Career Negotiation , Negotiating in Life , Negotiation Strategies March 26, 2010

Be SMART and get what you want.

The number one way to get what you want out of a business negotiation is to have a clear goal, better yet, have a SMART goal. A SMART goal spells out your mission...

The number one way to get what you want out of a business negotiation is to have a clear goal, better yet, have a SMART goal. A SMART goal spells out your mission. It seems simple but many business people enter discussions and negotiations with a murky idea of what they truly want.

When you don’t define what success would look like, you are very unlikely to achieve success. Or as Fitzhugh Dodson put it: Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.

To avoid becoming a ship sailing aimlessly without a destination, and before you enter any business negotiation, practice setting SMART goals. SMART goals are:
• Specific: Avoid generalizations like "I want to get a better price," and think instead "I want my price to 25% below retail."
• Measurable: How will you know and prove you have reached the goal? What parameters will you measure?
• Attainable: Is this goal within your reach? Is the other party in a position to work with you on this?
• Realistic/Relevant: How does this goal fit into your overall business plan? Can the current business climate support this goal?
• Timely: Do you have a time frame in which to achieve this goal?

Because SMART goals are actionable and defined, they are essential in a business negotiation. SMART goals provide a great roadmap for your discussion.
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