Let’s face it, not everyone likes to negotiate. Negotiations can feel stressful and frightening at times, but the truth is they don’t have to be. Many people negotiate successfully getting what they want when they want it.
It just takes a little work and understanding on both sides of the table. Award-winning lawyer Rebecca Zung understands those good negotiations are all about effective and productive communication. A negotiation expert in every sense of the word, she shares her top five pro-tips.
“Anyone can master the art of negotiation,” says Rebecca. “You just have to remain calm, confident, and show up prepared.” Rebecca maintains knowledge is power and believes no one should show up to the table without these five tips in mind.
1. Always make the first move.
“No one likes to go first, but when you do, you’ve now set the tone for the conversation,” states Rebecca. “Making the first move or offer is about setting the base level for the rest of the negotiation. Don’t sell yourself short.”
2. Show up prepared.
“Do your research and make sure you have details, research, and supporting evidence to back up your claims,” explains Rebecca. “It will be much harder for the other party to push back if your arguments are based on logic and facts.” Rebecca believes the more supporting evidence, the better. It’s hard to say no when data say otherwise.
3. Provide concrete figures.
“Never give vague estimates or ballpark figures,” says Rebecca. “If you do, the other party will adhere to the low end, which most likely won’t work for you. Estimates are normal but keep them as close to a concrete figure as possible. This eliminates the potential for ambiguity.”
4. Don’t push too hard.
“You want to appear confident and strong, but don’t go too tough and push the other party too hard,” states Rebecca. “You want the conversation to be productive, and that can’t happen if the other party walks away. Take time to listen and talk things through. Not every conversation is about winning.”
5. Give as much as you take.
In a good negotiation, the relationship between the parties is mutually beneficial. “When you negotiate, you are also entering into a partnership,” describes Rebecca. “You stand to earn more when working together. People give to those they like.”
Rebecca believes healthy negotiation is all about relating to it on a human level. “Too often, we are taught that the best negotiators are the people everyone fears, and that’s not true,” explains Rebecca. “Great negotiators understand and care about people. They want the relationship to work.” With these pro-tips, anyone can sit down at the negotiation table confidently and effortlessly.