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Everyday Cheapskate: Everything I know About Negotiation I Learned in Order to Survive

Mary Hunt on

Driven to save myself and my family from financial ruin, I jumped into the deep end of the industrial real estate industry. I knew nothing about negotiating. All I knew was that I had to close deals -- bringing interested parties together, getting them to agree and seeing that everyone walks away a winner.

I no longer sell real estate, but I still rely heavily on the negotiating skills I learned. Sometimes, it's a complex issue, but most of the time, it's just a series of one-minute negotiations.

You are a negotiator, too. You negotiate with kids, your spouse, bosses, co-workers, employees, creditors, vendors, friends, clerks and salespeople. You negotiate with telemarketers and repair people, teachers and neighbors. You negotiate using your words, your tone, your body language, even your silence.

Negotiating is the way you get what you want, whether it's a major purchase or your teenage son to put the seat down.

No matter if your negotiations involve an allowance program for your kids, settling a dispute with a contractor or convincing a creditor to reduce your interest rate, learning to negotiate from strength will reduce tension, relieve stress and build your confidence.

Here are three principles and six basic skills that will help you develop your ability as an effective negotiator.



The goal in a negotiation is not that everyone comes out an equal winner but that everyone walks away satisfied. Negotiating a deal that gives something of value to each party is the mark of a wise negotiator.


Never forget that knowledge is power. The more you know, the better your chances of getting what you want. The true skill comes in keeping what you know to yourself, revealing only a bit at a time and when doing so is to your advantage.


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