Chris Croft
Tips of the Month – Archive

Negotiation Skills Tip 9



Be nice

Decide to do it

Instead of yes or no

The most important thing to prepare

How to practice without risk

Never go beyond your walk away point

Don’t open first

Instead of complaining

The Flinch

Is it OK to lie?

Why you need a good pack of tradeables

Negotiating internally

Reasons for not negotiating are all false

Walking away – really mean it!

Planning your opening offer


When negotiating, remember to look shocked at their opening offer, even if you are not.

If you don't look shocked they will assume that they can get more, and they will expect you to give more.

Many people think that the best negotiators are like poker players who reveal nothing, and this is mostly true, but opening offers are the exception to the rule - you must react (known as a "flinch").

Your reaction should be in proportion to your usual level of body language - if you are a demonstrative person then jump out of your chair, roll your eyes to the ceiling, and say "you must be JOKING!!"
If you are a quieter type then an intake of breath and putting your pen down may be enough!

Conversely, remember to watch THEIR face carefully as you make YOUR opening offer - how shocked are they, really? If you get the feeling that they are not particularly unhappy, dig in. Don't give any more!

Of course, you may decide not to use any of this - you may be feeling nice, you may feel that the offer is already fair, and that negotiation is not appropriate. But if you do decide you want to go for it, always flinch. I know it's corny, but if you don't you're giving out an unnecessarily weak signal!

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