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Follow my “INSPIRE” strategy for your next negotiation.

Negotiation is an important skill that can have major impacts on both your personal and professional life. Having capable to negotiate well opens up a lot of different opportunities, whether you are closing a business deal, negotiating a salary, or solving problems. In this article, I will talk about the INSPIRE strategy, an organized approach to negotiate where each letter stands for a key skill or technique that will help you get better at negotiating.


I – Identify Interests

When you negotiate, it’s not enough to just say what you want. You also have to know what the other person wants and needs.

Before you start negotiating, you should take the time to find out what each party actually wants. Listen carefully and ask open-ended questions to find out what their targets, intentions, and problems are. For Example when negotiating shelf space for a new product, as a salesperson, figure out what the retailer wants most—whether it’s higher profitability, strong brand support, or consumer demand.  If the merchant is interested in rapid sale rates, show how your product’s high demand and promotional assistance can result in speedy sales.

N – Navigate Options

Being able to choose other options gives you power and keeps you from negotiating out of fear.

Before you start talking, you should always come up with alternatives, also known as a “BATNA” (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.” This gives you the freedom to back out if the terms are not good. For Example if your initial request for shelf space does not receive the desired response, have alternate proposals ready. These could include upgraded promotional materials, higher discounts for bulk purchases, or longer payment terms. Having these options can help you discover a solution that works for both sides.

S – Set Clear Goals

Setting clear, measurable, and achievable targets will help you stay focused and guide your negotiations.

Make it very clear what you want to get out of the discussion. Set specific targets, like what salary you want, the scope of the job, or the deadline, and think about the very least that is acceptable. For Example Set clear goals before the meeting, such as getting a certain quantity of shelf space or meeting a sales volume target. Aim for prime positioning for your product on an end cap, or negotiate a minimum order quantity that ensures prominent display and frequent replenishment.

P – Persuade with Evidence

Providing well-researched data supports your position and makes the point more convincing.

Use data, testimonials, case studies, and other facts to support up your proposals. This increases credibility and convinces the opponent that your terms are acceptable and justifiable. For example, present facts about your product’s market performance, such as sales growth, consumer demand, and successful case studies from other stores. Try to demonstrate how similar products have increased foot traffic and sales in other locations to persuade the retailer of the possible advantages.

I – Innovate Solutions

Negotiations can be effective when flexibility and creativity are used to develop solutions that benefit both parties.

Be open to exploring many ideas that benefit both parties. Think beyond the box and propose different solutions to suit both parties. For example, if the retailer is concerned about shelf space limitations, suggest rotating promotions or seasonal displays that highlight your product without requiring long-term shelf space. You could also propose co-branded marketing efforts or in-store events to drive product visibility and sales.

R – Respect Relationships

Maintaining a positive relationship is critical to long-term success and future negotiations.

Approach the negotiation with empathy and respect. Instead of taking an aggressive attitude, work on creating trust and finding common ground. Make sure every party is understood and respected. For example, approach the negotiations with sensitivity and expertise. Understand the retailer’s limits and demonstrate a willingness to reach a mutually beneficial solution. Thank them for their relationship and assure them that you are devoted to assisting them with their business goals through collaborative efforts.

E – Evaluate outcomes.

After the negotiations, evaluate the outcomes and consider what went well and what may be improved.

Analyze the negotiation process and outcomes to learn from your experience. This allows you to discover strengths, shortcomings, and places for improvement in future discussions. For example, after closing the deal, consider what worked well and what could be improved. Did the store respond well to your data presentation? Were your proposed solutions effective in finding a compromise? Use these insights to improve your approach to future negotiations, resulting in continuing success and stronger connections.


Learning the art of negotiating is vital for accomplishing your goals and expanding your career. By using the INSPIRE strategy, you may approach negotiations with confidence and strategic understanding, with positive outcomes and stronger connections. Remember that great negotiation is about more than just winning; it is about creating solutions that benefit all parties involved.

Now it’s time to put these techniques into action and negotiate your way to success!

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Strategic Hacks for Professional Growth

In our journey through life and career, it’s easy to fall into the trap of following others’ advice without conducting our own personal analysis and detailed work. Many professionals and scholars have shared their insights with me over the years, and they all emphasized the importance of self-assessment to understand what I know and what I still need to learn. After 24 years of professional experience, I’ve come to realize and practice several key strategies that have helped me achieve my goals. Here are those insights along with realistic examples for each point:

Art of Requesting

  • Hack: A single question can open many doors. Phrases like “Is there any chance to collaborate with you?” or “Can I utilize my skills and experience for your organization?” are powerful tools.
  • Example: Early in my career, I attended a networking event where I met a potential mentor. Instead of asking vague questions, I specifically asked if there was an opportunity to collaborate on a project related to my skills in project management. This question not only opened the door to a new role but also established a long-term professional relationship.
  • Key Takeaway: Before asking for anything, analyze your own skills and understand what value you can offer in return. This preparation ensures that your request is genuine and valuable to the person you are reaching out to.

Be Specific in Your Communication

  • Hack: When sending messages or emails, clearly state your reasons and objectives. Many people fail to provide context, which can lead to confusion and missed opportunities.
  • Example: I once sent a message to a senior professional asking for career advice. I clearly mentioned that I was seeking guidance on transitioning to a leadership role and how I could better prepare myself for such responsibilities. The specificity of my request led to a detailed and helpful response.
  • Key Takeaway: Always mention the reason for your message. It helps the recipient understand the context and respond appropriately if they find it relevant.

