Negotiate With Ease: 5 Tips

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Do negotiations make your heart pound and your mind race? You’re not alone. Whether you’re trying to close a sale with a customer, win over an investor or sign a business contract, negotiation consultant Fotini Iconomopoulos (pictured above) can help you negotiate more successfully.

After more than a decade of sales and negotiation experience, Fotini joined The Gap Partnership, coaching Fortune 500 companies through their negotiations. While every negotiation is different, she sees five overarching principles that apply to diverse situations.

Use Fotini’s negotiation tips to gain confidence and get what you want:

1. Ask questions:
In negotiations, information is power – and asking effective questions helps you get the information you need. If you need to fill the silence, don’t start rambling; get them to give you information.

2. Shut up and listen:
On the flipside, you can talk yourself out of a deal if your jangled nerves cause your tongue to flap uncontrollably. Use active listening to get the information you asked for and show respect for the other party.

3. Get creative:
Take charge of the discussion by actively making a new proposal. Lead the conversation where you want it to go rather than waiting to follow the other party down a path that may not suit you.

4. Look the part:
As Harvard Business School professor Dr. Amy Cuddy says, “Don’t just fake it ‘til you make it – fake it ‘til you become it.” By demonstrating assertive body language and dressing becomingly, you’ll feel more confident and earn others’ respect.

Try it: Strike a Superman pose to immediately feel a powerful surge of positive energy. Take that energy into your next negotiation.

5. Less is more:
Short sounds confident, so minimize the number of words you use. For instance, instead of saying “The price is around about $10,” say, “It’s $10.” When you eliminate filler words, you sound more decisive.

In addition to these recommendations, Fotini suggests, “If you’re really nervous before an important negotiation, talk to a professional negotiator.” She recommends that you practice and refine your approach, as “Preparation is 90% of negotiation.”

To contact Fotini, connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter @fotiniicon.

Lisa Goller
Lisa Goller helps businesses tell their story. As a Toronto-based Strategic Freelance Writer & Editor, she helps executives and entrepreneurs stand out, look good and save time. Learn more at

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