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3 Approaches to Negotiation: Which One Will Work for You?

Offer Valid: 03/24/2022 - 04/30/2024

When you're stuck at a standstill with a tough negotiation or trying to convince someone to do something for you, figuring out which strategy to use can be challenging. Experts suggest several approaches, but no single method is right for every situation. Below is a look at three popular negotiating methods and a description of who might find them most useful.

The I'm Only Asking for What's Fair Approach

This negotiation strategy is about making sure you are not giving away more than you get and vice versa. The goal is for both sides to walk away with what's fair in their eyes. Make sure you are well-informed about all parts of the agreement before entering these discussions.

Who might use this strategy?

This tactic works well when negotiating with people equally informed about the negotiation process and understanding of what they need to get out of the deal. If the other person isn't a skilled negotiator, you'll probably be able to leverage your knowledge and experience to get what you want. If you're working with someone that has extensive skills during a high-stakes deal, consider letting them start with their proposal to get a better read on the situation.

The Getting to Yes Approach

This negotiation strategy involves thinking of the situation as a problem to be solved rather than simply trying to get your way. First, you need to find areas where you can agree with the other party. It builds on mutual interests between each side and will make it easier for both sides to reach a consensus.

Who might use this strategy?

This approach can be helpful when the people involved have a wide gap in their knowledge of a subject or what they want from it. For example, if you are negotiating with a client who doesn't know much about your product or service, it's helpful to give them a step-by-step guide. Highlighting the benefits of each step along the way will help ease some concerns.

The Offer-Concession Strategy

In this game, you'll be cautious about what you reveal. The more information you give the other party, the more power they have over you. Instead of offering your opponent opportunities to gain points off you, try keeping all of your concessions a secret until it's time to complete the deal. When you spring a discount on the other person, can feel like a major concession, and there's less of a chance they'll back out.

Who might use this strategy?

This approach is best for negotiating with someone unfamiliar with the process. By not giving your opponent any preconceived notions about what you want or what you're willing to concede until it becomes necessary, you can show them how your ideas will benefit them while protecting your interests.

Pay Attention to the Presentation

The way you present your agreement can influence how much power you have during negotiations. The more appealing your contract looks and feels, the less likely others will be to pick apart every detail. Be sure to merge PDF​ files so everyone can easily read and share the document.

Finding the Right Approach

To find the perfect fit for your negotiations, you might need to modify the fairness, getting to yes, and offer-concession approaches.

For more tips on negotiation styles, join your local chamber of commerce.


This Hot Deal is promoted by Oldham Chamber & Economic Development.

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