I want to make a post about negotiation. Negotiation, while particularly important in business, is a dynamic found throughout life, in relationships of any type. Being able to negotiate successfully will bring you great rewards. Here are some of the principles that I have found to be most important.
1. Know what you want.
Before you enter the negotiation, know exactly what you want, what is the minimum you are willing to accept, and what is the most you are willing to give up. Not defining this for yourself ahead of time can leave you floundering. You won’t be able to make good decisions on the spot because you haven’t thought through what scenarios and conditions are acceptable to you. As well, people will sense this and take advantage of it.
2. Ask for what you want.
People sometimes have difficulty with this one. There is a short quote/poem that I have always remembered that I believe perfectly sums up the point.
I worked for a menial’s hire,
only to learn dismayed,
that any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would gladly have paid.
Jessie B. Rittenhouse
Ask for it. You just might get it. And as long as you are not being completely unreasonable, you can always negotiate down. And they will probably respect you for asking for it. One thing that is important to remember: If a negotiation was not sufficiently difficult, both parties will be left feeling that they could have gotten more. Be willing to go there, and both parties will be more satisfied with the end result.
3. Be willing to walk away.
No deal, is better than a bad deal.
4. Know what the other party wants and needs.
Put yourself in their shoes. Try and think through where they are coming from in this negotiation — what they need to get out of it, and what they can afford to and are willing to give up. If you can specifically target their wants and needs, you will be in a much better position to get what you want as well. And they will feel that they are dealing with a partner who understands them.
5. Don’t get emotional.
Anger will ruin a negotiation. I heard a quote about negotiation that said something to the effect of, “once you get emotional, you’ve already lost.” Try to keep that in mind.
Well, those were my negotiation tips off the top of my head. I’m interested to know what you think … or if there are any that you think I left out, please leave a comment and add them!