Knowledge is Power

By Gabriela Rodil, Guest Bloger


The good news is that everything is up for negotiation. The bad news is that everything is up for negotiation. Welcome to a world where some people “negotiate” even facts. So how do you deal with it?

Your best friend in any negotiation is knowledge. Knowledge of data, requirements, conditions, factors, etc. It doesn’t matter if the negotiation is with a supplier, employee, partner or spouse.

Here is what you need to know:

Your Position

What is unacceptable for you? What is the bottom price? The most you are willing to pay? What are your must-haves? How your priorities rank?

Here are a few examples:

  • When a job is concerned: do you care about a title? Would you trade title for more money? More vacation or money? Ability to work from home?
  • When selling a business: Are you willing to accept deferred payments (earnouts) in exchange for a higher price for your business?   How much are you willing to have set aside on escrow? How long are you willing to consult for the new owners?

And this is a tiny sample of options in only two examples. The important thing is to know your position and to prioritize what is important to you.

Their Position

What do you know about the other party? Google galore, ask your network, your family, etc—I don’t know what she is saying here? . In the example of selling a company: How are they financing the purchase? Do they have experience in your industry? The more you know about them, the better you will be able to present your requirements in a way that fits their point of view.

How to Go About It


We already talked about knowing your and the other person’s positions. Besides that, make sure you pick a favorable place where the negotiation to take place. Ideally your office or turf. Bringing pastries and coffee helps. In his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert B. Cialdini, PhD presented the concept of reciprocity as a principal of persuasion. When you perform favors for people (in this case an unsolicited favor) they become substantially more likely to “return the favor.”


Convey power by maintaining calm, expressing disappointment when appropriate and by revealing other options you have. That means let them know you don’t depend on them. And if you do “need” them, fake until you make it.

Ideally you don’t ask for a loan when you need money, don’t start dating when you are desperate, and don’t look for a job when you are out of one.

Watch your language! Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Here are a few phrases to avoid:

  • I hate to ask for this, but… (If you hate it, don’t do it.)
  • Would you possibly consider… (Really? Is that how you will ask for something you want?)
  • I know this may be hard to do, but… (Need I say more?)


Follow up with your story of the negotiation. I am not suggesting you make stuff it up; I am saying take charge. Present points, define next steps, make an ask, etc. Compliment their negotiating skills, company, offerings, etc. Aren’t they lucky to be dealing with you? That is how they should feel.

There is a lot more out there about techniques and a ton of science about negotiating. Did I mention I love data? Do your homework and you will see your skills and results improving overtime. I guarantee it.


Gabriela “Gabby” Rodil offers strategic consulting to transform companies bound for growth. She offers insight, coaching and management consulting that transcends the obvious and digs deep to elevate companies beyond what they thought was even possible. Through her speaking and writing, audiences are left changed and empowered by Gabby’s high energy style and relevant stories from business’ front lines. Whether your seat is in the conference room or convention center, Gabby paves the way to rediscover your future by connecting your vision, people and operations in revealing and unconventional ways. And Gabby is, without question, unconventional.

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