Do you absolutely relish negotiation situations?

Honestly, most of us don’t – because they are, in a word, UNCOMFORTABLE.

But whether you’re introverted, insecure or just plain confrontation-averse, effective negotiation skills are still critical to your career success. So if you’re not the “tough negotiator” you’d like to be, use these tactics from Kinsa to improve your technique – and get what you want:

Do your homework first. Always enter any negotiation armed with solid information. Make sure you know: what the employer has historically paid others in the position; what competitors pay for similar positions; how geography and the current employment market influence salary ranges.

Create clear parameters and a back-up plan. List your goals for the negotiation as well as the possible outcomes. Make sure you have a clear idea in your mind of:

  • what you’d love to see as an offer;
  • what you’d be satisfied with;
  • the minimum you’d be willing to accept.

By establishing concrete parameters, you will know when you’ve reached a win-win in your negotiations – or when it’s time to walk away.

Once you’ve created your goals, build a case for achieving the best possible results, supporting your position with data as well as anecdotes. Finally, create a back-up plan for handling objections, in case the conversation does not go as you planned. Anticipate that the employer may need time to mull over your proposal, so plan to maintain a calm demeanor that leaves the door open for a future meeting.

Expect success. Not surprisingly, visualizing a positive outcome will help bring it to fruition. So enter with a positive mindset, assuming that you can get what you want – and knowing that unless you ask, you won’t receive. If you find yourself becoming nervous, boost your confidence by reminding yourself that negotiating doesn’t make you money-hungry. It makes you a confident, proactive professional who wants to be compensated fairly.

Strike first. In negotiations, the value of any offer is highly influenced by the “anchor” – i.e., the first relevant number that enters the negotiation. While the employer will likely have a reasonable understanding of appropriate salary ranges, stating your desire first sets the bar where you want it: near the high end of that range. If the employer sets the anchor, you will find yourself in the more difficult position of justifying a higher number.

Be willing to concede – for good reason. If the employer asks you to compromise for a valid reason, try to get something else in return. If more money isn’t a possibility, have a list prepared of trade-offs you would be willing to accept (e.g., paid time-off or benefits).

Pay attention to body language. The correct body language conveys confidence and control – key traits for effective negotiations. Sit upright and lean slightly in with your elbows on the table, to take up as much room as possible. Make appropriate eye contact, smiling and nodding when suitable. Avoid grimacing, shaking your head, folding your arms across your chest, or other gestures that signal frustration.

If you’re currently employed, use your newly honed skills to negotiate a raise at your next performance review, and then put the additional income to good use with these tips. And if you’re looking for your next executive food & beverage career opportunity, connect with Kinsa today.

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