By: James Goetz
My path to understanding how to win in business did not come smoothly. I learned from a young age that to win in athletics, the one who works hardest, longest and smartest typically comes out on top.
In athletic competition, things are far more simple and while running past your opponent is part of the game on the field; off the playing field a compromise often comes into play.
Negotiation actually comes into play almost every day of your life. From purchasing items at a retail store (yes, you can negotiate the tag price), to buying a car, lowering an interest rate for a loan or when a child wants to stay up later at night. In all of these scenarios you do have choices. You can surrender and accept without complaint. You can intimidate and bully the other party and roll the dice of the result. Lastly you can successfully negotiate and win, every time.
Did you realize you have been negotiating all of your life?
This is nothing new. Only the means of negotiation have become more sophisticated. Think about it. As a baby, when you were hungry, how did you get food? Most likely you cried. If your mom or dad fed you, the crying stopped. If they refused, you cried harder. These were the terms of this deal. Knowing your negotiation experience, let any hesitation you may have going into a negotiation cease. You are a pro at this already. With refined practice, mastering the art of negotiation will allow you to make more money, improve job performance and increase satisfaction of relationships.
Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
Before going into any negotiation it only makes sense to know exactly what you want. You many know you want a raise but how much more do you want? when you want a new car, what car do you want and how much can you afford? Write these specifics down and know exactly what you want. You may know you want a raise but how much more do you want to make? When you want a new car, what car do you want and how much can you afford? Write these specifics down and known down to the most minute detail what you want.
Once you know specifics, take some time to consider alternatives in case one of your terms is not available. What are you willing to accept? If your boss will not give you a raise, perhaps more vacation time, more flexible work hours, etc., may be appropriate.
Be prepared also about a last resort option. If your boss refuses your raise and more vacation time, you may consider interviewing with another company who's socks you can knock off and reach the terms of employment you are striving for.
Do your homework ahead of time. If you are buying a car, know the Kelly Blue Book and NADA values of the vehicle you want. Know the commission structures and internal rebates at the dealership you are visiting. Know this of multiple dealerships in the area.
If approaching your boss for a raise, know your boss' habits, his/ her background, goals, current company health and future prediction of company growth.
In the example of asking for a raise, put together a list of your value to the company. What successful projects have you lead? What can you show to avail increased sales and profitability you are responsible for. Do you have any letters of praise or awards from the company, co-workers, vendors or other colleagues? It might also be prudent to have a comparable salary analysis for your area (see US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics). Ensure this information is detailed and easily organized so you are not fumbling around while at the negotiation table.
In more complex negotiations, always bring assistance. The forms of assistance available are: lawyers, brokers/ agents, mediators and arbitrators. Be sure to know which is applicable in your state according to the specific laws for said situation.
A few tips to defeat your enemies position:
1. Prove your enemies position is poorly founded.
2. Know your enemies position.
3. Advance your position by proving it equal or greater than your enemies.
4. Prove your enemies position is immaterial.
Know Your Enemy
Your enemy in this case is your opponent; he/ she you are negotiating with.
Try to get the "yes man" first. This is the individual with the power to say yes. When buying a car, the sales person you are dealing with does not have the power. This is why they keep going back and forth between you and the sales manager. It's a power play on the part of the sales manager to have an intermediary so you cannot trap him in a corner to get less than he is prepared to let the vehicle go for. The individual who owns the item you want typically is the "yes man". The sooner you can get in front of them, the better.
The more you know about your enemy, the more effective you will be at the negotiation table. Research the company you are dealing with by examining their annual reports. Read industry newsletters and speak with friends and associates in the industry.
Keys To The Deal
Your enemy wants satisfaction. Know what your enemy wants. While negotiating, point out the benefits your proposal offers to your enemy. The goal is of course to achieve your goals. When terms satisfy both sides; this is called a win/ win, a term identified by Steven Covey, as being on of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
When purchasing a home, at times brokers are unscrupulous and look out only for themselves by offering up information on the seller. You can use this information in a productive manner to capitalize on your objectives as well as meeting some of the sellers in order to close the deal.
James "Jim" Goetz, affectionately referred to as, "Dr. Daddy", is a leading global expert in the field of health, fitness and wellness having spent many years as a strength and conditioning coach, completing his national chiropractic board exams and authoring numerous articles on the subject. He currently explores the unknown in advancing human performance through scientific research.
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