Article: How to Negotiate with Someone More Powerful than You

NegotiationFormulating a careful approach to negotiating can pay big dividends for  business owners who are seeking to land new clients or make the best deals with suppliers or others.  Carolyn O’Hara’s recent  post on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network explores some of the ways in which negotiators can increase their chances of success.

Her first piece of advice is to “buck yourself up.”  In other words, don’t sell yourself short just because you’re facing lots of competition.  Take the time to identify the special skills and experience you bring to the deal and assess whether a willingness to lower your demands is due to a valid reason or simply to fear and anxiety.

She also stresses the need to “understand your goals and theirs.”  An in-depth understanding of what you want to achieve will put some clear boundaries around your side of the negotiations.  Similarly, an understanding of the other side’s goals and motivations will help you present your terms as mutually beneficial solutions rather than “win-lose” items.

For more of Ms. O’Hara’s advice and two illustrative  case studies, read the full blog post here.

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