Negotiation Skill Tips

Our skill tips are a distillation of, often, complex analysis into simple, practical, usable language and techniques designed to be relevant in the real world. They are not silver bullets and alone will not win the day but the insights driving them are used by the most effective negotiators in the world. If the negotiating challenge reflected in our previous tip resonated with you then; read on.

5 Tips for Making Negotiation Proposals

1) Take control.

Making proposals expressing what you want is one of the most powerful things you can do! Generally, don’t ask for the other side’s proposal, because you will find yourself being anchored. If you want to go out for a Pizza, why would you ask your partner where they want to go and hope they want a Pizza too?

2) Make your proposals realistic.

Making unrealistic proposals usually makes little sense. You create medium- and long-term problems. Asking for a lot more than you can credibly expect from the other side, means they will probably walk away, and you won’t get the chance to negotiate, and if you do get another chance, you have just damaged any credibility you had.

3) Think about how you can create value if your proposals get push back.

If the other side says no, what can you get from them that might make it possible for you to move? Or what can you do for them to give them the ability to turn the no into yes? Think creatively about value creation.

4) Only move by trading.

If you have made a realistic proposal and have ways of creating value, only move by trading. If you adjust your position without getting anything in return, you have not been negotiating. You have been giving in.

5) Drive proposals.

Proposals do not have engines you need to drive them. Get a response, even if it is a negative one. Ask what would I need to do to that proposal to make it work for you? Don’t give up, keep in the driving seat.



Complete one of our negotiation skills courses and qualify for Scotwork Alumni membership and free access to a suite of helpful digital tools:

  • Online Preparation Tool: enables easy-to-use, live collaboration with wish list/concession list libraries and built-in aids;

  • Negotiation Diagnostic Tool: provides specific advice about the status and nature of your negotiation;

  • Resource Library: includes a huge collection of useful course materials, white papers, eBooks, videos and Scotwork blog posts.

Look out for our new and improved digital toolbox to continue your negotiation training and fine-tune your negotiation skills.

The Benefits of Scotwork Negotiation Skills Training

Nick Ford - Director, Global Client Operations at WPP

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