You’re not worth what you are, but what you know how to negotiate.
Many people think that they’re worth what they are, that their value depends on their diploma, their school, their years of experience, their “acquired rights”, but this is not true. How to strengthen your negotiating position Your negotiating position depends on your desire to reach an agreement. The stronger your desire, the more concessions you […]
Many people think that they’re worth what they are, that their value depends on their diploma, their school, their years of experience, their “acquired rights”, but this is not true.
How to strengthen your negotiating position
Your negotiating position depends on your desire to reach an agreement. The stronger your desire, the more concessions you are willing to make to reach a deal. Conversely, the stronger your partner’s desire, the more concessions he’ll be willing to make, and the weaker he’ll become.
This is why, prior to any negotiation, you should try to reduce your inner and apparent desire to reach an agreement, while trying to increase the other person’s desire to do so. One of the first principles of negotiation is to always let the other party believe that you have a plan B, and that you don’t really want to reach an agreement. Some great negotiators are always reluctant to accept any proposals from their counterparts.
As a practical example, I remember a consultant who wanted to be hired and wasn’t satisfied with the compensation I was offering him, saying: “What you’re offering me is lower than what others are offering me for a job like this”. I reply kindly, “Well, I’m sorry, if you have such conditions with the others, go and see them, because I can’t give you that much”. It’s a game of double or nothing, but it usually works.
Negotiation is an extension of sales
The purpose of the sale is to increase the other’s desire to exchange, the negotiation determines the terms of the exchange, and the negotiation follows the sale. If we were to take two balloons, one inside the other, the larger the negotiation balloon, the smaller the negotiation balloon.
If you’re looking to get hired, this means that the sales part consists of highlighting your experience, your qualifications, your qualities and above all the benefit you can bring to your employer in order to create a desire for them to hire you. The salary must seem low in relation to the contribution, it’s all a matter of perception. The negotiation part will be to determine wages, benefits and working conditions.
If you’re a good negotiator, you’ll try to show that you’re expensive, that you’re not needed, that there are other people like you on the market, so that you can negotiate from a more favorable position.
If he’s a skilled “win-lose” negotiator, you’ll even walk out of his office satisfied, thinking you couldn’t get any better, which is probably not the case. The ideal of a good “win-lose” negotiator is to win the negotiation while leaving the other party with the impression that it is he who has won, so that he is satisfied, happy and motivated in his duties.
Have you ever heard the “technical impossibility” argument, like “I’m sorry, but we have a salary grid you have to fit into”, without being told that others have been hired outside this grid?
To avoid being fooled by this type of negotiation, you need to complement your selling skills with negotiation techniques that will enable you to detect and counter manipulative techniques.
The principles of negotiation
First of all, try to lower the other negotiator’s expectations from the outset by suggesting that you have little room for manoeuvre.
If you show your joy, he’ll think he’s given you too much, assess your weakness and ask for more in return.
The basic principle is to always ask for something in return for any concession you make. Start from a high negotiating position, and if you always ask for something in return you should come out well.
Opening negotiations for a job depends on your position of strength. If you think you’re strong enough to refuse an offer outright, you can ask him to make his first offer. If it’s higher than your expectations, you accept it; if it’s lower, you’re strong enough to refuse it outright.
If you’re weak, it’s in your interest to establish yourself immediately with a high starting point in the negotiation.
Some negotiation techniques
It’s always preferable to engage in win-win negotiation, but there are many win-lose techniques that you should be aware of in order to detect and use them against those who abuse them dishonestly.
- Bluffing and issuing false information: be informed and confront him with his contradictions.
- The red herring technique, which involves drawing the opposing party’s attention to a minor aspect that he will concede in return for a major concession.
- The cube technique: like a garage bill made up of lots of small amounts which, when put together, add up to a large sum.
- The salami technique works over time, and consists of obtaining small concessions each time, as the Hungarian politician said that to obtain a sausage you shouldn’t try to wrest it from your interlocutor, but take slice after slice, until you get it all.
- Offer to withdraw: go back on a concession you’ve already made if the other party asks for a new one.
- The silence technique : they say that in a negotiation, the first one to speak has lost. Speaking a second too soon to react to an offer can cost you $10,000!
The limits of negotiation
If your objective is more important than the terms of the exchange, it’s sometimes a good idea to put your pride aside and let the other person believe they’ve won in order to achieve a goal that’s more important to you.
Sometimes, too, relationships are simply more important than the exchange itself, especially if you’re going to be working together and rubbing shoulders every day for years afterwards.
You also have to avoid doing it with your family, as our aunt used to tell us: “You don’t do business with your family”.
There are always two rules you should follow:
- A bad agreement is better than a good trial. That’s the first lesson I learned in law school.
- A good agreement is one that benefits both parties, and this is the key to its longevity. That was the lesson of my first boss, who had twelve companies.
And if you’re not sure whether to take a technical course in your field or a negotiation course to boost your salary, you should probably opt for the latter!