Negotiation skills are essential to succeed in life, both personally and professionally.
Whether you’re trying to get a better price for a product, negotiating a salary with a prospective employer, or closing a business deal, knowing how to negotiate effectively can make all the difference.
In this post, I’ll share some key negotiation skills that can help you achieve better outcomes at the bargaining table for any selling situation.
Importance of Negotiation
Negotiating is a skill that enables you to achieve better outcomes, build stronger relationships, resolve conflicts, empower yourself, and enhance your communication.
By mastering your negotiation skills and approaching negotiations with a collaborative mindset, you can negotiate like a pro and succeed in all aspects of your personal and professional life.
Whether you’re negotiating a salary, a business deal, or a conflict resolution, negotiation is an essential tool that can help you get what you want and need.
When to Negotiate
Knowing when to negotiate is just as important as knowing how to negotiate. In general, it’s a good idea to negotiate when you feel that you’re not getting what you want or need.
If you’re negotiating a pay raise, a sale, or something else in your personal life, if you feel that the terms aren’t in your favor, it’s worth considering a negotiation.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that not every situation is negotiable, and there may be times when it’s not worth the effort to negotiate. Before deciding to negotiate, assess the situation and consider whether negotiation is likely to lead to a positive outcome.
By knowing when to negotiate, you can make the most of your negotiation skills and achieve better outcomes in your personal and professional life.
Successful Negotiation Skills
When it comes to negotiating a job offer, salary, or sale, having strong negotiation skills is crucial for success. Knowing how to negotiate can give you the bargaining power you need to get the salary, benefits, or profits you deserve.
But negotiating with a hiring manager, client, customer, or negotiating partner can be intimidating, especially if you’re not sure what your market value is or what negotiation strategies to use.
Here are some successful negotiation skills that can help you negotiate with confidence and get the best possible outcome for your job offer or salary negotiation.
Effective negotiation requires active listening to the other party’s needs, concerns, and objections without interrupting or dismissing them. This can help you understand the other party’s perspective and identify areas of common ground.
Creative Problem Solving
Negotiations require creativity to find solutions that work for both parties. Being open to compromise and finding creative solutions can build trust and foster a sense of collaboration that can lead to better negotiation outcomes.
Negotiations can be emotionally charged, but it’s crucial to keep your emotions in check. This means avoiding being defensive or confrontational and staying focused on the issues at hand.
Being assertive will help you get what you want while maintaining a positive relationship with the other party. Assertiveness means being clear on your goals and what you’re looking to achieve and asking for what you want.
Being flexible is also important if you want to be willing to compromise and find creative solutions that work for both parties.
Negotiations can take time, and having patience is essential to avoid rushing into a deal that’s not in your best interests. Taking the time to negotiate effectively can lead to better outcomes.
Confidence is also crucial for your preparation and negotiation skills can help you feel in control and achieve better negotiation outcomes.
Analytical thinking skills are valuable to analyze information and make informed decisions. When you know how to understand data, recognize patterns, and identify opportunities, you will find success in your negotiations.
Knowing how to persuade others will allow you to influence the person you’re negotiating with and move toward a negotiated agreement. Using logic, presenting facts, and appealing to emotions will help you persuade them effectively and efficiently.
Negotiation Tactics & Techniques
To become a good negotiator, mastering a variety of negotiation strategies and techniques is key. By honing your negotiating skills and using effective tactics, you can achieve better outcomes and become more confident in your ability to negotiate.
Here are some of the most useful negotiation tactics and techniques, from active listening to the art of compromise.
1) How To Negotiate Price Using “The Flinch”
No matter what price the other person offers, flinch as if you just heard something very disappointing. Put a sad look on your face. Roll your eyes upward and back as though you were experiencing great pain.
Say something like, “Wow! That’s an awful lot of money!”
Surprisingly, sometimes just flinching will cause the other person to drop or increase the price immediately. And if the first flinch gets you a lower price when you are buying, or a higher offer if you are selling, be prepared to use the flinch again and again throughout the negotiation.
2) Asking Questions As A Negotiation Skill
Ask, “Is that the best you can do? Can’t you do any better than that?”
When you ask the price and the person tells you the price, you pause, look surprised, or even shocked, and say, “Is that the best you can do?”
And then remain perfectly silent. If there is any flexibility in the price, very often, the other person will drop the price immediately, or raise their offer immediately.
If they lower their price in response to, “Is that the best you can do,” you then say, “Is that the very best you can do?”
Ask, “Couldn’t you do any better than that?”
You can also ask, “What is the best you can do if I make a decision today?”
This adds an element of urgency and triggers the fear of losing the sale in the mind of the vendor.
3) How To Negotiate Price Using Assertion
Whatever price they give you for a particular item, you immediately reply, “I can get this cheaper somewhere else.”
Whenever you tell a person that you can get that item cheaper somewhere else, from one of their competitors, they immediately soften and begin to backpedal on the price. When you use this negotiation tactic to tell people you can get it cheaper somewhere else, they lose their confidence and become much more open to negotiating with you on a better price, rather than lose the sale altogether.
The assertion, “I can get this cheaper elsewhere,” often demolishes price resistance because they think that you will go somewhere else.
