1. Determine exactly what it is you want
Before you enter into any negotiation you need to do a little bit of homework upfront. This includes being very clear and very precise about exactly what it is you want. Then prepare a bottom-line compromise position. Have very clear outcomes defined i.e. I want this outcome, by a certain date at x price. This gives you room to move in your discussions, starting with your ideal position and stop at the line in the sand that you have drawn.
It also pays to know what you can’t accept. Being aware of your limitations ensures that you will not, in the heat of the negotiation, accept a position that will put you at risk.
2. Ensure you are negotiating with the person who has the authority to say ‘yes’
There is nothing worse than going through a negotiation and then find out that the person does not have the authority to sign off on the deal. Simply ask at the outset, “who has authority to sign-off on this deal?” and go directly to that person.
3. Aim for a Win-Win outcome
Negotiations do not have to be adversarial. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make when negotiating. If you go into them with a mindset of win-win, and aim to satisfy each of the parties involved, you are much more likely to be successful and the deal is less likely to come back and haunt you.