Don’t Negotiate Yourself Out the Door…Stop While You’re Ahead

Negotiation can be a tricky process to navigate. All too often, people find that they are on the road to achieving their desired outcome, only to push too hard and end up losing everything they had worked so hard to gain. If you get too greedy in a negotiation, you can end up feeling like a fool. When you are in the process of negotiating, it’s important to know when to stop so you don’t push the envelope. Here are a few strategies to help you identify when it’s time to exit the negotiation.

Develop a Bracket System
Prior to your negotiation, you need to sit down and identify the high, middle, and low ranges of your wants. This will serve as a guideline during the negotiation to keep you from sounding greedy. For example, if your desired salary is $50k, you should use the bracket technique and request a range between $50k and $60K. Rather than asking for $50k upfront, this technique increases your chances that you will get something closer to your target salary because it doesn’t come across as too greedy.

Interpret the Other Negotiator
Body language, facial expression, and social cues are very important during a negotiation, as they signal critical information. Pay close attention to the behavior of your counterpart and make sure you are accurately reading their body language. They may be giving you signals that they are getting irritated or annoyed with your demands. If you are unsure of how they are feeling, stop and clarify before progressing. You don’t want to be perceived as too greedy.

Remember it’s About Give and Take
There is no such thing as a one-sided negotiation. Negotiation is all about coming up with a solution in which both parties involved feel like they have gained something of value. Therefore, you cannot make the negotiation all about you. When your counterpart is agreeing to give you something you want, be sure to reciprocate. Otherwise, you might appear too greedy and they might rescind their offer.

Don’t Let Things Drag On
People tend to negotiate more earnestly when they feel the pressure of time ticking away. Therefore, you must be able to recognize when you are ahead and not allow the negotiation to drag on too long. When people have too much time, they begin to rethink things and they might change their minds.