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10 Tips for Being a Better Negotiator

Written by Blake Teen on May 27, 2011.

Let me just admit that I am a bad negotiator. When money comes up in a job interview, my palms start to sweat. But I know that being able to negotiate will mean better incomes, paying less on future cars and homes, and put me a step ahead of those who arent willing to try. So, I do it, and you should too. Here are a few tips:

  • Face your fear. You have a right to negotiate when discussing salary or buying big ticket items or services. And its a life skill you can’t afford not to have. Commit to trying and you may be surprised at the results.
  • Do your homework. For salary discussions, know what people in the same position and area make. For cars and other items: know the going rate for the item you want.
  • Talk to the right person. There is no use negotiating with a sales clerk or a potential colleague when higher-ups are the only ones who can make the call.
  • Keep calm. Stay pleasant, friendly and direct. Getting emotional wont serve you well in negotiations.
  • Know your virtues. In salary discussions, it’s important to know what value you bring to the organization that makes you worth your asking price.
  • Ask for more. More than they are offering and more than you think you can get, that is.
  • Enjoy the silence. When an offer is made, it’s okay (important even) to pause and think about it. After offering a number yourself, don’t back peddle; let it sink in.
  • Show your interest. But don’t show too much interest. You want them to know you would like to take this job or buy this car, but that you have other options as well.
  • Eyes on other prizes. When discussing salary and benefits, don’t forget the benefits. If a potential employer will not budge on salary, ask for additional benefits or a salary review in 3 or 6 months.
  • Try, try again. Negotiation is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. If you didn’t get exactly what you want this time, fear not. Keep at it and you will get the hang of it.

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