The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 31, 2013

Ask the Mompreneur: 4 tips for better negotiation skills


The same goes for deals in the workplace. The more you can prove your point with data, the better your chances to win the other side over to your arguments; so do your homework.

Tip No. 3: Watch where you set your anchor. An anchor is a set point that sets perspective in the discussion. For example, suppose you go to a restaurant and the menu shows a price of $250 for a bottle of wine. The next price down is $80, which by comparison looks like a good deal. The higher-priced bottle serves as an anchor and causes you to evaluate everything else on the menu relative to that initial price.

The same is true in a negotiation. You can make an initial offer that will anchor the discussion. The key is to avoid offers that are unrealistically high or low, which may cause the deal to fall apart because the offer is not reasonable. The perception that no logical argument will bring the sides closer together can end the negotiation on the spot, so select an anchor that is advantageous to you, but fair.

Tip No. 4: Do not be afraid to walk away. Win-win deals last longer and work better. That’s why it is imperative that the parties take time to understand what constitutes a win for the other side. Be genuinely curious about the other party’s bottom line and make sure you understand their priorities for the negotiation.

But sometimes the other side is not willing to be reasonable and has a “winner take all“ strategy of negotiations. You must always be prepared to walk away from a negotiation if the deal does not work for you. You may not get what you wanted, but you won’t end up with a poor deal that you will live to regret. The other side might change their tactics if they see you willing to walk away.

Negotiating is a natural, human process, so don’t be intimidated by it in a business setting.

Jennie Wong is an executive coach, author of the e-book “Ask the Mompreneur“ and the founder of the social shopping website Email her at


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