A negotiation can seem intimidating, but the right approach will help you keep your footing.

3 things you should do to prepare for a negotiation


Whether you’re looking to get more out of your vendor or get yourself that much-deserved raise, you need to know how to negotiate. Most importantly, you must be able to keep the ball in your court.

Ensuring you have control of the situation can be tricky. You could enter a negotiation with all the confidence in the world, but if you don’t prepare properly, the scales may not tip in your favour. Here are three things you can do beforehand to ensure you stay on even ground:

1. Challenge yourself 

We often negotiate because we want to gain or achieve something. So, when entering such a discussion, it’s important for you to validate what your objective is and why you’re bargaining for it. In other words, what chips are you putting at stake? Are they worth anything?

Look at it from a salesperson’s perspective. In order to sell a service, they must dictate why the business they’re prompting needs it. It’s about justifying their position that an enterprise will function better as a result of using their firm’s expertise and resources.

2. Don’t make an argument out of it 

Be flexible and find common ground. A strong negotiator knows how to make compromises. Jerome Slavik, a counsellor at Ackroyd Law, highlighted seven aspects of robust negotiation for Harvard Law School. He maintained that recognising the perspective of the person you’re bargaining with will allow you to find that middle-ground where both parties are satisfied.

3. Be straight up 

According to Slavik, the sixth element of effective negotiation was establishing trust – ensure that neither you nor your opponent is being taken advantage of. Basically, you need to establish a level of trust. In order to do that, you must be willing to make yourself vulnerable, to a certain degree.

Lay down your cards, but don’t come across as if you’ve used every one of your chips. This will compel the person across the table to do the same. Mentally prepare yourself for this type of approach, and they won’t think you’re desperate, but trustworthy.

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