When you think about negotiation, what comes to mind? Most people are overcome by some combination of fear, doubt, or worry. That’s completely understandable because the fact that you’re in a negotiation means you have something important on the line. Usually you’re discussing a major opportunity with money involved like a job salary, business deal, or even a house. This is a time where you might physically feel uncomfortable with knots in your stomach, sweaty palms, and overall uneasiness. Perhaps, what’s most confusing is the conflicting advice that you might receive from family, friends, books, and articles online. Everyone has an opinion when it comes to negotiation.
This topic is deeply rooted and unavoidable when it comes to working with our clients. If you’re a business owner, you could find yourself negotiating everything from your pricing with customers to the cost of your website and online marketing. As a professional going through a job transition, you could negotiate your compensation, benefits, and ability to work from home. These conversations don’t have to be so tense and stressful. Here are 5 negotiation secrets to getting what you want!
1. Know your goal
It’s surprising how many people go into a negotiation without a clear idea of where they’d like to end up. If you don’t know what you want or where you want to go, I’d highly suggest that you hold off on the conversation. A quick way to find some clarity is to make a list of the things you desire, then go back over it with a critical eye. Can you justify why you deserve this with facts, numbers, or past experiences?
2. Do your research
Now that you have some clarity on exactly what you’re looking for, it’s time to get prepared. I tell our clients to think of yourself as a lawyer, who needs evidence to prove your point. That support can be obtained by the information you gather doing solid research. Going online to review videos, studies, and blog posts (from credible sources) can be helpful, but sometimes you need to engage with a person where you can ask questions and get feedback.
3. Have a strategy
A solid strategy is necessary for important negotiations. It’s vital that you understand the difference between a strategy and a tactic. Most people are armed with only tactics, and become surprised when things don’t work out as planned. For example, part of the negotiation strategy I work with clients on involves proposing a dollar range instead of one exact figure. This gives you the flexibility to react to a client or executive within a company.
4. Be emotionally detached
This is by far the hardest part of any negotiation scenario. We care so much! Maybe we’ve told ourselves that our life is on the line if we don’t get this job or land this client. The reality is if you’re going into a discussion with this mindset, its very difficult for you to be successful. Your desperate energy will probably come across in your voice, facial expressions, and choice of words. Practicing emotional detachment is difficult, but you can remind yourself that if it’s not this opportunity, it will be something better.
5. Close strong
After you’ve made your case for why you deserve what you want with solid supporting “evidence,” and addressed any of their feedback or concerns, it’s time to wrap up the conversation. Many people hear a couple of things that make them happy and assume the sale or that things will go their way. You want to reiterate any agreements or points of consensus, tie up any loose ends or areas that were left undecided, and discuss any next steps.
Negotiations don’t have to be long, drawn out, anxiety-inducing conversations. Going into these discussions prepared with a goal and a strategy, can help you feel at ease and be emotionally detached from the outcome. Ending the conversation on a positive note by closing strong is a way to leave a lasting impression. Its important to understand that there will be times where you can put your best foot forward, use these negotiation secrets, and things still not go your way. The key is to have multiple opportunities available, so you can find the best fit for you.
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