Lesson 9: Effective Negotiation

What You’ll Learn: A business negotiation requires a slightly different skill set than a personal one. In this lesson, we will look at how to effectively negotiate a contract or agreement so that both sides come out ahead.

Effective Negotiation (continued)


  1. Wants vs. Needs. Think of a negotiation you had in the past. It can be as simple as negotiating a curfew when you were a teenager. What did you want versus what did you actually need? Did you focus on wants instead of needs? If you can, move toward a more recent negotiation. Did you go after what you wanted or what you actually needed? Is there a pattern you can learn from?
  2. Practice negotiating. Ask a trusted friend or family member to do a couple of rounds of negotiation with you. Pick something from real life or have the family member pick the topic so they can set their boundaries ahead of time. Practice honing your skills in negotiation. Remember, this is a dialogue that results in a give and take. You want to appear confident in an actual negotiation and these practice rounds will help you look like a pro.
  3. Establish your worth. A lot of people over the years have affected your self-confidence and, more important, self-worth. You need to take their power away and give it back to yourself. The only opinion that counts all the time is yours. Clients come and go. But you are a constant, and you need to work on that voice in your head to quit buying into negative self-worth.
  4. Learn the language. If your body and non-verbal language skills are weak, bone up on them. Often what is being said is being betrayed by what’s going on with a person’s shifting posture, fidgety feet and hands, darting eyes, etc. If you’re a card player, you know the importance of not showing your hand. Learn to tell when others do. Negotiations are far more effective when they are conducted in person. It’s tough to see if a confident voice and posture from the waist up is being betrayed by fidgety feet.
  5. Counter your objections. Anticipate what the negotiation will look like the night before. What do you think will be the main points that will receive the most attention? What is your counter to these points? What can you do to remove any doubt or reluctance and move the deal to a close?