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The subtle art of negotiation Part 2


Chronicles of Experience


As requested, the following will be a more detailed analysis of how to negotiate.  These techniques can be applied to a sales negotiation, salary negotiation or any other situation where you are sitting across the table from someone hoping to get the best deal.  Part 1 of The subtle art of negotiation deals with the broad strokes and here I shall delve into finer techniques you can use to make your next negotiation more successful.



This is the most important part of advanced negotiation.  Knowledge is power.  Scratch that, the right knowledge is power.  Find out anything and everything you can before taking your seat.  What are their needs?  What pressures do they face?  What is the most valuable aspect you bring to the table from their perspective?  What do their other options look like?  These questions will help you plan your strategy.  Focus on their wants, their headaches, pressures and perspective.  You can use all of this to your advantage to turn the negotiation in your favour.


Pass the test:

If you have done your homework, you should know exactly how competitive your offer has to be to beat out all your opponent’s other offers.  Use the knowledge you have gained to your advantage.  Put emphasis on what sets you apart from the other, but do this in broad, subtle terms.  Do not sit there bad-mouthing the competition.  No one likes a gossip, much less one with a selfish agenda.  Be the best solution to their problems, not the lesser evil of many bad options.


Don’t let them cheat:

‘What was your pay at your previous job?’  ‘How much does something like this usually go for?’  These are questions to look out for.  Your opponent has not done their homework and now wants you to give them the knowledge they need to beat you.  Now, this is shaky ground.  You must be sure to not seem dishonesty or sly, but at the same time, you must protect the information.  You may want to briefly explain that the results of all previous transactions should not be disclosed, because of the issue of privacy for your previous job or client.  Quickly shift the discussion onto what a unique opportunity this is.  You can add so much value, you see, that it is entirely incomparable to any previous events.

negotiation clown

The class clown:

A negotiation is a silent battle and your opponent will do anything to throw you off of your game.  They might make jokes, even at your expense.  They might yell, throw things or glare rudely while you sip the complimentary coffee that has never before tasted more of poison in your whole life.  Guilt, shame, anger and distraction can be used to turn the tides.  Stay calm.  Although these are not the most effective techniques or the most wholesome, they are still used often.  You must keep in mind that it’s all a game of chess and emotion is simply a pawn when you have the rest of the board to play with.


In a negotiation one false move can mean checkmate.  Use these tips to ensure you are getting the most out of every deal.


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