Learning to improve your negotiating skills is the highest and best use of your time. Consider this: if you make $50,000 a year, that’s about $25 per hour. When you’re negotiating the purchase or sale of something, you’re not making $25 an hour—you’re making $25 a minute, maybe $25 a second! You can’t make money faster that you can when you’re negotiating!

Here are five negotiating gambits that can make thousands of dollars for you in just a few seconds:

Never Jump at the First Offer.
Be careful you're not saying yes too quickly, because this automatically triggers two thoughts in the other person’s mind: 1) We could have done better (and next time we will). And 2) Something must be wrong here. If they are willing to go with a proposal that we didn’t they’d accept, we’d better check them out further before we go ahead.
So always go through the process of negotiating, even if the first offer or counter-offer is perfectly acceptable, because you always want the other side to feel that they won in the negotiations. In fact, I’d almost give you that as a definition of a good negotiator. Two people might be negotiating a purchase with the same supplier. Both come away with the same dollar figure, but the Power Negotiator comes away with the supplier feeling they won and the poor negotiator comes away with the supplier feeling they lost.

You can get things later in the negotiations that you can't get earlier. Always go back at the end and make a second effort on something that you couldn't get them to go along with earlier.
However, look out for people Nibbling on you, because there's a point in the negotiations when you're very vulnerable, and that point is when you think the negotiations are all over. You may selling a used car, and you’ve finally found the buyer. You're feeling good that the negotiation went so well, and you got such a good price. The buyer is sitting there writing our the check, and at they last minute she looks up and says, “That does include a full tank of gas, doesn’t it?” You're at your most vulnerable point in the negotiation, for two reasons. First, you're feeling good because you just made a sale. When you feel good you tend to give things away that you otherwise wouldn't. Secondly you're thinking, "Oh no, I thought we'd resolved everything. I don't want to have to go back to the start of this thing, renegotiate it, and stand a chance of having them back out. Maybe I'm better off just to give in on this point."

It's critical that you learn to react visually, whenever the other side makes a proposal. Assume they don't think you're going to agree to their proposal, and that they’re only throwing it out on the negotiating table to see what your reaction will be.
When the salesman asks you to give him a deposit with the order, he may not think for a moment that you'll go along with that. It's just something he threw out on the negotiating table to see what your reaction would be. And if you don't appear too shocked or surprised, suddenly he’s thinking, "Well, that didn't seem to shock them too much, maybe I will get them to give me a deposit. I’m going to hang in, and be a tough negotiator."
So prepare to Flinch at the other side's proposal. Slap your cheek, gasp, and say, "You want us to do what???" And you don’t have to be negotiating in person to make this work—Phone Flinches can be very effective too!

Trading Off.
Whenever the other side asks you for a small concession, get in the habit of asking for something in return. Let’s say that a customer has special ordered some equipment, and you’ve just found out there is a delay at the factory. Just as you’re about to call the customer and give them the bad news, the phone rings and it’s the customer calling to see if you could delay the shipment. You have a tendency to say, “Sure that would work out fine. No problem.” Don’t do that! Always ask for something in return. Say, “Well I don’t know. I’ll check with my people and see, but let me ask you this: ‘If we can do that for you, what can you do for me?’”
Three things might happen. 1. You might just get something, such as them giving you an additional deposit. 2. You've now elevated the value of the concession. Why just give something away? You may need it for another Trade Off later. Later you can say, "You know how much trouble we had to go through over that delayed delivery? We did that for you, so don't hassle me over the final payment check, fair enough?" And 3. It stops the grinding away process. This is the most important reason and why you should always do this. If they know that every time they ask you for something, you'll ask for something in return, it stops them constantly coming back for more.

Position for Easy Acceptance.
If you're dealing with someone who prides themselves on their ability to negotiate, there's a danger the negotiations will deadlock at the last moment. The problem is that the ego of the other person as a negotiator got in the way. You're talking to a contractor about a change to your building plans and you’re $1000 apart on the price. You can't believe that it's all falling apart when you're within $1000. It doesn't make sense. What's gone wrong is that the ego of the other person, as a negotiator, is getting in the way. The contractor’s representative made have said to his boss, "You just watch me negotiate with this person. I won't have any trouble getting them up in price." Now he’s not doing as well as he hoped he would, and he simply doesn't want to feel that he lost to you as a negotiator.
So you have to make him feel good about giving into you. Do it with a small concession made just at the last moment. The size of the concession doesn't matter, because it can be ridiculously small and still be effective. It's the timing that's critical.

Learning to improve your negotiating skills is the highest and best use of your time. You can't make money faster than you can when you're negotiating well. When you're negotiating to buy or sell something—or for an increase in pay—you could be making thousands of dollars per minute!

One Minute Negotiating Primer:

• Devalue the importance of the bargaining chip—don’t let them know how important it is to you.
• If you reach an impasse, set aside the key issue, and create momentum by reaching agreement on little points.
• Never jump at the first offer, however good it looks.
• At the end, Nibble for something extra, or something they wouldn’t agree to earlier. However, look out for people Nibbling on you. You’re most vulnerable when you think the negotiations are all over.
• Flinch at the other side’s proposal. They may not think for a moment that you’ll agree to it, and Flinching will get you a concession.
• When asked for a small concession, ask for something in return—it stops the grinding away process.
• Position the other side for easy acceptance with a small concession made just at the last moment.

Author's Bio: 

Roger Dawson is one of the countries top negotiating experts and a leading sales and management speaker. You may contact him at (800) YDAWSON. This article is excerpted in part from his new book— Roger Dawson’s Secrets of Power Negotiating, published by Career Press and on sale in bookstores everywhere for $21.99.