One of the big challenges to doing a good job of negotiating is that often you don’t feel in control of the situation — you believe that the other side has all of the power. This of course is not true, because if it was then they would not be preparing to negotiate with you. They would just tell you what to do and you would do it. See? Now doesn’t that make you feel better?
So here’s a secret: power is not real. It only exists in your mind and so it is what you think it is. If you think that you are powerful, then you are. If you don’t think that you are powerful, then you won’t be. Sales people have known for a long time that negotiation is a process of information discovery. During this discovery process you learn what your sources of power for this particular negotiation are.
A long time ago, a researcher named Dr. Chester L. Karrass discovered that power is simply a state of mind. Those who think that they are powerless will negotiate weakly even if in reality they do have power. Those who think that they have power will negotiate from strength even if they really don’t have any power.
The take away here is to get yourself in the right state of mind BEFORE you start to negotiate. Once you start the negotiations make sure that you keep your ears open so that you can discover your real sources of power. Then go out and make it happen!