Overlooked Secrets of Negotiation

by yiye

Negotiation is one of the tough areas that younger professionals/freelancers tend to avoid. I have summarised some essential guidelines so that you don’t have to learn them the hard way.

  • As Roger Dawson taught us, the key is not to be perceived as a “nice” person from the other side, but a respectful Professional. Assuming you know your stuff and your product/service does kick arse, when you enter the meeting room you need to set the tone right, you need an attitude of “are you ready for me?”. If the other side can smell any degree of fear and desperation then you have already lost your power and will be very hard to get a fair deal.


  • You need to define your bottom line, what is negotiable and non-negotiable, otherwise there is no point for any discussion.


  • Never offer any specific figure first. Instead politely ask the other side to provide an initial number so that you can lead the negotiation towards your goal.


  • Don’t limit yourself to only negotiate around money, other intangibles such as time, resource, frequency are important too.


  • Research shows that in most cases of successful dealings, the seller spends most of the time listening instead of talking. If you are the seller, you should shift away the focus of talking about how great you are, but keep prompting relevant questions to the buyer. Find out their issues and challenges, be results oriented, really think about how best to solve their problems instead of blindly hard selling your “amazing skills”. It’s not about you anymore, it’s about how best you can serve (but find a balance here, don’t be desperate). No matter which forms of product you have, buying and selling is an exchange engaged between people. Price is actually not a primary decision as you might think. If people feel that they are heard and understood by you, they will usually like you and you will be in a better position to sell at a well deserved price. 


  • When it comes to asking for a payrise from your employer, does the following sound familiar? You go in to your manager’s office during a salary review and say: “I have been around for years/months, I understand the company and my tasks pretty well, can I have a rise?” Then you get challenged back:”you know that our department is under a tight budget this year, give me a more valid reason why you should get a rise. I think doing well in your job is a standard requirement”. Have you got anything else to say at this point? The answer is probably not other than repeating your previous points. Many people attend a review meeting, but with a mindset of trying their luck with a payrise.  It’s a bit too late at this point, you need to do your prep work way beforehand. Ramit Sethi made a comprehensive video about how to tackle it, check it out if you are interested.


  • It is very easy to take this for granted but negotiation is one of the fastest ways to save you more (or earn more depending on which side you are on).  You probably have read a lot material/advice about this topic, however, unless you take action, consuming information alone will get you nowhere. So take every opportunity to practise, it doesn’t have to be serious to start off, try on some haggling in Camden Market or the electrical shops in Tottenham Court Rd if you wish, then move on to bigger projects, it can be fun and playful.

Want to learn how to have a healthy relationship with money & negotiate a raise that you deserve, check out HOW TO MANIFEST MONEY IN 14 DAYS.

lightworker money manifestation


Next post: