27 One-Sentence Negotiation Tricks to Help You Negotiate Brilliantly

Negotiation Tricks, Tips, and Hints That Will Help You to Prepare Better, Negotiate With Confidence, and Win More Negotiations

Tips 1-10

  • 1. The most useful and most taught negotiation tool is ‘If you…, then I…’ which you can use for making effective proposals.


  • 2. Most people prepare for a negotiation by starting with Powerpoint, but instead start with the Squaredance negotiation preparation tool.


  • 3. Use ‘conditioning’ to manage your opponent’s expectations, like a builder when you ask for a quote, sucks his teeth.


  • 4. Make sure that you have gives and takes listed ready for your negotiation because they are like the oil that keeps the negotiating running.


  • 5. Most amateur negotiators are not ambitious when it comes to negotiating. So be ambitious and reach higher by asking for more.


  • 6. Of the 4 stages of negotiation; Prepare, Explore, Propose and Summarise, the first two stages are the most missed.



  • 8. Using the word ‘fair’ in your negotiation is a good reminder that fairness is an important principle for everyone to abide by.


  • 9. If your opponent has their hands behind their head when you are speaking, they want to speak, so invite them to.


  • 10. Escalating your negotiations to your boss shows weakness, & a lack of credibility, and should be used sparingly.


2 business people shaking hands after a negotiation


Tips 11-20

  • 11. Everyone understands the difference between closed questions and open questions, yet very few ask open questions.


  • 12. Never give away ‘free fish’. These are things that the other party have got for free. Instead get something in return.


  • 13. Be careful of giving away your position in a negotiation with the ‘small words’ like ‘about’, ‘around’, and ‘near’.


  • 14. Use specific margins, like 34.92%, rather than 35% because the former looks more calculated, and the latter looks more ‘made-up’.


  • 15. Summarise, summarise, & summarise is a great negotiation trick – do it often so that both parties know where the negotiation is up to.


  • 16. If you are negotiating using the written word; email, WhatsApp, text, then use it to get a face-to-face meeting because you will achieve much more.


  • 17. Don’t try to think on your feet because you can’t and instead find strategies to buy time, like ‘Please could you repeat that’.


  • 18. Remember to sweat in training so that you don’t bleed in battle. By having role plays with your colleagues for important negotiations.


  • 19. Take an A4 pad with you and summarise your negotiation each time on a clean page so that you don’t get lost in your own scribbles.


  • 20. Concede slowly using the salami technique by giving away a piece at a time. Ensuring that you get a piece back each time.

Some salami on a wooden board with garnishes

Tips 21-27

  • 21. Haggling is not negotiating and knowing the difference will help you to become a better negotiator.


  • 22. Avoid escalating your negotiation by asking your boss to sign-off what you are allowed to go down to before you begin.


  • 23. Value what you concede in their teams because sometimes you may value something small that they value highly.


  • 24. If your opponent is pulling at their ear as you speak, stop. As they are not liking what they are hearing.


  • 25. Adjourning in a negotiation for a few minutes can really help you to gather your thoughts and identify a new approach.


  • 26. Have a stock of 5 far reaching questions that you can ask to unlock what they want. Such as ‘What are your top 3 challenges at the moment?’.


  • 27. Know their motivations, which might be their targets at work, or a want to be promoted, or a need for profile.

Please use as many of these 27 negotiation tricks to help you to become a better negotiator.

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