Q & A : Negotiating

How can I improve my chances?

Plan your strategy in advance and define your objectives. Consider the variables – such as price and payment terms. Decide which ones you’re prepared to compromise on and what you would ask for in return.

How should I open negotiations?

Outline your requirements and try to get the other person to reveal their starting point. Ask questions, so you can begin to understand the other person’s requirements. Always try to avoid trading concessions too early on in the conversation.

You have to stay in control…

Try to stay in control of the negotiation through keeping calm and asking questions that move the discussion forward. Avoid making unnecessary concessions and never concede without asking for something in return. If you grant a small price reduction, ask to be paid in cash, for example.

What tactics should I look out for?

If the other party keeps referring to urgent deadlines or a person they need to confer with, they may be playing games. Don’t be forced into making hurried decisions.

Any other final pieces of advice?

Confirm what has been agreed at the end of the meeting and follow this up in writing.