How Seniors Can Negotiate Like A Pro

Copyright 2006 Mary Greenwood

There are some age stereotypes that Seniors are set in their ways, forgetful, and unable to change. Someone with grey hair may not be taken seriously or worse ignored. As an older Negotiator myself, I believe that Seniors, with their wisdom and life experience, can make excellent negotiators. I have listed five rules that should help Seniors Negotiate Like A Pro.

1. Be Prepared.

You must always be prepared. If Seniors are not always taken seriously, they may have to work extra hard to do their research. Much preliminary work must be done. If you are not completely prepared, consider delaying the start of the negotiation. If you try to wing it, you will regret it later. It is important to have all the answers in advance. You cannot be over-prepared.

2. Keep Track of the Paperwork.

It is important to be organized and keep track of the paperwork. Have your papers filed in an orderly fashion so that you can get easy access to them. If you start getting confused, mistakes will be made and it will be a sign of weakness. Having the correct information is always a sign of strength. If you can provide the correct date, time and content of previous discussions, you will be in control and have the advantage.

3. Look the Part.

You are the one who should set the tone of the negotiation. You should wear professional clothes and carry a nice brief case and look the part. Project the positive image that you want. You might want to try it in the mirror a few times. You want to give good eye contact and be a good listener. You want to seem knowledgeable about the issues or issues to be discussed. Being a good negotiator is like being a good actor. Look and play the part.

4. Never Let Them See You Sweat

It is important to check your emotions at the door before trying to negotiate anything. Emotions such as anger can make one lose control. If you are nervous, upset or unsure of yourself, you need to focus on what you hope to accomplish and tell yourself that nothing is going to stand in the way of your goal. If the other side sees weakness, they may try to bait you, so don’t give them the satisfaction of knowing they have gotten to you. Don’t let your emotions interfere with the negotiation and never let them see you sweat!

5. Be Flexible

If you ask for something you really want and it is denied, don’t take “no” for an answer. Try to find out why they are saying “no”. As they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Try to think of a different way to convince the other side to give you want you want. Go back to the drawing board and try to ask for what you want in a different way. Even a minor change, a compromise or rephrasing might make it more palatable. If this is an important issue, suggest a trade-off or package deal, so the other side might be motivated by getting something they want.

If Seniors follow these Rules, they should be able to Negotiate Like A Pro.