Top 7 secret negotiation tactics of successful business people

Top 7 secret negotiation tactics of successful business people

7) Show Interest

Successful people understand the importance of showing interest as a key negotiation tactic. It’s not enough just to listen during a negotiation. Use of body language can show interest. Brief replies like “I see,” or “yes” shows regard and interest. It also effectively indicates attention. Negotiation does not necessarily require you to be an eloquent speaker. You can easily secure authority by summarizing what the other party said. This puts you in a position of advantage and encourages the other party to continue the conversation and be more willing to accept your offer or point of view.

negotiation tactics

6) Ask Open-Ended Questions

Asking open-ended questions is another key negotiation tactic. Open-ended questions prompt more explanations for better understanding. And reaching a mutual understanding is key to successful negotiations. Negotiation is all about bargaining until a compromise is reached between the parties involved. Open-ended questions promote further conversation, unlike interrogations. Asking open-ended questions puts the other party in a comfortable place to give more details and perhaps share more information that could be helpful in your attempts to get them to accept your offer.  A great example of this is how successful sales people use this strategy.  Asking open-ended questions lets the sales person in on the potential customer’s needs and concerns thereby giving the sales person an opportunity to elaborate on ways their product will meet their customer’s needs or solve their problems.

negotiation tactics

5) Know your stuff

Knowledge is power. The more knowledge you have about your market the better you can negotiate. This is one of the Top 7 Habits Of Self Made Millionaires.  Ensure you are armed with all the knowledge and information you can get in your field of business before approaching the negotiation table. This way you can avoid pitfalls as a result of ignorance. In-depth knowledge of your product or service will give you the confidence needed to excel at the negotiation table.


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4) Deal with the decision maker

It is important to know the level of authority the other party has. A strategic negotiator tries to deal directly with the final decision maker. Avoid dealing with mediators and middlemen. Negotiating with a party who doesn’t have a final say may be fruitless and a complete waste of your precious time. If you find yourself deep in a negotiation with a middleman, it’s never too late to politely ask that the decision maker join the discussion sooner than later. This will save both parties time and energy. The best time to find the decision maker is at the start of the negotiation.

negotiation tactics

3) Stay courteous and professional

Keep up a courteous and professional tone during a business negotiation. Not only does this convey confidence, courtesy and professionalism can go a long way in helping you reach your final negotiation goal. Most successful investors and business people look beyond the business option present; they examine the physical presentation, body language, professionalism and courtesy of the other party. They try to size them up; to decide if they are trustworthy; if they are a party they would like to pursue a long-term business relationship with.  Business is about relationships. Most business deals occur because both parties are comfortable with some aspect of the other party’s professional character.  Therefore, your overall presentation and professional character is key. This is very important for a long-term, lucrative business relationship. Check out the Top 7 Mistakes To Avoid For Young Entrepreneurs for more ideas on professionalism and business success.

negotiation tactics

2) Be ready to walk away…

In negotiation, you must be ready to walk away immediately the deal is not progressing in your favor. Never get emotional about it. Walk away once the terms of the deal are contrary to what you planned for or will cost you more. Approach negotiation like a poker game. In the wise words of Kenny Rogers, “Know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run”.  Knowing what you are willing to give up and sacrifice to get this deal must be clear in your mind well before you approach the negotiation table. This way you are not swayed by offers from the other side that are not aligned with your goals. Be bold and steadfast; hold your ground. And be ready to walk away if the cards are not in your favor.  Sometimes, this mere act will trigger the other side to change their offer in your favor just to get you back at the negotiation table.


1) Consider Alternatives

Don’t become so engrossed with one deal that you ignore competitor offers. Always be open to this.  Negotiating with more than one competitor will give you leverage so you are less likely to feel like you have to accept any one offer just because it’s on the table.  Having multiple offers to pick from will always be to your advantage. Ensure that you put yourself in negotiation situations where you have options and are considering more than just one offer at any point.


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