“Forty for you, sixty for me and equal partners we will be.” — Gerald Barzan
Whether or not you’re flying solo as a business owner or managing a corporation, effective negotiating skills result in how both parties can get their interests satisfied while keeping their relationship strong. Principled negotiation means neither party need feel cheated, manipulated or taken advantage of.
Learning to negotiate with finesse will help create your ongoing business success.
To negotiate effectively, start from a position of power. If you are negotiating for a freelance job, know what your strengths are and expect to be paid for them. If you can’t reach what you consider a fair compensation package, be prepared to walk away.
When negotiating, think in terms of the overall package, keeping other benefits in mind when determining what you must have, what you would like to have and what you can live without.
Tips for Negotiating Successfully
» Set out to reach a win-win situation.
» Research beforehand fair market value.
» Before negotiations, write down the important points you need to agree upon.
» Know as much as possible about the other party.
» Know as much as possible about what others have achieved in similar deals and get a copy of their contract for comparison.
» Put all offers in writing.
» Never agree to something, in writing or verbally, when you know you still have points to discuss.
» Keep copies of all correspondence.
» Keep written notes of meetings and important phone conversations.
» Listen. It’s vital to clearly understand what the other person is saying.
» Prepare in advance and speak clearly your point of view.
» Successful negotiation ensures the needs of both parties are satisfied, not just one.
After you have presented your negotiating points, be silent. This is a very powerful act. It may place you in an uncomfortable place for a short time, but trust me, it will work to your advantage.
It will prevent you from depleting the effectiveness of your clearly stated points and help make your position stronger. The other party will fill the void. Just listen and be patient.
Another valuable tool to use before entering into negotiations has to do with food. Yes — choose carefully what you eat before you begin. Eat “brain food,” which is high in protein such as meat, fish and cottage cheese. Stay away from carbohydrates and refined sugar.
Foods rich in protein will help keep you mentally sharp and clear. Carbohydrates will raise your serotonin levels, causing you to be more relaxed and less focused.
So if you find yourself negotiating over lunch, pass your business acquaintance the rolls and butter, and smile — because you just changed the game.