Business Negotiations

Effective business negotiation is a core leadership and management skill. This is the ability to negotiate effectively in a wide range of business contexts, including dealmaking, employment discussions, corporate team building, labor/management talks, contracts, handling disputes, employee compensation, business acquisitions, vendor pricing and sales, real estate leases, and the fulfillment of contract obligations. Business negotiation is critical to be creative in any negotiation in a business setting. Business negotiation strategies include breaking the problem into smaller parts, considering unusual deal terms, and having your side brainstorm new ideas.

Leveraging the contrast effect is also a powerful tool in negotiations. You might ask for more than you realistically expect, accept rejection, and then shade your offer downward. Your counterpart is likely to find a reasonable offer even more appealing after rejecting an offer that’s out of the question. Additionally, offering several equivalent offers that aim higher than your counterpart is likely to accept will elicit reactions that can help you frame a subsequent set that, thanks in part to the contrast effect, are more likely to hit the mark.

Building a team is critical to negotiations in business. To prevent conflicts among diverse, strong-minded team members from overshadowing group goals, negotiation teams should spend at least twice as much time preparing for upcoming talks as they expect to spend at the table. Because the other side will be ready and willing to exploit any chinks in your team’s armor, it’s important to hash out your differences in advance.

Other business negotiation tips include curbing overconfidence, creating value in the negotiation, establishing a powerful BATNA, effective use of emotions at the bargaining table, caucusing, delineating your zone of possible agreement, and other skills geared toward an integrative bargaining outcome rather than a distributive, or haggling, bargaining outcome.

In addition, considering the ethical and legal repercussions of a deal to insure that it is a true win-win is the hallmark of every experienced business negotiator.

Articles include many business negotiation examples, and explore concepts such as creative dealmaking, renegotiating unfavorable deals, seeking advice from a negotiation opponent, identifying a solid BATNA and crafting draft agreements.

See full description

In Business Negotiations for Super Bowl I Tape, NFL Stops the Clock

Katie Shonk   •  02/08/2016   •  Filed in Business Negotiations

The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35 to 10 in Super Bowl I. But that’s not the end of the story. In business negotiations, and particularly sales negotiation, enthusiasm is required when trying to convince our counterparts that we have what they need. But that enthusiasm isn’t always infectious. The tale of … Learn More About This Program 

Financial Negotiations During the Banking Crisis: Did the Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement Meet Its Goals?

PON Staff   •  01/08/2016   •  Filed in Business Negotiations

The mortgage foreclosure settlement reached by the Obama Administration and major US banks bailed out during the 2008 financial crisis illustrates the importance of an integrative negotiations approach to bargaining with your counterpart. Here are the strategies and techniques employed by each side to reach a consensus on the mortgage foreclosure settlement. … Learn More About This Program 

Trying to Come to Terms with an Adversary?

PON Staff   •  12/09/2015   •  Filed in Business Negotiations

A string of recent deals between longtime opponents could give you the inspiration you need to reach agreement with your most difficult partners.

Republicans and Democrats. North and South Korea. The United States and China. All of these pairs have a reputation for conflict, rivalry, and impasse. Yet despite their ongoing differences, each pair recently managed … Read Trying to Come to Terms with an Adversary? 

Win-Win Negotiation with Bethenny Frankel

PON Staff   •  11/19/2015   •  Filed in Business Negotiations

Win Win negotiations for Bethenny Frankel

In this negotiation scenario straight from reality television, Lu Ann de Lesseps, Ramona Singer, and Sonja Morgan test their negotiating prowess against reality tv network Bravo in their contract renewal renegotiations. Skinnygirl mogul and financial whiz kid, Bethenny Frankel, offers a template for bargaining for success on reality tv and beyond. … Read Win-Win Negotiation with Bethenny Frankel 

In Business Negotiations, Capitalize on a Right of First Refusal

Katie Shonk   •  10/22/2015   •  Filed in Business Negotiations

in business negotiations capitalize on a right of first refusal

As dealmakers look for more sophisticated ways to reduce risks and increase returns, a right of first refusal—a contractual guarantee that one side can match any offer that the other side later receives—has become a common and useful tool to add to your business negotiation skills.

Business Negotiation Strategies

Claim your FREE copy: Business Negotiation Strategies: How to Negotiate Better Business Deals

Discover step-by-step techniques for avoiding common business negotiation pitfalls when you download a copy of the FREE special report, Business Negotiation Strategies: How to Negotiate Better Business Deals, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

When the mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) boom began in 1993, many deals … Learn More About This Program 

Negotiation Skills in Business Communication: Heading Off Deception

PON Staff   •  07/29/2015   •  Filed in Business Negotiations

negotiation skills in business communication heading off deception

In all types of negotiations and across all phases of the process, people can sometimes misrepresent or fail to tell the truth. Individual negotiators lie with the hope of improving their own outcomes. When negotiating his salary with the Cranbury, N.J.–based pharmaceutical marketing firm Carter-Wallace in 1997, Robert Bonczek misrepresented his prior title and salary … Learn More About This Program 

Negotiation Skills in Business Communication: Status Anxiety

PON Staff   •  07/29/2015   •  Filed in Business Negotiations

negotiation skills in business communication status anxiety

Negotiation Skills in Business Communication: Campeau Corporation and Federated Department Stores

Sometimes in negotiation we are forced to deal not only with the issues on the table but also with concerns about status.

One famous instance took place in the late 1980s, when Robert Campeau, head of the Campeau Corporation and then one of Fortune magazine’s “50 … Learn More About This Program 

Successes & Messes: Bare-knuckle negotiating

PON Staff   •  06/09/2015   •  Filed in Business Negotiations

Mayweather - Pacquiao

Perhaps it’s no surprise that two boxers, bitter rivals, took many years to negotiate the terms of their hotly anticipated matchup. But the fact that a bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao—held May 2 in Las Vegas—came together at all offers hope that even the fiercest competitors can secure a mutually beneficial agreement.
Hitting … Read Successes & Messes: Bare-knuckle negotiating 

When armed with negotiating power, use it wisely

PON Staff   •  06/09/2015   •  Filed in Business Negotiations

Harper Lee

The buzz of excitement that arose in February at the news that Harper Lee, author of the beloved novel To Kill a Mockingbird, would be publishing a second novel quickly turned to concern. The 88-year-old Lee, who suffered a stroke in 2007 and resides in an assisted-living facility in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, long … Read When armed with negotiating power, use it wisely 

Would you like us to inform you when new posts become available?

We hate spam as much as you do. You have our promise not to sell or share your email address — ever! Please read our privacy policy.