I’m at my best when sitting across the table from someone and figuring out a price for my services. (I’m not so good when I’m alone at home and putting together an estimate.)
In one memorable one-on-one negotiation I just sat there without saying a word, while the other guy kept raising the fee.
Another time, when interviewing for a job as an employee, I totally dug in my heels and refused to budge an inch on the salary I was asking for. What was surprising about that interview was that I really, really needed the job…and if I didn’t get it, I would probably have had to wait months and months for a similar position to become available. And yes, I got the salary I asked for, even although it was a lot higher than the figure they had in mind.
How did I pull this off?
The secret is to enter into the negotiation without giving a damn about the outcome.
When you don’t care, when it’s all the same to you whether they say yes or no, you have a big advantage. When you don’t give a damn, it makes you look incredibly valuable. When you’d just as soon walk away from the table, it makes the other person feel uncomfortable and anxious to keep you there.
Keep in mind that in both occasions I mentioned, I actually did care a lot. In both cases, a huge amount depended on my getting the money I wanted.
So this isn’t about really and truly not giving a damn. It’s about getting into the right mindset. It’s about acting. It’s about living and being the character you are playing.
Yes, it’s an act. But for the duration of the negotiation you have to believe in your role absolutely. It’s a mindset thing.
You may not be able to pull this off perfectly every time. But you need to try. Because if you enter into negotiations, particularly when face to face, and appear overly anxious to get the job or project, then it’s the other guy who has the advantage.
The more anxiety and stress the other guy sees, the more he can beat you down. And if you appear too desperate, you may put him off entirely and not get the work at all.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t show enthusiasm about the job, and make it clear that you want it. You should. This is about negotiating the deal.
Apply this when negotiating projects, when negotiating terms, when establishing partnerships, when making business purchases…and in any other circumstances where this mindset could give you an advantage.
Of course, having read this post it’s up to you whether or not you follow my advice.
Whether you do or not, well, frankly… : )
About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach. Read more…