Lesson 6: Negotiating / Agreeing to Terms

Although some negotiations will certainly require face-to-face communication, negotiation via email is becoming more and more prevalent and does have its fair share of real benefits.

One of the more obvious benefits to email negotiation is the reduced stress in terms of reaction time. Using email allows us to take the time needed to contemplate and construct our responses without making rash decisions or expressing anger, stress, or any other counterproductive emotions that might arise in the heat of a face-to-face negotiation.

Additional benefits of negotiating via email include savings in terms of time and money. By keeping our communication screen-to-screen, we can eliminate the costs and time spent traveling to visit our negotiation counterparts.

While the above-mentioned benefits are truly valuable, it is important to remember that it is significantly more challenging to establish trust via email than it is in person. This is why it is vital to prepare thoroughly before crafting your negotiation emails, which should always contain polite and clearly expressed requests.

The following tips will help you improve your email negotiation skills.

Brainstorm Offline Beforehand

Email negotiations can sometimes lack the creative solutions and dynamic atmosphere sparked by in-person meetings, but a little brainstorming can really help to get the creative juices flowing before you start writing your email.

Build Rapport with your Recipient

Trust is key, so greet your counterpart naturally and don’t be afraid to express positive emotions as you would in person to come across as more relatable. If negotiations start to break down, express concern not anger.

Stay on Task

Always know the minimum and maximum parameters that you are willing to accept for a particular negotiation and keep them in mind before responding to any special requests from your counterpart. Be clear about your expectations, and inform your counterpart when they are not met.

Avoid Conflict

If you perceive a message from your counterpart to be rude or aggressive, do not respond in kind. Take a break. Walk away from the computer for a while. Let the emotions cool down, and respond when you can do so calmly and with a clear mind. “Cooler heads prevail.”

Now let’s practice some of the language associated with negotiation and agreeing to terms via email in the quizzes below.

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