Almost everything in life can be better negotiated to your advantage. If you don’t ask for better prices, better terms, and better conditions, it’s difficult for you to succeed.
The most important thing in negotiating is that you have to be willing to walk away from a negotiation. You also must be sensitive as to when to close a deal. Striking a balance between these two criteria is the key to a successful negotiator.
Being a bully negotiator, where you beat the other party to a pulp and make them feel lousy after the deal is done, will usually lead to a short term business relationship. Larry Bird’s agent once said something that really impressed me about negotiating. He said that he always offers a fair deal for both parties, because the deal isn’t just about money. Both parties have to feel good about the deal.
I think this advice is universal in business. One way or another you will get burned if you take an overwhelming advantage over someone in a negotiation. The key is that balance of knowing when to close and when to walk away. You can go to seminars, read books and listen to tapes on negotiating; all of these actions will result in learning new skills, or brushing up on old ones.
I strongly urge you to practice your negotiating skills and remember that if you’re too eager to do a deal, you probably won’t get the most favorable terms for yourself in the process.