12 Ways to Become a Better Negotiator

Here are 12 simple tips that will help you master the art of negotiating:

  1. Learn everything you can about the situation, the issues, and the participants.
  2. Understand all the participants’ needs and interests.
  3. Set reasonable goals for what you hope to achieve during the negotiation, and rank them by priority.
  4. Work within a range that includes minimums, targets, and maximums.
  5. Anticipate the other parties’ comments and prepare your responses.
  6. Remain calm, pleasant, and unflappable.
  7. Build trust by clearly stating what your client wants and respecting what the other parties want.
  8. Create an atmosphere of joint problem solving that focuses on the benefits to all parties.
  9. Remain flexible and open to a range of options.
  10. When other people speak, listen attentively and hear them out fully.
  11. Use sympathetic comments, gestures, and facial expressions to smooth over difficult situations.
  12. Always underpromise and overdeliver.

Sources:Making the Deal: Quick Tips for Successful Negotiating by George Hartman (Wiley & Sons, 1992); Power Real Estate Negotiation by William H. Pivar and Richard W. Post (Longman, 1990).

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