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3 Steps that Boost Your Bottom Line

Negotiation Skills to Get What You Want

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There is an art to negotiation, whether you want a promotion, a raise, or a deal on a new car. And while the Rolling Stones may sing that "you can’t always get what you want," with the right steps, you can increase the odds of things going your way. Simply break down the process into three steps: Prepare, position and propose. In this article, we'll take a look at how these three simple steps can help you negotiate a promotion, a better deal on a car, and a lower interest rate on your credit card.

Get a Promotion

Prepare If you’re happy where you work but would like to move up the corporate ladder some day, prepare for the future by learning your employer’s policies. Do they encourage inside applicants or would your manager be upset by the prospect of you moving within the company?

Once you know your employer’s policy, it’s time to gather proof of your achievements. This is how you prepare your case. Start by listing all your accomplishments at work over the past year, making sure to detail the results you’ve achieved, such as the amount of money you’ve saved your department or the value of new contracts you’ve signed. The goal is to show that you’re worthy of the promotion.

Position Next, position yourself in the most favorable light by highlighting the achievements that would be the most valuable to your boss. Communicate these achievements using the type of language and style that your boss uses—by mirroring his or her communication style, you are showing that you are in the same league as your "higher-ups" and worthy of the new position.

Propose Finally, prepare a formal proposal and present it to your boss in a meeting that you set up yourself. Book at least one hour of time to discuss the new role and how you would be a good fit. Don’t expect your boss to take your application seriously if you only casually mention your desire for the promotion—have your facts, rationale and reasons down on paper before the meeting and don’t expect to make the application off the cuff. The more prepared you are, the more seriously your application will be regarded.

Consider sending a brief email to your boss before the meeting that highlights your key accomplishments. Then, at the meeting, thank your boss for taking the time to get together. Share with them why you think you deserve the promotion, referring to your achievements in the conversation. Finally, explain how this promotion will enable you to be even more valuable to the company.
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About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

Member Comments

  • Promotions - not all of us work in Corporate America. I work in a non-profit organization that is dependent upon government grants and funding. Everyone works at the same rate when doing the same job. I work side-by-side with those that hold degrees and they are paid the same as myself with college dipolma. That's how it works. Car dealerships, definitely do the research, however, many dealerships have stepped away from the negotiation game. I would suggest if someone is really looking for a good deal, look at pre-owned and stay away from brand new. As for lower interest rate when your credit is in the toilet, no creditor will talk to you or lower your interest. That's why I chose to engage a credit counsellor who brought my creditors down to 0% interest and set up a payment plan. (Canada) It was totally worth the expense. - 3/23/2010 1:33:16 AM
  • Re: Cars

    Really know exactly what you want. For example, I wanted a stick shift vehicle with 15 inch wheels and power NOTHING (in order to save on repairs and to handle the local conditions).

    Also know what you DON'T want or don't really care about (things like stereos and fancy wheels cost 2x what it would take to have them added later, and flashy colors get dirty fast) and are EXPENSIVE to match if you need touch ups.

    Do the homework and see for yourself. It makes a good bargaining chip when you say "I can have a decent stereo installed later for $400 if they want to bill you $700 for a factory installed one."

    Do know the market.

    Do know when the model year changes.

    DO keep your keys in your control. One of the ways to keep you there is to get control of your keys to keep you waiting. That way you can vote with your feet. One of the tactics used on me was to sneer at my offer -- but I had my keys, so I said that wasn't appropriate and left.

    They called me back a few days later apologetically and for $150 over my bid price (covering licensing etc) I got the vehicle I still drive today. (I keep my cars quite a while and make sure they are cared for mechanically.) That was 11 years ago. - 12/27/2008 5:53:55 PM
  • Many larger organizations include career counselling as part of the annual review. If yours does, take advantage of this to enlist your current manager in helping you get the kind of experience/exposu
    re that shows you are ready for something more. Also: research shows that men and women differ on the average when asking for promotion. Women tend to wait until they are entirely ready for the next-level job - so that they walk in knowing how to do everything from day one. Men tend to ask for the promotion when they are ready to learn to do the job - so that they walk in expecting OJT. Either approach works - but you'll move up faster if your new positions are "stretch positions". - 7/31/2008 11:06:17 AM
  • Great article. - 7/18/2008 1:08:24 AM

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