Underrated Strategies That Are Essential to Improving Negotiations

The ability to negotiate well impacts many key factors in your career.  Negotiation is necessary when it comes to salary, promotions, client relationships, and sales.  The fact is by not negotiating well you are missing out on more than just money.  You are also compromising your long-term opportunities and growth potential.  That is why it is so important to be able to negotiate effectively.  While there are many helpful tips for learning the art of negotiation, the following strategies  are less common but just as important.

Understanding that negotiation doesn’t begin until someone says “No”

Most people would assume that they must play their cards well in order to avoid rejection.  They are reluctant to negotiate after they hear the word “no.”  However, it must be understood that it isn’t really negotiating when both parties want the same thing.  True negotiation is the act of trying to reach an agreement when the other party’s interests are not perfectly aligned with yours.  So if you want to get what you are after you must learn to negotiate past the “no.”

Your bargaining partner will be happier if you don’t agree right off the bat

While it may seem a bit confusing, studies have shown that people are not necessarily happier when they get what they think they want.  People tend to feel better if you make several concessions before reaching an agreement.  For example, if you ask for a 5% raise and your boss immediately says “yes,” you will walk away thinking that you should have asked for 7% or 10%.  It is a sort of buyer’s remorse.  Rather, you should approach the situation by asking for more than you actually want.  That number will act as an anchor and can move your bargaining partner in the right direction during the negotiation process.

It’s not about money

If asked who came out on top in a negotiating deal, most people would quickly reply with something like “the person who got more money.”  However, if you really stop and reflect on the value of money you will soon find that it is different for everyone.  To one person $20 is dinner at McDonald’s while to someone else it is a half tank of gas.  The point here is that when you are negotiating you need to find out what it is that your counterpart values, prefers, needs, and desires.  You will be more likely to find yourselves on the same page when you start looking at money from a different angle and negotiate according their needs.

You don’t need proof when negotiating

When people are asked about how much money they have made for their company, or how much money this potential client will earn by going with their service or product, they often hesitate to answer.  They are worried that they cannot “prove it” and therefore avoid the question altogether.   Here’s the secret…you don’t have to prove something to get what you want; you only have to say it.  You are not negotiating in a court of law.  You are simply stating an opinion.  You are much better off giving an answer and a stating a reason than saying nothing at all.

The one who seems like they have the least to lose has the greatest bargaining advantage

If you go into the deal acting as though you are prepared to walk away, your counterpart is far more likely to meet your requirements.  That said you must actually be willing to walk away.  You are in a much better bargaining spot if you are not afraid of losing the deal.  In fact you stand a much better chance of reaching your desired outcome.

Negotiation is a skill that requires more than just a stroke of good luck.  It requires practice, confidence, and an understanding of how people react in certain situations.  These strategies  can help you go a long way in learning how to negotiate effectively.  When you learn how to negotiate well, you are opening the door for success and opportunity.