I hate negotiating, mostly because a negotiation often feels confrontational and I tend to shy away from confrontations.
But negotiating is a fact of business life, so here are some ways to make your negotiations less painful, more fun — and most importantly, more successful.
You should always know what you need -- and what you're willing to spend or pay. If you don't have a clue about the cost of a particular service, don't expect the other party to educate you; that puts even the most ethical person in an awkward position. At the least have a sense of the market price for the product or service you want to purchase. Then you can adjust your offer based on the quality and quantity you will actually receive.
High expectations typically lead to high outcomes. Ask for what you want, and go into the negotiation assuming you'll get it. Why not? You can't receive if you don't ask. My wife is the eternal negotiation optimist; she always assumes she can make a deal on her terms. And she almost always does -- because she confidently asks for what she wants.
Never, ever rush. Never see a negotiation as something to wrap up as soon as possible. A negotiation is an investment in time, and most people don't want to lose their investments, so the more time the other person has in a deal the more they'll want to close the deal -- and the more they will voluntarily give up in order to get you to say yes.
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