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Negotiation strategy - 5 tips on how to negotiate properly

In negotiations and in daily life, there is one simple goal: to achieve the highest profit. This can quickly lead to conflict if the interests of the two parties do not coincide. To avoid this, it is important to recognize the needs of the other party and find a compromise that satisfies both sides. Negotiation is the key to business success. Negotiation tactics are necessary to reach an outcome with customers, employees and other stakeholders.

In this article, we reveal 5 tips on how to negotiate properly.

In everyday life, people often talk about the same topics, which is why they are called habits. Negotiators know how to say something in order to convince the other party as much as possible. In this process, some people think that there is no strategy or technique behind it, but that negotiations are arbitrary.

However, behind every negotiation there is a strategy that is used to achieve one's goals.

Hard and soft negotiation

Hard negotiation is a style of negotiation that focuses on one's own goals and advantages. It is a form of win-lose negotiation where the negotiator tries to beat the other side at any cost. They are usually unwilling to make concessions, but instead try to win every available point for their agenda.

Soft negotiation is a cooperative and friendly negotiation technique, also known as win-win style. Compared to hard bargaining, soft negotiation is more about the good of all parties. The aim is to build trust, solve problems and communicate effectively during negotiations.

The three phases

The course of a negotiation can be divided into three phases. There is the preparation phase, the implementation phase and the follow-up phase.


The success of a negotiation depends on preparation. It is important to thoroughly research the interlocutor as well as his/her goals, interests and preferences. The aim is to identify issues that have not yet been recognized by both negotiating partners. In this way, one can anticipate and pre-empt possible conflicts before they arise during the actual negotiation process. Finally, it is important to focus on the weaknesses of one's position and try to minimize them as much as possible by addressing any concerns that might arise during the negotiation process.


The implementation phase is first about defining the objective of the negotiation, i.e. what is to be achieved by this meeting? Then it must be clarified who should or will participate in this negotiation and on what basis. Ideally, both parties want to meet in a neutral place so that neither party has an advantage over the other.

Furthermore, implementation can be divided into four sub-phases. The first phase is the so-called introductory phase. The focus here is on getting to know the two parties. The second phase that takes place is the dialogue phase and thus the liveliest or most talkative phase. This is because new information, framework conditions or new views are mentioned and discussed here. That is why this phase also takes the most time. The last phase follows: either an agreement has been reached or something else has been decided because a decision has not yet been taken.

Follow up

The last phase of negotiations, the follow-up phase, should not be underestimated, because here the results achieved are followed up and recorded. This means, for example, that if a contract is concluded, it must be prepared and signed. In addition, the results must be recorded in the follow-up by means of precise documentation.

Harvard Concept

The aim of the Harvard concept is to achieve the best possible outcome and a parallel relationship between the negotiating parties. Here, both parties see each other as indifferent problem solvers who must come to a reasonable and fair agreement. Furthermore, in this method there are four different types of negotiation that the parties should adhere to in order to reach a reasonable agreement.

5 tips for a successful negotiation


If you want to reach an agreement with someone, you must first find out how important a solution is to your negotiating partner. The more urgent the problem is for your negotiating partner, the more constructively he will negotiate with you. If the problem is not a priority for him, he will go into the negotiations with indifference or even rejection. Therefore, before the conversation, consider how important it is for your negotiating partner to reach an agreement.

The time

Setting an appointment is not only about setting an exact date and time for the meeting, but also about taking into account your schedule and possible problems. It is important that you have time to prepare for the negotiations, so plan well in advance.

A sympathetic ear

Being a good listener can be a valuable skill in your negotiations. Stick to the 70/30 rule: you listen 70 per cent of the time and only talk 30 per cent of the time. Also, encourage your negotiating partner to talk by asking lots of open questions - questions that cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no".

Stay strict

Never negotiate without options. If you rely too much on the positive outcome of a negotiation, you will lose your ability to say no. If you can say "I will walk away if a satisfactory outcome cannot be reached", the other side can see that you are serious.

Be patient

Patience can pay off in negotiations. Many people want to get to the end of a negotiation quickly and show their impatience. Those who are more flexible with time have an advantage over these opponents because they will make concessions to reach an agreement.

Negotiation is much more than communication

What is clear is that engaging in a negotiation with the right technique is a matter that should not be underestimated, as is proper preparation.

Everyone wants to leave a negotiation, whatever the situation, with a positive outcome and the aspects mentioned above play a significant role in this.

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