“I don’t know how to negotiate.” I hear this quite a bit. Many people do not know how to approach a negotiation, especially women. They are stuck with the idea of what they see on television or in movies, which depict one person coming on strong and the other person caving in. That is not negotiating. Does this sound familiar?

I believe in the collaborative approach where the parties prepare for the negotiation by thinking up options. If the other party does not want to try this style, then you can prepare on your own. You need to prepare because what I also see happening is that people do not bring any evidence that support their options.

Let me be blunt- you need proof. In a negotiation I would not believe another side’s idea is good because they told me so. I would believe it if I saw a chart or information on what someone else had done before (that had been successful). Take the time to do some research.

Let me give an example. You want to add a line of products to your office. The product representative contacts you and gives you general information to sign, but you are hesitant even though you really like the products.

1. Read over the cost.
2. What are the ordering procedures?
3. Find other people in the area who carry the products and talk to them. What kind of deal did they make?
4. Armed with this information you can now negotiate.

Without getting more information, you would have made a bad deal. By getting that information you can now support asking for a better deal.

True North provides negotiating coaching services so you can comfortably negotiate your way through any business deal.

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