How to Become a Better Negotiator

When you make the effort to run a small business there are some skills which you need, no questions asked. One such skill is that of negotiation. The power to bargain is one of the biggest necessities when it comes to working for yourself. As without it you could easily miss out on opportunities or revenue, simply because you were unable to negotiate for it in the right way.

For that reason, having a solid understanding of what you want and how you are going to get it a vital element for any good negotiation strategy – whether you’re a student or a fully fledged dispute resolution solicitor.

Understand Your Goals

What do you actually want to achieve when you step into a negotiation? That’s what you need to decide each and every time you are about to take the negotiating bull by the horns. Otherwise, you may find yourself waffling and nothing better than a flapping fish. No, really.

If you get a handshake at the end of the meeting, what do you want to be at the other end of that offer?

Keep in mind one important fact: you probably won’t get everything that you want at the end of the negotiation. Instead, you need to have some ‘must have’ end results and some ‘nice additions’. Which are exactly as they sound. One you have to have sorted by the end of the negotiation no matter what and the rest would just be the cherry on top. You could end up with everything, somewhere in the middle or slightly lighter than you would have liked. But, the point is that you know your position inside out.

And if all else fails, it never hurts to have a Plan B up your sleeve in case your negotiations aren’t going as well as you had hoped. Think about having some other options as you never know how a negotiation will go before you actually sit down and do the deal.


Any good play is made better by a little bit of preparation, beyond simply shining your shoes and making yourself look the part. It’s better if you actually know the lines to your act as well. It makes you seem knowledgeable and like someone that the other person wants to work with, which makes negotiation that much easier. The more people like you, the easier it is to negotiate. And the better you prepare, the better people will like you – simple.

Research the people attending your negotiation. Who are they? What kind of things do they value? The fact is the modern age makes this sort of information really easy to obtain. If they’re not on LinkedIn they’re probably on Twitter, they may even have their own YouTube account. The point is that you never know so it’s best to look around and find out as much as you can about everyone beforehand. You’re unlikely to uncover anything too weird, so don’t be afraid to dig deep.

Most of all, you want to find out what is important to your opposition and what may be a sticking point for them. And if you know what this is beforehand, it should be that much easier to overcome. This is the vital principle which drives mediation solicitors Manchester towards success.

Have a Strategy

Strategy in business is very important and this applies to all aspects of business; including negotiations. If you walk into a negotiation room with little to no strategy, then you might as well prepare for failure. Negotiations are a kind of battlefield and not knowing what you’re doing can get your hopes and dreams ambushed.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of body language when it comes to your strategy. As it can tell you whether or not they are amenable to what you are saying, or whether or not you should switch over to some other tactics. Nine times out of ten, a good sense of body language can actually make you a very successful negotiator.

One of the biggest points of your strategy should be, above all else, the ability to listen. Don’t go down one avenue without some strategy or ability to bend to feedback. It will make you seem rude and is not an attractive trait for a negotiation partner.

At the end of the day, negotiating by the seat of your pants may seem like the easiest way to go. But it actually pays better to be prepared rather than anything else. Especially if, as is so often the case, the negotiation you are entering into involves money in some form or another. In which case, you don’t really want to miss out on anything if negotiations are going well/badly.