How to Negotiate: Recognise and Then Capitalise on Opportunities
Whether you are a Recruitment Consultant closing a deal, at a farmers market bargaining for cheese, or trying to score 10% off some high heels... there are plenty of opportunities to negotiate - and if saving money is involved, I'm unsure why we don't try more.
Hard work, guts and communication skills get you miles ahead in the career world, but so does your ability to recognise and capitalise on opportunities to negotiate for your career success. Negotiating your salary for your job, for instance, should not be seen as the 'final destination' - always look at your career within the bigger picture. Negotiating for opportunity and success throughout your position are just as important!
Good negotiation skills can be the difference between a compromise or a loss. These skills can be learned and mastered! here are my top tips:
'If you don't ask, you won't get!'
Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. Pitch, and 'lay down the land' by providing some information or story as to how you've reached your proposition. When I first started my career, too often I would 'assume' my manager would know what I expect, or I would let a disagreement with a colleague get brushed aside. By asking, challenging, and following up, your work conscious and stress levels will feel better for it.
Refuse to take no for an answer - even when some people can be so damn pushy! Working in sales I am surrounded by naturally influential people and my assertiveness has required effort. Practice expressing what you want without nervousness or anger. Use 'I' statements abut your feelings, beliefs and values, rather than 'you' statements about the characteristics of the person you're negotiating with.
Do your research - What are their needs? What pressures do they feel? What options do they have? To make accurate decisions you need to completely understand the other person's situation. Ask probing questions first and listen.... and then when you have all your info, go in for the kill!
BE PREPARED TO WALK AWAY
Always negotiate with options. If you depend too much out the outcome, chances are you will lose.
Win - win negotiators have the most success - by thinking outside the box, you're able to offer more than what was originally on the table, which increases your odds of getting what your after... If you give a client a deal on rate, for instance, maybe they could work exclusively with you? Negotiating should be established as a Win-Win for both parties.
Kim (@legal.fashion.nomad) suggests that if you want to come away with a specific thing, then ask for two. That way you can 'giveaway' one of the things.
When they have an objection, acknowledge what they've said and ask questions to find out the real problem.
The oldest tactic in the book
So what is an ideal way to open with an offer?
If you lack specific information on what the other side are trying to settle for: For your pitch, elaborate on specific examples to build your argument, then go for an opening offer that doesn't quite qualify as extreme, though is clearly firm. The other person may also open with an extremely high or low offer. Explore the bargaining range and discover their interests and issues by asking lots of questions, so you can 'meet' in the middle.
If you are negotiating face to face, visibly flinch when they suggest their extreme opening proposal and repeat it back to them as a question- this will make them feel unsure about the offer they've presented.
TASK FOR YOU
Pick ONE of the following areas to negotiate:
- Your personal finance (credit card companies, cell phone bills, etc)
- Department Store (I hear if you make friends and negotiate with the retailers they sometimes can find a way to get you some £ off?!)
- At the markets
- Your clients (pitch for exclusivity)
Thanks for visiting guys. If you liked this post be sure to check out my post about how to develop your unique selling proposition to stand out from your competitors or elevator pitch to generate new business- in a highly competitive market, this is now more important than ever!
Until next time,
Briar Prestidge x
*This post contains affiliate links which mean I may receive commission if you choose to buy something. As usual, I only post things I love.
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