Jan 19

32 Things Professional Negotiators Never Say

People are highly emotional. I have seen negotiations come to an end because a seller and buyer couldn’t come to agreement on who pays utility costs for the day of closing (normally, it is the seller in residential real estate who is responsible).  On a $350,000 transaction, we are talking about a dispute over perhaps $10.

Humans have two amygdalae which modulate our reactions to events and warn us of peril. They are essential to our ability to feel emotions (including fear) and to perceive them in other people. They control how we react to the presence of reward, sexual partners, rivals, children in trouble, danger, and so forth. They form an older part of the brain and have many connections with other structures. They are powerful parts of the human mind and drive a lot of behaviors, many of them negative ones.

Angry people lose ten points off their IQ and do things that are often against their own best interests. Realtors, conciliators, arbitrators and other professional negotiators can often insulate buyers and sellers from their own worst instincts.

Trained negotiators don’t use terms like–

“take it or leave it”,

“that’s my final offer”,

“I guarantee it”,

“are you blind/deaf?”,

“that’s a stupid question”,

“that’ll never happen”,

“I’ve got a backup offer”,

“that’s confidential”,

“make me an offer” or “everything’s for sale for a price”,

“I’m all-in”,

“you’re a loser”,

“I’m all about big win for me, little win for you”,

“I’m dealing your cards face-up”,

“you’re a liar”,

“I need to call my lawyer”,

“you’re making a mountain out of a molehill”,

“that’s non negotiable”,

“I’m going to sue you” or “see you in court”,

“that’s undiscussable”,

“I’m the expert”,

“pretend I’m a call girl—I want to be paid upfront”,

“that’s blackmail” or “is that a threat?”

“cry me a river”,

“I’m not paying for that” or “don’t cheap out on me”,

“I’m bluffing”,

“I’d bet my life on it”,

“let me see your cards before I bet”,

“talk is cheap”,

“I’m too busy”,

“I don’t care”,

“I’ve made you an offer, you can’t refuse”.

“let’s continue these negotiations in the bar”.

@ profbruce

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.