Business Growth & Strategy

Six Successful Strategies for Negotiation

shaking hands after using negotiation strategies

When doing business we don’t have a choice as to whether or not we negotiate.  The only choice we have is how well we sharpen and utilize negotiation tactics.  We all go through some sort of negotiation each day.  We promote products, services, thoughts: supervisors use negotiating techniques and strategies to motivate employees, set budgets and timelines. Employees negotiate for promotions and raises, parents negotiate with their children to clean up and spouses negotiate each time they decide how to manage their time or finances.

What makes a good negotiation?

It is important to realize that good negotiating skill-building requires compromise. Both you and the other party will have a desired outcome in mind and the ultimate result will likely fall somewhere in between those two objectives. Strive to create a conversation that respectful and courteous to find a resolution that can become a win-win for both.

Here are six important negotiation strategies that may be used in business or life in general, but pertain especially to the negotiating process:

1. The negotiating process is continual, not an individual event

Good negotiating outcomes are a result of good relationships and relationships must be developed over time.  Because of that, good negotiators are constantly looking for opportunities to enhance the relationship and strengthen their position.  In some cases, the result of the negotiation is determined even before the individuals meet for discussion.

2. Think positive

Many negotiators underestimate themselves because they don’t perceive the power they have inside of themselves accurately.  In most negotiating situations, you have more power than you think.  You must believe that the other party needs what you bring to the table as much as you want the negotiation to be a success.  Also, be sure that that positivity is visible during the negotiation.  Be aware of the tone of your voice and non-verbal body language while interacting with the other party.

3. Prepare

Information is crucial for strategic negotiation.  Research the history, past problems or any sensitive points of the other party.  The more knowledge you have about the situation of the other party, the better position you’ll be in to negotiate.  The most important part of preparation is Practice!  The study of negotiation is like golf or karate.  You have to practice to execute well.

4. Think about the best & worst outcome before the negotiations begin

Don’t be upset if things don’t go your way.  In these instances, it’s a good time to reevaluate all positions and return to the table. In most cases, as long as you know the highest and lowest expectations of each party a middle ground can usually be reached in the overlapping areas.

5. Be articulate & build value

This is a key negotiation tactic that separates the good negotiators from the masters.  When you have a strong belief in what you’re negotiating for, you will shine.  Become a master at presenting your thoughts and ideas so that others see the value.

A tip on how to do that well:

  • Be direct when presenting a situation.  Be clear about what is expected.  Discuss ways to apply how it can happen.
  • Don’t simply talk about what needs to happen.  Discuss the consequences – how your solution will be beneficial to the other party.

6.  Give & Take

When a person gives something up or concedes on part of a negotiation, always make sure to get something in return as a bargaining strategy.  Otherwise, you’re conditioning the other party to ask for more while reducing your position and value.  Maintaining a balance will establish that both parties are equal.

More Negotiation Tactics

Need more tips for implementing strategic negotiations? Learn from these frequently asked questions.

What is the first rule of negotiation?

It is important to understand the position and interests of the other side before beginning any negotiation. Ask questions and gather information that can guide the negotiation. Practice what you would like to say and rely on the facts you have collected to guide the conversation.

How do you negotiate professionally?

Approach the negotiation with a positive and curious frame of mind. That can be hard since negotiations can sometime be viewed as hostile interactions. Leaders who begin to negotiate by understanding creates a more productive conversation.

How do you start a negotiation?

A negotiation can’t begin without initiating a discussion. Break the stress of getting started by asking the other parties, “tell me…” This demonstrates an authentic interest in hearing their perspective and creates a foundation of trust.

What makes a good negotiator?

Good negotiators seek ways to improve relationships, communicate the value they can offer, and improve their position at the same time. They are skilled planners, listeners, and persuaders.

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About the Author: Bob Gibson

Featured nationally on T.V., Bob Gibson is a leading expert on Negotiation Skills Training for Business Executives and CEO’s & is recognized in the media for his expertise.  For more information about our Negotiation Training & Consu…

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  1. Danny Margulies

    January 5, 2012 at 3:17 am

    Hi Bob, great comments. I especially agree about the practice, great analogy with golf/karate. Are there any specific training exercises you recommend?

  2. sean odirile

    November 5, 2012 at 5:31 am

    well said……:)

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