Definition of Negotiation

Understanding the definition of negotiation is a first step in sales negotiation training.

In sales, one definition of negotiation is the give and take between two or more parties seeking to discover a common ground and reach an agreement to settle a matter of mutual concern

Another definition for negotiation is a discussion set up or intended to produce a settlement or agreement

Sales Negotiation is an intricate process where preparation is key.

When you read the definition you realize that negotiation is a communication with a specific goal in mind. That is why understanding both verbal and nonverbal communication are so important.

During a sales negotiation you expect give and take. To be an effective negotiator you need to understand how your client will adjust and readjust based on what you do. You will be better able to respond if you expect these adjustments and you prepare for possible changes during your preparation.

Many great authors have written about negotiation and provided their definition of it.

In "Getting to Yes" by Robert Fisher and William Ury their definition for negotiation is

"Negotiation is a basic means of getting what you want from others."

Mark McCormack author of "What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes From A Street-Smart Executive" and "McCormack on Negotiating" defines negotiation as

"Negotiating is the process of getting the best terms once the other side starts to act on their interest."

Types of Sales Negotiation - Definition

As we prepare for any negotiation, there are 2 main types of negotiation.

Integrative negotiation - Involve joint problem solving to achieve results benefiting both parties. It is win - win.

Distributive Negotiations - Involve win–lose, fixed-amount situations wherein one party’s gain is another party’s loss.

As a successful sales person even if you use both types of negotiation in the process the hope is that everyone walks away feeling it was a win - win.


"You will never make more money than when you are negotiating."~ Roger Dawson

"Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate."

John F. Kennedy

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