Keep These Negotiation Tactics Top of Mind

As a leader, you need to be fluent in negotiation—even if you’re not currently sitting in the C-suite. Whether you’re negotiating the terms of a project, your next salary, or a corporate acquisition, here are some key principles to keep in mind.

  • Justify your offer. Negotiators who provide explanations for their proposals are more likely to reach agreements than those who don’t. Even if your offer is too low, a compelling, well-reasoned justification demonstrates to your counterpart that you’ve given considerable thought to your offer and that it’s well-informed.
  • Frame your proposal. The context surrounding an offer can influence its perceived value and, ultimately, the negotiation’s outcome. Don’t just say a big number—tell a compelling story.
  • Be prepared to assess “anchors.” A powerful tool in negotiation, anchors are the initial reference point that influences the perceived value of the thing being negotiated. Come prepared to assess whether an anchor price is too high or too low, or to set the right anchor price yourself.
  • Leave emotions at the door. Both overly positive and negative emotions could lead you to make irrational, counterproductive decisions (like overlooking risks, making aggressive demands, or making extreme offers that you can’t back up).
  • Negotiate process, not just price. Focus on setting ground rules for the deal, agreeing on a timeline, and establishing the roles and responsibilities of each party. When the process is negotiated in good faith and agreed upon by both sides, it can help establish a sense of fairness and transparency.

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