Learn how to negotiate like a diplomat, think on your feet like an improv performer, and master job offer negotiation like a professional athlete when you download a copy of our FREE special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.


offer negotiation

What is Offer Negotiation?

Whether it’s buying a house or signing a business deal, offer negotiation is common. 

That doesn’t mean offer negotiation is always easy, even when parties hope to achieve an agreement. For example, research shows that people fall victim to a host of perceptual biases when assessing others. Therefore, be prepared to find out that your opponent is very different than you expected them to be – and perhaps less competitive than you expected.

One common mistake that leads to these biases for many people in an offer negotiation is failing to adequately prepare. Poor preparation also prevents you from using one of the strongest bargaining tools at your disposal: the first offer. 

Making the first offer is often a smart move, especially if you have a strong sense of the value of the item or service being sold. The first offer often anchors the discussion that follows and, as such, can have a powerful effect on the final outcome. However, it’s risky to make the first offer when you have little knowledge about the bargaining range.

If that’s the case, you may be able to assess your counterpart’s priorities by setting up a MESO negotiation – a multiple equivalent simultaneous offer negotiation. This approach entails identifying several proposals that you value equally and presenting them to the other side.

Learn how to negotiate like a diplomat, think on your feet like an improv performer, and master job offer negotiation like a professional athlete when you download a copy of our FREE special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

We will send you a download link to your copy of the report and notify you by email when we post new business negotiation advice and information on how to build a winning team to our website.

The following items are tagged offer negotiation:

Coping with Conflicts of Interest in an Offer Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

This famous offer negotiation illustrates how negotiators and other decision makers sometimes have the difficult task of remaining impartial when facing a conflict of interest. The actions of the special committee of Dell’s board as the company’s CEO and founder, Michael Dell, moved forward with a leveraged buyout suggest precautions you can take when navigating … Read More 

The Importance of Communication in Negotiations: Preparing Your Negotiating Team

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When a team is preparing for a critical negotiation, members need to appoint a leader, allocate roles and responsibilities, and discuss their at-the-table strategy. Another key objective that teams sometimes fail to discuss is the importance of staying “on message” – that is, making sure that statements by individual members don’t contradict the group’s agreed-upon … Read More 

Job Offer Negotiation Tips During the Pandemic

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many jobseekers have concluded that if they are lucky enough to be offered a good job in a tight market, they lack the power needed to negotiate better employment terms. In fact, a silver lining of the crisis is that it has created new opportunities to negotiate. With the coronavirus throwing … Read More 

Must-Read Negotiation Books for 2019

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Training.

The year 2017 offered plenty of negotiation hits and misses in the realms of government, business, and beyond. To avoid failed negotiations in 2018, politicians, business leaders, and the rest of us would be wise to explore the following recent negotiation books, which can help steer us through our most difficult negotiating dilemmas: … Read More 

Negotiation Topics in Business: Make a Bump Plan

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Regrouping from the cancellation of the 2004–2005 season due to failed labor negotiations, National Hockey League (NHL) teams and players faced the challenge of radically restructuring their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in July 2005. The new CBA instituted a uniform cap (as well as a floor) on team payrolls. It also set maximums and minimums … Read More 

Dispute Resolution in Job Negotiations: Repairing a Work Relationship

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

On October 15, 2012, Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit walked into the office of the bank’s chairman, Michael E. O’Neill, expecting a routine meeting and perhaps some words of praise. The day before, Citigroup had released a favorable earnings report that suggested the bank was beginning to rebound from the financial crisis. Citi had received a … Read More