Remember to make it easy for a person to give you concessions. Don’t be adversarial or confrontational. Be a nice person. When you ask in a pleasant way, it’s much easier for the person to concede to you than if you are serious or aggressive.
4) Lowballing In Negotiations
When they ask you for $100, you lowball your answer and say, “I’ll give you $50 cash right now.”
Whenever you offer cash immediately, the price resistance of the other party diminishes dramatically. There are reasons why offering an all-cash deal causes people to be more open to doing business with you. The three most obvious ones are reduced inventory costs, no credit card merchant fees, and the feeling of “instant gratification.”
Sometimes, you will offer them $50 for a $100 item, and they will come back with an offer of $60. Very often you will find that even if you lowball at a price that seems ridiculous, they will sell it to you for far less than you ever thought you were ever going to have to pay.
5) Using “The Nibble” Negotiation Tactic
A nibble is an add-on.
You say something like, “Okay, I’ll agree to this price if you will throw in free delivery.”
If they hesitate about adding something else to the deal.
You can say in a pleasant way, “If you won’t include free delivery, then I don’t want the deal at all.”
Make it clear that you are willing to walk away if they are not willing to add something complementary to the deal.
Here is the key to how to negotiate the nibble. Agree on the purchase of the main item. Agree on the price and terms. Make it appear as if it is a done deal. The other person thinks they have sold the item, even a house, a car, or a boat, at a price that they are happy to receive. Then you add on additional requests.
Negotiation Tips To Negotiate Like A Pro
With the right mindset and negotiation tips, you can negotiate like a pro and achieve better outcomes for both you and the other party involved.
Here are some additional tips that can help you navigate the negotiation process with confidence and achieve success. From setting the right tone to knowing when to walk away, these will help you negotiate like a pro and get the best possible outcome for your situation.
Understand the negotiation process
Before you start negotiating, you need to understand the entire process. This includes knowing your walk-away point, or the point at which you’re willing to walk away from the deal if it’s not in your favor.
It’s also crucial to understand the other party’s perspective and what they’re looking to get out of the negotiation. Knowing these things can help you craft a negotiation strategy that takes into account the interests of both parties.
Prepare well before the negotiation
One of the most critical negotiation skills to have is to prepare well in advance. This includes doing your research to understand the market value of the product or service you’re negotiating for.
It’s also important to know your own value and what you bring to the table, whether you’re negotiating for a higher salary or a better deal. Being well-prepared can help you feel more confident and in control during the negotiation.
Know your walk-away point
As mentioned earlier, knowing your walk-away point is crucial in any negotiation. This means being clear on the minimum acceptable outcome you’re willing to accept. Knowing this point can help you avoid accepting a deal that’s not in your best interests.
Ask for what you want
To achieve better negotiation outcomes, it’s important to ask for what you want. This means being clear on your goals and what you’re looking to achieve.
As mentioned, don’t be afraid to be assertive but not too aggressive in your approach. Asking for what you want can help you get a fair deal that meets your needs.
Aim for a win-win outcome
In any negotiation, it’s important to aim for a win-win outcome that benefits both parties. This means being open to compromise and looking for creative solutions that work for everyone.
When you approach negotiations with a collaborative mindset, you’re more likely to achieve a positive outcome that meets everyone’s needs.
Start with a positive tone
The tone you set at the beginning of a negotiation can set the stage for the entire process. Starting with a positive tone, such as by expressing appreciation for the other party’s time or acknowledging their expertise, can help build rapport and foster a more productive negotiation.
Don’t make the first offer
In many negotiations, the person who makes the first offer sets the tone for the rest of the process.
But you shouldn’t make the first offer and instead, ask the other party to make the initial proposal. This will give you more information to work with and help you craft a counteroffer that’s more likely to lead to a favorable outcome.
Use silence to your advantage
Silence can be a powerful negotiation tool. By staying silent after the other party makes an offer, you can signal that you’re considering their proposal and create a sense of discomfort that may lead them to make a better offer. Using silence strategically can give you an edge in negotiations.
Focus on the issues, not the people
Negotiations can become personal, but it’s important to stay focused on the issues at hand. Avoid attacking the other party or making personal comments, as this can derail the negotiation and make it more difficult to reach a positive outcome.
Instead, keep the discussion focused on the issues and work to find solutions that benefit everyone.
Be prepared to walk away
As important as it is to aim for a win-win outcome, sometimes it’s simply not possible. In these cases, it’s important to be prepared to walk away from the negotiation if the outcome isn’t in your favor. Knowing your walk-away point can help you avoid making a deal that’s not in your best interests.
Start Negotiating to Make More Money
Negotiating can help you achieve better outcomes, build stronger relationships, and empower yourself in personal and professional situations.
By mastering negotiation strategies and techniques, staying focused on the issues, and approaching negotiations with a collaborative mindset, you can become a good negotiator and achieve success in all aspects of your life.
Remember, negotiation is a process, and it takes practice to become an expert negotiator.
Once you’ve nailed down your negotiation process and are looking to crush your next sale, use my free 23 Closing Techniques guide to help you. With these techniques, you’ll be able to close deals with ease and achieve the best possible outcomes.
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian’s goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.