12 Master Negotiation Tips

1.  The rule of ‘you, then me’. Or I’ll do this if you do that.  Or conditional requests.  Whatever you call it, don’t give something away without getting something back.

2.  The rule of two feet on the ground. Psychologists have proven that we humans are much more likely to make a buying decision with two feet on the ground.  Be wary of power postures etc while  decision is apparently being made.

3.  Death by a thousand cuts. This technique is popularised by countries such as China, who have been known to wear down the other party by including trivial points mixed in with important points, over lots of toing and froing, loads of revisions.   See more here:  http://www.chinalawblog.com/2012/10/how-to-handle-chinese-negotiating-tactics-part-two.html

4.  Target the position, not the person. An emotional resilience helps.  Keep your cool.

5.  It’s not just about the money. It’s about how you make people feel.  People like to feel comfortable, and secure, and proud, and brave, and all of those emotions.  Play to them.

6.  See it from their point of view. If it were a game of tennis, you aren’t playing singles against them.  It’s more helpful to assume a position where  you are playing doubles with them, against their competitors.  This mindset changes your approach and language.  It works.

7.  Don’t hurry. We know that you are under pressure to perform, but hurrying through a negotiation can leave money on the table. Deep breath, recognise the pressure that they other party is under, and take it easy.

8.  Be willing to walk away. Even if every fibre of your being is wanting to desperately do the deal, you have to believe that there is another better deal around the corner.

9.  Be like a detective.  Find out what you can, and use that to your advantage.

10.  Understand the context. Why is your proposition more appealing than anyone else’s?  That’s what you need to play on.

11.  The rule of pain and gain. Add muscle to your negotiation by outlining both the gain of choosing your solution, and the pain of not choosing it.  Either are strong, but together they make a winning combination.

12.  Don’t do it alone. Always have someone else to defer to, even if that ‘person’ is you.  Otherwise you can feel that you are backed into a corner.


Let us know how you get on…


If you want to know about how to become a Master of Negotiation, check out these blogs too:

Negotiation Skills – 5 Ways to Get What You Want

Can Women Negotiate Better Than Men?

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