The Four Phases of Negotiation

Negotiation is a process. Each step builds toward another in pursuit of your ultimate goal: a mutually satisfying agreement. Like any strategic play, there is a series of actions and reactions. The way in which you handle each one determines the outcome. To steer the negotiation in the direction you want, you need to work through four phases:

Phase One: Confirm

A negotiation begins when one person has what the other wants. If you are a new homes salesperson, your negotiation is triggered when a prospective buyer conveys interest in a property. Your first step is to confirm you are dealing with someone who has genuine interest in buying a new home, not just a “tire kicker”.

Phase Two: Explore

Once you know that you have an interested prospect who wants to negotiate, you need to determine their needs, limits, and potential obstacles. So, you explore. Ask questions. Gather information. Look for clues that will help you overcome objections and meet their needs.

Phase Three: Propose
You’ve collected the information and acquired deeper insight into the mindset of your customer. Now present your proposal. Avoid the clichés, like “Let’s make an offer!” or “You never know until we ask” because you’re feeding into their expectations. They’re prepared to respond to this type of pitch. Instead, be innovative. Use creative language. Step far outside the proverbial box to propose the terms of the offer.

Phase Four: Agree
The key to negotiation is agreement. But how do you get there? You’ll have to work point by point to achieve agreement. If you become stuck on one point, move on. Keep aiming for “Yes” and once you have that rhythm, return to the sticking point.

There are no shortcuts to successful negotiation. It’s a strategic process. You must plan and prepare for it. And once you enter into negotiation, follow the steps to get you to the outcome that both you and the buyer are seeking: a sale.

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