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What are the Best Negotiation Strategies?

By Jessica Reed
Updated: May 23, 2024

The best negotiation strategies and tactics come from understanding the negotiation process and knowing how other people use it. This allows the person negotiating to watch out for tricks another person might use to convince him that he's wrong. Negotiation is about working a problem out so that both parties are happy, but it's still best to know tricks that others use to get their own way. Certain people are less willing to negotiate than others.

Before the conversation starts, the person should prepare himself. He should make a list of the items he wants to discuss and what he wants done about them. He should know all the facts about not only what he's discussing but about counterarguments other people might make. In business, knowing facts and statistics to back up a certain point goes a long way. He should understand the different viewpoints and why others are arguing against him.

One of the best negotiation strategies is to truly understand the problem and what the competition wants. First, the person decides what he can compromise on and what he can't. Certain points he'll be willing to change or alter, but others he does not want to change. Next he identifies the problem and finds facts or arguments to back up his approach to solving it. Then he learns more about the people who do not agree with him and finds a way to make them happy without giving up on what he wants to see happen.

This strategy works in many areas of life, not just the business world. For example, a young couple may be fighting about who is going to pay the bills. Perhaps the wife is upset because her husband isn't paying as much even though he earns more. She could decide exactly how much she is willing to pay in bills, a certain percentage of her salary for example, and ask her husband to match that with the same percentage from his salary. Here, she uses numbers to support her claim, and also provides a solution that can make both people happy.

When a person is planning to discuss or negotiate with someone, be it a friend or a boss, it's important for him to understand the negotiation strategies the other person may use against him. The other person may try to avoid the discussion or argue so much it becomes difficult to finish the discussion. In this case, he should remain calm and come back to discuss the issue at a better time when the person is more willing to talk.

An opponent in the negotiation may try to bargain in a way that is not fair. For example, a new client may say he can only afford to pay a certain price even though it is lower than what the worker usually receives. To avoid this complication, the worker should simply say that he can only provide a certain quality of work or type of product for that price range. He should then ask the client if he wants to look at products or services with fewer features to match his budget. The client will either take a product that is worth the money he's offering, or offer more money for the product he really wants.

Though negotiation strategies and tactics may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but they are usual regardless of the situation. A person who wants to negotiate better should keep the following tips in mind. The negotiation is not an argument, but rather a debate to find a common solution that both parties can agree on. It's important to know what both sides want so the person can create a solution that fits everyone's needs. When he comes to the discussion prepared with solutions, facts, and examples of exactly why his solution is the best, he's more likely to get what he's asking for.

Language & Humanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By GreenWeaver — On Dec 13, 2010

SauteePan-You know I did something similar when I went shopping for a mattress. After the salesman finished his sales presentation, I told him that the mattress was too much and then I thanked him and walked away.

As I was walking away to show that I could not pay the price, the salesman not only lowered the price significantly, but he offered free delivery too.

You do have to be reasonable though. Some vendors do not allow salespeople to discount their products but the sales person could still negotiate in other ways.

For example, if you are buying a Tempur-Pedic mattress for $4,000, the salespeople are instructed to say that they can not discount the price per Tempur-Pedic.

However, they can offer free delivery, possibly throw in a few Tempur-Pedic pillows anything to provide an additional value than what you already have.

By SauteePan — On Dec 11, 2010

Crispety- That is so true. I remember when I was going to buy my first car, I went to three dealerships and when I narrowed down the price over the phone, the third dealership was best.

When I went to see the car, I was with my mother and although I was only 18 at the time, I did not show any emotion.

I acted like I did not want the car and got a great deal. Your facial expressions and demeanor are like your poker face and should never be revealed to the dealer. This was the best negotiation training I had ever had.

By Crispety — On Dec 09, 2010

Sunny27-I know that negotiation strategies for reasonable people mean that you must have expert knowledge of your market.

For example, if you are shopping for a car it is best to check sites like Edmunds in order to see what the car really costs.

You can also submit a price inquiry online to various dealerships and then narrow down your selections based on the responses.

One you narrowed down the preferred dealer, go into the dealership and use your best negotiation skills to get yourself the best deal.

Negoiation tips like developing market knowledge of the car and remaining stoic throughout the contract negotiation will get you a better price.

Once you express visual interest in the car and the salesman knows that you want the car, the negotiation has turned into the dealers favor because they know that you want the car and they will be less willing to discount the price too far.

By Sunny27 — On Dec 07, 2010

There is often a lot of talk about why men earn more than women and have the same job.

I think the reason has more to do with salary negotiation strategies than anything else.

Men tend to be more assertive and will continue the salary negotiation strategies until they have exhausted all options.

They essentially put up a fight for their salary. However, women are culturally more demure and conservative and do not generally negotiate as much as men.

Some even accept a starting salary without considering that it could be higher. Some women that have a problem with conflict or have difficultly thinking that it is better to be well liked are usually the lowest paid individuals in any industry.

They usually lack negotiation skills.

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