The 11 Best Negotiation Tactics

Any individual must have keen negotiation skills to achieve success in their career. Whether it means landing the dream job and settling on your desired salary, getting a promotion, acquiring clients, or making sales, the ability to negotiate effectively with the best current resources can make or break a career. Negotiating, in any of these circumstances, is all about communication and not so much about competing. When you understand this and focus on the best negotiation tactics, you have the tools you need to achieve every goal. Consider the benefits of these tactics in your career and business negotiations.

1.Gather Your Data

You must know the deal you should receive to gain leverage when you are negotiating. The last thing you want to do is allow your counterpart to have the upper hand in dictating the deal you will receive. This crucial first step is a common-sense tactic, as you should always arm yourself with the information you can use to your benefit.

2. Don’t Let Logistics Make You Look Weak

If you are completely accommodating from the get-go in terms of how, where, and when your negotiation will occur, you may create a scenario in which you will be the first to give in. When scheduling, for instance, you should provide the other party with an exact day and time that works for you, so that it doesn’t look like you have an open schedule. The other party may not be able to accommodate the time, and you will have to find another date, but being assertive right from the start lets the other party know that you are not a push-over.

3. Select a Time That Will Work to Your Benefit

Whenever possible, you should try to schedule a morning negotiation time. Generally, morning meetings will give you the most flexibility to go back and forth in negotiations and get the most out of your deal. Another positive influence this has on negotiations revolves around whether the counterpart will be negotiating with others on the same issue (such as job applicants) that day. When you are the first negotiator of the day, you set the bar and create a strong first impression. If you cannot schedule the first negotiation of the day, aim to get the last appointment available. As the final contender, your terms will be the freshest in your counterpart’s mind as they make a decision.

4. Get the Home Team Advantage

One of the best negotiation tactics is to schedule negotiations at your own office. While some consider this an aggressive technique to assert your dominance, it provides a biological advantage. Research conducted by scientists from Harvard and Columbia found that utilizing body language that asserts dominance causes the more submissively postured party to raise cortisol and decrease testosterone. For instance, when you are on your turf, you can place the other party in a shorter chair, giving yourself a position of dominance.

5. Have Your Priorities in Order

You certainly know what your key priorities are when you go into negotiations. Be sure that you know your priorities and that you have them in order of importance. You will typically always get a better outcome if you rank order your priorities and are forthcoming about what they are. When both sides put this into practice, it is easier to make trade-offs and come to an agreeable solution for both parties. Compromise becomes organic.

6. Have Good Listening Skills

Negotiating is about coming to an agreement in which both parties get what they want, so although you need to go into the negotiation knowing what you want to say, it is also crucial to go in willing to listen. You must fully gather all the information on what the other side wants before you can broker a deal to get what you want. You don’t want to do all the talking and no listening if you truly want to reach a deal that pleases both parties.

7. Set the Stage

After you have listened to the other party’s initial outline of what they hope to achieve in the negotiations, it works to your advantage in most cases to make the first offer. Some call this first offer tactic as “anchoring.” Once you make your offer, the other party can begin negotiations by working around that, and the one who makes the first offer often gets terms that are more in line with their goals. If you fear making the first offer because you may be asking too much, lay those fears to rest. Often, the party who makes the first offer is not as aggressive as they should be. When the stakes are higher, the other party will automatically focus on the positive attributes of what you have to offer.

8. Frame Your Negotiations Appropriately

When you properly frame your negotiation, you create an easier environment to negotiate on the most important points. Creating this environment involves establishing the most effective perspective of the negotiation. Factors to consider in framing your negotiation include quality, schedule, time, and money.

9. Be Sure Your Concessions Are Reciprocated

Whenever you give in on one of the other party’s requests, be sure that you are getting something in return. When you accept a demand from the other entity without getting something back, you are essentially acknowledging that you wanted too much to start with. For example, if you give a discount on a product, exchange that discount for a more flexible delivery schedule. This kind of thinking is especially important if you miss the opportunity to make the first offer. You may need to counter against the other party’s anchoring effect, so be sure that your counteroffer is not too low.

10. Use Mood to Your Advantage

It is always best to start negotiations off on the right foot with a positive mood, establishing a good rapport. However, don’t be afraid to show signs of disappointment when negotiating the terms of the agreement. This tactic may work to your advantage by triggering an urge for your counterpart to compensate by making greater concessions. Just be sure not to take this too far.

11. Never Take the First Offer

Negotiating is about exchanging demands and concessions that result in both parties feeling that they got as close to their goal as possible. By going back and forth on the matter, each side can inch closer to their initial goal, and it is more likely that neither party will leave the negotiation feeling defeated.

Any time you are going to the table, be sure to employ the best negotiation tactics to get the most out of the deal. Shapiro Negotiations Institute is equipped with the most cutting-edge negotiation tactics to help any individual or business grow and find success through their negotiation skills.


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