10 Deal-Making Negotiation Tips

Nov 30, 2023


In the world of business, the art of negotiation is akin to a dance. It's a skill that can make or break deals, forge lasting relationships, and drive your company's success. Whether you're closing a major business deal, discussing terms with a new partner, or negotiating your next salary, the ability to negotiate effectively is invaluable. Below, we delve into 10 practical negotiation strategies backed by real-world examples, to help you master this essential skill.

1. Know Your Worth and Stand by It

Understanding your value proposition is crucial in any negotiation. Before entering a discussion, be clear about what you offer and why it's beneficial. For instance, when Meryl Streep negotiated her salary for "The Devil Wears Prada," she knew her worth and doubled her initial offer, which was readily accepted.

2. Do Your Homework

Research is your best friend. Know everything you can about the other party—their needs, their pressures, and their constraints. When Howard Schultz bought Starbucks, he knew the potential of the brand and leveraged this knowledge to negotiate a favorable deal.

3. Aim High, but Be Realistic

Starting with an ambitious yet realistic offer can give you more negotiation space. Jeff Bezos’s acquisition of Whole Foods started with a high offer, setting the stage for favorable negotiations.

4. Listen More Than You Speak

Active listening allows you to understand the other party's real concerns. This approach helped Elon Musk in numerous dealings, where understanding underlying issues led to successful negotiations.

5. Find Common Ground

Establishing a connection on shared interests or goals can create a positive negotiating environment. Oprah Winfrey often emphasizes finding mutual interests as a key strategy in her successful negotiations.

6. Be Willing to Walk Away

Sometimes, the power lies in the ability to walk away. Steve Jobs was famous for his willingness to walk away from deals that didn't meet his criteria, a tactic that often led to better offers.

7. Use Silence Strategically

Silence can be a powerful tool. It can create a space for the other party to fill, often with concessions. In many high-stakes negotiations, seasoned negotiators use silence to their advantage.

8. The Power of Incremental Concessions

Making small concessions can show goodwill and keep negotiations moving. When Disney negotiated with Pixar, incremental concessions on both sides led to a deal beneficial for both parties.

9. Keep Emotions in Check

Maintaining a calm and composed demeanor can prevent you from making impulsive decisions. Warren Buffett is known for his emotion-free, rational approach to negotiations.

10. Always Look for a Win-Win

Negotiations are most successful when both parties feel like winners. The historic negotiation between Bill Gates and IBM over the Windows operating system is a prime example of a win-win outcome.


Mastering the art of negotiation is not just about getting what you want; it's also about fostering relationships and creating value for all parties involved. By applying these 10 strategies, you can enhance your negotiation skills and navigate the complex dynamics of business dealings with confidence. Remember, every negotiation is a learning experience, a step towards becoming a more adept and successful negotiator. So, go out there, negotiate wisely, and watch as doors of opportunity swing wide open for you.

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