How To Ace Negotiations Over Email

by Christopher Austin


Although conveying factual information via email is useful in business negotiations, the approach may trigger misinterpretations. Email messages can be extremely clear and concise; however, since there’s no attitude and tone involved, and a receiver can get the wrong idea about the message. While a serious message conveys assertiveness, a humorous one can be perceived as being derogatory and offensive. When emails are poorly constructed, the business relationship between the parties involved could be ruined. Here are some tips for business people, startups and entrepreneurs who want to ace negotiations over email.


Don’t avoid email negotiations

We live in a world packed with advanced technology. Increasingly more business deals happen online, not to mention that business people are used to handling smartphones and tablets to bargain with partners that are overseas. Email negotiations can’t be avoided anymore, and they often become vital endeavors. New startups who can’t afford to hire professionals turn to freelancers who can be just as experienced. These freelancers are often located at the other end of the world.


Marketing and advertising companies need personal assistants. If you don’t want to hire someone in person, you can turn to a virtual assistant. In this case, negotiating with that person (who could live in the Philippines) via email is the only way to convince them to work for you.


How to do you connect with a person in the virtual space?

When you’re negotiating with someone by email, you must use specific words to gauge their interest. It’s useless to use the same strategies as when you’re bargaining in person, or by phone. Include content that discharges genuine emotions and intent. Use meaningful phrases such as “we value your company’s principles”, or “we share the same interests and we know that together we can achieve greatness.”


When you can’t express determination through the tone of your voice, your only option left is to use powerful words in email negotiations. You must have the ability of persuading an opponent to reply. If your message don’t sound convincing, the other party won’t even bother reading it until the end.





Understand the limited value of an email message

Negotiators should understand that email messages have limited value. If you’re not careful enough, a well-crafted message can be easily be misunderstood; this can trigger additional communication problems between the parties involved in the deal. Lack of facial expressions and voice tone makes negotiations a lot more challenging to win. The good news is it’s not impossible to land a good deal via email as long as you select the right subject lines.


Subject lines offer the first impression, which means you must choose your words carefully if you want to seem engaging. Use complete sentences to highlight a fact, not just one or two words. This will convince the receiver that you know what you’re talking about.


Write an impactful email and make an efficient tradeoff

When negotiating deals via email, you must find a way to create impact. Don’t confuse partners with rambling, long messages and make your email easy to read. Paragraphs and bullet points will help the receiver skim the text a lot faster. He will be able to respond faster, as well. As for making tradeoffs when bargaining via email, you should keep in mind that times are tough. Buyers want a lot even though margins are tough. The smartest way of balancing demand is with sensible business judgment – engage in a tradeoff. The end result should be an agreement that can benefit you and your partner equally.





Never forget that a negotiation is centered on a conversation. It demands back and forth discussions to reach a final agreement. Before making a proposal, ask questions. Even if you’re keeping in touch by email, you should still get an answer to every concern that you may have. Be ready to answer questions, as well. Be careful and try not to send blunt, boring responses because it might kill your deal.


Acing negotiations over email is not something impossible to do. Provided that you use powerful words, complete sentences and you create structural messages, you have high chances of landing the sweetest deal. It’s all about virtual communication, so be prepared to ask and answer a lot of questions.


Christopher Austin is the writer to this article. He is a regular contributor at many sites and mainly focuses on business related topics. Also he recommends where you can get negotiation experts and Practitioners in consultancy and development.


Photo Credits

Myimagine | Courtesy of Christopher Austin

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