Knowing what you will do if you can’t get a good deal will give you bargaining power in your price negotiation.
In a price negotiation or other distributive (single-issue) negotiations, it can often seem as though the buyer has limited options: accept the price or lose the deal. But sellers also face the dilemma of losing the sale. In both cases, the obvious BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) is to walk away from the deal.
However, there is almost always room for haggling. Your BATNA also helps you calculate your reservation price—the highest price you’d be willing to pay in the current negotiation.
Interestingly, research suggests that in single-issue price negotiations, asking a counterpart to compare your offer to the minimum they’ll accept can help you not only get a great deal but ensure they’re satisfied with the end result. Offers look more appealing when we compare them to the least we would accept than when we compare them to the most we hoped to achieve.
It’s also important to be polite and cordial throughout the negotiation process, and be willing to accept no for an answer.
Effective negotiation strategies in business are critical. Get the information you need to succeed today by downloading our free special report, written by some of the nation’s foremost experts in negotiation, Business Negotiation Strategies: How to Negotiate a Better Business Deal. This free report from Harvard Law School will teach you how to negotiate a business deal and gives you the tools you need to navigate even the stickiest business deals.
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The sale of Picasso’s works by his heirs is fraught with negative emotion. How do negative emotions impact negotiation and behavior at the bargaining table? This article offers negotiation skills insights into how to counter or prevent negative emotions in negotiation.
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In a negotiation scenario, you always have a best alternative to a negotiated agreement. Negotiation research and negotiation strategy helps negotiators find their BATNA, leverage it at the bargaining table, and illustrates the impact that knowing your BATNA has on a negotiation.
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Business negotiators tend to want the best of both worlds. When reaching an agreement, they want to pin down parties’ respective rights and responsibilities, but they also want to retain the flexibility they need to deal with ever-changing business conditions. One solution to this apparent dilemma is to craft an umbrella agreement.
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While many of our articles discuss negotiation theory and the latest research, sometimes it helps to discuss negotiation examples in real life when offering negotiation tips and advice. The following negotiation example is based on bargaining in real estate, a negotiation scenario many of us may face in our lifetime.
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When an important negotiation is looming, “winging it” is never the answer. The best negotiators engage in thorough negotiation preparation. That means taking plenty of time to analyze what you want, your bargaining position, and the other side’s likely wants and alternatives.
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Wise negotiators recognize the value of both collaborating and competing at the bargaining table. They look for ways to increase the pie of value for all parties, often by identifying differences across issues and making tradeoffs. And they also rely on distributive bargaining strategies to try to claim as much of that larger pie for … Read More
Some cultures have a long tradition of haggling—bargaining back and forth about the price of an item—in markets and bazaars. By contrast, in the United States and many other countries, haggling between buyers and sellers is an under-practiced skill. You might routinely pass up opportunities to haggle in situations where financial negotiations are not the … Read More
In group negotiation, turf battles—heated conflicts over territory, control, rights, or power—are common. Department heads clash over scarce resources. Companies, community groups, and governments get tied up in lawsuits over undeveloped land. Across the globe, fishing groups have depleted fish stocks in their rush to catch the biggest share for themselves.
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It’s official: Price negotiations aren’t just for big-ticket items anymore. The prices of furniture, electronics, wine, jewelry, and other “medium-ticket” goods are now frequently up for discussion. The ancient art of haggling has made a comeback, so brush up on your skills with our six price negotiation tactics.
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When dealing with difficult clients, we sometimes can trace our struggles to the early stages of our interactions—including our price negotiations. If initial price negotiations are contentious and frustrating for the client, their unhappiness is likely to leave you handling difficult situations and managing difficult people in your ongoing business relationship. In this post, we … Read More
Imagine yourself in a dilemma that only a privileged few experience: You’ve fallen in love with a dazzling, one-of-a-kind home that’s on the market without a list price. Instead, the seller’s broker encourages you to name your price. You’re unsure how much to offer—yet desperate to win the prize.
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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 … Read More
Q: I work for an international nonprofit that tries to eliminate “bad acts” around the world—not illegal activities, but ones that we consider unethical. We are currently negotiating with a U.S. business owner who is engaged in these bad acts. His business is generating losses, so we are trying to buy him out and put … Read More
After a freelance designer has finished a big project for your company, you discover some urgent extra work that you should have given him. The designer mentioned that he needs a break and is going to take a few days off. Would you approach him about doing the work, and … Read More
Adapted from “How High Should You Aim?”, first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
Research shows that moderately difficult goals can energize people and increase their performance. In negotiation, parties with relatively high aspirations often negotiate higher individual payoffs. But there can be a downside: impasse and unethical behavior may be more likely.
In a study conducted by … Read More
Understanding how to arrange the meeting space is a key aspect of preparing for negotiation. In this video, Professor Guhan Subramanian discusses a real world example of how seating arrangements can influence a negotiator’s success. This discussion was held at the 3 day executive education workshop for senior executives at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.
Guhan Subramanian is the Professor of Law and Business at the Harvard Law School and Professor of Business Law at the Harvard Business School.