Going for a contract deal can be an overwhelming experience or it can be an adventurous ride. Whatever you feel about it, there is a certain degree of uneasiness on both sides. You see the other party as an opponent like its sports and you have to win at all cost, there is ego and pride involved.
But it doesn't have to be like this; you can simply collaborate and make your opponent your partner. You can both leave the deal feeling as winners. There is something to gain in each negotiation for all the parties involved, all you have to do is use it to your advantage. Shift your focus on what are the gains of the other party, create empathy and compassion.
There are many tips for negotiation and all of them depend on the parties involved and their unique situations.
In this blog, I will be covering a few of them that can be used in any deal.
Determine the hidden needs of the party. When someone throws a number at you, it's not the number that is their need. They have some motive that they need to accomplish. For example, if we at Tekvo.io are looking for a marketing expert and you apply, we will offer you a salary say $xxx, but you want $xxxx. So find the motive we have. The motive Tekvo.io has is to establish a good marketing team that will help in hiring more freelancers and getting more clients. So don’t convince us on $xxxx but convince us on your marketing skills. Don’t talk about the money at first. And you can turn the table where we don't want to loose you and will find ways to hire you and settle for your number.
Don’t go for ‘Na tera na mera’
Don’t settle for the middle numbers. I often can’t decide which shoes to wear, let's say you suggest I wear sneakers and I think I should wear boots. We decide for what we call in Hindi “Na tera na mera'' which means not your idea and not my idea but somewhere in the middle. Then I would have to wear one sneaker and one boot. That is ridiculous I know, but we often do this with numbers or money. When you settle for somewhere in between you feel just that. No side is happy with the deal, no one is the winner as in no one feels like they gained something. This is a classic lose-lose situation. After the deal is made and the work starts both parties feel sour and might not give in their 100%. It is important that both feel that their needs are met.
Deadlines are arbitrary
When a certain deadline is set, people tend to rush in and compromise just to make sure that they don't miss the offer. But what happens when you are in a rush- you tend to mess up. Just like there are higher chances of you falling when you are running as opposed to when you are walking. Deadlines make you do things that you won’t do, so don't give in to the deadline pressure and make drastic decisions that you will regret later. Remember that no deal is better than a deal where you feel that you got cheated on.
Don’t go for Fair
Fair is just as arbitrary as the deadline. Fair is subjective, everyone has a different definition of fair. So who can decide whether something is fair or not. When you are accused of being unfair, always ask to elaborate on how exactly you are not being fair and then address those concerns. You can also use the fair card when you want your opponent to give into your pressure. But remember fair is a state of mind and not the state of a situation.
Set a range
Set a range for your offer, with the least that you would accept as the lowest end of your range. That way you give a range to your counterparty to think about. Don't be aggressive with a hard thought out number. When you give a range, you are giving the other party something to think about, they feel that they can make decisions and in turn, are in control. It portrays you as someone who is flexible and not adamant or obstinate. Being supple is always a likable quality.
Highlight the losses.
FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. When you say that if you don't hire me then I take away my marketing skills and use it for another company. We see that as a missed opportunity. People will make sure that they don't miss out. So make sure to portray what is lost once the offer is off the table and you might find that you can make other people agree to your terms.
Negotiation is a part of the game. Whether we realize it or not, we are negotiating everyday in our daily lives, be it as a child, father, mother, sister, brother, spouse, manager, programmer, architect etc. One who masters the negotiation art is a Master in Real life too.