Prepare for the meeting – Outline the points you want to discuss, point by point. Doing this will make you a stronger and more confident negotiator.
Consider timing – Choose a negotiation time when everyone is calm and there’s plenty of time to discuss the issues. If emotions run high or there’s not enough time to satisfactorily talk through each point, negotiations are less likely to be successful or friendly.
Understand your desires – Understand what it is that you really want and need to get out of the negotiations. It’s impossible to effectively negotiate when you are unclear about what it is you are trying to get.
Know their needs – You also want to know the other person’s position and what they need to get out of the negotiation. Having a clear understanding of this can help you in many ways, including coming off as thoughtful and sympathetic to their side.
Offer benefits – Come up with a few solid benefits for them when they accept your proposal. Having these in mind will demonstrate that you’ve done your homework and that you both have common goals, even if some of the ways you want to go about meeting those goals are different.
Decide on your BATNA’s – Your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement or BATNA puts you in a powerful spot both figuratively and literally. When you go into a negotiation knowing what you will and won’t accept, and what alternatives you have if an agreement can’t be reached, you won’t feel like you have to accept whatever they offer because it’s your only option.
Focus on a few points – Once you know what you want out of the negotiation, you need to prioritize your desires so you can focus on one or two main points of negotiation. Going in with a long list of demands can lead to frustration and a breakdown in the negotiation process.
Use active listening – This type of listening does a couple of different things for the process. It ensures you understand the other person’s ideas and motivations, as well as demonstrating that you are paying attention to what they are saying.
Get it in writing – Even if the negotiation is with a friend or family member, put everything in writing. Create a contract and get it notarized if necessary. This will save a lot of trouble later if the person reneges on the agreement. It may sound harsh, but it’s necessary so that you do not get taken advantage of.