David Malcolm, San Diego Real Estate Expert on the Art of Negotiation
Every day, business leaders engage in multiple negotiations. David Malcolm, a San Diego-based real estate expert, says these happen at multiple points of the day and in various forms.
Negotiations don't just happen in a conference room with your biggest vendors. They also happen in much more casual situations, between you and managers/employees in the hallways over how to handle a challenge, between you and potential customers over the phone over the price of your goods or services, and even at home between you and your family over what's for dinner.
In all of these situations, the goal is to get what you want out of the negotiations, and the only way to do that successfully and consistently is to master the art of negotiation.
Here are some ways to do just that with the help of David Malcolm.
Know Who You're Dealing With
Every negotiation is different because the people involved in those negotiations are different. That's why knowing who you're dealing with is essential to mastering this skill.
"People do not spend enough time determining 'who they are negotiating with.' I want to know everything I can about the person sitting across from me," David Malcolm says. "I want to know everything! What sports do they like, their business resume, what about their children, do they have a special needs child, etc.?
"You can often 'break through' by discussing what is important to them. Culture also plays a big role in negotiating."
Connecting with the people you're negotiating with will help you get the most out of the situation.
Find Common Ground
To be successful in negotiations, you need to find some common ground. Many people, such as Yale Professor Barry Nalebuff, believe that you need to keep aggression out of negotiations and cooperate.
David Malcolm agrees with part of Nalebuff's thoughts but not all. He explains:
"Every situation is different. There is no right or wrong that works all the time. My goal is to go into a meeting knowing the most important needs of my opposition. If I can determine their 'true needs,' I usually walk away with a deal.
"I do, however, believe being aggressive at the right time can be very useful. While Professor Nalebuff doesn't like aggression, at the right moment, it can be instrumental."
Use Emotions to Your Advantage
Emotions play a huge role in every decision we make. Humans are motivated by emotions, after all, so as much as we'd like to say we make objective decisions, that can be very difficult for people.
In negotiations, it's important to not only manage your own emotions but those of the people with whom you're negotiating. David Malcolm gave an example of how this played out for him in a negotiation in the past.
"I found out that the person I was going to negotiate with lost his brother to suicide. It so happens my brother committed suicide," he explained. "This connection of suffering and what it did to our parents immediately bonded us in a special way. We were both willing to concede important points in order to get the deal done."
About David Malcolm
David Malcolm of San Diego is an influential real estate professional, entrepreneur, and community leader with over five decades of work experience. Mr. Malcolm is an esteemed graduate of Harvard Business School's Presidents Program, a licensed real estate agent and broker, and a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM). He has run and advised multiple public and private companies and held several municipal and statewide public offices.
(Disclaimer: Devdiscourse's journalists were not involved in the production of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)