Ask for a counter proposal
- Ask for a counter proposal
If you’re not getting the results you want, it’s time to ask for a counter proposal. A counter proposal is simply an alternative offer that gives the other party some of what they wanted and asks them to give you some of what you wanted. It’s incredibly effective when both parties have something to gain from negotiating.
The request can be delivered in any number of ways: “What would it take for us to get this deal done today?” or “I need to improve my margins here, how do we make this work?” or “What if I gave you X and asked for Y in return?” or “We both know there’s room to move on this price, let’s figure out where we can meet in the middle.”
Ask for more
#7 – Ask for more than you think you can get.
It’s common to hear people say, “I’m not going to ask for what I really want because they’ll say no and I’ll be stuck with nothing!”
But that’s a mistake!
If you don’t ask for what you want, your negotiation partner has likely been trained to ask why they should give it to you.
You’ve made their life easier by suggesting a low number so they can stop negotiating and accept the deal, without giving anything up in return. And if they offer less than your opening request in an attempt to keep the conversation going, then that’s just fine too! You’ve got them comfortable enough now to start discussing potential trade-offs.
So go ahead, make yourself feel uncomfortable by asking for more than you think is possible—you might be surprised by how much you can get!
Stay away from the hypothetical
Avoid hypotheticals. Instead, either request examples of real situations that have occurred in the past or ask for a specific instance. For example: “Tell me about a situation when you’ve handled a problem like this before and how it was resolved.” Or: “Can you give me an example of what would happen if…?” The more familiar your contact is with the material, the more likely they are to be able to respond accurately. Hypothetical questions also invite your contact to imagine something happening (which may not be realistic) instead of telling you how they actually handle such issues.
Come prepared to everything you could negotiate about
#8. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.
Many of us feel awkward negotiating and would rather just agree to whatever the other person is proposing. If that sounds like you, it’s time to change. Negotiating can result in more money and better benefits for you. It might mean a promotion or a better position within the company. It can also help you avoid being taken advantage of by someone who assumes you don’t know any better or are willing to accept less than what you deserve. So, become comfortable with negotiating so that it doesn’t feel awkward anymore, and keep these points in mind:
- Come prepared with a list of everything you want to negotiate about as well as what your walk away point is (how little are you willing to accept?).
- Do your research beforehand so that you have good supporting data for your requests and understand what’s reasonable so that negotiations don’t break down due to misaligned expectations on either side.
- Look for opportunities everywhere—including when buying a car, shopping at big box stores, during professional negotiations like when getting a raise or accepting an offer, etc.—and bring up anything that’s important to you even if it seems frivolous because small concessions add up over time if they’re repeated often enough!
Make money the last thing you discuss
It’s pretty straightforward: talk about everything else before you talk about money. That way, when you get to the end of the negotiation, the other party will feel like they’ve already gotten their needs met so they’re more likely to give you what you want since they won’t feel like it’s a zero-sum game.
For example, suppose you’d like a raise. In that case, I would probably say something along these lines:
“I’m excited about my future here and I love being part of this team. So it makes me sad when I think about how I’m making $10 less per hour than people who are doing similar work as me and have been here for far less time. But in addition to that, there are a few other things I’d love your help with.”
Talk about what success looks like
Tip #2: Talk about what success looks like.
In every negotiation, it’s essential to talk about what success looks like for each party involved. This includes discussing their needs and concerns, the scope of the negotiation, and how to measure success. The ultimate goal is to find an outcome in which both sides feel they have achieved something important to them. Remember that everyone at the table wants a deal—they just haven’t agreed on what it will look like yet. It makes sense then that you should begin by asking everyone to spend a few minutes talking about their goals for this negotiation and why they are important to them.
Use comparison shopping to your advantage
One of the most important things you can do before a negotiation is to know what the competition offers. You need to know what your competitors are charging for similar products, as well as what non-competing companies are charging for comparable products or services. For example, if you’re selling designer fashion handbags and your competitor is selling them for $50, but another company sells similar bags in another industry for $30, use that information to make your case. This will give you an advantage in the negotiation:
If I were preparing to negotiate with the head of a design school where I wanted to set up shop to sell my handbags, I would research what other companies that sell similar products charge at their locations (like local retail stores), and then use that information to make my case. If I had evidence that other companies were charging less than my competitor was charging at this particular location, it would strengthen my position during negotiations.
If another company was selling quality handbags at $30 and we were offering our product at $50, then we could easily justify lowering our price by using this information as leverage during negotiations.
Remember that everything is negotiable
One of my favorite things to say is “everything is negotiable.” And it is true: you can negotiate anything. I’ve negotiated everything from a higher salary, to a bigger apartment, to more vacation time, to better service at a restaurant.
Negotiation doesn’t always have to be a win-lose situation where one person wins and the other loses. In many cases, negotiation can be win-win: both parties end up feeling like they got what they wanted out of the interaction.
It’s also important to understand that negotiation itself takes many forms. Negotiation isn’t strictly about money (though money does often come into play); it’s about getting what you want out of an interaction with someone else. So any time you interact with someone in any way—whether that means through email or over the phone or face-to-face—you’re negotiating something with that person.
Think about this as you move forward in your career and learn how to negotiate more effectively!
Negotiating doesn’t always have to be adversarial
Negotiation doesn’t always have to be adversarial. At its core, negotiation is a process that can happen at every stage of any interaction with another person: exchanging information and finding a common ground. In this context, negotiation is not limited to the often-stressful salary review or the contract talks between labor unions and management. It can also be the cordial exchanges you have before your son’s baseball game starts or the flirty banter you exchange with a barista at your local coffee shop.
Negotiation is a process that can happen at every stage of any interaction with another person. (There is no conclusion)
Negotiation is a process that can happen at every stage of any interaction with another person. When you’re trying to get your way, it can be easy to forget that the other person wants something, too—and in some cases, that’s exactly what you need to remember. While it’s true that negotiation doesn’t always have to be adversarial and isn’t always about money (as we’ll see below), the first step toward mastering the art is understanding what negotiating