The Art of Negotiating

John Krautzel
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As a business professional, mastering the art of negotiating allows you to harness your full potential in the workplace. In order to pull this off effectively, you need to master key negotiation tactics that provide you with an upper hand during heated business discussions. While learning these tactics requires plenty of practice, your career benefits enormously from this investment of your time and energy.

Before you ever set foot inside an executive's office for a negotiation session, take time to prepare yourself thoroughly. Many workers feel uncomfortable confronting the terse atmosphere of negotiation meetings, but all of the negotiating tips in the world provide no benefit if you fail to acclimate to the tension. Remember, most employers expect negotiations whenever extending a job offer or conducting a performance review. Projecting a calm demeanor serves as one of the most powerful negotiation tactics, as it demonstrates your confidence in your work.

Of course, you need to make reasonable requests if you expect to make headway with an employer. Most companies set strict budgets for the salaries of their workers. Research salary information for other individuals in your field and set expectations that meet the industry standard. Astute negotiation tactics help you make a strong case for your demands, but unreasonable insistence on your part generates minimal results.

In addition to researching salaries for comparable positions, you need to prepare for tough questions during negotiation meetings. Asking pointed questions and placing you on the spot is one of the negotiation tactics seasoned professionals use to lower your demands. In many cases, you must carefully weigh each question asked of you and respond in a way that highlights what you bring to the table. Avoid placing all of your cards in full view whenever possible.

Perhaps one of the most challenging but important negotiating tips of all is that you must stand your ground when you face a low-ball offer. If you need to walk away from the table and thank the employer politely for their time, nothing prevents you from doing so. Negotiation tactics like this one carry some risk, but your work merits appropriate compensation. When a hiring manager or current supervisor gives you an offensive number, rejecting the offer outright helps underline your worth to the company.

Negotiation meetings scare many professionals, but equipping yourself with the right tools helps you to leave such sessions unscathed. If the employer refuses your requests outright, consider suggesting an additional review in a few month's time. In some cases, this approach keeps the door open for future growth opportunities. Regardless of which negotiation tactics you find most useful, choose to approach the negotiation as a business necessity and remember the outcome is not personal.


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