How to Become a Negotiator – A Black Belt

Filipinos really know how to bargain when buying something on the market. Sometimes we call it price haggling.  But we can’t do that on a supermarket where prices are fixed. I haven’t heard or seen doing it in a department store or supermarket. This is usually done in small grocery stores, tiangge or wet market where customers can haggle just to save some bucks. “Pwede bang tumawad?” ( Can you lower the price?) which a customer usually tell the seller. But is there such thing as a black belt negotiator? the term seems new to me and I read an article about it on the Home Business Magazine website where you can be a black belt negotiator in seven steps.

I just made a summary below but you can find the whole article here. So below are the seven steps:

White Belt

Beginners in martial arts start out as white belts. This symbolizes purity and lack of knowledge like a seed waiting to germinate. Likewise, in negotiating there are indicators that you are a novice such as not being aware that everything is negotiable under the right circumstances. For instance, if you can negotiate better healthcare you are likely to live longer, and if you can reduce your taxes you instantly increase your standard of living.

Yellow Belt

The second rank is usually the yellow belt and represents the seed reaching for the sun and getting ready to grow. In martial arts, you prepare for a contest by spying on your opponent to find any weaknesses. For example, if you’re buying a diamond ring, what are the attributes that make one more valuable than the other and what’s the lowest price you can find the one you want on the Internet?

Green Belt

The third belt is green, which symbolizes the seed beginning to sprout. In martial arts, you learn how to warm up by stretching your muscles so you don’t injure yourself. In negotiating, you warm up by building rapport with
the other party through small talk. For example, if a seller offers you a five percent discount you should reply, “You’ll have to do better than that.” This implies that their offer isn’t good enough with you putting anything on the table yourself.

Blue Belt

The fourth belt is blue symbolizing the plant reaching for the sky. In martial arts, you practice your punching and blocking techniques. Negotiators at this level know that it’s crucial to set deadlines for the other party; otherwise, there is no pressure to come to agreement.

Red Belt

The sixth belt is red symbolizing the setting sun and the fact that the plant has matured. This is the stage where martial artists learn to always be on guard, because there can be unfair fighters who will kick you when your back is turned or even hit you below the belt. Similarly, there are dirty fighters in negotiating who try to trigger your emotions by insulting you or those who will try to renegotiate a contract after signing it.

Black Belt

The final belt is black meaning that the highest level of skill has been achieved. However, just like in martial arts, the learning never stops.

So does this make sense to you? please share your comments.