Negotiation Techniques: 15 Tips On How To Sharpen Your Skills

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Negotiating can be difficult. If you are not an experienced negotiator, you probably feel more often than not that you are losing out. And if you have years of experience under your belt, you probably know that there is more to learn and improve – there always is. However, it does not have to be difficult to negotiate, what is required is the right negotiation techniques.

Regardless of what the negotiation is about, it involves a special form of communication that follows certain given patterns. With the right knowledge and negotiation techniques, new confidence will soon appear. For those looking for a negotiation skills course, here are 15 tips to help you become a master of negotiating.

Our tips – how to become a master of negotiating techniques

1.    Persuasive arguments

Don’t overwhelm your counterpart with lots of arguments so that he or she gets tired and stops listening. When you feel you have their attention, give them a clear reason why they should accept your offer. Use your creativity to deliver a really good and credible explanation.

The other party doesn’t want to feel cheated. Therefore, you need to deliver arguments that allow him or her to justify to himself, but also to his or her boss if there is one, that what you offer or want to negotiate is of value.

2.    Do your homework before negotiating

One of the most important parts of an effective negotiation technique is to do your homework. The more knowledge you have gathered before a negotiation, the better chance you have of succeeding in convincing with your argumentation. Psychological studies show that we have an inner need to appear reasonable. This means that your counterpart will most likely lean back on their authority unless you can prove that you know what you’re talking about. With the right knowledge, you steer the negotiation in your favor.

3. A cheerful and genuine reception

It may sound obvious, but that you are nice and treat the other party with a smile is incredibly important. If the person you are dealing with likes you and feels comfortable in your company, you are more likely to win the negotiation. Feel free to be a little personal and ask questions that show that you are interested in him or her.

If you win a negotiation with threats and harsh words, you will most likely have also acquired an enemy. Many positive contacts are significantly better than the enemy.

4. Set goals

It is important to always set at least one goal before a negotiation. It can also be good to have several goals, or maybe reserve goals if you do not achieve your first. Without a goal, you have no idea what course to take in the negotiation. Also, try to find out what your counterpart’s goals are so that you can respond to them.

Do you want to get better at setting goals, perhaps in sales or some other area? Then you can take help from SMART goal setting. You can read more about the SMART model here.

5. Always stick to the truth when negotiating

It is important to never lie in a negotiation. There is a great risk that your counterparty feels that you are lying and you thus lose their trust. Being caught lying is also directly harmful to your business relationship. By reading and preparing, you ensure that everything you say is true.

6. Practice staying calm

It is always beneficial to stay calm and comfortable, regardless of the situation. Take one thing at a time and try to get to the point without stressing the negotiation. A calm approach gives the impression that you are confident and in control of the situation. With the help of sales training and preparation, you stay calm, even in tough situations.

7. Dare to be silent in negotiations

Dare to be silent and give your counterpart space to have their say. And avoid interrupting when you hand over the floor to someone else in the room. It is important that the other party has time to think about what you have said. If the other party feels that he or she does not have time to think through his or her own opinions on the matter, it can lead to him or her closing in completely. If you try to talk over everyone in the room, it can be perceived as if you are hiding something.

8. Do not give up on a no

A professional negotiator never takes no for no. If you get a no from your counterpart, you should instead refocus your focus and find a new angle. Ask a question that opens up new perspectives.

9. But YOU should dare to say no

A negotiation may lead to a stalemate – neither you nor your counterparty is willing to give in. Instead of arguing endlessly, it’s better to ask for time to think and to come back.

It is important that you are mentally prepared to leave a negotiation or to nicely but firmly decline the offer made. A no can even make your counterpart change their mind. Remember that it is often possible to resume the hearing at a later date even though you have declined.

 10. The bloody fight is the wrong way to go

Many believe that a classic negotiation technique is a fierce and bloody struggle that ends with someone giving in. But a heated fight is usually not an effective solution, but rather something that makes both parties deadlock and find it difficult to agree. Instead, try to steer the negotiation toward the main issue.

11. Do not present all requirements at the same time

Another negotiation strategy is to come up with a new demand as soon as you get through what you just asked, instead of presenting all the demands at the same time. This is a strategy that you should use with caution and should be avoided in negotiations with professional negotiators. The idea behind the strategy is that your counterpart will give in point after point because he or she thinks that you are close to an agreement.

12. If the negotiation is lost, you can win something else

If you feel that the negotiation is not leading anywhere, you should consider that there is something else you can gain from it – before you decide to withdraw. Maybe you have a colleague who can open up for a new conversation.

13. See every negotiation as an opportunity for improvement   

Even if you don’t win every negotiation, you’ll always learn new lessons that you can benefit from next. There is always something new to learn! Therefore, evaluate the negotiation, what went well and what went less well? What can you do better next time?

If you look at the negotiation as an opportunity for practice, you will not feel the same performance demands either. Without performance requirements, you want to negotiate more often and you will also perform better because you are more relaxed.

14. Don’t get hung up on bad results

It is important that you do not get hung up on a failed negotiation. If you know you’ve done your best, you can do nothing but go ahead and try again next time. If you see clear weaknesses in your negotiation, you also know exactly what you can do better at the next opportunity. You just have to get up and keep negotiating.

15. Never stop improving your negotiation techniques

Even if you feel satisfied with your negotiation technique, it can always be developed further. If you are at the beginning of your development in negotiation techniques, you probably take with you a lot of improvement opportunities from each negotiation. Maybe you have won one but feel that the other party feels run over and dissatisfied. Or have you faced a tough negotiator who was completely impossible to defeat?

Turn everyone on your team into a pro salesperson

As a salesperson, you need to be good at negotiating, but also in a variety of other areas of sales. Do you feel that your employees could further improve their sales techniques, or do you have new hires who need to learn the basics of sales? Contact us at Salesonomics today to book your sales reps for sales training.

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Simon Blanche