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The subtle art of negotiation


Chronicles of Experience


Negotiation is vital to ultimate success.  One day you may find yourself looking into the fresh face of a new, naïve and excited employee.  The next you may be the one looking into the stern and hardened eyes of a weathered executive.  You may either be a buyer, trying to strike a bargain or a seller going for that commission.  Either way, you need to be versed in the subtle art of negotiation.

Negotiating a price for a person’s worth in a company can be very difficult, especially if it is your worth you need to fight for.  One may feel greedy, harsh or even downright cruel when going about these talks.  Should you threaten?  How far can you push to get that extra buck?  Should you practise playing poker for a week to work on your bluff?  Let us attempt to negotiate with the subtle art of negotiation by starting at the very basic principles.


Be ready to walk away:

You should know to what lengths you are willing to go to get that handshake.  How low/high will you go?  What do you want and what would you not accept?  If you do not have the option to say NO, you are no longer engaged in a negotiation.  You are begging.  Set your limits and be clear with yourself and your opponent that you will walk if your requirements are not met.


Make the first bid!

Don’t just sit there.  Make your voice heard and go for a bid that you would like to start negotiating from.  This is either the highest or lowest you could reasonably expect.  Bear in mind that if the first bid is high, the final bid is likely to be higher than if the first bid was low and vice versa.


Now, stay quiet…

‘That’s way too high/low!’ Your opponent exclaims and while you watch quietly they start to defend their statement.  If you listen to them during this defensive explanation you gain the upper hand in the negotiation.  You learn vital information about how they are making this decision.  Knowledge is power!


When you finally, calmly make a counter-offer remember that you are in a negotiation, not just a bidding war.  Repeat what they offered and then explain why your counter-offer makes more sense.  You may be asking for more benefits or a lower monthly fee for a product, but you need to give good reasons.  Why is your offer better and should be considered?  If you cannot answer this question yourself, make a different offer.


Negotiation is a complex matter.  It is more than just fetching a good price.  It is a battle of wills, of minds and in some cases this battle becomes bloody.  Comment below if you want some more detailed tips on how to survive your next negotiation.

1 Comment

  1. Declan says:

    Really awesome read, another good post as always! Could we get some more detailed tips please?

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