Negotiations happen all the time in life and at work. It’s an important skill to have and master. Whether you’re buying an item, scheduling a meeting, asking for a higher salary, or going over a client’s policy, negotiating matters. Here’s what you need to know.
- Have a Goal
Your goal is not your starting point, but where you want to end up. Keep this goal in your head. This is your objective, and without it you will be negotiating blindly. This is what you want to get out of the deal.
Look up information and facts that will help support your goal. Is what you want realistically achievable? During this step, take the time to consider what the person on the other side of the deal wants to achieve.
- Meet in the Middle
You know what you want, you have an idea of what the other person may want, and you have information to support yourself. The next step is to determine the terms you will accept if the goal isn’t met. What are you willing to give up in order to get the other person to agree? Take time to think this over. You don’t want to be caught off guard in the middle of a negotiation.
- Set the Tone
As the discussion begins, demonstrate confidence and a friendly demeanor. You don’t want to come off as controlling or manipulative. This can be done through nonverbal cues such as sitting on the same level as the other person or sitting next to them to signify that you’re on the same level or side.
- Listen and Focus
It is very important to listen to the other person. What are they communicating to you through their words and body language? Do they feel comfortable? Are they agreeing with you? It is very important to read the room at this stage of the negotiation.
- Stay Positive
Avoid using accusatory language like “you need to” or “you have to.” Instead, state the wants and needs that you’d like to achieve. Even if you don’t end up getting the exact deal you planned, staying positive helps to keep the relationship in good standing.
Setting a firm goal, backing it up with research, having a backup plan, and keeping the energy in the room light, comfortable, and positive means you have a high level of preparedness and control in the conversation. Try out these tools the next time you need to negotiate with a client or co-worker.