How To Build Practical Negotiation Skills?

On Tuesday, Jan 14, 2020, I was fortunate to speak to the Fiverr community. The talk was about How to build Practical Negotiation skills. Furthermore, this article digs deeper into the talk and practical actionable points you can start using.

How to build Practical Negotiation skills?

Firstly, below is the deck I used

The slides

Upfront Contract

This slide serves as the introduction. Before you talk with someone regardless, of in-person or on the phone let them know what to expect.

  1. Talk is around 40 mins
  2. 1 practial exercise. I’ll need two volunteers
  3. Opportunity for Q&A at the end
Pradip Khakhar

Always Happy to Answer Questions

Do you?

Ask the audience. By a show of hands who here likes to negotiate?

Pradip Khakhar

Raise your hand if you like to negotiate

However, Do you Run, Avoid, or defer?

Pradip Khakhar

Do you Run, Avoid, or defer?

What comes to mind when you think of negotiating?

Most people don’t like to negotiate because it can get confrontational.

Two examples of negotiating:

  • Personal – let’s say you and your significant other need to decide where to eat. You want to eat say seafood and your significant other wants to eat Indian food. Where do you go?
  • Business – Apply for a job and negotiating your job offer. Negotiating the sale of your services.

We all negotiate every day on some level.

Negotiation is about people:

  • We want something from someone
  • Someone wants something from us


However, start to think of a negotiation as a conversation.

While conversations can get heated somethings, negotiations also can. However, by thinking of negotiation as a conversation it takes away the I win you lose or you win I lose mentality.

In addition, a good negotiation is valuable to all parties involved.

It Depends

Please remember:

  1. Negotiation is nuanced and cannot be taught in 40 mins
  2. Start to think critically, use frameworks, and practice
  3. Keep a practice log
  4. Understand the context/ situation. This impacts how you move
  5. If you take away one thing I would love if its how to start to think about negotiations and how you approach negotiations.
Pradip Khakhar

Change how you think about and approach negotiations

Connect, Communicate, Close

This is a simplified framework, that can be used for almost everything.

Firstly connect: If you are on a first date, you won’t ask that person to marry you. (well you might), generally speaking, you have to get to know that person.

Communicate: Be clear about what it is that you want from the negotiation and know the boundaries.

Close: Once you have reached an agreement what are the next steps.

Know your goal: Be specific, realistic, and write it down.

Connect – Habits

Above all, the #1 rule of successful negotiators is that they Prepare.

As a result, I would go one step further and possibly know the opportunity better than the person you are negotiating with.

I cannot stress enough the importance of preparation.

Pradip Khakhar

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Connect – Self aware

Understand the background that has shaped you.

Be prepared to listen and learn.

Asking questions and know when to speak or stay silent.

What is your style?

Connect – Know what you want

Be very clear about what you want.

Know when you are ready to walk away as the opportunity is no longer valuable.

Draw a line in the sand, and if the negotiation crosses it. Take some time to re-think the value.


Communicate – Lego habits

Pradip Khakhar

Setting up the Lego exercise

Being persuasive and influencing people.

Your tone and actions make a difference.

Find common interests and goals.

How you communicate becomes part of your brand.

For example, learn to ask questions, test for understanding, and summarize.

Pradip Khakhar

Timing the lego exercise

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Volunteers having fun


Two chefs want the last lemon who gets it?

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Two chef’s want the last lemon. Who gets it?

Build trust.



In closing, you have worked hard to reach an agreement. However, what are the next steps? Know what needs to be done so the opportunity doesn’t slip away.

It doesn’t have to be sales-y.


Examples of how people can effectively manipulate the situation.


In closing, what you learn’t today:

  1. What makes a negotiation good or successful
  2. The habits of effective negotiators
  3. The role of good communications in a negotiation
  4. Negotiation ethics and what to watch out for

Watch the video

Thank you

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, to the 50+ people that attended and followed up with some very kind messages.

Pradip Khakhar

Comments from Attendees

Thank you to Fiverr and Marcie for hosting this event.

Pradip Khakhar

Thank you, Marcie

Read What is Negotiation for Product Managers.

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