How to Negotiate Like a Pro


If you are a business owner, whatever size business you own, you need to be a good negotiator. Succeeding in business is difficult. You need to get every possible advantage for your business. Don’t worry if you don’t like negotiating. Nobody does. That doesn’t have to prevent you from doing it well. Just read on to learn the winning strategies of the negotiating pros.

Communicate Strength and Power Non verbally

A major part of negotiations is nonverbal. People in negotiations often make decisions based on what their gut instinct tell them. If you can subtly communicate to them that you are negotiating from a position of strength and power, they will tend to give you more than they would otherwise. If the other side believes you have no reason to compromise, they probably won’t try to make you compromise.

Appearance has a lot to do with communicating strength. Pay attention to every detail. Dress as well as you can for the circumstances. Your hair (and beard if necessary) should be freshly trimmed. Your clothes should be clean and pressed. Wear power colors.

Use silence to your advantage. When the other side makes an offer, respond with silence for a few moments. Keep eye contact, which makes you appear dissatisfied, and powerful enough to show it.

Part of communicating a position of strength is being the one to start the negotiations. Doing so sends the other side the message that you think that things will work out for you. Also, starting the process will give you more control over the process of negotiations.

You should also always reject the first offer unless you have a very good reason otherwise. The other side is most likely making an offer they know you shouldn’t accept in order to figure out how strong your position is. Show them that it is strong.

Similarly, be ready to walk out the door if you feel the other side is being unreasonable. Making it clear that you will shows them they need you more than you need them.

Do the Research

Successful negotiations depend on you being well informed. Before you even open negotiations, do some research. Make sure you know how much things should cost. Teach yourself what reasonable time frames are. You won’t be able to negotiate well if you don’t know when the other side is being unreasonable or trying to sneak one past you.

Remember: Know your enemy! You also need to research the other side. Learn what they hope to get from the negotiations, which might not what they actually seem to be asking for.

You must also look into any competitors the other side has. If they offer lower prices or better deals on some things, you can use those things to make the other side believe you are considering doing business with their competitors.

Miscellaneous Tips

Sometimes it is a good idea to use misdirection to conceal your real aims. If the other side does not know what you want the most, they might not haggle too much about it, saving their efforts for something else. Try to ask a few questions that are not related to your real objective. Make it seem like you are really after something other than what you really want the most.

Avoid telling lies. It is too likely that you’ll get caught, and that will probably ruin all your efforts. Besides, being strictly honest will give you a good reputation that you can use. Just remember that you should only tell the truth judiciously.

Remember, a negotiation is a competition. However polite and friendly it is, each side is out for their own best advantage. You are not looking for the perfect compromise, you are looking for a way to get the most while giving away as little as possible.

The Takeaway

Negotiating is about being better informed, projecting a strong image, and pushing for your company’s advantage. Follow the tips given here and you can negotiate like a pro.