Good Morning Green Panda Friends.  Most people want something in life, but those things are not very often handed to us on a silver platter.  We often have to work hard for the things that we want to achieve and sometimes we even have to negotiate in order to get the things that we want.  Whether we want a raise at our current job, a lower purchase price on our home, a lower interest rate on our personal loan, or a higher starting salary and more benefits at our new job, almost everything in life needs to be negotiated.

The main reason why people choose not to negotiate for the things that they want in life is because many people are shy to ask for a favour.  Another reason why people don’t negotiate for the things that they want is because they fear rejection.

US News published an article titled “The Smart Way to Negotiate Almost Everything” which gives readers who want something helpful tips on how to get it. So regardless of what you are trying to achieve in life, use these helpful negotiation strategies to get what you want.

– Don’t Play All of Your Cards.  Negotiations are sort of a round table discussion where each involved party states their needs, wants, and variables. During a negotiation you may have to be willing to give up something that you don’t really want in order to get exactly what you do want.  However, you don’t want to let your opponent know too soon what you do want or don’t want because they can use it against you in the counter negotiations.

– Make an Initial Low Offer.  When entering into a negotiation remember that your opponent (whether it is a potential employer or a retail sales clerk) is also expecting to enter into negotiations.  They (and you should) expect to counter offer at least once or twice before you can both reach an agreement, this is why you always want to make an initial low offer when entering into negotiations.

– Leverage Yourself.  The more you have to offer in a negotiation, the more you can also get in return.  If you have resources to offer then you can ask for benefits in return.  As an example if you are applying for a new job and you have many years of experience in a related field, you can emphasize your past experience while promoting your interest in the new position to negotiate a higher income, more vacation weeks, or better benefits.  If you are picking up the dinner bill for a friend’s birthday party you can negotiate directly with the manager for complementary drinks and appetizers.

– Be Personable. The key to getting what you want in a negotiation is to make a personal connection with your opponent. Negotiating is all about business but it also requires that two (or more) people work together in order to come to an agreement.  It is important to stand up for what you want in negotiations, but it is also important to show empathy and be personable in order to get your opponent to like you.  This will increase your chances of getting what you want during a negotiation.

– Don’t Take No For an Answer.  Negotiating is all about a back and forth, offer and counter offer between two parties.  If you are turned down you shouldn’t give up, you should keep negotiating. Before entering into a negotiation it is wise to make a list of 3 things that you really want, 3 things that you sort of want, as well as 3 things that you are willing to give up.  This will help your negotiation strategy and make sure that you get what you want.

Photo by USFS

Tahnya Kristina
Tahnya Kristina

Tahnya is 30 years old and lives in Montreal Quebec. She graduated in 2005 from Concordia University, and she currently works for a major International Financial Institution. She recently launched You can follow her on Twitter @TahnyaP.