You negotiate with your spouse. You negotiate with your landlord. You even negotiate with your pets. Whether you’re aware of it or not, your life is one negotiation after another, some big, others small.
The problem is most of us are poor negotiators, which is why people pay so much to go to a Small Claims Court, or worse—burn the other person in a negotiation-gone-wrong.
Look—nobody is born a star negotiator. It’s something you learn through practice. To help you get better, here are ten tips to effective negotiating.
1. Do your research.
Never go into a negotiation without doing your homework. The more you research beforehand, the less stressed you feel during the negotiation. Before a negotiation, ask yourself:
● What does the other side want?
● What are our options?
● What will I do if the other side says no?
● What am I willing to give up?
● What am I not willing to give up?
2. Stay focused on what you want.
Negotiations are stressful. So stressful, in fact, we sometimes lower our offer just to get it over with. But don’t let stress influence your expectations. Stay focused on exactly what you want, not what you think you’ll get. Go into the negotiation with high expectations, and you’ll feel far more confident during the process.
3. Stay in control of your feelings.
The other side may try to get under your skin. Don’t let them (and don’t do it to them). Remind yourself that negotiations aren’t won by shouting the loudest. They’re won by keeping a level head and concentrating on what you want.
4. Ask directly for what you want.
When you’re sitting in front of the other person, you may have second thoughts about your offer. Ignore them. State in the simplest terms exactly what you want. No beating around the bush, no lowering your offer.
5. Harness the power of silence.
Great speakers do this all the time. They say something inspirational or powerful, then they stay quiet, just to let it sink in. Do the same in negotiating. Once you make your offer, lean back and throw the ball in their court.
6. Keep a balance between give and take.
In negotiations, there are no freebies. Don’t give something away without getting something in return.
7. Help the other side meet their needs.
Remember—you’re not trying to burn the other side. This is diplomacy, not war. Look at the negotiation from the other’s perspective and find a way to make them feel satisfied, while getting what you want.
8. Be patient.
Leave haste out of your negotiation. If you rush it, you’ll make mistakes or cave into a bad offer. Exercise patience, and you’ll show the other side you’re not under pressure to close a deal.
9. Remind yourself—there’s always tomorrow.
If the other side doesn’t give you what you want, walk away. It may sound cowardly, but it’s actually one of the most courageous things you can do. You’re not giving into their pressure or lowering your expectations just “to get it over with.” You’re staying firm, and you’ll continue staying strong until you get what you want.
10. Practice, practice, practice.
Negotiations are all around you. Look for ways to apply these tips to your everyday life, and you’ll become a stronger negotiator in the long run.
Are you sick of negotiations not going your way? Psh—who isn’t? Luckily, you never have to face a negotiation alone again. Condico is an online tool and app that’s designed to make the negotiation process as smooth as possible. Learn how you can start finding common ground faster here.