During many points of your life you may be faced with a need to negotiate for something. Whether it be a promotion, a sales contract or to set expectations, there are some basic things that may make you more successful. This post does not seek to go into all of the advanced negotiation tactics, merely to provide practical guidelines.
- Preparation is of the utmost importance. Do not enter a negotiation unprepared.
- Perform due diligence on your position as well as the other party's. This will help you understand what you need, what the other party is looking for and perhaps what the other party thinks you are looking for. Understanding their rationale will offer you insights into their negotiation tactics.
- Know the minimum you will settle for. This is your measuring stick for proposals.
- Be open, flexible and willing to talk.
- Be calm. Always try to be more patient than the other party.
- If you are losing control, take a break. People make poor decisions when they are angry.
- Clarify your terms.
- If you think someone is bluffing, ask for proof to support their position.
- Stress the common goals.
- Use active-listening to ensure understanding.
- Concentrate on one issue at a time.
- Do not think a negotiation is a win-lose proposition and that you will only succeed if you screw the other party. Ponder this, if you feel you got screwed the last time you negotiated with someone; do you think the next time you negotiate with them you will try to get even? You may be establishing a long-term relationship, you do not need carry-over animosity.
- Once you have gotten an acceptable offer, try to close the deal immediately. Do not allow the other party to rethink things.
Here are some other resources you can read for negotiation tips.