Negotiating Tips

by Deb Schmidt

PREPARE —

  1. Know what you’re worth both in the industry and within your organization.
  2. Determine what you hope to accomplish from this negotiation.
  3. Make sure you’ll be talking to the decision-maker and learn everything you can about that individual.

SET GOALS AND LIMITS —

  1. Goals should be few, specific and realistic.
  2. Distinguish between your negotiation goals and your personal goals.
  3. Your limits define what you are willing to give up in order to get what you want.
  4. Don’t state your limits early in the negotiation or you may paint yourself into a corner.

MAINTAIN EMOTIONAL DISTANCE —

  1. Emotional distance gives you the opportunity to objectively review the negotiation process.
  2. Stop for a coffee or restroom break to pause the process for 10 minutes. This benefits both parties by keeping the negotiation more focused and effective.
  3. In high stress situations you can ask for a night to sleep on the decision or run it by someone like your partner or spouse.

KNOW WHEN AND HOW TO CLOSE —

  1. Watch the other person’s body language for signs of receptivity.
  2. Close as early in the negotiation as possible.
  3. Ask “what if” questions to get buy-in. (What if we could increase your employee retention by five percent?)
  4. “No” is a close. Maintain a positive attitude and sincere enthusiasm in spite of the outcome.