There is one common component that can make or break any negotiation–research and preparation.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to make a convincing case for why you deserve a promotion, or whether you’re trying to convince your boss that you need more resources to complete the project that they assigned to your team.
Here are three common circumstances where you’ll probably find yourself negotiating at work, and how to prepare in each situation.
Situation 1: When You Get A Job Offer
In most cases it’s in your best interest to negotiate when you get a job offer.
Many employers admit to lowballing initial offers because they anticipate that the candidate will try to negotiate.
Identify situations where you fixed something that was broken.
Ideally, that story should mirror potential situations you might face in your new role.
When you communicate to the company your value in terms and language that they understand, it becomes easier to justify why you should be offered a higher salary.
Situation 2: When You’re Asking For A Promotion, Or Negotiating Its Terms
It’s true that some companies have their own policies and rules when it comes to promotion–but there is still a tendency for companies to see what they can get away with.
This is why in a lot of instances, it’s on you, the employee, to make the case for why you deserve a title change and raise.
To an extent, the preparation for promotion conversations are similar to negotiating job offers.
But a big piece of that preparation should be building your influence.
You have to be networking with everyone you work with in your team and your department, but also managing up and finding out what people need.
Finally, employees should see the negotiation process as transactional, and relational.
It’s not about presenting your demands and not stopping until the other party concedes.
It’s about making sure that both parties find a solution that meets both their demands.
Situation 3: When You’re Asking Something You Want Or Need At Work
When it comes to negotiating for resources–or even asking your boss for benefits like working remotely or flexible hours, remember to view the negotiation prep like putting together a proposal.
When you’re preparing the proposal, you should present the benefits to the company the same way you’d make a case for the promotion.
How much money will you save? How much more revenue will you bring? How will your productivity increase? How will this improve your company’s reputation in the market?
At the end of the day, negotiation is really about value creation and problem solving.