Good negotiators approach the bargaining table attempting to gain as much information as possible, both about the situation and their counterpart. Naturally, during this process, new stuff comes to light, so success means being prepared for a bend in the road.
So, information is key, and to get it you need to establish an amicable rapport with your counterpart. That’s why one goal of negotiation is to get the other party to talk a lot. As she does, you’ll be able to figure out what she needs and wants.
Closely listening to and even repeating what your counterpart says can build trust. The best route is to engage in active listening, which means showing empathy and demonstrating that you understand what the other person is going through. Several techniques can help.
Practice mirroring, which essentially means repeating what your counterpart says but with an inquisitive tone. But why does mirroring work? Largely because it makes the other person feel that you’re similar to him. After all, your counterpart is only human and will naturally be drawn to similarities
You should always let your counterpart make the first offer. That being said, you should also be prepared for this initial offer to be extreme. In fact, it’s entirely normal for first offers to be far afield of your expectations. Just keep in mind that this only represents the limit for your counterpart and you can almost certainly get a much better deal.