Only on the basis of sound information, you can estimate the market and its prices reliably for use in your own definition of goals and negotiating strategy.
Gather as much information as possible. If you want to sell something, you have to know exactly what is now on the market, the qualities and quantities and at what prices in the recent past deals were made. If you want to buy something, you specify exactly what you want to buy and then make an analysis of the offer.
Do you want a raise, then gather all information on salaries in comparable positions. And collect all the important details of your workspace over months: which projects you have completed successfully, how much money you have saved the company, how much revenue they have generated, etc.
After you have defined the negotiating subject and analyzed it, gather information about your negotiating partners, the company, the decision-makers.
Use the various sources of information out there on the internet available today. Especially on social networks such as LinkedIN, Facebook or Twitter, you can get vital information about your negotiating partner.
Rate the Information
Some questions that you should ask yourself for the review of the information:
• Is the source reliable?
• Is there a second source to confirm your information?
• How does the information fit into the big picture?
• Does the information contradict other information you have?
• Can you use the information in the negotiation actively (information policy)?
• What does the information mean?
◦ for your negotiating goals
◦ for your negotiating strategy
◦ for your negotiating tactics
◦ for your deal-breaker
◦ for the relationship with the counterpart
Use the Information
Take into account all the information you have and consider whether you can reach your negotiation overall aims and interests on that basis. If so, deduce your specific negotiating goals (optimum to lGO-Away-Limit) in the light of all information you have now.
Use the information in the negotiation with prudence and tactically wise. If you have an informational leap, this gives you an advantage (knowledge is power). But do not let your negotiating partner run into the wall. This will only cause trouble.