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How to win a negotiation

When negotiating there are ways you can get the upper hand and ways you can lose control of the situation. We’ll tell you how to win a negotiation so that you’re better prepared than ever before.
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Business skill

This is one of the most important business skills to acquire because you’re always negotiating. Whether your negotiating an important business deal in a meeting room or just trying to get one of your staff members to do what’s required, you’ll find you’re always negotiating.

First five

Experience will tell you that the start of the negotiating process is key. The first five minutes sets up the way that the process will continue so be prepared. The big key here is “conversational engagement” which you do by copying the emotional state of the person you’re dealing with. This will help you to begin in a likeable way which will mean that the other person doesn’t shut down. When you’ve achieved this, you’ve made sure that the other person listens to you, which is more than half the battle.

Start high

We all know this one but some of us choose to ignore it. In a negotiation you always start higher than your ideal amount. What you’re negotiating over doesn’t matter here, always start higher and then work down. The number you start with will soon become an anchor in the conversation so to achieve a satisfactory outcome, make it higher than you’d expect so that both you and the other party can be satisfied that the negotiations went well.

Be first

Making your argument first is another important key to a successful negotiation. Making the first offer might not feel right but it’s really important as it puts the ball in the other person’s court. You’ll be establishing a number and then asking the other party to make the argument for or against it. This makes you the calm and collected one and keeps you in charge of the discussion.

Final word

These negotiation tips don't work with every culture. For more specialist advice, including how to negotiate with Chinese businesses, click here.

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