Don’t Be This Lady, Learn Negotiating Skills

Negotiating Tip 101: Don’t Piss off Your Ally

My day job is in real estate. I work as an acquisitions analyst for a commercial real estate firm in California. For the non-real estate folk, my job is to look for good investments, analyze them, and buy them.

In my line of work, good negotiating skills are a must. Just thinking about these skills had a whole internal rant going through my mind. The gist of this rant would be: don’t piss off who you are negotiating with!

Negotiating Skills 101

Learn Good Negotiating Skills

Over the last several weeks, a tenant in one of our buildings has been negotiating with me to move into a larger suite with better visibility to grow their retail business. This happens frequently. However, what doesn’t always happen is extremely poor negotiation.

This client wants to pay less rent for a much better space and wants us to pay her to upgrade it. Makes sense, right? It’s like saying she lives 60 miles outside of town in a trailer park and wants to pay less rent for a penthouse suite downtown.

This disconnect aside, she decided earlier in the week to give me a call to scream at me and let me know she was going to sue us because there was mold in her suite. Knowing she doesn’t have a case to stand on, I went about this situation just like any other building complaint. I called my specialist to go onsite and investigate the matter. He replaced some dirty cabinets and performed a test, confirming no existence of mold. Problem (and overreaction) solved.

What irked me throughout all of this was that this lady thought it would be a good idea to start a conversation off with, “I’m going to sue you.”

No matter how valid a point one has, no one wants to hear those words. Our society is way too litigious as it is and any threat of a lawsuit is enough to scare most people.

I was shocked that she pulled this stunt with me. She needs me! I’m the one who’s going to get her the deal of the century in her new location, remember? Why would a person threaten a lawsuit with someone they need help from?

The whole point of this rant (besides a healthy vent) is to point out how ridiculous people can be. Please don’t be this lady.

Don’t Bite the Hand that Feeds You

If you need something from someone, your nose should be brown from compliments. Shower them with kind words and polite gestures. They are the ones doing you a favor remember?

Every time I’m on the phone with customer service, I almost always ask how their day is, where they’re from, what the weather is like, etc. When they ask me, “Is there anything else I can help you with?” I almost always respond (in a serious voice), “YES! I have something very important I need from you. I need you to have a good day.”

I can hear the smile on the other end and besides knowing I made someone’s day, this person is the one helping me reverse late fees, or fix my internet.

In short, don’t sue someone as you’re asking for a favor and don’t irritate your food source. When you’re hungry, you’ll be real sorry you did.

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