Accepting any deal when you feel you could have got more can leave you with an unpleasant “if only” taste in your mouth, but negotiating is a risky business. It’s easy to offend somebody during the process so it’s understandable that many people feel anxious about entering into a negotiation and as such avoid it. However, there are ways to do it effectively and successfully, without upsetting the other side and without giving away more than you really feel you should.
Here are three simple, but top tips to help you get your negotiating head on:
1. Ask yourself whether you should be negotiating?
The first step is to identify if there is really any reason to negotiate. To understand this, research the going rate for your position, and do your homework on the company you are interviewing for. Are they profitable, are they growing, do they have high turnover or have a reputation for under paying employees? Don’t blow your credibility by asking for a rate that is simply out of line with the market.
2. Define exactly what you want
Having researched the market and understood what the market is likely to pay, you need to set yourself an ideal rate, an acceptable rate and a bottom rate that you will not go below no matter what. Knowing this in advance of any negotiation is crucial, allowing you to talk confidently when put on the spot and stand by your numbers.
3. Try to understand exactly why they want you
If you’re negotiating then it’s good news: they are likely to be offering you the job. If you can establish exactly why they are picking you, this will give you leverage to negotiate. If they think your experience is a huge asset, you have good connections (etc) then you can probably be very bullish in your negotiation strategy. If it is because they think you have the aptitude to learn, then your leverage is weaker.
Negotiation is about understanding the reality of your position and being very clear about your own requirements and boundaries. Spend time thinking before you start negotiating and you will nearly always get more of what you need.