Life is often about compromise, and navigating the business world is no different. The question is, how do you get what you want when someone else wants something different? Negotiation is an important part of doing business, but despite its commonality, many leaders and business owners are still working to find a balance in getting what they want and compromising when it’s needed.
The next time you walk into a negotiation, don’t leave feeling undervalued or like you’re missing out on an opportunity. Read these six negotiating tips to better prepare yourself the next time you’re asking for what you want.
1)Stand your ground and know your worth.
If you’re negotiating with an expert negotiator, chances are they know how to pitch a persuasive argument. Before the meeting, think about why you’re asking for more or for a new opportunity. If you feel you’re being low balled, remind yourself why you’ve decided on the price or deal you’re asking for, and remain firm in what you’re asking for. The other person or group could be testing to see how much they can get, too. If it doesn’t look like a fair and reasonable agreement can be made, respectfully know when it’s time to walk away.
2)But be willing to compromise.
While knowing your worth is an important part of getting what you want out of a negotiation, it’s very likely you will have to meet in the middle, or give up on other aspects of the business or deal in order to get more of what you want. An example of a concession is giving up more equity for more investment money. Listen to and understand the other side’s reasoning, they may have a valid viewpoint you didn’t previously consider.
3)Ask for more than you want.
Within reason, many negotiation experts recommend starting high to increase your chances of getting closer to what you actually want. Starting outrageously high could work against you and discredit your rationality in the eyes of the recipient, so come up with a price or time frame that is justifiably somewhat overpriced to increase your chances of achieving what you really want when asked to compromise.
How do you know your worth? You’ve done your research. You know your value as an employee or businesses and that’s why you’re asking for more. Be ready to address new concerns you didn’t directly prepare for by becoming an expert on everything relating to your negotiation before hand. And if you don’t know, practice thinking on your feet to improvise persuasive points on the spot.
5)Use body language to your advantage.
Going into a meeting confident and strong can give off the impression you are ready to get what you want. It puts the other side in a position of respect. The first step is a firm, but not aggressive, hand shake. Other body language cues to be aware of are your posture sitting, if you’re relaxed or jittery, your facial expressions, eye contact, leg positions, hand gestures and verbiage, too. It’s perfectly fine to smile and be friendly, just don’t come off as overly eager to people-please.
6)Establish ahead of time when you’re going to say no.
Making big decisions under pressure can cause you to not think straight and make the wrong choice. If you need time to walk away and think about your final answer, ask for it. If you know in your gut that something doesn’t feel right about the proposed agreement, follow your heart and say no. Negotiations can be a rush of adrenaline and other emotions, don’t make the wrong decision under their influence or because the other person is a very persuasive talker. Know your worth and when set a time to walk away beforehand. Sometimes getting nothing is better than the wrong thing.