Last blog we asked if you were afraid to negotiate. Hopefully we convinced you that life would be easier as an attorney if you added negotiation to your skills.
So this week, let me give you a few ways of looking at negotiation that might be helpful.
- Always negotiate from strength. That means you have to do your homework so you have identified what benefit the other party has for negotiating with you. This doesn’t mean that you walk in and lay all your cards on the table.
- Evaluate worse loss you can have by not settling. This frequently gives you some way of shaping expectations with the person whom you are negotiating for as well as setting a boundary for your worse case.
- Evaluate best deal you can make. Here is getting everything you want. Make it reasonable. Don’t set a million dollar threshold when you only have $1,500 in damages.
- Identify the type of negotiator(s) who might be on the other side (if you can). Are you expecting a great deal of aggression? passive hostility? or something else?
- Decide what might be your best strategy with the types of negotiator(s) you will be dealing with.
- Thoroughly brief your client (or person who you are negotiating for) prior to the actual negotiation session. Make sure the expectations are realistic. Explain what their “job” is in the negotiation.
- If possible, have a conversation with the person (people) on the other side prior to the actual negotiation. You don’t need to discuss the actual negotiation but you can find out a lot by touching base about who will attend, anticipated time to spend and such things. This will give a feeling about what kind of people you will be dealing with.
- Be sure to build up your confidence meter before the actual negotiation. You want to convey quiet confidence in your view, but not with threats or bullying. You want to settle but not give away the farm and that can be conveyed with how you phrase your demands and receive the offers.
SO HERE’S SOME REALLY GOOD TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED. WE DON’T USUALLY GET EVERYTHING WE WANT IN NEGOTIATION, BUT WE USUALLY GET MORE THAN WE WOULD HAVE, HAD WE NOT NEGOTIATED. AND IT’S A WHOLE LOT LESS STRESS!