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Strategies to Put E-negotiations Under Control

Strategies to Put E-negotiations Under Control

Fewer negotiations these days are taking place in person, sitting face to face across a table. Today, typical negotiations are apt to handshake, negotiationstake place over e-mail or Skype. This high tech version of negotiating is called e-negotiation, and tactics for getting a good deal in this venue are a bit different than in old school negotiations.

One difference is that people feel more anonymous online, so may engage in more deception than they would in person. Another key difference is that you can’t see the other person’s body language, or hear the inflections of their voice. You have fewer clues to work with, so you need a systematic approach.  Here are some tips on how to prepare for and control e-negotiations.

Have your purpose clear from every angle

Obviously you need to know what it is that you want to get out of the negotiation. You also need to be clear on what the other person will get out of it. How will what you are proposing make their life better, or their business more profitable? How will your proposal solve a problem they are having? Try to define your purpose from every angle, and you will be well positioned for the start of the negotiation.

Failing to have a clear purpose will make an opponent see you as an insecure business person. Even though the whole conversation is performed via the internet or by phone, this doesn't mean that failure can't happen. As long as your purpose is defined from every angle, and you know what you want from a negotiation, you WILL be in control.

problem solving

Identify problems and solutions

Look beyond the obvious, surface level problems, and see if there are other problems to be solved.  There are almost always different aspects to a situation, and different factors besides money. Identifying problems and potential solutions to them can give you avenues to explore during a business negotiation.

Doing business online can be tricky. One of the main drawbacks of bargaining by email or by phone is the inability to spot a problem on time. Skilled negotiators already have the expertise and they know that finding a solution shouldn't be that hard. It's all about scheme, even if your may have to portray your skills in the virtual world.

Write powerful, visionary words

The specific words you choose in an e-negotiation can make a big impact. You want to use power words, that will give them a vision of a particular problem, or a solution that you are proposing. For instance, “Who will suffer the most damage if this continues?” or “This could lead to an insurmountable loss.”  When you use descriptive, powerful language, it helps to build the vision you want in the other person’s mind.

business meeting

Take a stand, and state what you want

You don’t need to beat around the bush for long. A good tactic for e-negotiations is to state clearly exactly what you want. Put it on the table and let the other party knows they are free to accept your offer or reject it. The best case is that they will accept it, and you will get precisely what you want. The worst case is that they will reject it, but that still moves the negotiation forward.

Treat opponents with respect

You want to establish a feeling of mutual respect and rapport. Creating antagonism is not likely to get you the best results. Try to choose language that demonstrates your good feelings towards the other person. Show respect for their statements and opinions, and appreciation for their accomplishments and good deeds. They will be more likely to let their guard down and approach an e-negotiation more openly.

The key to controlling e-negotiations is to be fair and square with your opponent. Be prepared for anything, have your business plan properly laid out, and don't be afraid to give straight answers to any question that comes from your counterpart. If you want to be in control, you should try to find out as much as possible about their business too. You can do that by letting them talk. Be a good listener! That's also the key in business. If the deal is not going anywhere and there's no way to reach mutual ground, your best action is to walk away. Do it politely as you may cross paths again in the future.


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William Taylor is the writer to this article. He is a regular contributor at many sites and mainly focuses on business related topics. He also writes for a site <a href= offering laser hair removal machines.

One Comment

  1. This is really good article, particularly helpful in pointing out the importance of knowing your objective and the value proposition — the mutual benefit of working out an agreeable solution. Thank you!

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