Schools of Thought, People Skills and Negotiating for Success

By Michael Krisa, Executive Editor - Posted on
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Last Updated on August 23, 2017

When it comes to negotiation in all sales there are two schools of thought:

  1. win/lose
  2. win/win negotiation.

Real estate is a zero-sum business. There are a fixed number of transactions every year in every market. Personal marketing and prospecting is a hunting expedition for those buyers and sellers.

Every listing taken and every home sold reduces the balance available. That is why it is impossible mathematically for every agent in every market to become a high producer. It is simply a consequence of supply and demand.

This should be a reality check and a warning to every agent. Become great at the skills essential for your success.


Win/lose negotiation

Win/lose negotiation is, by its very nature, adversarial. There rarely are any long-term winners.

 If you want your business to be referral-based then beware … there will be none here.

The goal of win/win negotiation, on the other hand, is to reach an agreement that satisfies both parties. That includes the buyer/seller and the listing agent/buyer agent. In other words, everybody is happy and each side feels the other was fair.

This is the holy grail of negotiation.

 Negotiation gets messy when trust becomes diminished. A lack of trust does not necessarily infer dishonesty. More often it can come from a lack of preparation and a thorough understanding of the needs of the other parties.

 There is always a loss of authenticity when one appears incompetent or lucidly incoherent.

How can you improve your chances of achieving a win/win outcome? Know the type of person you are negotiating with. Knowing, or at least considering, his or her personality type can give you an honorable edge in negotiating.

OK, it’s time to play armchair psychologist and explore this as naturally as possible.

These four types of personalities will most likely respond to a different negotiation strategy:



These are extroverted people who need to direct traffic, need constant challenges and love to win. They believe that winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. These people are direct and oriented toward the bottom line.

They typically are win/lose style negotiators, but won’t usually acknowledge it.

The best way to negotiate with this type of person is to go to the bottom line and work backward. Offer alternative choices and let them make their own decisions.

 Never attack their position, give facts in a logical flow and give them the perception of winning.



These people love to talk and interact. They are personable, want to be liked and make quick, impulsive decisions.

They usually have a great sense of humor and are good team players. Third-party endorsements work best with this type of person. 

Quick tips for negotiation: Don’t bother them with the bottom line or facts and figures. Keep negotiations good-natured and light-hearted.



Keeping the peace and avoiding conflict is most important to these people. They are amiable, patient and relaxed. 

They usually are unemotional during negotiations, slow to decide and will look for a long-term relationship. 

The best negotiation approach here is to show genuine interest in them personally. Listen, be patient and take your time. Don’t do hard sells! COMPLIANTS need to know you will deliver on what you promise. 



These are the perfectionists of the world. They are cautious, detailed, accurate and analytical with high standards. They want proof, facts, data and more data. Follow the rules with these people and avoid too much creativity.

Be prepared with data and be direct with that data.

 To be successful with this type of person, it’s important for you to be organized and provide lots of detail. Go to the point and avoid small talk. They will tend to get stuck on a single point (usually price) and will want to win on that one issue only.



First, it is important that you know what personality type you are. Then keep your eyes and ears open.

  1. If you are dealing with an outgoing person with a neat freak aura then most likely he or she is a DOMINANT personality. Dominant personalities also tend to like cutting-edge technology and acquiring that technology.
  2. Someone who is talkative with a relaxed, lived-in look and casual appearance will probably be a SOCIAL BUTTERFLY. They also like to be on the cutting edge of technology and like to buy things.
  3. COMPLIANTS just want to do what’s right for everybody. They sometimes appear a little insecure. They are the clients who want to do the right thing and are generally slow to decide. But they are very loyal and will be a consistent referral resource.
  4. ANALYSTS always will ask for more detail. They also will want to know how you arrived at your CMA for example. They are fact based.



 The main point to remember during negotiations is that it’s about the client, and their wants and needs. Do your prep work, recognize the types of people you’re dealing with, and have these tips in mind to keep negotiations positive and smooth (win/win!):

  • Ask a lot of questions
  • Don’t become emotionally involved
  • Be totally prepared with clear factual details
  • Treat people with friendship just as you would want to be treated

Do you have any stories you’d like to share about negotiation experiences with these different types of people? We’d love to hear them! Just share them in the comment section below.

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Michael Krisa
Michael is a licensed real estate broker, a syndicated columnist and a freelance internet marketing consultant. As a sought after speaker and trainer, he is best known for helping to utilize video and video marketing in a way that actually works to make you money! As Executive Editor, Michael is very excited to bring his years of experience in real estate marketing to the team.
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8 thoughts on “Schools of Thought, People Skills and Negotiating for Success”

    1. That’s us Gina … The Fast-Food of real estate LOL!

      Have a most awesome day and thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

      All Good Wishes,

    1. Hey Mike thanks for the comment!

      DISC, Kolby Index there is no end to the list – like the video says, it’s about being versatile enough to have the keys to unlock your customer’s lock.

      Thanks again for your continued support my friend.

      All Good Wishes,

  1. Hello ! Wow… this article is a gold mine! Educating us …in a very simple way on how to read our clients and our peers enables us to not only potitentally close more transactions..it enables us to communicate for effectively thereby providing the service we ought to be providing! Thanks Michael for this article! Definitely saving this one!

    1. Debbie so pleased that you found value in what we are sharing here in Agent Inner Circle.

      PLEASE share the love and let others know about us.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment!

      All Good Wishes,

  2. Great information. Something I will be able to use with people like me, the A type personalities. Because I am one it’s difficult to Learn to deal with others like that. Great tips for that. Thanks Michael!

    1. Hey Michelle the “key” is understanding all the different types so then you are in a position to choose whether to adapt or walk away.

      Truth be told there is No One Else like you 🙂

      All Good Wishes,

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