Whether you’re a CEO negotiating for your next partnership deal, or an employee requesting a raise, having the ability to negotiate well is a priceless quality in the working world.
We’ve all had plenty of experience with negotiations. Think back to bargaining with your parents for just a couple more minutes of street soccer, even though the sun is going down. Or a little later down the road when you had an especially busy week of extracurricular activities and needed an extension on homework.
We’ve all been practicing for negotiating at work our entire lives. But how do we hone those skills to become negotiating pros?
1. Be prepared to deliver.
Often when people think about negotiating, they’re thinking about what they’re going to receive from the deal. But, chances are, the person on the other side of the negotiation, is going to want something in return. Do your research and know exactly who you’re dealing with. Know what your potential partner wants out of the negotiation, and make it clear that you are prepared to deliver that day (if possible). If a raise is what you’re after, start implementing raise-worthy behavior in your day-to-day work life well before you approach your boss.
2. Stay firm.
Just as you need to deliver your end of the bargain, stay firm with what you want as well. Know exactly what you want walking into a negotiation exchange; write it out if it helps, and stick to your guns. If you’re not getting most of, if not all of, what you wanted out of this exchange, take a step back and ask yourself if it’s still in the best interest of yourself or your business to proceed anyway. It’s easy to get caught up in the actual process of negotiating. You could finish the exchange and realize you didn’t get much of what you set out to get. Remember what it is you want, and stay firm.
Every good negotiation takes time. Very rarely do both parties agree on everything upon initial conversation. Patience can do more than simply ensure that you don’t make any little mistake, or that you don’t gloss over anything. Patience keeps you level-headed and emotionally unattached from the deal during the process. No one wants to do business with someone who’s overly emotional. Having patience and taking your time with a deal will give you a little breathing room. Take your time, don’t get too attached, and keep your eye on the prize.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.