From asking for a raise at work to bargaining with a car salesperson for a better deal, good negotiation skills can help you advance in many aspects of your personal and professional life. But these skills aren’t commonly taught in schools or in the workplace. Negotiation skills must be learned on your own and practiced through real life situations. One way to harness these skills is to learn from the pros and business moguls who’ve proven successful through their many ventures.

Business professionals are tasked with negotiating in various situations. Whether you are negotiating a more flexible work schedule, forging a contract or troubleshooting interpersonal conflicts there are many instances where professionals are required to engage in employee to employee or employee to employer negotiations. 

Explore a few tips below that are applicable in various situations, and will help you feel more comfortable and confident when negotiating.

  1. Prepare, prepare, prepare

In his article “How To Be A Good Negotiator,” Steve Gates, author of The Negotiation Book, writes that “90% of successful outcomes of any negotiation comes from planning.” Planning is extremely important for negotiators to fully understand the situation, evaluate the priorities of everyone involved and better predict roadblocks.

  1. Ask open ended questions

Chris Voss, the FBI’s lead kidnapping negotiator, explains in his book, Never Split the Difference, that you want to start every negotiation the same way: “With a good opening question.” Asking open-ended questions, he says, “allows you to introduce ideas and requests without sounding overbearing or pushy.”

  1. Don’t apologize for price

Harvard Business School professor, Deepak Malhotra, wrote, “When you apologize, you signal that even you don’t think the price is appropriate, and you give the other side license to haggle. The entire frame of the negotiation becomes about price, when what you really want to discuss is value.”

  1. Learn from your mistakes

Sean Kelly, co-founder of SnackNation, writes that, “Just getting a deal done isn’t always enough.” He recommends post-negotiation, to ask for more and say to yourself: “What else could have been done? Could something have been tied to the back-end?”

For more tips and expert quotes on negotiation, explore Zolo’s guide to learning how to negotiate. From the former CEO of IBM, Ginni Rometty to the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk they’ve sourced quotes from professionals who have to not only negotiate on a daily basis but have publicly shared hacks for doing so with success. Explore their infographic below!

Negotiation Pros