The Art of Negotiation (Part Two of a Two-Part Series)


10 Steps in Getting What You Want

In business you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. – Chester L. Karras

You must be fully prepared to lose a great deal in order to make a great deal. – Anonymous

My father said: ‘You must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal.  Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals. – J. Paul Getty

negotiate2All business owners must be prepared to negotiate at some time in their careers.  In fact, successful professionals must negotiate quite often in order to increase their profitability.  To help you master the art of negotiation, we’ve designed this two-part series that will share 10 steps in getting what you want.  Last week, we presented the following five steps:

1.    Prepare

2.    Time

3.    Strategize

4.    Listen

5.    Leverage

This week we’ll cover the last five:

6. Offer

It’s important that both parties find the offer to be clear and specific.  Michael Sanibel, in his article on, explains, “The basis of the bargain should include: offer prices (in proper denomination), statement of work (scope), identification and quantities of goods or services, delivery schedule, performance incentives (if any), express warranties (if any), terms and conditions, and any documents incorporated by reference.”  Once both parties clearly understand and agree to this offer, which should be put in writing, you can move forward.

7. Anticipate

Experienced negotiators realize that the first offer is a reference point and is rarely accepted.  You should anticipate compromise, for that is a key element in negotiation.  In your research, you should have come to understand and appreciate what the other party wants and needs in order for this deal to be acceptable.  In that, be prepared to revise the original offer until it appeals to both parties.

8. Aim

That being said, it’s important to aim high.  Sanibel suggests you shoot for a win-win solution, where both parties are satisfied.  The Sloan Brothers and Daniel Kehrer, in their articled entitled “Ten Techniques for Better Negotiation,” explain, “Another tenet of negotiating is ‘go high, or go home.’  …As long as you can argue convincingly, don’t be afraid to aim high.  But no ultimatums, please.  Take-it-or-leave-it offers are usually out of place.”

9. Hold Firm

Most people know that when buying a car from a salesman you must be willing to walk away from the car of your dreams in order to secure the best deal.  The same idea applies to your business negotiations.  Max Markson once said, “Quite often, your indifference can be the greatest negotiating weapon you have.”  While you may care a great deal about this deal, you must hold firm to those things that matter most to you and be willing to step away if negotiations stray too far from that.

10. Close

It’s important that you recognize the point at which both parties are nearing a successful close.  Be posed to shake on your deal and follow up with all the necessary documents.

Negotiation is an art that takes considerable time and practice to master.  However, following these 10 simple steps can make the process much easier, helping you navigate to a more satisfying conclusion.

Visit Universal’s Free Resources

Universal Accounting Center (UAC) would love to see your practice succeed.  That’s why we offer your business the most valuable resources available.  Feel free to take our virtual UAC Tour to learn more about our training programs that will enhance your practice and your bottom line.  Or visit our free accounting and tax resources.  Either way you’ll want to bookmark the UAC site and return continually to improve your business.


Sanibel, Michael.  “The Art of Negotiating: A Practical Guide to Getting What You Want, When You Wants It, and at the Price You Want.” 24 August 2009

Sloan Brothers with Daniel Kehrer.  “10 Techniques for Better Negotiation.” 2005  Yahoo! Small Business

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