“I’m having trouble sleeping at night worrying about this negotiation. While it’s not a huge deal, it’s just really bothering me. What do you recommend?”
Here is my advice to get some peace of mind and increase your likelihood of getting your best possible deal.
• Empower yourself with the experts’ proven research.
Many individuals lack confidence in their negotiation abilities and, especially when negotiating for themselves, fear making significant mistakes that can have disastrous consequences.
This anxiety often stems from a lack of knowledge concerning what to do in a variety of negotiation circumstances.
The solution? Empower yourself with the experts’ proven research on those issues. There has been a lot of great negotiation research done in the academic world in the past 30 years. And some of us have sought to condense much of that research into practical strategies and tactics. (I call my methodology the Five Golden Rules of Negotiation.)
Do your strategic due diligence and find out what the experts recommend for your situation.
• Create a strategic plan.
Once you understand the experts’ recommendations, create a concrete, practical strategic negotiation plan based on that research. It’s one thing to understand the research. It’s quite another to apply it to your specific situation.
In creating your plan, be disciplined, systematic and do it in writing. Write it down so you have a road map to your success at the end of the day.
As you develop your plan, also identify the strategies and tactics that require more consideration by highlighting and listing them on a task list. Then complete these tasks before you start negotiating.
• Negotiate strategically based on your plan.
Finally, before you start strategically negotiating based on your plan, psyche yourself up. A passionate, positive attitude makes a difference. Even though it may seem artificial, an increased confidence level will change your body language, your words and phrases, and your entire way of coming across.
Walking into a negotiation believing that you deserve to achieve X will absolutely increase your chances of achieving it.
Of course, no one can guarantee you a good night’s sleep and better results in all your most difficult negotiations. But the research, in most cases, can guarantee you an increased likelihood of your getting better results.
And that should give you some peace of mind.
Published May 7, 2009 The Arizona Republic