Setting Ambitious Goals For Your Next Negotiation

Yo, I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want.
So tell me what you want, what you really, really want.

And you better make sure you're being suitably ambitious...

figuring out what your opening ask is in a negotiation.png

In the world of negotiation, there’s a fair bit of jargon. I’m just as guilty as the rest of the negotiation pros when it comes to slipping into our own secret language when talking about techniques and processes - so today we’re going to break down one of the terms that’s vital for you as a negotiator - MDO.

Many divine oranges. Most delicious opportunity. Multiple Dancing Orangutangs.

Most Desirable Outcome.

The MDO, most desirable outcome, is one of the very first things you need to establish in a negotiation strategy.

It’s the dream outcome. The shoot for the moon goal. The “perfect” package of elements. But for all of that, it still needs to be credible.

A good way to double check that you’re being ambitious, but credible when you’re setting your MDO is to ask yourself

“If the other person valued my work or my skills as much as I do, would this make sense to them?”

In a salary negotiation
If your managing director viewed your education, experience and accomplishments in the same light you see them - would the $5,000 raise you’re asking for make sense?

As a freelancer
If your client viewed your portfolio, past-client ROI and sublimely streamlined process in the same light as you see them - would the $12,000 project fee you’re asking for make sense?

As a startup
If your investor viewed your Intellectual Property, beta launch results and strength of the founding team in the same light as you see them - would that $2M of Series A you’re after make sense?

We all know that in a perfect world, other people WOULD see things as we do, and those investments and fees would be a no-brainer. But things aren’t quite that perfect - so that’s when good ol’ negotiation comes into play.

mdo most desired outcome setting goals in a negotiation.png

Now, your homework for the week is to come up with your MDO - most desirable outcome - for a situation you’re dealing with right now.

Maybe that’s angling for a promotion, renewing a client contract, or negotiating a vendor agreement on behalf of your team.

Map out what that perfect outcome would look like for you, and then let me know in the comments that you’ve got your MDO ready to go.