Getting something for nothing is the end result of an ideal negotiation. These tips can get you there.

Something for nothing: How to be a killer negotiator


Reaching agreements that satisfy all stakeholders is a cornerstone of modern day society. Whether it’s convincing a shopkeeper to give you a small discount or thrashing out an improved contract in the workplace, being good at negotiating is important in the pursuit of anything you covet.

Here are a few tips if you’re struggling to convince others to give you something for nothing and ultimately improve your negotiation skills:

Preparation prevents poor performance

Any negotiation can quickly get out of hand if you’ve not thoroughly done your research. Whether it’s a multi-million dollar deal or one that involves a hand full of pocket change, the principle remains the same.

Work out ahead of time how low you’re willing to go on your end – and don’t break that promise to yourself.

Some deals may not be about the money, and preparing yourself to say no if absolutely necessary can prove more fruitful than going in with the idea that there must be some sort of resolution, regardless of the cost.

Emotional advantage

Intense negotiations can often become a matter of willpower. Remaining unflustered and taking any unrealistic terms or low-ball offers in your stride can have two advantages.

Firstly, calmness in such instances will unnerve your opposite number. Secondly, it is likely that any knowingly unsatisfactory offers are put on the table in efforts to anger you. Taking the bait only hands the advantage to your adversary.

Ultimately, leaving emotion at the door will likely stand you in better stead than being over-involved on a personal level.

Sell yourself

Any negotiation will run more smoothly if you are affable.

By all means, defend your interests when challenged, but keep in mind that being friendly and getting the other parties to see things from your point of view is likely to prove more successful than constantly being on the ultra-defensive.

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