My Secrets to Success: Negotiate, Close, Repeat

by Ronit Urman

Ronit Urman

Why is there a gender pay gap? Could it be that 68 percent of women accept a salary without further negotiation? This figure is real and comes from Katie Donovan of Equal Pay Negotiations. This gap often drives women, such as those in NAWBO, to own their own businesses. And yet, we return to the fact that, in business, negotiation is necessary. Most business owners’ success will be determined by their ability to negotiate.

I operate a commercial real estate company with my husband and partner, Eitan. I’m the one who is tasked with putting the deals together. One of the most important parts of my job is negotiating. I begin my process with what I need to know about the people I will be negotiating with: their strengths, their weaknesses, and the bottom line.

Growing up in Israel made me become a great negotiator. Israel is such a great place to learn the skills because of the mix of people that make up the country. They come from all over the world with different social economics. Some are educated. Some have street smarts. You learn not to underestimate anyone or to judge a book by its cover.

I had the opportunity as a young child to go to the bazaars and haggle with the vendors. My sister and I explored the maze-like Jerusalem market. While my sister would walk away with nothing, I learned the art of the deal. I had two rules:

  1. Never let the vendor know how much I really wanted the item.
  2. Split the money between my pockets. At the end of the negotiation, I was able to show the vendor an empty pocket.

Here are my six steps for negotiating a deal:

  1. Do your homework. This required a bit of digging into who you will be dealing with. If you haven’t met the person, find a picture so you know their approximate age, style and hobbies. Social media is also a great source of information.
  2. Shut up and listen. I always try to include their hot buttons and incorporate them back into the negotiation. Be patient and give them the time they need. Don’t be in a hurry.
  3. Put the attention on the other side. Focus on their needs and wants, not your own. You will need to know ahead of time what you want and where you need to be. Try to get them there; show them how their needs will be met.
  4. Aim for the stars and expect the best outcome. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. And visualize it. Believe it. Own it.
  5. Be willing to walk. Some negotiators can be tough. That’s okay. While always be willing to walk away, keep the door open for another meeting. This gives you a reason to come back.
  6. Close the deal. Don’t forget to ask for the deal. If they are not ready, be subtle in the way that you pose the question. Be sure to ask what you need to do for a second meeting, where there may be another opportunity to close the deal.

Wishing you a wonderful 2019 full of growth and prosperity!

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