The ability to negotiate is a skill that takes practice. It does not always come easily or innately, but it does get easier the more often you try it! In an effort to assist you, here are a few tips to keep in mind as gleaned from the WSJ Online December 15th, 2004 in an article by the Miller’s:
- Adopt a negotiating style consistent with who you are: if you speak softly and don’t carry a big stick, then just be direct and firm and smile. You don’t need to get angry or aggressive or make quick decisions. Take your time and only respond after you’ve had time to consider an offer or counter-offer.
- Remember that every situation is an opportunity to negotiate: Even your utility companies will negotiate with you, one-time credits are easy to get if a problem situation arises or you think rates are too high. Remember to make sure you are dealing with a decision-maker who has the power to make the changes/deals that you want.
- You must be willing to say “no”: if you are not willing to walk away from a bad deal, or a “no deal” scenario, then it negatively impacts your ability to drive the best deal for yourself. Once the other person knows you are serious and will not proceed, they will come to their best offer.
- Don’t settle for less just because you can (or because it’s for yourself): do your homework, know what you’re worth and what the market will bear, and then be persistent. Asking for more is not greedy, it’s just good business.
Remember, in all cases, be gracious and keep the energy positive!