You’ll become a better marketer, if you know the right strategies and master your skills in any negotiation.

In marketing, there are constant needs to negotiate well – whether it be in dealing with vendors, budgeting, managing your time or in hiring new people.

Ironically, even veteran marketers are apprehensive about appearing to be too aggressive in negotiations. You’ll get more respect if you know the difference between assertive and aggressive behavior.

It’s vital to ascertain the right expectations for your business and to be able to discuss salient information.

So, it’s helpful to review six techniques:

1. Focus on the other person’s interests, not posturing

If you’re posturing to defend your position while trying to negotiate, all too often you’ll come across as not addressing the concerns of the other party.

So you must be adequately prepared to address the WIIFM questions your opponents will have. Even if just think subconsciously, they always ask the WIIFM acronym question: “What’s in it for me?”

You’ll be able to respond if you’ve done astute research with creativity to fully understanding the underlying interests of the other person or persons.

And then framing the discussion for a cooperative brainstorming session in the search for widespread solutions. I like to refer to these as “blue-sky sessions” to look for commonalities in talking with prospects.

2. Anticipate possible scenarios and develop a Plan B and C

Depending on complex negotiations, scholarly principles include developing a matrix of your desires and alternatives that might or might not appeal to the other party.

In effect, that means developing two tables: What you want but which might draw objections. But keep in mind your definite needs and keep your options open.

In advance of any discussion, know your BATNA, an acronym for the best alternative to a negotiated agreement. Why? You’ll always be ready for a possible stalemate.

You’ll still be able to have a strong negotiating position because you’ve prepared some options.

Negotiations are never an all-or-nothing proposition. Optimistically keep your focus on solutions pertaining to what’s really most important to you as well as the actions you can take to reach your objectives.

3. Creativity for your benefit using the Principle of Contrary Action

Creativity is important for your success.

This is where the Principle of Contrary Action plays an important role in marketing. In all that you do, remember your approach and strive to do it differently each subsequent time you do it.

This will enable you to keep an open mind to achieve maximum creativity.

Always remember: Marketing should be fun. So always consider unconventional ideas – unique alternative solutions – addressing why solutions are needed. You’ll be better able to create a pathway for strong results.

4. Consider what’s most important to the other party

It’s imperative that you anticipate the questions people might ask you. So in advance of a discussion, prepare the information you need to overcome any possible concerns or objections.

Prepare your potentially needed responses to help the other party align their interests with yours.

With such preparation, you’ll also be ready to ask the most thoughtful questions. It’s best to cite benefits to them in asking your questions.


Never speak with finality as if to say, “That’s the way it is.” Asking questions that ask them for permission for you to act are being assertive and not aggressive.

By putting them at ease and helping them to be comfortable, you’ll give them a sense of control. In this way, you’ll encourage a thoughtful discussion for your mutual benefit.

5. Do your homework and know their tendencies

People are different. So are their companies. Be aware of any cultural differences so you don’t inadvertently say something that’s offensive.

Once, in my consulting practice, I had clients whom I represented and who needed to advertise their businesses. So I was invited to a meeting at a large broadcasting company with numerous radio stations enjoying top listener ratings. The company reps wanted to pitch me on buying advertising from them on behalf of my clients.

Knowing the company’s culture of playing hardball and notoriously high advertising rates, I entered the meeting knowing some of the radio sales people were a tad arrogant and acted as though every business needed to advertise with them.

However, when I voiced my concerns, a station representative committed the worst-possible sin in sales when he reacted: “Terry, you need to act in the best interest of your clients.”

Needless to say, his intimidation tactic failed and the discussion was over. He had failed to understand my culture and my motives for always representing the best interests of my clients.

By putting himself in an awkward, inferior position, the rep was soon calling me and he offered me a schedule of free commercials for one of my valued clients so we could test the effectiveness of his station.

He learned a valuable lesson about offending people. Ultimately, we became the best of friends and we partnered on many successful projects.

So, brush up on your business etiquette.

Always be punctual. During an awkward silence, use the time to reflect about what to say next. But bear in mind, the first person who speaks generally gives away power in negotiations.

6. Communicate with your staff

It’s not enough for you alone to prepare. Even if you’re the chief negotiator, if you bring team members to a negotiation on the phone or in person, thoroughly share everything you’ve researched with them.

They should be prepared to follow your lead.

Set necessary ground rules for the negotiation. Your employees must understand any issues and know the results you seek. By all means, encourage them to ask questions.

Avoid embarrassment. Give your staff instructions on when they can participate, what compromises you’re willing to consider, and what they should contribute to the discussion.

If you attend a meeting alone, brief your staff members afterward. You never know when the other party will contact your company. If you’re away from the office, your staff will be prepared to handle any concerns or questions. The other party will be very impressed.

In conclusion, remember to do your research. Think about about the possible objections and how best to respond. Enter the discussion with a smile on your face.

Whether it’s an in-person meeting, on the phone or on a video call, you’ll come across as friendly and approachable. Be optimistic. Remember marketing is fun, and you’ll do very well.

Here’s a valuable infographic on negotiations:

Infographic by Custom-Writing.Org

From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s picks:

Leadership Best Practices in Negotiations – 22 Dos, Don’ts — Leaders know that no matter what you need to negotiate, there are often easy strategies to get anything you want. Even in tough negotiations, you’ll want both parties to feel positive after the negotiation is complete. Emotional needs for both of you have to be met. Here’s how.

Want to Win in a Negotiation? Implement These 7 Key Points — Consider that negotiations are synonymous with skills in marketing and sales. It’s important to make certain you’ve done everything possible to avoid regret in the end. As in marketing and sales, the best outcomes from a negotiation results from due diligence in preparation. Here’s how.

In Negotiations, Chit-chat Pays off More for Men than Women — FYI, some small talk just before a negotiation provides a boost for men but not women, according to academic researchers.

The 7 Steps to Higher Sales — Secrets for sales success – seven steps to higher sales, five value perceptions that motivate customers to buy, and the three-step process for overcoming sales objections.

Key to Unlock Vital Sales Secret: Attract, Keep Customers — Despite all the emphasis on speed in customer service, it’s not the salient factor in sales — for attracting and keeping customers happy. The power of emotion is most important for higher sales.

“The best move you can make in negotiation is to think of an incentive the other person hasn’t even thought of – and then meet it.”

-Eli Broad


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.