There are 7 things you need to prepare for when entering any kind of negotiation.
1. Understand your position
Know what you want to get out of your negotiation. Be clear to yourself what your bottom line is. And don’t be mistaken; everyone has a bottom line making the potential job or project worthwhile.
2. Understand their position
Find out as much as you can about the other party. What is their priority (price, service or speed)? What is your competition offering?
3. Convey the value
No matter what you are offering, there must be value in it. Explain the value with examples, case studies, personal stories and data. If the project saves the customer money, show it. If the job gives new experience to a student, relay the story of the former employee in that position.
4. Define negotiable terms
What would your customer value that takes you little time? Find out what you want in return for your offer. Make as many decisions about this as possible before you enter negotiations.
5. Use all your senses
Use research, intuition, common sense, the big picture, read body language and listen intently. The more you ask, the more verbal and non-verbal information you will receive that will help you with number 2.
6. Get perspective
Along with understanding your position, recognize your stronger and weaker assets. Emphasize strong traits and go easy on the weaker parts of your proposal. Don’t lie or hide facts, just keep them in plain sight without placing a lot of attention to it.
7. Prepare your price
If you never have to negotiate your rate, your price is generally too low for the value you provide. If you always have to negotiate, maybe you have set your initial price too high or your need to work on your value story. If a side product is always added to the core product, consider combining them for a good price and ask for something else in return.
Image credit: By jonny goldstein, flickr.com.