Negotiation Process

It’s time to negotiate! Here are a few golden rules to successful negotiations:

1) Always try to negotiate for at least 15 minutes. Any less than that and it is unlikely that either party has had enough time to fairly consider the other side. Generally, the size or seriousness of the negotiation determines the amount of time needed to negotiate it. Setting a time limit is a good idea. Approximately 90% of negotiations get settled in the last 10% of the discussion.

2) Always offer to let the other party speak first. This is especially important if you are the one making a request for something such as a raise. The other party may have overestimated what you are going to ask for and may actually offer more than what you were going to request.

3) Always respect and listen to what your opponent has to say. This is important even if he or she does not extend the same courtesy to you. Do your best to remain calm and pleasant even if the other party is displaying frustration or anger. Remember some people will do anything to intimidate you.

4) Acknowledge what the other party says. Everyone likes to know that what they say is important. If the other party opens first, use it to your advantage, by paraphrasing what you have heard. Repeat their important ideas before you introduce your own stronger ones.

5) Pay attention to your own and your counterpartner’s body language. Review the chart below to learn how to interpret body language during the negotiations. Make sure that you aren’t conveying any negative body language.

Language to use to show understanding/agreement on a point:

  • I agree with you on that point.
  • That’s a fair suggestion.
  • So what you’re saying is that you…
  • In other words, you feel that…
  • You have a strong point there.
  • I think we can both agree that…
  • I don’t see any problem with/harm in that.
  • Language to use for objection on a point or offer:
  • I understand where you’re coming from; however,…
  • I’m prepared to compromise, but…
  • The way I look at it…
  • The way I see things…
  • If you look at it from my point of view…
  • I’m afraid I had something different in mind.
  • That’s not exactly how I look at it.
  • From my perspective…
  • I’d have to disagree with you there.
  • I’m afraid that doesn’t work for me.
  • Is that your best offer?

Body language possible meaning

Avoiding eye contact Lying
Not interested
Not telling the whole truth
Serious eye contact Trying to intimidate
Showing anger
Touching the face/fidgeting Nervousness
Lack of confidence
Submission
Nodding Agreeing
Willing to compromise
Shaking the head / turning away Frustrated
In disbelief
Disagreeing with a point
Arms folded Not interested
Cold

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