Entering Les Florets negotiation, I had set for myself rules. Besides my will to buy the restaurant, I had some intermediary objectives to help reach my goal. First, I needed to learn more about the seller’s reasons to sell. This way I could offer her different solutions to solve the situation. Second, I needed to be flexible, despite the limit of $160,000. That meant I needed to maintain a margin in the negotiation around the price, and I decided to start with a price of $140,000, saying since I am not usually in charge of buying new restaurants, I am limited in the money I can spend. This way, I could difficultly raise my offer to $150,000 but negotiate other things, notably that the seller would stay for a few months to help train a new staff.
During the negotiation, I do not think any of us really controlled the situation from the beginning. Nevertheless, not wanting the negotiation to stay focused on the price, I kept making new propositions. I believe it worked well to show my will to find a solution that would work for both of us.
Also, I think that at some point of the negotiation, I did something that helped me get some control over the negotiation. When it became obvious that we could not directly match our expectations and that other solutions did not appear to work, I said that if the restaurant was not sold to me, then I would not grant the license to the next owner and rather open a new restaurant right across the street. And it was not something the seller wanted, because what clients knew about the restaurant was the name and they would probably choose my restaurant rather than the new one. Hence, the current restaurant was probably worth a lot less without the brand and the license and the seller could probably not afford her dream to come true.
This way I established some power over the seller and was able to move the negotiation onto other things besides the price. Such alternative was probably not my... [continues]
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