Negotiation Strategies

Negotiation strategies are an important part of bargaining skills. Hard bargaining negotiation skills begin with an actionable response, preferably well-planned, but more importantly solidly executed. Negotiating skills are the trick to dealing with situations as they arise. Lawyers are knowledgeable about negotiating, both by law and by practice. A bargained for exchange is the formative rule element for negotiating contract. Attorneys also practice negotiation as mediators in representation of clients. Expertise at the bargaining table is always in high demand.

Throughout human history, bargaining has been part of everyday life. People once bartered as a technique for securing a lower price at the marketplace. If a negotiator has a reasonable position from which to begin negotiations, they are coming to the bargaining table prepared with a strategy that has a higher probability of resulting in a positive outcome. Today, a hard skill in the business world, the power of negotiation is an excellent method of turning a job into a career. Negotiation creates the conditions for salary increase, promotion, and resources. Forge new inroads by negotiating until you are on top.

Share information

Knowing when to show your cards is a serious advantage, that can have instantaneous rewards during a negotiation. Timing is everything. Trust upfront is the challenge. Sharing information is a smart approach at the right time. If the terms of reciprocity are established effectively, the social norm of “matching” conduct is the condition that will enable a negotiator to greater ends. Fostering an environment of trust, then, is easier if we find a way to offer it. If People think they will be treated in kind if they consent to a request, improves the probability of a win-win agreement.

Rank order your priorities

Sequential rank ordering of priorities allows a negotiator to achieve better results by leaving issues on the table. Transparency is critical for negotiators on both sides to feel confident that the mediation about to take place is focused on a targeted agenda; avoiding unreasonable expectations. Successful negotiators know their priorities. Failing to reach an agreement can sometimes be merely the result of randomness, and little agreement about alternatives.

A written rank order list of priorities will provide a springboard from which to commence negotiation of your terms to the deal. In the business world, they say that “your walkaway price (or terms) should be your reservation price.” It is the target price that should be held out for. Much like an attorney conducting discovery for a court case, researching ahead of time increases the change that your terms to agreement are well-informed.

Thinking the Pie is Fixed

Assuming there are not better alternatives that could be explored is a common mistake when there is a congruent issue, and both parties want the same thing.

Failing to Pay Attention to Your Opponent

Analysis of an opponent’s biases is critical to framing an issue that will win them over to your side. By listening to an opponent's mind, it will be easier to influence decision. Attitude has much to do with shape the issues. Attempt to redirect an opponent’s perspective toward your point-of-view. In the interim, eliminate roadblocks causing hesitancy, as the opponent reveals risks they are willing to take as concession to sealing the deal. Concessions can be valuable trade-offs. By taking the value-added approach to negotiation, it an opponent is more likely to respond to what they perceive to be a good-faith agreement.

Assuming That Cross-Cultural Negotiations are Just Like "Local" Negotiations

Cross-cultural communication is a highly valuable skillthat promotes the potential of the negotiating parties beyond the immediacy of difference. Breakdown barriers by focusing on win-win solutions attractive to both side.

Paying Too Much Attention to Anchors

A bargaining dynamic coined "anchoring and adjustment," sets the parameters for negotiation. Avoid paying too much attention to stasis, as adjustment will inevitably characterize the change to come as result of forging an agreement.

Caving in Too Quickly

Never agree to the first offer. No matter how beneficial an offer is, there is always an opportunity for attaining full price in the end. Do not cave in too quickly.

Keep a Poker Face

The mark of an expert negotiator is a poker face. Keep your cool is essential to dominating the negotiation peaceably. Limit enthusiasm while soliciting the right price with mundane criticism.

Failing to Pay Attention to Your Opponent

The biggest mistake a negotiator can make is to fail to pay attention to an opponent's mind. Framing an argument that is understandable and acceptable to an opponent requires insight into risk or other factors shaping attitude, orientation, or worldview.

You Can Negotiate Anything

The art of negotiation is a technique that is vital for achieving strategy. Apply negotiation to almost any scenario where there is a stake, and you will find that almost anything is fair game.

Ask to Speak with a Manager or Owner

Those who ask to speak with the owner, generally get better service. The truth is that negotiating in the business environment requires courage, and of course the time to do so. Learning to request a discount early on in your career, is akin to asking one from the store manager later. In sum, customary practice makes perfect. Do not hesitate to hone your bargaining skills in an everyday setting so that you will be prepared for the next step, the boardroom or the courtroom.

Don’t Make the First Offer and Don’t Negotiate with Yourself

Never make the first offer, if it is spot on, it will, unfortunately, be the one that is refused. Expect a volley, and sustain confidence throughout the negotiation. Flexibility and soliciting a lower price than you expect to pay, or vice versa given the alternate position at the bargaining table, will enable you to arrive at the intended target.


