Work on Your Poker Face
By Tim Morris
Never let anyone know how bad you want something. This philosophy applies to more than just the game of poker. This is a critical skill to have whenever you are trying to make a deal because the more the seller knows how important something is to you, the more you’re going to pay for it.
This same applies if you’re trying to sell something. The more someone knows how much you want to get rid of something, the less they’re going to pay for it. This is a simple principle that I learned this from Ross Perot Sr. It seemed like such a simple concept when I heard him tell the story when he purchased the Spirit of ‘76 painting.
It’s unfair for me to repeat the story in its entirety, though some of you may have heard him tell the same story. The lesson behind the story is incredibly simple but so many people don’t put it into practice.
For me, this saying is something I work hard to keep in mind every day. It’s important to try to not to look overly anxious or eager about something that you really want. It can be as simple as purchasing a car, real estate, or even talking to someone who you are really wanting to join your company. Simply not appearing overly eager or excited will give you much more bargaining power in interactions that you face in everyday life.
I’ve been through many contract negotiations, both in person and over the phone. I am sure that my excitement bubbles over before there is “ink on parchment”! Ultimately, however, I work hard to restrain my enthusiasm during these negotiations in order to get the best deal possible.
This principle has come in very handy for me in purchasing real estate. No offense to realtors, but you should not ever let the real estate agent who is representing you know how eager you are to buy or sell your house. This is not to imply that a realtor would maliciously undercut just to close quickly, but you still should not let them know what you’re willing to take or willing to pay for a house. Play those cards extremely close to your vest. After all, the realtor will be the one negotiating with the other realtor.
Happy negotiations! Don’t give away the farm!