Master the Art of Negotiation
5 Min(s) Read
Kartik Puri
Become a good Negotiator!

When we look at the different skills essential to succeed in a business, we often come across maintaining good customer relations or maybe taking crucial decisions at the right time. 

Well, these might be important, but the critical skill of negotiation is often ignored, and this is where prominent business leaders are successful


The Importance of Negotiation

Successful negotiations can make or break a business deal. A negotiation does not always have to be a win-lose situation, as most of us perceive. 

These days, every business negotiation is aimed at a win-win situation for both parties. I mean, obviously, why would anyone come out of a meeting on the losing side!

In contrast, on a daily basis, it is very important to learn how to negotiate. Take your parents as an example, how frequently do we see them negotiate for different products or services? It is all about confidence and body language. They enter a negotiation without any fear!

Now that you have some idea about the significance of negotiation, let’s break it down into 3 parts, and understand how to master this skill, especially at an early age!

Before a Negotiation

  • Before you even plan a meeting with someone that would require negotiation, try to build a solid relationship with the other party. It goes a long way when both parties respect each other, and their relevant experience.
  • Scenario analysis - It basically means developing different scenarios for the negotiation. The whole point is to be ready with whatever the outcome may be.
  • Identify any weakness in the other party. It means you need to have prior information about what the other party really needs. Is it a do-or-die negotiation for them? If so, you need to plan accordingly on how you can take advantage of that.
  • Unpopular exercise - Make a list of how your proposal can benefit the other party. The idea is to use these points to find a common ground during the negotiation


The Negotiation

  • It is judgment day. You are all set to head out for the meeting. Make sure to dress up exceptionally well, as it all comes down to your body language and confidence during the meeting.
  • Keep your goals and objectives very clear to the other party. This allows both parties to understand where the other person stands.
  • Don’t get carried away. Emotions during a negotiation can prevent a person from thinking straight and being flexible.


Negotiating on the phone

In case you are on a phone call and trying to negotiate, keep in mind 2 basic things. 

Since body language has no role here, it all comes down to the confidence in your voice. 

  • Keep note of all the important points that you want to put forth. 
  • Listen carefully before speaking.
  • Set maximum and minimum standards, this way you know what you have to play with, and you know the limits.


Negotiating through email

This scenario is a different animal altogether! Negotiations through email are far more complex and hard to crack compared to the other 2 versions. Hence some of the useful tips are as follows

  • Draft a formal email before actually sending it. This means, take help from some of your friends or colleagues, as they can advise you on how the email “sounds” like. Is it too destructive or is it well-balanced?
  • Every sentence needs to be planned in an email, as the other party can pinpoint a certain sentence and this can be counter-productive.
  • Always consider what kind of a relationship you have with the other party. Keep that in mind and accordingly draft the email.


After the Negotiation

Regardless of the negotiation result, it is always better to review what happened during the meeting. 

This means that you should try to see if the other party gave away any weaknesses that you can conquer for next time, or with another proposal.

Finally, the bottom line is to never part ways with your opposing party as enemies. It is always recommended to stay on good terms because you never know when you have to cross paths again in the future!


Other Resources for negotiation 

Oof, so much information, but it all went over my head. Do not worry, I have got you covered with some videos that provide negotiation tips.


The Michael Scott Method of Negotiation - The Office 

Well since we are talking about negotiation, I could not really miss out on this scene from The Office. 

I agree it might be a little overboard to some extent, but it really covers all the above points we spoke about, like pre-negotiation preparedness, body language, discussions, etc. 

I recommend watching from the 45 seconds mark, this is where Michael Scott really puts up a solid deal. 


Analysis of Negotiation Scenes From Movie “Jobs (2013)” by Abdullah Fikri 

An analysis video from the 2013 movie “Jobs”. It is quite interesting, would recommend giving it a watch!


The Harvard Principles of Negotiation 

The title says it all, these principles of negotiation are vital for everyone, and this 8 minutes video talks about the key points in a simple way!