Face-to-face Negotiation Advantages

A face-to-face negotiation can be enjoyable and efficient.
A face-to-face negotiation can be enjoyable and efficient. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Negotiations can be tense and difficult to resolve. And, if you have a fear of confrontation, negotiations can be an unnerving experience. It may be tempting to negotiate from a distance via phone or email, but there are many benefits to a face-to-face negotiation. Practice your side of the discussion before you meet with your opponent, so you can present your argument in a clear and concise manner.


It is difficult to show much sincerity through paper and long distance negotiations. Even hearing your voice over a telephone line can be insufficient to positively alter the negotiations in your favor. A video conference can show your face and comforting body language, but technical malfunctions can easily derail the flow of the conversation. When you talk with someone in person, he can clearly see your confidence and reassuring body language. They can help him trust what you say and come to an amiable resolution to the situation.

Knowing Your Standing

Being able to see the person you negotiate with can help you gauge their emotional climate, which gives you an advantage. By carefully reading her facial expression and gestures, you can determine how she reacts to your information. This allows you to know when you are pushing her too hard or when you can feel bold enough to continue throwing deals on the table. She may have a poker face when it comes to negotiating, but she may slip, offering you helpful hints. For example, if she seems frustrated, it may be a good time to take a short break from the negotiations so she can cool down and come back without the irritation.

Item Presentation

Face-to-face negotiation gives you the opportunity to openly share files and sounds with another person. The information you exchange can help prove your point and help sway her opinion. For example, a lawyer may present some visual or audio evidence in a court case. The evidence he presents may encourage his opponent to accept a plea bargain or drop charges against his client. Some information can transfer over through faxes and the telephone, but a lawyer may prefer to opportunity to use a personal touch in the negotiations.

Personal Touch

As technological communication becomes mainstream, a face-to-face talk with a human may become scarce. When negotiating with someone, he may appreciate you taking the time to meet in person to discuss your negotiations. You can expose him to your courtesy and good nature, helping him feel as though you value him and the business transaction. While a face-to-face with a lower representative is a little better than a digital meeting, you should still try to meet with him in person. It can be mildly insulting to send a pawn to do the negotiations instead of speaking with him in person.

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