicking at the thought of it. The challenge of persuasion and using specific techniques will become exciting.
Online, your skills will be far more effective as you can normally draft, edit, re-edit and then edit again, each word you choose to send. And let me tell you, each word counts.
Those are a few of the tactics and techniques I’ve found have been most applicable in the majority of my negotiations. Not all will be relevant in every deal, and some should be replaced with ones you believe are appropriate.
If you stick with nailing the above skills, you’ll become a solid negotiator before you can say SEO is dead*.
*It may take longer.