Best Practices for Negotiating with Email and Samples

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Negotiating with email is entirely different from negotiating physically or over the phone. Dr. Gunther opines thus: we risk miscommunicating with one another if we fail to use one of the five modes of communication, that is:

  1. Tone of voice
  2. Words
  3. Posture
  4. Touch
  5. Facial Expression

But how do we use this while negotiating with email when the recipient cannot see any of these? This, in fact, is the purpose of this post. In our day to day lives, we’re often negotiating without being aware but when it comes to negotiating with email, we just have to do it right because bad negotiating skills may cost us a fortune.

Unlike a telephone conversation where spoken words are clear, with an opportunity to explain any misunderstood point and oftentimes adjust to the other person’s tone; when negotiating with email, you only get one chance, once the sent button is used, that ends the conversation until a response is received. Be that as it may, negotiating over the phone cannot fully convey body language and facial expressions, something that’s most important when negotiating.

To give you a heads up when negotiating with email, here are a few ways to add the right tone, emotions, and context to negotiating with email, alongside a customizable sample you can adjust when the need arises.

email negotiating
Source: Freepik

Writing Tips for Negotiating With Email

  1. Using the example of a co-worker working with you on a project.
  2. Get emotions in place and express empathy.
Dear James,

I have just resumed the sick leave I took a couple of weeks back and I can understand you must have been weighed down by so much work, as my inbox is not an exception. However, work has to go on, which is why I am writing this mail with respect to the cafeteria issue we spoke about. As much as I don’t intend to add to your already filled work schedule I was hoping we could find some time to talk about it. Would you let me know when you can?
  1. Use feelings that most business communicators ignore then emphasise the fact that you can figure out what you both need.
Not making progress isn’t something I am proud of. I am distressed and I know you are too. Nevertheless, I am certain that if we throw the net again, this time we will catch the fish this time. With your unending prowess and my ever-trusted skills, I know we can find a lasting solution to the problem that is before us, so what do you say?
  1. Ask questions where necessary, make suggestions and do all you can to get the other party to solve the problem when negotiating with email.
Following up on our last discussion, attached is a document containing possible solutions to the issue with the Falcons as suggested by your team and mine. In addition, you will see there are other suggestions included in a bid to further resolve the issue totally. Do peruse it and if you have additions or where I have left out any important points, please call my attention to it. Your input is so important for this issue to be resolved.
  1. Do you have any doubt while negotiating with email? mention it.
In all honesty, just as you pointed out, I do think there may be some lapse in the proposal I sent over. For better collaboration, can we fix a time to talk about this and how to improve on it?
  1. When closing negotiating with email, show a great level of confidence in your ability to provide the desired solution for mutual benefit.
Thank you for believing in my ability. I respect your comportment and dedication to this project. I believe that if we can keep working together, this project will be actualized, and among others, this project will be a reality in a few months from now.  With your input and mine, the sky is only the beginning.

Now let’s use the example of a seller supplying you with some materials but you want a lower price.

  1. Ensure your tone is polite and professional, that is, the other party should feel well respected When you’re negotiating with email. For example, if you need a price reduction on goods with a vendor, gently tell him what he needs to do so that the price reduction is accepted.
  2. Use words that show you believe in his ability.
  3. Make him empathize with you. When your tone is not confrontational or passing off that you are weak, but one that gets the reader to empathize with your position, then you are on the winning side.
  4. Subtly let the vendor know the action you intend to take if he does not accept your proposed price.
  5. Intimate him about your desire to continue doing business with him in future. However, when you do this, be careful not to commit too much so that your words are not used against you.

Here is a sample just for you.

Sample for negotiating with email

Dear Carol,

I received your proposal, and I must say I am extremely impressed. I appreciate the effort you put into sending such a comprehensive and well-tailored proposal to us. Indeed it must have taken a lot of your time and resources to ensure that all we require was succinctly outlined, with nothing left out.

My partner and I reviewed the proposal and we are happy to let you know that, with all indication, you got our needs right and proffered adequate solutions to them. However, there is one thing that may not allow us to accept the proposal and it’s nothing more than the attached price.

You see, our budget for this project is below your stated price, and we have received two other proposals which seem to fall within the budgeted price. As much as I know that you have been the best hand for this project, it is sad to say that if you will not be able to bring this price down to our earlier stated budget, we may be forced to consider other suppliers.

As a reminder, the budget we have is 10% lower than your stated price and we would love to hear positive feedback from you in this regard. Should you reject this offer, we may be forced to use another supplier until you can agree to our terms. I believe you will find a way around getting the job done within our budget so that we can remain in the good working relationship we already built from previous years, one we believe will result in future contracts between your company and ours.

We look forward to your positive response within the coming week.

Brandon Justice
Derain Ltd.


Winning at negotiating requires tactical skills, but, it is as simple as it gets. You only need to master the art of getting your point across in a way that a mutually beneficial outcome is reached; that way, everyone is happy. If you’d like to learn how to negotiate a salary increase via email, click this link to read our post on it.

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