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11 Negotiation Strategies To Boost Your Business

By Jim Camp, author of “Start with NO

Running a business entails dozens of negotiations every day: getting employees to learn a new process or program, making personnel decisions, managing conflict, dealing with customers and suppliers, wooing new clients, improving sales, working out pricing, and so on.

The best way to boost your effectiveness as a manager or boss is to learn some basic skills used by professional negotiators. Here are eleven of them:

Start with “no.”

Don’t compromise. Instead, invite the other party to say no. Tell him you won’t take no as a personal rejection. A shrewd adversary will view you with more respect; a naïve adversary will feel safer to start the discussion.

Forget closing.

Don’t think about, hope for, or plan for the outcome of the deal. Focus instead only on what you can control: your behavior and activity during the negotiation.

Be prepared.

Before you go into a meeting, learn everything you can about the other party, the competition, and your own position.

Identify obstacles.

Before any meeting, identify everything you can think of that might come up during the negotiation — your baggage and their baggage.

Expose the elephant.

Bring your problem, their problem, and anything else standing in the way of your agreement out into the open. Doing so clears the air and eliminates surprises.

Have no emotions.

In negotiations, be emotionally neutral. Exercise self-control so you have no expectations, fears, or judgments. Above all, overcome neediness, the number-one deal killer.

Be like Columbo.

Let your opponent feel superior to you. This is the “Lt. Columbo Effect.” Don’t dress to impress, name drop, use fancy language, or get on a grandstand.

Get him talking.

The person talking most loses the advantage. Ask great questions that begin with what, why, how, when, and where. Learn about his needs, requirements, hopes, fears, plans, position, and business objectives so you can position yourself as the solution.

Build your M&P for him.

Every negotiation, whether it’s a phone call or a formal business meeting, needs a mission and purpose. Your M&P is to help the other party see how your three or four top features will benefit him and help him achieve his goals.

Solve his problem.

Help him see that giving you the deal you’ve proposed is to his advantage. Spend all of your time getting information about his world, understanding the challenges he anticipates, and the problems he sees–and then present yourself as the solution.

Don’t be friends.

The other party is not your friend. You’re not seeking loyalty or a long-term relationship–symbols of neediness. What you want, instead, is respect and a fair agreement that accomplishes your mission and purpose, and solves his problem.

* * * * *

Jim Camp is president and CEO of Camp Negotiation Systems, and has trained and coached over 100,000 people through thousands of negotiations in more than 500 organizations. He is founder of J. Camp University, which offers Camp Method “Start with No” Credentialed Negotiation Skill Courses to organizations and individuals who wish to develop professional negotiating skills and become credentialed in negotiation. His bestselling book, Start with No, published by Crown Business, has been translated into 12 languages. Find out more at


This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

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  • sonu

    thanx to share with us, good information about negotiation .

  • JST Books

    negotiation strategy – To make the most of the negotiating sessions, each party shouldinitially decide upon its goals for the session. What interestsunderlie the current demands that have been made? Is itonly money? Is it a continuing relationship or an enhancedbusiness relationship with the other side? Is it a resolutionof this matter, which may be disrupting other business?Is it recognition of the validity of one’s claimsor status? Or is it the harm caused by the other side? fteridentifying its goals, each party should determine the prioritiesof these items. Negotiation is, after all, a matter of bothparties conceding and reaching a solution. The key to interest-basedconcessions is to trade items of less importance in orderto secure items of more importance.