How to Negotiate: 7 Proven Strategies for Winning More Deals

By: Rafal Reyzer
Updated: Oct 4th, 2023

how to negotiate - featured image

Do you feel like you’re not getting what you deserve in your personal or professional life?

If so, it’s time to learn how to negotiate! Negotiation is a skill that can be learned, and with a little practice, you can start winning more deals than ever before.

The Importance of Being a Good Negotiator

No matter what you do in life, you will negotiate at some point. Whether you’re trying to get a higher salary from your employer or get a better price on a new car, knowing the best negotiating tactics is an incredibly useful skill to have.

The two main types of negotiations:

  • Distributive negotiation – here, the pie is fixed, and both parties are fighting over who gets the bigger slice.
  • Integrative negotiation – both parties work together to find creative solutions that benefit every one involved
  • Integrative negotiation is usually more effective because it leads to a win-win situation. The other often results in a zero-sum game where one party’s gain is the other party’s loss.

When negotiating for something important, keep this in mind: The goal should be to find a solution that works for everyone involved, not just get the best deal for yourself.

Best Strategies to Help You Negotiate Better

1. Mind Your Body Language

Your body language speaks much louder than words ever can. Your non-verbal cues are a more accurate gauge of your true attitude and intention. To seem confident and increase your chances of crushing this deal, try to be aware of your body language. Are you maintaining friendly eye contact? Do you have a firm handshake? Are you constantly fidgeting or twiddling your thumbs? Also, be mindful of your facial expressions! Conversely, learning to read the other person’s body language is also a good thing. Positive signs that they’re interested in or listening carefully to you are nodding and leaning forward. If they’re holding something between the two of you, that could be a negative cue.

confident negotiator

During the negotiation, appear confident but not cocky and welcoming, but not weak.

2. Be Assertive

You don’t want to seem too passive during a negotiation, but you also don’t want to appear too aggressive. The healthy middle ground between the two is being assertive. Assertive communication will help increase your chances of successful negotiation and better outcomes for your business. To be assertive is to be both confident and considerate. If you’re too passive, you’re more inclined to give ground too easily and may ultimately not get what you want. However, aggressive negotiators are more likely to alienate other parties and jeopardize the outcome. Respecting the person and negotiating fairly will help your reputation.

doing the other party a favor

The favor can be as small as giving the other party some tips, information, or referrals. Or it could be just teaching them a thing or two about a trending and helpful app.

3. Do the Other Party a Favor Before Negotiating

If you help someone, they will probably remember you and want to help you in return. Knowing this information, try starting a valuable relationship with the other party before a negotiation. According to studies, people often feel a strong need to reciprocate. So, doing a favor before a meeting is one of the most effective ways to get what you want. It could be just a simple thing, like providing them with helpful tips and information about something they need. Or referring them to a company for their other product or service requirements that differ from what you purvey. Of course, make sure that you’re sincere with this favor. If the other party finds out that you were just pretending to like them, things could end up much worse.

4. Pick the Nicest Day of the Week to Negotiate

If you have the flexibility to choose when to schedule your negotiation, try to make it on the nicest day of the week. It’s probably not something you’d even think about when preparing for a meeting, but the weather can play a significant role in a successful negotiation. According to some studies, the weather can impact a person’s mood. For example, people are more generous and energized on sunny days. Rainy or cloudy days can make people feel more tired and down. By ensuring your meeting is on a beautiful, sunny day, the other party will probably be in a more agreeable mood.

5. Make the First Offer

Most people hate making the first offer for fear of missing out on an opportunity, but this is something that shouldn’t hold you back. Rarely, the other party will make an outrageous offer since they almost always have a reasonable understanding of value. So, don’t be afraid to set the anchor by making the first offer. This is also a good thing because the value of an offer is influenced by the first relevant number that’s thrown out in a negotiation. Some studies have shown that sellers who make the first offer typically end up with a final price that’s higher than what they wanted. This is because the buyer always gives a low-priced first offer, which could set a lower anchor.

making the first offer

The first offer made during the negotiation usually sets the benchmark for the entire meeting.

6. Ask Open-Ended Questions

When speaking to the person you’re negotiating with, ask open-ended questions. This allows you to get more information from the other party and shows that you’re interested in finding a solution that works for both of you. For example, instead of asking how much they’re willing to give you for a service, you could ask them what factors they consider when determining the value of a service. By asking questions, you’re more likely to find a middle ground to satisfy both parties.

listening more than talking

7. Listen More Than You Talk

Listening is a crucial part of a successful negotiation. This allows you to gather information and figure out what the other party wants. It also shows that you’re interested in finding a solution that works for both of you. Often, the best deals are made when both parties can listen to each other and find a middle ground. If you want to be a successful negotiator, it’s important to find out what’s important to the other party. What are their goals? What do they want to achieve? Once you know this, it will be easier to find a solution that works for both parties.

Take These Negotiation Skills to Your Next Meeting…

These are just a few tips on how to negotiate effectively. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to negotiation, these tips should help you get started. Remember, the goal is to find a mutually beneficial solution. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to master the art of negotiation and get the best deals possible. Next up, you may want to explore a guide on how to create a freelance writing contract.

Rafal Reyzer

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time entrepreneur building three small companies, an educator, digital marketer, freelance writer, editor, and content manager with 10+ years of experience. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient digital marketer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for writers, digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Explore my journey here, and don't miss out on my AI Marketing Mastery online course.