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Good Negotiation Skills

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Negotiation is a common human activity. Everybody negotiate in his or hers personal and professional lives and it is an important part of the competitive modern life. Negotiations can occur over dealing with people, business contracts, official matters, service, buying products and relationships. Also, in the tourism industry needs good negotiation skills for business successfully.

Tourism industry is not only one part of selling an air ticket or a room in the hotel but it is included the whole branches of business that provide the products and services desired by people while they are away from home. Without the tourists and business travelers and the money they spend for products and services while they are away from home, no branch of the tourism industry could survive.

For example, when the employee in the ticket booth has become an expert salesperson, it is a higher chance for the big group of customers to arrange the trip there and attract those customers who cannot make the buying decision to buy the ticket. More sales skills are required for big sales like major tours, independent tours, and long intermodal transportation itineraries.

In order to be a good negotiator, one must be a good listener. “Being a good listener means always letting the other person finish their thought before responding.” After that, it needs to restate or paraphrase what the other person has just said. Armed with facts and background information, you can correct any perceptions that you don’t clearly know. So, Preparation is the first step and the better way to know the needs and wants of the other side before to simply listen to what they are saying.

The first stage of negotiation is preparation. It is to set the plan to clarify the objectives, set the strategy and goals to help during the agreement process. The good plan will guide you quickly to the agreement. For example, the tourist group wants to stay in five-star hotel only then you must find the best price for them and make a well prepare all the five- star hotels details and pictures in order to arouse the tourists buy your product and service. Flexible must be in the process to accommodate changing issues, data needs, the political environment and other dimensions of group decision-making. For example, pricing sensitive tourists will like to choose variety prices or promotion of package tours and cancellation may be made within 15 days and 10 % charges.

Because the better negotiator one becomes the more power they behold. So, a well prepare of all proposals and alternatives to a negotiated settlement (BATNA) will satisfy the client’s interest. A good planning may help to make confident through clear thinking under stress and clarify the details of conversation. In addition, different tactics like where we should meet, how you should start, what topic should be in the conversation first, how long should they pursue, and how much risk should be involved is all determined by the situation, well preparation and ability of the negotiator. However, a good tactical plan is usually from previous experience with a certain situation.

During the negotiation, it is important to make a good presentation, well gesture and clarify conversation. The second stage is to debate that is mostly about interaction between negotiators. Communication is central to the debate process. “Miscommunication can arise from mistakes in formulating a message, from errors in transmission or from misinterpretation by the receiver.” The chance of communication errors increases when negotiators are in conflict or dislike each other.

For example, The Adventure and Recreation sector is growing rapidly but requires excellent salespeople because these experiences are usually relatively expensive. Salespeople have to convince their prospects that their products are of exceptional quality and that they provide the opportunity for a unique experience. For example, S.W.A.T Extreme in Phuket offers extreme sports such motocross activity for 3,000 baht. But check the quality. What does the 3,000 baht really cover? This S.W.A.T Extreme has a maximum of Introduction to selling family guests plus free transfer from hotel, snacks, sandwich and drinking water while in the activity, experienced guide and local naturalists. The power of product and service themselves can influence visitors to buy but also this takes an expert salesperson to convince a prospect of the value of such a unique tour. Obviously, he target customer is family, the salesperson necessary creates fun conversation arousing the customers to make the decision to buy extreme activities.

Meanwhile, power in negotiations typically comes from having information and expertise, from having control over resources, or from one’s position within an organization. “Power tools fall into four categories: ways of enhancing the effectiveness of messages, ways of enhancing the sender’s credibility or attractiveness, ways that receivers can elicit or resist messages, and ways of arranging the larger context to reinforce one’s messages.” For example, when tourism agency is representing to travelers, they will bring the topic of sharing interests about culture, local people, food and attractive places depending on what the research preparation of customers’ likes to support the conversation to the agreement.

Make a proposal for the exchange is the third step of negotiation that is about summarizing what you expect from the other and what you may give them in return. For example, after travel agency presents the extreme trip details of 30 tourists to the hotel, the proposal will be about the summary such the suitable prices or discount rooms for 3 nights and other special offers to this type of travelers. Include everything that you believe is necessary and sufficient to achieve an agreement.

In addition, to expand the proposal stage to the differentiated goods, the customer must be allowed to negotiate over multi-attributes of the product besides the price. To satisfy this requirement, we propose an differentiated goods where the travel agent can negotiate not only the price but also the various attributes of product, service and the transaction. For example, in a travel company offers many different style of the trip to do extreme sports in Phuket. One is just to add special trip for kids or another one is special for parents, so the customer can choose for the different price and special activities.

After the proposal follows with bargaining stage and negotiation in bargaining come in two forms. Firstly, in distributive (win-lose, competitive) bargaining, each party tries to secure the most benefit for themselves, without regard for the other side’s outcome. Secondly, in integrative (win-win, collaborative) bargaining, both parties work together to achieve maximum mutual gains.” Distributive bargaining is more appropriate when resources are fixed and the parties’ interests are directly opposed. Each party’s goal is to close a deal as near to the other’s resistance point as possible. Distributive negotiation strategies seek to conceal the party’s resistance point, uncover the other side’s resistance point, or to influence their views of what is possible.

Integrative negotiation is possible when the parties share concern for each other’s positive outcome. The presence of shared goals, trust, and clear communication between the parties will facilitate effective integrative negotiation. They must understand each other’s interests and needs, and must seek solutions which satisfy both sides. However, each strategy will bring the best result depending on the situation and in tourism business mostly seems to use integrative negotiation. For example, the travel agency get very good price with special offers from the hotel for the extreme tourists and yet the hotel needs another tour group from this travel company in low season.

In the agreement is as the last stage of negotiation. Negotiators must check to make sure the other person understands the deal and is ready to make the exchange. Also, the negotiators should summarize the agreement as necessary and be clear about whether the deal is reversible.

However, negotiators must keep the promise as it is the exchange of the agreement although it is sometimes only verbal agreement but it is about trust in business. If the negotiator has a good manageable preparation or plan that will be the key to gaining a strategic advantage in a distributive negotiation. Also, negotiators should be well in taking an advantage from the conversation. And the proposal should have clearly summarized from what you expect carefully and also try to give the offer to return as an attraction. As much as your bargaining power is clear about your goals, alternative preparation and your opponents, you will be in a much stronger position to figure out when to concede.


Fisher, U. and P. (1991), Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In. New York: Penguin Books.

Lewicki, R., Saunders, D. and Minton, J. (1999), Negotiation (3rd ed.). Boston: Irwin McGraw-Hill.

Humbert, P. (2004). The Top 10 Tools for Effective Listening. Retrieved February 12, 2007 from www.philiphumbert.com

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