In his Harvard Business Review blog entry, How to Size Up a Negotiation, venture capitalist Anthony Tjan states that negotiators should “quantify the value of each negotiation point and of the negotiation in its entirety.”
I couldn’t agree more. My First Golden Rule of Negotiation is Information is Power – So Get It! When preparing to negotiate, you should always gather the information you need to be able to identify and quantify the issues on the table. Then set concrete, specific goals. Why? Negotiation research shows you will be more motivated to achieve concrete, specific goals than vague, ambiguous ones like “I will do the best I can.”
Of course, this is not always easy, especially trying to quantify non-financial issues. But doing so forces you to critically evaluate and prioritize the various issues on the table.
My ExpertNegotiator Planning and Management Software directs its users to assign a monetary value to each goal (whether financial in nature or not). Users can also rank their goals using a 1 to 10 scale.