Six Tips to Help You Negotiate Effectively

Whether you’re exploring your car insurance options, putting in an offer on a house or looking over a contract for a new position, knowing how to negotiate is an incredibly important skill. Not only can it help you get what you want (and on terms that are better for you), but it can also be hugely empowering, both personally and professionally. We’ve put together our top six tips on how to negotiate effectively in any situation.

  1. Know what you want

If you don’t know what you want, there’s a very slim chance you’re going to get it. Before you enter into a negotiation, organise your thoughts so that you know exactly what you’re asking for, and prepare to articulate these thoughts clearly and succinctly.

  • Know your limit

If, after several attempts to reduce the cost of the overpriced flat you’re interested in renting and your potential landlord still won’t budge, don’t be afraid to walk away. Some negotiations won’t tip in your favour and it’s up to you to decide whether you’re going to accept the other person’s terms or rather save your energy and look for something else.

  • Give a little

As much as you should know where your limits are, it’s also important to understand that negotiations work both ways. You’ve got to be willing to bend too, and meet the other party – your employer for example – half way. Perhaps you’d be willing to accept a 10% salary increase, rather than 12%, in exchange for more flexible working hours?

  • Be assertive, not aggressive

When it comes to negotiating, your attitude matters. The person you’re negotiating with is much less likely to consider your requests if you’re arrogant and belligerent than if you’re polite and respectful – while still being clear about what you want.

  • Practise patience

Everyone needs a bit of time to mull over the terms of a new agreement. Don’t pressure your bargaining party to accept your requirements straight away and, by the same token, don’t feel bullied into accepting theirs. If you need some time to sleep on a proposal, take it. Time and space can be great providers of clarity.

  • Think about the long term

You never know when you’re going to find yourself working with or negotiating with the same person again in future. In every interaction, consider what impact your actions will have down the line. If this negotiation works out well for both of you, you’re more likely to nurture a long-lasting and fruitful relationship.

Of course, all of these skills are useful in non-financial negotiations as well. Being able to negotiate compromises with your friends and family members on certain issues can be a useful way to resolve conflict, and can ensure that your personal relationships remain happy and healthy.

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