There are tons聽of career skills you can learn now that will be useful throughout all your years working, and negotiation is definitely one of them. Whether you鈥檙e negotiating your starting聽salary聽or a raise, or setting up a deal on behalf of your company or client at work, you should be able to advocate for yourself in a variety of settings like the badass that you are. We all know how important it is to be confident and prepared entering聽a negotiation, but beyond that, most advice for getting what you want out of professional discussions is pretty generic. We tapped some seriously smart career experts to get their tips聽on how to get to win-win ASAP.

two businesswomen

1. Never apologize. Sometimes it鈥檚 hard to ask for what you want, especially if you know it鈥檚 not likely to go over well. Here鈥檚 the thing: The more confident you are when making your ask, the higher your chances of ultimately getting what you鈥檙e asking for.聽鈥淚 encourage women to say the words out loud a few times and to focus on not apologizing,鈥 says Catherine Merritt, founder of MUMZY, a crowdfunding site for moms. After all, why should you say 鈥渟orry鈥 for something you want or deserve? She also recommends practicing 鈥渘ot defaulting to 鈥榰m,鈥 鈥榶ou know鈥 or other fillers鈥 in order to show that you鈥檙e聽sure of what you鈥檙e speaking about, regardless of what that is.

2. Make your presence known.聽Don鈥檛 shrink into the background, says executive coach聽Merideth Mehlberg.聽鈥淪it at the table. Don鈥檛 sit at the back of the room. Sidle right up to the table in a meeting, especially one where you feel you may be a bit intimidated or outnumbered,鈥 she suggests.聽Jess Chua, a聽certified career coach, also notes that it鈥檚 important to 鈥渂e aware of your body language and speech delivery. Many messages are conveyed through nonverbal cues like posture and gestures. Record a video of yourself in a mock negotiation session and make notes on areas for improvement. Being prepared will help you be more comfortable and confident in an actual negotiation scenario.鈥

3. Know your limits.聽A clear idea of what you need聽is not only crucial to getting what you want at work聽but also in other parts of your life. 鈥淣egotiation is all about setting boundaries and deciding what you will and will not accept,鈥 says Angela Copeland, Career Coach at Copeland Coaching. 鈥淲e don鈥檛 often think about it, but we are essentially negotiating throughout the day. It鈥檚 important to take time to reflect on what you want and will and won鈥檛 accept into your life.鈥

coworkers negotiating

4. Gauge聽the聽response ahead of time.聽Obvi, you should go into any negotiation situation prepared with all your facts and talking points in order, but Copeland recommends taking your prep one step further if you can. 鈥淒on鈥檛 wait until you鈥檙e giving a big presentation to reveal your ideas for the first time. Talk with a few insiders in advance to get their feedback, and more importantly, their buy in. If you know you have supporters in the room, you鈥檙e more likely to move your agenda forward,鈥 she says. It makes sense that knowing you have some people on your team聽will give you a boost when you鈥檙e making your case.

5. Don鈥檛 immediately go on the offensive. There鈥檚 definitely a time and place for being assertive, but you don鈥檛 have to start out with guns blazing in every negotiation situation. 鈥淏reathe and let there be space in the conversation. Put out your position, and then stop talking. Give the other person(s) time to think, process and respond,鈥 says Mehlberg. Jessica Sweet, career coach at聽Wishing Well Coaching聽adds that聽鈥渦nfortunately, women who advocate too strongly for themselves can be seen in a negative light.鈥 Annoying, but true. 鈥淚f you want to be a master negotiator,鈥 she says, 鈥測ou must take this into account. Research has shown that women who create a 鈥榡oining鈥 relationship at the negotiating table do better than those who create an adversarial one.鈥

6. Use networking to your advantage. 鈥淓ven more than preparation inside the office, you should prepare outside the office,鈥 says Copeland. 鈥淲e鈥檙e often taught that if we work hard, we鈥檒l be rewarded. But while we鈥檙e at work toiling away, our coworkers may be on the golf course or taking long lunches together. The relationships that are built outside of the office can greatly influence our interactions (and success) at work. Even though it may seem like a waste of time, plan for things that will solidify your relationships,鈥 she suggests. It鈥檚 also helpful to understand what motivates your colleagues or other people you鈥檙e trying to reach a deal with.聽鈥淎re they trying to meet a certain budget or certain sales goals? Are they trying to protect their team or grow technology? If you understand what motivates others, you are more likely to put together a pitch that will resonate with them.鈥

How do you negotiate at work? Have聽any tips of your own for us? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)