Negotiating for success

Negotiation is fundamental in the success of any business, especially those who deal with contractors, suppliers and consumers

The art of negotiation is simply about having a strategic discussion in order to reach an agreement that both parties find acceptable, yet many farm business owners find it an uncomfortable topic. It is important to find the right style of negotiation for you, which will help you feel more confident in getting a successful outcome.

Whether you’re negotiating when buying new farm machinery, an employee’s pay rise or prices with your grain merchant, the tips and tricks below will help you to get the best deal.

The language of negotiation

Using the right words in any negotiation is fundamental. Be specific about what you want - the costs, quantities and time frames. Don’t use soft words like these, which can leave you in a more vulnerable negotiating position:

  • 'about'
  • 'around'
  • 'roughly'
  • 'between'
  • 'I’d like...'

Similarly be wary of any these phrases that will give away your negotiating power until you’re sure you’re ready to agree a deal:

  • 'I need it now'
  • 'I’m desperate'
  • 'You're the last person...'
  • 'Thank goodness you’re here...'

Top tips for a successful negotiation

  1. Plan – be prepared
  2. Know your alternatives
  3. Be prepared to walk away
  4. Use time in your favour
  5. Think: who has the power?
  6. Do your words give money away?
  7. Prepare for the next negotiation

Watch this webinar for more details on how to negotiate to get the best result

What next?

AHDB has a range of pricing data and information which you can use to help plan your negotiations, from input costs to rolling average prices.

Farm costs

Cereals & Oilseeds

Beef & Lamb auction market prices

Beef & Lamb deadweight prices


Dairy wholesale prices