One of the keys to the car negotiation I just described is the fact that the price I give is actually my goal; it’s as non-negotiable as the shade of black on the model in question. I believe it’s easier to simply state the goal right out; there’s less time wasted. The other side in a car deal has done the same thing by presenting a specific set of options and models for sale. They’ve limited the universe, so why can’t I?
The one practical difficulty with this method is that many people are not going to take you at your word when you say up front that you’re making your final offer, at least not when money is involved. I don’t think that’s an argument against doing it; on the contrary. But you do have to indicate that you really, truly mean it.
Like I said, that’s the idea of the deadline. But I have to say, from experience, that you’ll be tested.
Not a problem, right? Because you can always take your out.
Some negotiators want a little wiggle room to work with, even in a very simple negotiation. They’ll make a money offer a little lower than their goal, knowing they’re likely to come up a bit to make the deal. Negotiation is an art, not a science; you do what you’re comfortable with, as long as it meets your goal. Remember, though, that giving yourself wiggle room involves tactics, NOT—repeat, NOT—your goal. Your goal always remains steadfast.