Business Skills

Negotiation Skills: 21 Useful Negotiation Tips

Negotiation skills

Five things to do while preparing:

1. Know them, know yourself: What do they need? What do you want?

2. Determine your bottom line goal: The at least one thing you want to get done.

3. The Devil’s advocate (What if things go wrong?)

4. Choose a bright pace to negotiate.

5. Go in with a positive and enthusiastic mind.


During the negotiation


- Mind your tone: Sound calm, low and assured. Sound honest.


- Establish a relationship before the negotiation begins: Don’t just straightaway start with your sales talk.


- Create and stick to an agenda: Have a blueprint of things in advance - What can happen; what will you do and like - be prepared and focused.


- Listen carefully. Not only with your ears, but also with your heart. Say to the other party-'Why do you think.....?' Try to put the party’s own statement into a question for him.


Active Listening/Skinner’s way: Agree with what the other party says and let him listen to what he has just said.


- Always and always, ask: One never lost anything by asking.


- Replying to tricky questions: Ask them, 'Why do you ask?'


- Ask controllable Direct Questions: E.g. Who can solve this problem? Isn’t it a fact? Where? Who? When? What?


- Do not ask uncontrollable Direct Questions: E.g. How and Why; is it; do you think?


- Know when an impasse is reached: 'So, Mr. Connor....' (Use of Surname)


- Dealing with bland withdrawals: Use charm and disarm your opponent.


- Anticipate assumptions: Yours and theirs


- Does the opponent deserve the status he seeks? Ask qualifying questions to deflate them - 'There are other players with the same offering...'


- Do not use these words & phrases: 'Of course; naturally; frankly; honestly; to be honest; to tell the truth...'


- Say these words often: '.....will make you richer and happier.'


- Keep your eyes fastened on to your opponent


- Show you are interested in the other party. Use body language - nod in agreement, saying ‘hmmm...'


- Seek first to understand, then to be understood: If there is a stalemate, try to find the underlying cause. Ask yourself first- why is the other party stalling? Why is he not buying? Why he is not talking properly with me? Why is he not interested? Why is the other party so evasive?


- Forbearance: Take time outs if you have to. Have patience. Get some time and space to think.


- The best way to turn 'NO' to 'YES' is to find a middle ground: Where both parties’ interests are served. Better still, come prepared with

a) a one page deal covering this middle ground with a win-win deal for both of you

b) BATNA - Best alternative to a negotiated agreement.


- Most professionals like the feeling of a 'job well done': Remember, as much as you would like to make a deal, the other party wants more or less the same, or otherwise you all would not be wasting your time talking.


Thank you for reading.
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