Persuasive Negotiation Strategies that Turn the Tide In Your Favor

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Persuasive Negotiation Strategies that Turn the Tide In Your Favor

Consider the right timing and the mood of the person you want to negotiate / Photo by Getty Images


Every single day, people engage in negotiations such as trying to close a business deal with a conglomerate, asking for a discount, asking the teacher to change their failing grade, asking for a salary raise, and even with simple ones like when debating with a sibling. They try to turn situations in their favor, raising their points but sometimes, they still fail.

Some individuals start with saying “Here’s why I’m right and wrong.” Time Magazine says this would only work if humans were basically rational creatures, but they are not. Negotiation involves many psychological techniques, which, fortunately, people can use to their benefit.

Basics of Negotiation

Before getting into the actual negotiation, the negotiator must consider these things first, The Bioneer says:

Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA)

The Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA) is the compromise that both sides are willing to take. The goal of the negotiation is not to get more out of it, but to identify the minimum both sides will tolerate as well as the maximum. After being able to establish this, it will provide an actual range. This will help both parties find a common ground, which is often in the middle range.


One must also be keen on negotiating at the right time and when the one they want to negotiate with is in a good mood. The use of negotiation techniques starts even when the negotiation has barely begun.


They must consider presenting the deal at the right time and when the person they want to negotiate is in a good mood.

After that, they must find ways to prime the other party to be able to increase their chances of getting them to agree. They do this by giving gifts and freebies or putting them in a good mood. Giving the other party a gift is usually effective as it makes them more inclined to return the favor. Since the customer would want to reciprocate, this makes them buy more of their products.


This is a method of negotiation that involves driving a discussion to center on a particular subject or amount, to the point that it will end up focusing on the subject or amount.

Negotiation Proper

By this time, the negotiator has been able to prime the other party, set-up the scene, found their ZOPA and has done their anchoring. However, the other side may still refuse the proposal. There are still some ways they can convince the target to change their mind.


In order to have a good compromise, both parties involved in the negotiation must be able to increase the value they get.  


Contrast is basically the impact of having two different choices next to each other on an individual. To illustrate, when a man is faced with the option of whether to buy a premium tie which costs $200 and an ordinary tie which costs $80, he would choose the second option. Even if $80 is still too expensive for an ordinary tie, being placed next to one that costs $200 makes it appear less expensive.

Increasing the offer by increments

Another technique in making deals is to increase the offer gradually. This should be done sparingly though. For instance, instead of a student asking for a great increase in their allowance, they may ask their parents for a small increase in their allowance, maybe around $2 for each day.


Willingness to be blunt, rude and generally 'alpha' makes a huge difference during negotiation / Photo by Getty Images


Be more willing to break social convention

If the negotiator has done all of the above but they still get turned down, they may present their proposal again and find their “ins”. Examine how they say no to their proposal. For example, someone wants to have a position in the company and the other person on the line does not agree with their proposal. They may say, “I apologize, the manager has already decided on the proposal. I don’t think he wants to discuss this any further.”

Rather than blatantly refusing, they used the terms “I think.” Most individuals are not comfortable with outright refusing out of politeness. They may reply with, “I understand. However, to be certain, kindly send the proposal to your manager.” Doing this may be awkward and rude, but if they become less concerned about seeming socially awkward, this puts them at a major advantage.

As Adam Sinicki writes in his article Psychological Warfare: Negotiation Technique, “... When something really matters to you, being more willing to be blunt, rude and generally ‘alpha’ makes a huge difference.” He says that this will also help them counter any negotiation strategies the other party uses on them.

Secondly, the person they are speaking to does not have the full authority. They can ask them if they could directly speak to the manager. Silence can also be used to gain the upper hand since people most dislike it. To avoid that awkward silence, they may end up conceding to the request.

Ask what could have been done differently

If they have exhausted all the negotiation techniques and still get a no, they may ask the other party what they could change or do differently.

For example, if a call center employee was not able to make their manager agree to give them a $3K increase, they may ask through email or calling, what they can do to make them worth getting that amount. In doing this, they will be able to know which standards they have to meet. They would not only gain feedback that would help them improve, but they can also show their manager their persistence and that they would like the work done.




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