Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 9.57.07 PMWant to be an expert negotiator?


Want to position yourself in the best way possible financially as well as in the quality of your job?


A good place to start working on is your self-confidence.


Powerful negotiation requires self-confidence.


Confidence is a backbone of negotiation, and showing confidence will often be the deciding factor when your boss is considering if you really deserve a raise or if your prospective employer really thinks you are the best candidate for the new position.


Here are two ideas to help you gain confidence in negotiation.


1. You must have a strong Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement


In negotiator slang, this is abbreviated BATNA.


Having a strong BATNA means that if you can’t reach an agreement with the other party you still have great options around you. You have the Best Alternative.


Lets say you’re applying for a job and you hope to earn $80,000 per year at this position.


Sitting in the interview, the company says that they would very much like to hire you, but, they will only want to pay you $60,000.


You have a weak BATNA if this is the only job you have applied for and you only have enough money for one month’s worth of rent. You’re best alternative if you can’t negotiate a deal is to go live in a cardboard box.


You have a strong BATNA if you have three other companies offering you positions who are willing to pay the $80,000 you’ve asked for. You’re best alternative to coming to an agreement with this potential employer is to simply work at another company earning a great salary.


It’s obvious how having a strong BATNA relates to having confidence in negotiations. Having a strong BATNA will give you natural confidence when in negotiations. It’s much easier to ask for a fair price (or flatly say no to a poor one) when you have other options on the table. If you have no better options, then you’ll either need to have some great negotiation skills or you may need to accept the low offer because it is your only real choice.


2. You must analyze your own worth


If I was an employer and I offered you $15 per hour, would I be offering you fair compensation for your physical, mental, and emotional efforts?


Is $15 per hour much to high? Would you accept an offer for $10 per hour?


Would you demand $20 per hour? Could you demand $20 per hour with a straight face?


Knowing what you’re worth is challenging. I’m afraid that most people have very little idea of what their skills and abilities are worth. What’s worse is that these skills and abilities have taken them their entire lives to acquire.


There is only one real way to be confident you are receiving what you are worth.


Ask for it.


Ask for $20 per hour and see who (if anyone) says yes.


Note: One employer telling you no doesn’t mean much. (This is not a lottery this is the job market)


But every employer you speak to telling you ‘no!’ might. If you ask every employer you interview with for $20 per hour and they all offer you $15, then you can be fairly sure that you’re (currently, and only for those certain positions) worth $15 per hour.


There are consultants who are paid hundreds of dollars for hours of their time. They know they are worth this much simply because they are paid this much. If they created less value for their customers than the hundreds they were making…. they wouldn’t have customers for very long.


Ask for what you think you’re worth, and then take the response of your employers as feedback on your real value to the market.


The key is to ask. Get this feedback and then be confident in your worth. This trial and error process is what makes you sure of what value you provide.


The Summary


  1. Confidence is key in order to become a strong negotiator.


  1. One way to gain confidence in Negotiations is to have a strong BATNA


  1. Another way to have confidence in your worth is to ask for what you think is fair and take the responses you get as feedback.