Learn how key negotiation hacks will help you focus and get ahead in your process to ultimate success with your conversation partner.
- Sometimes it's the fine details that can make the difference between deal and no deal, so I want to share a few time-tested negotiation hacks to set you up for more success. The first set of hacks has to do with setting the tone and creating the right environment for your negotiation. So hack number one is to do your best to have your conversation in the morning or when you're both fresh, or at least when you're reasonably assured there won't be any end-of-day hurry and distraction.
For phone and virtual negotiations, I realize time zones factor into this hack, but just keep it in mind when you're scheduling. Hack number two is to try to find a neutral place to have your conversation. Now if you can't make your way to a coffee shop, think about grabbing space in a meeting or a conference room. This might help shift the power imbalance of meeting in your boss's office where you're sitting in the guest chair while they're sitting behind a desk in the big chair. Hack number three, bring some warmth.
Having a cup of tea or coffee not only increases physical warmth, it increases social warmth. Even better if you can share some food. You build rapport, increase glucose and all those feel-good hormones that set the stage for conversations leading to agreement. Now while all that positive feeling is good for setting the stage, expressing negative emotions can also be helpful. In a salary negotiation, for example, if you ask for 90,000 and your future boss says the best they can do is 75,000, this is a good time for hack number four, and that is to express your disappointment.
You can deliver your disappointment through body language like raised eyebrows and silence, or you might say directly, wow, that's quite a difference, and I have to say it's really disappointing. And then let your disappointment land, be quiet. Your future boss may get squirmy about the silence and sweeten the offer, and if not, you can ask some diagnostic questions to nudge things in your direction. And here's the hack that tends to move the number in your direction.
You might say, what is it about my experience, strengths, and accomplishments that isn't worth 90,000? This puts the psychological burden on your future boss to explain how on one hand, they're valuing everything you're bringing to the party and devaluing you at the same time. Hack number five answers one of the most debated questions in negotiation, should I anchor with a specific number or give a range? In my experience, the answer is, it depends.
Sometimes it comes down to available information. Now if you have enough research data and credible sources of information about company salaries for your role, anchor with a specific number that is well above your target. This'll give you some wiggle room to negotiate. If you think you're at a disadvantage and you don't have enough information, you run the risk of either lowballing yourself or knocking yourself out of the running with a number that's too high. So if this is the case, anchor with a range and make sure that the bottom of the range you're proposing is above your target salary.
Again, it's about creating that wiggle room. Now every hack I've given you has a basis in research, so take a look at the exercise files to dive a little deeper into the academic findings on negotiation. Knowing how and why certain strategies and tactics work will give you more choice and confidence.
- Identify the different types of negotiation.
- Distinguish the difference between asking and negotiation.
- List core negotiation practices.
- Explain anchoring and framing for mutual benefit.
- Describe tactical empathy.
- Explain the principles of influence.
- Create an influence plan.
- Analyze conflict styles.
- Recognize contentious negotiation tactics.