Preparing for the Negotiation
As with everything else, preparation is key to a negotiation. There are three things you need to do prior to any negotiation:
• Collect your facts • Know your principles • Know your priorities
Facts: In preparation for any negotiation, it is critical to accumulate as much information as you can, both empirical and empathetical. As for empirical facts, with access to the Internet, there is no reason why you can't be armed with as much em-
pirical data as you want. If you're buying a car, there are hundreds of Web sites that can give you information on price and on the dealer's actual cost. If you're negotiating a lease, you should be able to glean from records public and otherwise what the going rate is for this space and what the landlord might have accepted in the past and under what circumstances. Ifthere was some special deal that was given for some particular reason, you want it. If you're negotiating for a job or a raise, you want to know (to the extent possible) what others in the organization--or others in similar jobs in other organizations-are earning. When buying or selling a house, you can look at the "comps," the comparable prices of houses in a particular neighborhood. In a labor negotiation, you want comparative wage data for the geographic region and for the industry in question. An enormous amount of information is available on wages, for example, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics or the U.S. Department of Commerce. A virtually unlimited supply of information is available to you through the federal government and through the Internet. You should employ all of these sources in advance of your negotiation, so you're armed with the facts and so you can use these facts to make and bolster your case with your counterpart.