Negotiation is a necessary life skill. Claudia Cogliser, a professor at Tech's Rawls College of Business said you need one thing to do it effectively.
"I don't care what the negotiation is, whether you're negotiating for a raise, your first job, buying a car or where you're going to go for dinner. You have to be prepared," Cogliser said.
She suggests starting by researching salary surveys.
"You want to know what it is for your job title, what it is for your area, so you know what your worth is," Cogliser said.
Prep the paperwork, and prime the mind.
"A rational perspective is better, not so much an emotional one and not so much appealing to higher authority. Determine what are the facts, what are you worth and why is it important that this be done," Cogliser said.
When it comes to negotiating dollar amount, one Columbia Business School study found avoiding round numbers results in a higher final settlement.
For example, instead of asking for $60,000, ask for $62,350.
"This notion of not using round numbers has been seen as effective. It indicates an element of precision," Cogliser said.
However, only to the extent that the offer is seen as legitimate.
"If it's seen as too extreme there's information then that you're not serious about negotiating, you don't know what you're talking about, and you're going to be inflexible. That can be a problem," Cogliser said.
For those nervous negotiaters, you might need to get out of your own way.
"You've got to learn what are the strategies, but you can't have a whole list of moves that are memorized. You just have to know what are the options available to me, and then you have to practice," Cogliser said.
A strategy of careful planning and research, combined with repetition and practice, can help navigate this sometimes intimidating conversation.