Abra­ham: Father of many na­tions, rock star ne­go­tia­tor

Calhoun Times - - FRONT PAGE - Real Es­tate 101

man­i­fests it­self for real es­tate in­vestors when they go on and on about how great they are at what they do. They’ll talk about how many deals they’ve done and how much money they’ve made while sitting at a seller’s kitchen ta­ble.

If you do this, you have a high like­li­hood of hurt­ing the seller’s pride and im­ped­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Herb sug­gests Abra­ham’s method.

When Abra­ham talked to Yah­weh, he made sure to make him­self look in­fe­rior to his ne­go­ti­at­ing op­po­nent. He re­ferred to him­self as “dust and ashes” and asked Yah­weh not to get up­set with him be­cause he kept com­ing back with other of­fers.

If you do this with a seller, you’ll bring down their de­fenses and have a bet­ter shot at clos­ing the deal.

Next comes the ac­tual num­bers process.

Abra­ham uses a tech­nique called the “wouldja takes.” This tac­tic starts out with an ar­bi­trary of­fer that you’re sure will be ac­cepted. You say some­thing like, “I don’t know if I could do this, but sup­pos­ing I could, wouldja take it?” This gets you an ini­tial “Yes!” from your seller, which is a pos­i­tive thing. You fol­low up with sub­se­quent lower “wouldja take” of­fers un­til your op­po­nent fi­nally says “No.” Then you back up to the pre­vi­ous of­fer and go with that one.

Abra­ham starts out with some­thing along the lines of “Sup­pos­ing there were 50 righ­teous peo­ple in the city, ‘ wouldja take’ the idea of spar­ing the whole city for 50 righ­teous peo­ple?” Yah­weh, of course, agrees. Abra­ham comes back with sub­se­quent fewer of­fers un­til Yah­weh fi­nally ends the ne­go­ti­a­tions at 10 righ­teous peo­ple.

That’s an 80 per­cent re­duc­tion from the first of­fer! If this tac­tic is that ef­fec­tive with the Cre­ator of the Uni­verse, imag­ine us­ing it on a mere mor­tal.

One other place to learn from Abra­ham’s ne­go­ti­at­ing skills is in Gen­e­sis 23.

Here, Abra­ham is ne­go­ti­at­ing for land on which to bury his wife Sarah and has ap­proached a land owner named Ephron.

To be­gin with, both par­ties hem and haw about the right price for the land, with nei­ther want­ing to di­vulge a num­ber first. Fi­nally, in verse 13, Abra­ham uses a phrase that that gets Ephron to speak- up.

Now, I’m para­phras­ing, but he ba­si­cally says to Ephron, “If I were to get you cash to­day, what would you take for it?” That phrase is gold. It worked back then, and it still works to­day.

Take note of what hap­pens next. Ephron says he will take 400 pieces of sil­ver. Now, this must be a great deal, be­cause Abra­ham doesn’t counter. He just quickly weighs out the sil­ver and closes the deal.

From a mod­ern stand­point, if a seller names a price that’s al­ready a deal, don’t counter back lower. If you try to beat them up on a lower price, you may in­sult them and cause them to walk away. Fol­low Abra­ham’s ex­am­ple, pull the trig­ger and close the deal.

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