If someone uses these 9 phrases in a negotiation, watch out. They know how to get what they want.

In the world of negotiation, knowing how to navigate the conversation can make all the difference.

Negotiating isn’t about browbeating someone into submission. It’s about finding a solution that works for both parties involved.

And believe it or not, there are certain phrases that seasoned negotiators use to subtly steer the conversation in their favor.

Watch out for these phrases in your negotiations. They’re clear signs that the other party knows exactly what they’re doing – and how to get what they want.

So, let’s dive into these 9 key phrases.

1) “Just between us…”

In the heat of negotiation, it’s easy to get drawn into a sense of camaraderie.

Skilled negotiators can create an atmosphere of trust, making you feel like they’re letting you in on a secret or giving you an insider’s edge. This is a classic technique to close the distance and make you feel special, more inclined to agree with them.

The phrase “Just between us…” is a clear example of this. It fosters a sense of exclusivity and intimacy, making you more susceptible to their suggestions.

However, it’s essential to remember that negotiations are professional interactions, not personal ones.

While it’s important to maintain cordial relationships, don’t let this tactic cloud your judgment or compromise your position. Always keep your objectives in focus and ensure any agreement is beneficial for you.

2) “What if we tried this…”

One phrase that often crops up in negotiations is, “What if we tried this…”. This is a subtle way of introducing an alternative solution or perspective without coming across as pushy or dictatorial.

I remember a time when I was negotiating a contract for a project. The other party was adamant about sticking to their terms, which weren’t favorable for me.

Instead of directly opposing them, I gently introduced an alternative by saying, “What if we tried this approach instead…”

This made them consider my proposition without feeling attacked or defensive. It opened up a dialogue which eventually led to a compromise that worked for both of us.

Remember, ‘What if…’ isn’t just a phrase, it’s a strategy that can shift the dynamics of a negotiation and lead to more favorable outcomes.

3) “I understand where you’re coming from…”

Negotiation isn’t just about putting your points across; it’s also about showing empathy and understanding towards the other party’s perspective. One phrase that’s often used to reflect this is, “I understand where you’re coming from…”.

This phrase is powerful because it acknowledges the other party’s viewpoint, making them feel heard and validated. Research shows that when people feel understood, they are more likely to cooperate and find common ground.

The key here is to genuinely try to understand their perspective and not just use the phrase as a manipulation tactic. Authentic empathy can pave the way for open communication, mutual respect, and ultimately, a beneficial agreement.

4) “Let’s find a win-win solution…”

In any negotiation, the goal should be mutual satisfaction. The phrase “Let’s find a win-win solution…” is often used by seasoned negotiators to convey this.

It signifies their intent to find a resolution that benefits both parties, not just their own interests. This approach helps to build trust and foster collaboration, making the other party more receptive to your ideas and propositions.

However, it’s crucial to remember that a win-win solution isn’t about compromise or settling for less. It’s about identifying shared interests, exploring all options, and creating value that satisfies everyone involved.

So beware of those who use this phrase merely as a smokescreen for pushing their own agenda under the guise of cooperation.

people with low self awareness display these behaviors without realizing it If someone uses these 9 phrases in a negotiation, watch out. They know how to get what they want.

5) “Is there any reason we can’t proceed?”

This is a classic closing technique in negotiations. By asking, “Is there any reason we can’t proceed?”, negotiators aim to lock in agreement and move the conversation towards finalizing the deal.

It puts the onus on the other party to come up with a valid reason for not going ahead. It’s a clever way of pushing for consensus without appearing too aggressive or desperate.

But be careful. If you’re on the receiving end of this phrase, ensure you’ve thoroughly considered all aspects of the deal before agreeing.

Don’t let the pressure to close quickly overshadow any potential issues or concerns you may have. It’s okay to take your time and think things through before making a decision.

6) “I appreciate your time and effort…”

Negotiations can be tough. They can stretch for hours, days, or even weeks, demanding a lot of patience and perseverance from both parties. That’s why the phrase, “I appreciate your time and effort…” is so powerful.

It’s a simple acknowledgement of the other party’s commitment to the negotiation process. It shows respect and gratitude, which can go a long way in building rapport and goodwill.

This heartfelt sentiment can help soothe any tension or frustration that might have built up during the negotiation. It reminds us that despite our differences, we are all human beings who deserve respect and appreciation.

7) “I’m concerned about…”

Expressing concerns during negotiations can be tricky. You don’t want to come off as demanding or difficult, but it’s important to voice your worries. The phrase, “I’m concerned about…” is a tactful way of doing this.

In a negotiation I was part of, we were discussing the timeline for a project. The other party wanted it completed in three months, but I knew from experience that it would take at least six months to do a good job.

Instead of flat-out saying no, I expressed my concern. “I’m concerned about the proposed timeline. From my past experiences, projects like this usually take longer and rushing might affect the quality.”

This phrase allowed me to share my worry without sounding confrontational. It opened up a conversation about realistic expectations and eventually led us to agree on a more feasible timeline.

In negotiations, expressing concerns using this phrase can help you ensure that the final agreement aligns with your needs and expectations.

8) “Let’s take a step back…”

Negotiations can sometimes get heated or veer off track. When this happens, it’s important to regain focus. The phrase, “Let’s take a step back…” is a useful tool for doing this.

Using this phrase signals the need to pause and reassess the situation. It’s a polite way of suggesting that both parties revisit the core issues and objectives of the negotiation.

By taking a step back, you’re creating space for reflection and recalibration. It allows both parties to cool down, reevaluate their positions, and approach the negotiation with renewed clarity and understanding.

It’s a phrase that embodies the wisdom of not rushing into decisions and the importance of thoughtful deliberation in any negotiation process.

9) “Can we revisit this later?”

In any negotiation, it’s essential to know that you don’t have to agree to everything on the spot.

The phrase, “Can we revisit this later?” is your ally when you need more time to think, gather more information, or simply take a break from a strenuous discussion.

Remember, it’s okay to not have all the answers immediately. It’s better to request more time than make hasty decisions you might regret later.

This phrase signifies your intent to continue the negotiation while maintaining your right to thoughtful decision-making. It’s a reminder that successful negotiation is a process, not a rushed event.

Final thoughts: It’s all about the art

Negotiation is more than just a strategic exchange of words and phrases. It’s an art form, a dance of diplomacy, where every step and turn is calculated yet fluid.

The phrases we’ve explored are not magic spells that guarantee success, but tools to be wielded with wisdom and discernment. It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it, when you say it, and the intention behind it.

Beneath these phrases lie principles of respect, understanding, patience, and collaboration. They remind us that a successful negotiation isn’t about overpowering the other party, but about forging a partnership that benefits all involved.

As you navigate your next negotiation, remember these phrases. But more importantly, remember the human connection that lies at the heart of every negotiation.

Because at the end of the day, it’s not just about getting what we want, but about creating relationships and agreements that stand the test of time.

Ethan Sterling

Ethan Sterling

Ethan Sterling has a background in entrepreneurship, having started and managed several small businesses. His journey through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship provides him with practical insights into personal resilience, strategic thinking, and the value of persistence. Ethan’s articles offer real-world advice for those looking to grow personally and professionally.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.