In its simplest form, negotiation means a discussion between parties looking to reach an agreement. While the concept is easy to understand, the process of negotiation is as much art as it is science. As a start on your road to becoming a good negotiator, here are some basics to think about before beginning your own process.
- Know Your Worth: Many people feel that the hardest thing to learn is their own self-worth. You and your business have much to offer - know that you are good enough to ask for the money you want! If you don't believe in yourself, how do you expect to convince someone else?
- Understand Your Worth: Information is power. Know the industry that your New York business competes in, and know the industry of the business or services that you are negotiating. Learn the going rate in your market for your services and the services you are negotiating to obtain. The more you know, the more you can convey in your negotiation, and the more you can feel your own worth.
- Develop a Plan: To prepare further, develop a plan for the negotiation itself. This is where your instincts will matter. Think about what information you have and when you wish to use it. If you are soliciting services from someone else, you may want to let them explain their services before you reveal what you know of their services. If you have a special skill that increases your New York business's value, you may wish to hold that back as a rebuttal statement. This has as much to do with feeling out your negotiating partner as it does finding your own presentation style. Negotiation plans are as much about educating yourself as educating your negotiation partner in a persuasive manner.Part of your plan should also be a real evaluation of what you believe your services are worth and what you are willing to accept for your services. This is a balancing act between what is the higher end of what you can reasonably charge or pay versus what you are willing to accept to pay or charge. Hopefully, your skills will land you closer to the former than the latter.
- Focus on Your Goal: Remember, the goal is not to "beat" the other side - the goal is to come to an agreement that everyone can be happy about so that you can develop an ongoing and prosperous business relationship where you consider each other equals.This also means recognizing, should that goal be unattainable, when to walk away. Chances are there will be another negotiating partner on the horizon where you both can benefit.
- Recognize When You Need Help: Negotiations can be simple or extremely complex based upon the terms being negotiated. Recognizing that you are in over your head and require the assistance of an attorney is just as shrewd of a business decision as you can make for a negotiation.
Developing negotiation skills is key to running a business in New York. The more you develop these skills, the better your chances that your New York business will grow and thrive.
_____*Gene Berardelli may be contacted at: GeneBerardelli@ipglegal.com
Gene is a New York street-smart attorney with an extreme passion for success. Gene specializes in litigation, arbitration and general corporate law for New York-based and international clients. He, also, is the host of a popular New York talk radio program.