My answer to Does becoming an entrepreneur need debating skills?
Answer by Ken Larson:
A successful entrepreneur must be able to negotiate. Debate implies winning. Negotiation seeks a win/win.
Negotiation is an art, not a science. Negotiation is applied with various degrees of expertise. Like many other aspects of business, the intellect and experience of customer or supplier personnel will vary with the agencies and the companies with whom your are dealing.
Develop a negotiation with a "target" position and a "floor" position. Your objective is to conclude the negotiation achieving a price as close to the target position as possible while never going beneath the floor.
Courtesy and politeness are mandatory. Avoid confrontations. Do not reveal your strategy in front of the other party except to objectively explain your position in terms of an incremental offer or a counter offer. Excuse yourself for outside caucuses or adjournments whenever it is necessary to study an offer, assess a situation or develop your next move.
It is always best to look at negotiations from a win/win perspective. Look for insights into the other party's negotiation position from the questions being asked, the data being requested or the responses being obtained.
Defend your cost and performance position as conveyed in your proposal with documented facts. Look for openings in the other party’s proposal support documentation. When cost and profit negotiations commence, offer compromises and trade-offs of value to the other party in return for acceptance of your position.