How to Win a Negotiation

By April 6, 2017 January 6th, 2024 Self Management Tips

Last Updated on January 6, 2024 by Dave Schoenbeck

As a living, breathing humans, we negotiate things constantly. From convincing the kids to go to bed at 8 pm to talk your spouse into washing the dishes, plenty of small negotiations happen in every household daily.

However, you must likely negotiate more significant issues as a small business owner. You’ll want to be fully prepared if you are heading into a necessary negotiation. The 4 tips below will teach you how to win a negotiation.

Two men shake hands depicting how to win a negotiation

How to Win a Negotiation – Step 1: Start with a smart offer.

First and foremost, to win a negotiation, it’s important to go prepared with numbers in your head. These should include the minimum you will take or the maximum you are willing to pay for a particular item or service. That said, these numbers should never be presented to your counterpart immediately.

Instead, shoot for more than you wish to receive or less than you want to pay. Also, it would be best if you always tried to be the first to make an offer.

Offering a range instead of a hard-and-fast number is helpful in many instances. This will make you appear to be a more reasonable person. For example, try offering $2,000 for an item or service instead of $1,500–$2,000. On the other hand, if you’re selling, you could ask for $2,000–$2,500 instead of $2,000.

How to Win a Negotiation – Step 2: Give yourself time to think.

You must be able to slow down a negotiation to whatever pace you need for making well-thought-out decisions. Slow-paced conversations are also best for constructing persuasive sentences – crucial for winning a negotiation.

If a conversation is moving too quickly, try slowing it down by repeating the last few words of your counterpart’s sentences or their questions before answering them. This will give you a few extra seconds to gather your thoughts.

Another good trick for bringing negotiations to a comfortable pace is to take to the Internet. I think it’s a good idea to talk over email, which gives you plenty of time to research options and construct strong arguments. Also, you will be able to have a written record of the conversation, which may prove invaluable down the line.

How to Win a Negotiation – Step 3: Make use of emotions.

Emotions play a massive role in our decision-making processes. There are a great many ways to use emotions to win a negotiation:

● Make personal small talk. This helps people feel comfortable around you. It also shows them that you are a person, not a company, and should be treated as such.

● Reveal unfortunate circumstances. If you are the less powerful person in a negotiation, it might help to play into your counterpart’s emotions by revealing hardships such as crippling student loans.

● Use facial expressions. Showing that you are happy by smiling – or being dissatisfied with a proposition by frowning – will help your counterpart see that you are fully invested in the negotiation.

How to Win a Negotiation – Step 4: Focus less on winning.

While winning a negotiation does feel good, it’s possible to have an even better outcome. This occurs when a solution that benefits both parties can be reached.

One key to finding that ideal win-win solution is to truly listen. Ask them to explain further instead of shooting down every argument your counterpart offers. This can help you see where they are coming from and help you reach an agreement that makes sense for both parties.

By using the tips above and going into a negotiation prepared, you are much more likely to come out ahead.

To learn more about how to win a negotiation, schedule a complimentary one-hour coaching session with me… Coach Dave. Please fill out the contact form to get started.

Dave Schoenbeck
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