You might not realize it, but you negotiate with people all the time. Some of these negotiations are small, like discussing where to eat out with your significant other. While some are much more important, like negotiating salary for a new job.
Regardless of the situation, use the tips below to master the art of negotiation. These tactics will help you reach a deal that both you and the other negotiating party find desirable.
1. Give a Number Second
During the beginning portion of negotiations, try to name your initial offer second. According to a study by Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation, MBA candidates who made the initial offer first during a single-price deal felt more anxious about their decisions. Afterward, this group felt less confident and satisfied with their deals than those who made their initial offer second.
As an example, if you’re interviewing for a job, you want to name your salary second. If the interviewer presses for you to name your desired salary first, you can ask for a salary range and what that range is determined by. Then, ask where they think you fall within that range.
2. Be Mindful of Body Language
When negotiating, try to be cognizant of your body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. Facial expressions specifically often evoke a response in the other person’s mind. In fact, try to smile more often. Smiling alters our vocal cords to make us sound more endearing and friendly.
Lastly, know that certain body language movements evoke specific emotions. For instance, crossing one's arms usually portrays a defensive posture, and shaking one’s head can side to side suggest irritation or disagreement.
3. Have a Bottom Line
Perhaps the most important tip for negotiators is knowing when to say no and when to walk away. You don’t want to have buyer’s remorse. If you’re negotiating on behalf of a client, make sure that you are both on the same page and have the same bottom line. It’s typically not a good scenario to overstep and take the wrong deal or to let a strong deal go because of miscommunication between you and the client.