The Number One Negotiating Mistake

Published: Feb 26, 2014
Modified: May 20, 2020

What’s the number one mistake that people make in negotiating?  Find out what best-selling sales guru Brian Tracy has to say about negotiation and how to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Your overall success in business and in life will be determined by your ability to negotiate in your best interests in every situation. Negotiating affects everything you do or say, and almost all of your interactions, both personal and in business. If you cannot negotiate well, then you automatically become the victim of people who are better negotiators than you. You will always achieve a better income, or get a better deal, if you are good at negotiating. So what’s the first and most crucial step to learning how to negotiate? Realizing that everything is subjective—and therefore negotiable. 

Value Is Subjective

The price or value of anything is always and only determined by the level of demand or desire for that good. The value is determined by what a particular individual, at a particular time, under a particular set of circumstances, considers something to be worth. Since this type of value judgment is always subjective, there is never a right and final price or set of terms that can be decided in advance. The prices that people are willing to pay or accept always depend on the individuals involved and their relative scale of needs at the time of the transaction.

In fact, subjective evaluations are what create the desire to exchange goods, services, money, and other things. In every voluntary trade or transaction, the parties involved will only agree with the prices and terms if they believe they will be better off afterward than if they had not entered into the negotiation or transaction at all. As they say, “It’s differences of opinion that make a horse race.”

The failure to understand that everything is subjective and negotiable leads to the most common mistake people make in negotiations: failing to negotiate in the first place.

Have you ever LOST a negotiation?  Many people have and don’t even know it! Take this free webcast and you'll learn the most common 7 negotiation blunders you are making right now that cause people to resist you and your offer. Join us for a transformational hour to discover the secrets that only top negotiators know.

You might also be interested in these articles by Brian Tracy. For more information on AMA's new sales seminar developed by Brian Tracy click here.

For practical, proven methods to negotiate with ease check out Brian Tracy’s book Negotiation. Adapted from Negotiation (The Brian Tracy Success Library, AMACOM Books, 2013).

About The Author

Brian Tracy is the Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations. One of the top business speakers and authorities in the world today, he has consulted for more than 1,000 companies and addressed more than 5,000,000 people in 5,000 talks and seminars throughout the United States and more than 60 countries worldwide. He has written 65 books and produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on management, motivation, and personal success.