We’re back with the last four steps to a negotiation! Sorry for keeping you in suspense, but we really want you to spend time and think about each step. Let’s get to it!

5. Argumenting

You know that you have entered this phase when you or the other party start showing off your strengths and perhaps come up with leverage. In wage negotiations, this could be to threaten with a choosing another supplier or freelancer. When negotiating with customers, this could mean them threatening to switch suppliers. It is important that you keep your cool and don’t give in to any demands during this phase - that’s something you could do in phase six. Here’s what to think about:

  • Your arguments will have consequences, so make sure they will be valid all throughout the process.

  • Don’t respond to any arguments until you fully grasp what the other party wants. Don’t hesitate to ask questions to make sure you know what him or her mean.

  • Don’t be afraid of this phase. Yes, conflicts may arise, but it wouldn’t be called a negotiation if you and your counterpart agreed on everything from the start.

6. Compromising

When you feel that you’ve grasped what the other party is looking for and that you understand their arguments, it is time to start compromising. You will have to compromise, but think about these points while doing so:

  • Never give without receiving something in return. It might sound like this: “Yes, I’m willing to lower the price, but in return, I want some guarantees on the minimal amount you will order.”

  • Don’t reveal all your demands at once; talk about them one at a time. This is when a phone call or a meeting is better than an email. So never send a list of your demands, but always ask for a conversation.

7. Finishing the deal

Almost there, you and your counterpart have reached an agreement that benefits both parties. Here’s what to think about:

  • Summarize the agreement, but keep in mind that this is not a binding contract;

  • Be prepared for any last minute changes;

  • Put it in writing, preferably in the form of a signed contract.

8. Delivering your work

The negotiating is over, and now you need to deliver. Sticking to your agreement is the most effective way to create a long-lasting business relationship.

Today’s task

Let’s finish up by reflecting on past experiences. Which phase have you found most difficult? Why? What could you do to start practicing this phase today? Make this today’s micro-task.