Be Open and Honest

  • Hack: The more transparent you are, the more people are willing to invest in you. Authenticity builds trust and encourages others to support you.
  • Example: During a project at work, I openly shared my challenges and sought input from my colleagues. This openness created a collaborative environment where we all worked together to find solutions, ultimately leading to the project’s success.
  • Key Takeaway: Help others and be honest about your intentions and capabilities. This approach builds strong, trusting relationships.

Dedicate Time for Self-Education

  • Hack: Set aside a specific day each week to educate yourself and expand your knowledge.
  • Example: Every Friday, I dedicate time to reading industry-related articles and attending online courses. This habit has kept me updated with the latest trends and technologies in my field.
  • Key Takeaway: Choose a day to focus on learning new skills or gaining new knowledge. It’s a small investment with significant returns.

Avoid Chasing Illusions

  • Hack: Don’t get caught up in the pursuit of social media fame or fleeting trends. Focus on delivering real, meaningful messages to the world.
  • Example: Instead of aiming for viral content, I focused on creating posts that provided genuine value to my readers. Over time, this authenticity built a loyal following and led to several professional opportunities.
  • Key Takeaway: Stay authentic and concentrate on making a real impact. The right people will notice and reach out to you.

Set Income Goals Based on Expenses

  • Hack: Determine your necessary expenses and set your income goals accordingly. This ensures that your financial planning is realistic and achievable.
  • Example: When I planned to build a Masjid, I calculated that I needed BDT 500,000. This clear financial goal helped me focus on finding ways to generate the necessary income.
  • Key Takeaway: Understand your expenses and use them as a guide to set realistic income targets. This approach ensures you live within your means and can fund your goals.

Practice the Art of Giving

  • Hack: Generosity not only benefits others but also enriches your own life and career.
  • Example: I regularly volunteer my time to mentor young professionals. This act of giving has not only helped others but has also expanded my network and opened new opportunities for collaboration.
  • Key Takeaway: Give back to your community and help others. The positive impact will often come back to you in unexpected ways.

Ask Questions Actively

  • Hack: Asking questions at seminars, workshops, or conferences shows engagement and helps you learn more effectively.
  • Example: At a recent industry conference, I asked a speaker about emerging trends in our field. This question led to an insightful discussion and the opportunity to participate in a related research project.
  • Key Takeaway: Be attentive and ask thoughtful questions during Q&A sessions. It demonstrates your interest and can lead to valuable connections.

Never Stop Learning

  • Hack: Always remember that there’s more to learn. Continuous learning is crucial for personal and professional growth.
  • Example: I continuously enroll in new courses and attend webinars to stay updated with the latest developments in my industry. This commitment to learning has kept my skills relevant and competitive.
  • Key Takeaway: Adopt a mindset of lifelong learning. Seek out new knowledge and skills regularly.

Know Yourself First

  • Hack: Understanding your strengths, weaknesses, and interests is the foundation of personal growth and success.
  • Example: Through regular self-assessment, I identified my passion for leadership and developed a plan to build the necessary skills. This self-awareness guided my career choices and helped me achieve my goals.
  • Key Takeaway: Take time to reflect on your abilities and interests. This self-knowledge is essential for making informed decisions and setting meaningful goals.

Integrate Technology and AI for Enhanced Efficiency

  • Hack: Incorporate technology and AI tools to boost productivity and streamline operations.
  • Example: I have successfully leveraged various AI-based project management tools to optimize workflows and significantly reduce project completion times, thereby enhancing team productivity. Tools such as ChatGPT and Gamini have been invaluable for documentation and data collection. For design tasks, I rely on Canva, while aids in developing timelines and mind maps. Transcripter has streamlined the process of converting voice notes to text. These tools not only minimize the time required for project development but also free up more time for implementation, allowing me to focus on more strategic aspects of my work.
  • Key Takeaway: Embracing technology and AI tools can drastically reduce time spent on routine tasks, enabling you to manage tasks more effectively and stay competitive in today’s rapidly evolving job market.



About Author———————————————————————

K M Hasan Ripon is a prominent figure in the field of career development and entrepreneurship in Bangladesh. Hasan Ripon is an example of expertise, serving as the Executive Director of Bangladesh Skill Development Institute (BSDI), the Managing Director of Global Entrepreneurship Network Bangladesh, and the Vice President of Start and Improve Your Business Foundation of Bangladesh.

Hasan Ripon has worked as a consultant for over 300 national and international organizations, accumulating a wide range of experiences. He has inspired over 100,000 youth and graduating students at Bangladesh’s 150+ public and private Universities, colleges and polytechnics, as well as over 20 international universities. As a skills activist and inspiring speaker, he has a social media following of over 3 million people.

Hasan Ripon is well-known in Bangladesh for his strategic abilities, having founded and sustained more than 30 organizations, educational establishments, and youth-led initiatives. With travel to 64 districts in Bangladesh and visits to 40 countries as an appreciated speaker and workshop facilitator, his impact transcends borders.

His professional development programs address topics such as communication, leadership, customer service, team building, negotiation, and problem solving, digital transformation, artificial intelligence and 4IR focused skills.

Hasan Ripon’s diverse experience includes roles as a President at JCI Bangladesh, Short-Term Consultant at the World Bank, Consultant for Industry 4.0 (HTS) at a2i, ICT Division (Government agencies), and Master Trainer & Industry Assessor (CBT&A) at ILO, CEO of, Principal at Daffodil polytechnic, adjunct Associate Professor and Employability Mentor at Daffodil International University and many more.

The Peace Award 2013 by JCI Bangladesh (Dhaka Central), the Education Leadership Award by IIT, Delhi, and the 2017 Inspiration Award as a Change Maker & Motivator have all decorated his path. Hasan Ripon’s story is one of passion, impact, and an uncompromising commitment to shaping Bangladesh’s future of work and skills. Contact: [email protected]