Characteristics of a Skilled Negotiator

Real Estate Agent

Characteristics of a Skilled Negotiator

I just finished getting my CNE (Certified Negotiation Expert) designation. Did you know that there are 3 types of negotiators? The Competitive, Compliant and Collaborative negotiator. The Collaborative negotiator is usually the most successful because they have a win-win mentality. Here are some characteristics of a Collaborative negotiator.

1. Ask questions. Skilled negotiators spend twice as much time asking questions vs. average negotiators and they try to understand what the other side wants so they can develop a solution that satisfies all parties.

2. Active listening. Active listening is repeating back what someone said to ensure understanding. You can use phrases like "Let me make sure I understand what you just said" or "Let me summarize my understanding of what you just said." This shows that you really are listening and trying to understand the other party.

3. Make positive comments. Skilled negotiators make many more positive comments than average negotiators. They do this to emphasize and build on the "good" in the negotiation to make it easier to deal with the "other" issues.

4. PLAN PLAN PLAN.This is one of the BIG differences between skilled negotiators and average negotiators. A skilled negotiator seeks out specific information that is needed to develop options and strategies. They turn the information into knowledge and then use the knowledge to plan the best approach for achieving their goals.

 5. Argue less. Arguing introduces negative emotion into the negotiation and skilled negotiators know the importance of minimizing/eliminating negative emotions. And, since skilled negotiators spend more time exploring options, making positive comments, and asking questions, there is simply less time to argue!

 6. Win-Win Mentality. Highly successful negotiators know that the best way to get a win for their client is to help create a win for the other party as well. Collaborative negotiators therefore seek to understand what the other party wants so they can create a solution that is mutually satisfactory or win-win. The goal should be to satisfy your client the most while adequately satisfying the other party or parties.

 7. High Integrity. This is a given. If you have ever negotiated with someone who demonstrates a lack of or questionable integrity, you never want to negotiate with them again. In fact, you may break off the negotiations or ask the other side for another representative. Never negotiate in any other way except with high integrity. Trust is built (or destroyed) during the negotiations and once trust is established more open information sharing occurs. But once integrity is questioned, the information flow stops and the negotiations become extremely difficult.

8. Knowledge of Subject. Expert negotiators know knowledge is power and they will spend the time to become knowledgeable about important areas of the negotiation. In real estate for example, knowledge of the real estate market is key in determining the proper strategy for your client

9. Think DOUBLE. Thinking double means anticipating what the other side will say or want in a given area of the negotiation, and being prepared with a response when appropriate. When a home Seller exclaims "I won't pay that high of a commission" a real estate agent better be prepared with the appropriate response! Skilled negotiators think "If I say this, they might come back with that, and if they come back with that, then I'll come back with this." Thinking double makes you better prepared to deal with issues and concerns in the heat of the battle.

Comments (12)

Shirley Parks
Sands Realty 210-414-0966 - San Antonio, TX
Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate

Hi Kate, I didn't know about the CNE designation.  You have provided some really useful information here.  I hope you get a gold star!

Jun 03, 2009 01:36 PM
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

I can believe in Win Win and it certainly works best for me. All great skills I'm sure and congratulations on the designation.

Jun 03, 2009 01:39 PM
Aaron Poling
Long & Foster - Martinsburg, WV
Working to get YOU the BEST Deal!

Great info. I didnt even know there was that type of designation.

Jun 03, 2009 02:01 PM
Gail MacMillan
Titusville, FL

Hi Kate....really great post you've done.  I especially subscribe to the Win/Win aspect of negotiating.  Congrats on earning the CNE :-)

Jun 04, 2009 12:15 AM
Muffy collins
Bridgeport, CT

Shirley, thanks so much, I am new to active rain... What is a gold star?

Charles, I agree, win/win is the way to go! 

Araon, it's a new designation, it was a 2 day class. 

Gail, thanks for your comment.  This is all new to me and i wanted to share something with everyone on active rain. 


Jun 04, 2009 03:52 AM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Kate - Thanks for the information.  I like your approach to negotiating, and the fact that you value getting different designations.  Welcome to AR.  I hope to hear more from you.

Jun 04, 2009 08:35 AM
Muffy collins
Bridgeport, CT

Thank you Troy and Mia, I am having fun and learning so much for everyone. I look forward to being part of such a great group of people!

Jun 04, 2009 08:58 AM
Tisha Lawrence
Maximum One Realty-Fayette-Henry-Clayton-Fulton - Fayetteville, GA
South Metro Atlanta Agent 470-239-0330

This is a great post. It is straight to the point. I just took an Interpersonal Communications class. Many of your points were touched upon.  I enjoyed the class and your post.

Jun 07, 2009 04:00 AM
Muffy collins
Bridgeport, CT

Thanks for the feedback Trisha!

Jun 07, 2009 06:37 AM
Kevin Vitali
EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates - Middleton, MA
Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers

Wow, I didnt know there was a negotiating designation.  Good tips for anyone.

Jun 09, 2009 08:37 AM
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

Great post!  The gold star is something you get if your post is featured.  Then it shows up on the main page of Active Rain.   Welcome!


Jun 11, 2009 07:13 AM
Muffy collins
Bridgeport, CT

Thanks Debra!

Jun 12, 2009 04:21 AM