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How to Ask for—and Get—What You Want

October 28, 2016

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Here's how to hone your negotiation skills and get past these common fears.

Know your worth
Each week, write down your accomplishments and quantify them. Have you saved the company a substantial amount of money? Improved client satisfaction through regularly scheduled meetings and emails? Keep the list within easy reach. Read it often to remind yourself of your value—and why your organization should be thankful to have you.

Know why you're negotiating
What do you wish to gain, and why? Before you begin, you must understand three things: one, your bottom line (what you absolutely must achieve); two, your opening position; and three, the least you'll accept. That way, you start out with realistic expectations.

Know your bargaining chips
What are you willing to offer in exchange for what you want? For example, if you'd like flex time, would you be willing to work on a weekend? Think through as many scenarios, objections and tradeoffs as possible in order to have answers even before questions come up.

Do your homework
Want a raise? Ask around and go online to learn what others with similar titles and responsibilities earn. Try to understand what the other person stands to gain from the negotiation so you can fulfill their needs as well as yours. The outcome must always be a win-win.

Ask pertinent questions
Ask open-ended questions: What's your biggest concern? Would you consider...? How do you feel about ...? What issues might affect the outcome of this discussion? What's the most important factor for you in this choice? This allows you to learn more about the other person's concerns.

Don't take rejection personally
If you don't get the raise or other benefit you'd hoped for, ask why. Going forward, work to meet expectations—and try again at a later time. Many negotiations that fail have nothing to do with you or your value to the company.

Use these strategies to negotiate with more confidence and greater success!

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