The art of negotiation is a vital skill, especially if you’re a freelancer or if you run a business. A good negotiation strategy can make the difference between getting the salary you want and getting the salary you don’t want.
The following are eight ideas that can help you improve your negotiation skills.
1.Know What You Want
The more clear you are about what your goals are, the better chance you have of achieving those goals.
At the very minimum, you need to know what your “walk-out number” is. Your walk-out number is the minimum amount of money you will take to do the job. If you’re offered anything less than that, you have no choice but to walk out.
2. Know What The Other Side Wants
What is the other person after? What’s their budget? What expectations do they have for this working relationship? Once you have a good sense of the other side’s motivations, you can use that knowledge to your advantage.
Once you have your walk-out number and you’ve thought long and hard about what the other side might want, you need to plan for the meeting. What will be your initial strategy going in? Have you thought about all possible moves and counter-moves?
Practice saying your main negotiation points out loud. Enlist friends to help you practice, and try to get feedback from them.
4. Highlight the Benefits of Accepting Your Offer
A good way to get the other side to lower their defenses is to highlight the benefits of going with your offer. Everyone knows that you will be trying to get the best possible deal for yourself, but what’s in it for the other side?
5. Keep One or Two Key Points In Mind
Sometimes negotiations can get off track. If you already have one or two key points that you can keep coming back to, that will help you stay on target.
6. Aim For a Win-Win Scenario
Nobody wants to walk away from the negotiation table feeling like a loser. Your overall objective shouldn’t be to get one over on the other person. Ideally, you want to reach an agreement that will be mutually beneficial. Use your creativity to figure out how both sides can walk away from the table feeling like they’ve won.
Listening is an important skill, and in some cases, it needs to be learned and actively practiced.
Listening can help you see where the other person is coming from, and it can even inspire you to come up with solutions you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.
8. Use Silence When Necessary
If you hit a roadblock in your negotiations and you’re not sure how to move forward, there’s no shame in remaining silent and taking your time to think things through. Silence is often perceived as a sign of strength, and if you can hold your tongue at the appropriate moments, you might even persuade the other person to concede on some key points.
Are you good negotiator? Are there areas where you can improve? Do you have any suggestions on how to improve one’s negotiation skills? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.