How to negotiate effectively: Masterful tips for freelancers and entrepreneurs

As a freelancer or startup you’ll often find yourself working with bigger or more established organisations, which can sometimes leave you feeling powerless, and if you don’t know how to negotiate effectively, you end up giving too much away.

To help you learn how to negotiate effectively, we caught up with mediation and negotiation expert, William Ury. He is co-author of the world’s best-selling book on negotiating, Getting to Yes: Negotiating An Agreement Without Giving In. William has taught negotiation to corporate executives, diplomats, and labor leaders and helped hundreds of business owners around the world reach mutually profitable agreements.

Show notes: How to negotiate effectively, tips from a master

  • Treat the other people at the table as partners, not adversaries, where the aim is a win-win solution. This could be a colleague, a family member, a prospect or a disgruntled client.
  • Seek understanding. While you may not be able to satisfy a specific request, you may be able to help satisfy the person’s underlying need.
  • The biggest obstacle in a challenging negotiation is often yourself, not the other person. If you can master the ability to influence yourself, you will be in a better position to influence the other person/situation.
  • “No one likes to give in.” Deferring to a third “objective” perspective – imagined or real – can help move a situation beyond an impasse.
  • If you care too much about the outcome, you lose your negotiating power. Define your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) before walking into a negotiation.
  • Do you deeply discount your product? Do you say sorry all the time? Separate the person from the problem; be hard on the problem and soft (respectful/empathetic) on the person.
  • Top Tip: There are no shortcuts; the key to great negotiation is preparation. Rehearse and sound out your ideas with someone else in advance.

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