Deals are often more attractive when bundled. When reaching an impasse in a negotiation, offering an opponent a bundled or packaged deal means a few extra perks. Benefits absorbed in sunk price offerings are especially cost-efficient to offer as extras to sweeten the deal. The concept of multiple quantities for a lower than average pricegenerally triggers more interest in a transaction.


Negotiators trading in Ye Olde Markets of Yore bartered to attain the highest economic efficiency in a deal. Limit concessions during the bartering process. Fluid exchange rather than a strong demand “anchor” will allow you to “adjust” to unexpected opportunities to benefit from a non-monetary trade that is more valuable than currency itself.

Commitment tactics

Opponents will sometimes employ commitment tactics. Find out if terms and conditions of commitmentare existing, real, and on target. Break through the façade. Make an offer they cannot refuse if they are not.

Take-it-or-leave-it offers

Rule of thumb, offers are never nonnegotiable. Delimit the negotiation to the content of the offer. A take-it-or-leave-it may waiver in favor of your counteroffer instead.

Always wait for a counteroffer before lowering your expectations or reducing demand. To do so is like bidding against yourself.

Trying to make you flinch

Threshold decisions are typically when an opponent has reached a breaking point. Avoid falling for this tactic if an opponent is applying undue pressure.

Insecurities breed contempt, but they also reinforce premature decision. Do not allow yourself to feel vulnerable. Stand your ground, and let go of the small stuff when an opponent wants to leave you flustered.

Bluffing, puffing, and lying.

Exaggerations and misrepresentation of facts can throw an opponent off guard. Remain polite yet skeptical if an opponent seems to be lying.

Threats and warnings

Acknowledging threats used as tactics will enable you to persist against them.

Belittling your alternatives

Know your best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA), and stand firm.

Good cop, bad cop

A common dynamic to draw an opponent into taking sides, only to find out they have been had, “good cop, bad cop” is an old trick that is easily ignored once acknowledged.

Use Silence and Time as a Tactic

An effective technique for any negotiations, silence is a time delay that allows negotiators to pause or suspend negotiations to review other options. This is an excellent way of arriving at the best deal.

Be Willing to Walk Away

When the stakes are too high, and the risks even more severe, it is time to walk away from a negotiation. Remember, a seemingly impossible impasse may be just that. A significant gap between what the seller wants, and the buyer can afford, is a stalemate. Multiple issues met with no common ground, may be too differing to resolve. Walk away if an opponent is rigid, inflexible, or unwilling to compromise.

Keep It Light

Never allow negotiations to be tense. Injecting light humor and occasion smiling during an otherwise serious negotiation can help to break the ice. Do not go overboard. Part of conveying negotiating strength is knowing when to relax and turn on the charm.

Use Written Communication If Possible

A record of the negotiations with the terms and conditions make sure an offer is legible and clear. It will also be easier to negotiate over email or online chat later with a written record of prior meetings.


If practice makes perfect, the only way to enhance your skill as expert negotiator is to negotiate often.

Ask and You Will Receive

Sharing information about your negotiation interests or alternative offers, encourage the other party to explore the same as part of the discussion.

Negotiation Skills for Dealing with Difficult Negotiators

Never reciprocate negative concessions, emotions, information or, of course, threats. Unreasonable demands and few valuable concessions may be indicative of a difficult negotiator who is looking for a win-lose outcome. Negotiators that rely on an integrative negotiation style will form a win-win strategy so that each side gets benefits. Avoid take-it-or-leave-it and commitment tactics which exhibit the win-lose approach of distributive negotiators.

Business Negotiation Strategies: How to Negotiate Better Business Deals

Renegotiation is considered because most negotiators have a stake in fairness. Professionals will renegotiate a discussion if they feel that good faith will create the right scenario for near future or long-term benefits. Presenting a concrete case for renegotiation backed by value (or power) is the best pitch for renegotiation. Be prepared for disputes, and avoid quick fixes by leaving the floor open for creative problem solving. Listen to counterparts, and respond with flexibility.

Strong negotiators interested in renegotiation are willing to consider unconventional deal-structuring arrangements. Find ways to bridge the gap between what the offeror wants, and the offeree is willing to afford. Here we have the essence of contract: a bargained for exchange between parties (offeror, offeree) who mutually assent to performance on contract. Explore contingencies to contract to assist in overcoming differences, and to add-value to an agreement. Modifications to a negotiated contract can be made later once written, but his often requires further negotiation and mutual assent to changes. To not do so, would be fraud.

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