Philip Brown: How to Approach Negotiations With the Right Mindset

The podcast is a segment of the Master Negotiators Lab, a weekly meeting to practice your negotiation skills. Our host, Shahriar Asadi interviews top negotiation experts and asks them for practical tips you can use to get better deals.

In the second episode of the Master Negotiators Podcast, we chatted with Philip Brown. Philip is a negotiation expert with decades of experience negotiating deals and training others. He is the inventor of The Negotiation Cards, providing a novel method for negotiation simulation. In this episode, we asked Philip to share methods to approach negotiations with the right mindset.

Time Stamps

  • Podcast Introduction: 00:00
  • Philip’s professional history and current projects: 01:00
  • The one skill that defines a negotiator: 03:20
  • What has changed about negotiations recently: 04:00
  • How to negotiate my salary:  05:00
  • Final tips: 8:00
  • Q&A: 09:20

Key Quotes

What Skills Define a Good Negotiator?

“If there’s one skill that defines a negotiator above all others, it’s the skill of observation. And the reason I say that is that in a negotiation we know our position. We know what we want. What we don’t know is what the other party wants. So, it’s only through observing the reactions you get to the questions you pose, to the positions you state that you can gauge actually where you are in that negotiation. And there’s no way of reading that, there’s no shortcut to developing observation skills. It’s just something you have to do.”

How to Approach a Negotiation?

“Be confident in where you’re at. Don’t worry too much about the other party in the sense of “are they in a better position or not?”. You’re there. You have something to say the want to hear what you have to say. So, just be up and say it.”

How to Put Down an Offer?

“If you’re gonna make a suggestion, what I say is avoid soft language. So, when you make a proposition. When you make a proposal, don’t go saying ” I’d like to start at about 38,000″. What you’re doing is you’re already couching your position with soft language and coming across as not confident in your position. One of the tricks you can probably do is if you’re gonna make a proposal or say something is to literally write it down first. Just pause a moment, look at it and say whatever it is. And when you put a position down, stop talking. Don’t go trying to justify or add any information to it. Because there are several things that happen there. First of all, it comes across as weak. And secondly, you’re not observing if you’re talking. And what you really want to do is when you put that position down the only thing you’re interested in at that moment is observing the reaction of the other party.”

More About Philip Brown

Phil first entered the world of professional negotiation training at the tender young age of 10, when he was given responsibility for manning the video cameras of his fathers negotiation training course in the early 1980s and has been hooked ever since.

Across a career spanning 25 years he developed those skills further working in Procurement for a multitude of different companies across a variety of industries where he has negotiated everything from steering wheels, IT solutions, banking and cuddly toys.

Having been fortunate to attend a multitude of excellent training courses and reading dozens of books on the subject of negotiations he found he was still dissatisfied with the way this skill was being developed for the individual. After all, where do you go to practice those skills after the course is finished and the book has ended.

In 2019 he started The Negotiation Club as a platform for people to come together to practice their negotiation skills in a safe place. He developed the Negotiation Cards that allow anyone to practice at any time and he now supports students, professionals and trainers in the their pursuit of negotiation excellence.

To Conclude

We hope you enjoy the pilot episode of the Master Negotiators podcast. If you have any feedback, we’d be delighted to hear from you at

If you like to learn how to practice your negotiation skills further, visit our website and sign up for our next event. We also encourage you to connect with Philip Brown on LinkedIn and to follow the Negotiation Club’s page on Linkedin.