You want something. However, you need to convince someone else to give it to you. The good news is that you can learn to negotiate for anything you want. Whether you want to get paid a higher salary, to pay a lower rent, or just to get your partner to give you a night off of the chores, there are negotiation tips that can close the deal.

General Tips to Negotiate for Anything You Want

You’ll need specific tips to get specific things from specific people. After all, each situation is unique. However, there are some general skills that you can apply in almost any negotiation. Learn how to do these things to negotiate for anything you want.

Know What You Want

How can you negotiate if you aren’t absolutely certain what you want? After all, it would be way too easy for someone to talk you out of it. This seems obvious but it’s rarely as clear cut as you think. One terrific exercise that applies to almost any situation is to identify your “want” and “will” and “won’t” lists.

In other words: identify what you absolutely want, the things that you truly desire. On the other hand, what are the things you absolutely refuse and won’t settle for? In the middle, what are the things that you will bend on?

For example, I’m looking for a new apartment. I want some kind of outdoor space. I prefer a yard, but I will settle for just a tiny patio. However, I won’t accept a place that has no outdoors at all.

Another example might be that you want a raise this year. You prefer $5000 but will accept less if you get certain perks. However, you won’t continue working at this job if you get neither perks nor a raise. Know this before you go in to negotiate.

Be Specific and Concise

Go in to the conversation and start things off with a clear expression of exactly what you want. Be specific, not general. In other words, say, “I want a $5000 annual raise.” Or say, “I need to lower the price of this car by $2000.” Be direct, concise, and concrete.

Don’t Apologize, Get Long-Winded, or Otherwise Exhibit a Lack of Confidence

This is hard for some people. Practice. Practice. Then practice some more. If you are trying to negotiate for anything you want, then you have to be confident in expressing that you deserve it.

Have Your List of Reasons You Deserve It

Keep this list in your back pocket and pull it out for the negotiation.

  • “I have brought seven new high-paying clients to the company just this year. Therefore, I have earned the raise.”
  • “The car needs a new engine, and I’m not asking you to replace that. Therefore a $2000 discount is fair.”

Ask The Other Person What They Want

In a good negotiation, both parties end up happy with the results. Therefore, it’s not entirely about what you want. It’s also about finding out how you can give them what they want. Ask directly, “what do you need from me in order for this to happen?” Then shut up and listen carefully.

Your boss might say they need you to agree to work one Saturday per month in order to agree to the raise. The car dealer might say that they need you to consider getting the car in a different color to lower the price. Take the time to assess whether their needs are on your “will” list. If so, then you just might have a deal.

Whenever Possible, Negotiate In Person

It’s a lot easier for someone to say no to you if they don’t have to look you in the face.

And Finally, Be Willing to Walk Away

If you can’t get your needs met, are you willing to walk away? If not then you’re not going into the negotiation in a strong position. Know your minimum needs. Then be willing to walk away from the deal if they aren’t met.

Extra Tips to Negotiate for Specific Things You Desire

Here are some additional tips when negotiating for specific things:

Tips to Negotiate Your Rent Down

You like the place where you live, but you don’t want to keep paying the same amount of rent. Here are some tips to negotiate lower rent:

  • Do your market research. What’s a fair rate for the place? If it’s lower than what you already pay, that’s a good starting point.
  • Emphasize all of the ways that you have been a great tenant.
  • Make a note of the services that the building offers that you don’t use. (It’s pet-friendly, has a gym, offers free parking.)
  • Ask if you can lower the rent by signing a longer lease, paying earlier in the month or paying several months in advance.
  • Offer to do some things around the property in exchange for lower rent. Remember – what will you do vs. what you won’t in order to get what you want.

Tips to Negotiate Your Salary Up

You’re ready for a higher salary. It’s time to negotiate. Here are some tips:

  • Prepare a one-sheet summary highlighting all of the great things you’ve done for the company.
  • Emphasize your education, experience, and qualifications, especially if they have developed since you were first hired.
  • Do some research into the market to find out what your salary value is in other comparable companies.
  • Ask for more than you want, at the top of the range you’d expect to make, and give a specific number rather than a range.
  • Keep it professional. Don’t give personal reasons for why you need more money.

Tips for Other Specific Situations

  • When negotiating with a car dealership, know the Blue Book value of the car. And skip add-ons.
  • If you’re negotiating for a lower interest rate, ask to speak to a person higher-up than the first person you encounter.
  • Note competitor prices and threaten to quit services when negotiating lower fees for services like cable TV and internet.
  • If you’re negotiating in a personal relationship, ask in advance for a time to talk when both of you are calm and prepared.

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