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Written by Marijn Overvest | Reviewed by Sjoerd Goedhart | Fact Checked by Ruud Emonds | Our editorial policy

Negotiation Quotes — 25 Legendary Quotes Full of Wisdom

Key takeaways

  • The value of negotiation quotes lies in their timeless wisdom,
  • Experience plays a crucial role in negotiation. Seasoned negotiators often value these quotes as a source of motivation and a reminder of their journey.
  • A motivational negotiation quote is like a light that sparks ideas on negotiators.

Do negotiation quotes still work in this age of modern science and technology? Are negotiators still taking these quotes to heart? We’ll find out with this article.

We are going to discuss what we believe are the 25 legendary negotiation quotes that every negotiator should remember to help guide them to a successful negotiation!

Once you’re done reading this article, you should have remembered each of these quotes by heart!

Negotiation Quotes Still Work!

Despite how most negotiators look at negotiations right now as a science, negotiation quotes make the whole experience more interesting. It’s because negotiations are often a by-product of age and experience. Meaning the more negotiations you’ve handled, the more experienced you are in handling how discussions come and go.

An experienced negotiator often handles negotiations as if they are conductors in a concert. And we’re not talking about negotiators who’ve handled hundreds of negotiations in his/her lifetime. We are talking about a negotiator who knows his/her stuff, just like most of the graduates who finished our Negotiation Course For Procurement Professionals.

But sometimes, a negotiator can also look back at a certain quote that can help them feel nostalgic and excited. It could be a quote that helped a negotiator in dealing with a difficult procurement process or a motivational negotiation quote that helped lift up their spirits during a hectic negotiation discussion. 

Whatever the reason may be, it’s no doubt that negotiation quotes still have their charm!

The 25 Legendary Negotiation Quotes

These legendary negotiation quotes can help you think about new ways on how to go about your negotiation styles, how to become more confident before the actual negotiations, or how to accept your failures and your victories and move on. 

1. “During a negotiation, it would be wise not to take anything personally. If you leave personalities out of it, you will be able to see opportunities more objectively.” – Brian Koslow

2. “Negotiation in the classic diplomatic sense assumes parties are more anxious to agree than to disagree.”Dean Acheson

3. “The most difficult thing in any negotiation, almost, is making sure that you strip it of the emotion and deal with the facts.”Howard Baker

4. “This is a classic negotiation technique. It’s a gentle, soft indication of your disapproval and a great way to keep negotiating. Count to 10. By then, the other person usually will start talking and may very well make a higher offer.”Bill Coleman

5. “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”John F. Kennedy

6. “Don’t bargain yourself down before you get to the table.”Carol Frohlinger

7. “He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of a diplomat.”Robert Estabrook

8. “You must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals.”J. Paul Getty

9. “The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway.”Henry Boyle

10. “The worst thing you can say is ‘I want $X for this job,’ leaving no opening for negotiation by the other side. Better language is ‘I hope to earn between $X and $X.’ That gives the other party more flexibility.”Bill Coleman

11. “If you come to a negotiation table saying you have the final truth, that you know nothing but the truth and that is final, you will get nothing.”Harri Holkeri

Featured Download: Enjoying this article? Click here to find out your own negotiation styles so that you can prepare your upcoming negotiation better.

  1. “ The best move you can make in negotiation is to think of an incentive the other person hasn’t even thought of – and then meet it.” Eli Broad

13. “ Successful negotiation is not about getting to ‘yes’; it’s about mastering ‘no’ and understanding what the path to an agreement is.” Christopher Voss

  1. Everything is a negotiation. Everything is a little bit of give and take.”Lamman Rucker
  1. “Conflict is good in a negotiation process… it’s the clash of two ideas, which then, all being well, produces a third idea.”Luke Roberts
  1. “Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing.”Carrie Fisher
  1. “Negotiation is empathy. It’s almost trite to say that if you can’t put yourself in the seat of the other person you’re speaking with, you’re not going to do well. It’s not about being a bully, not about making offers people can’t refuse.”Marc Randolph
  1. “The most critical thing in a negotiation is to get inside your opponent’s head and figure out what he really wants.” – Jacob Lew
  1. “One of the best ways to persuade others is by listening to them.”  – Dean Rusk
  1. “You do not get what you want. You get what you negotiate.”Harvey Mackay

21. “Never cut what you can untie.” – Joseph Joubert

  1. “Information is a negotiator’s greatest weapon.” – Victor Kiam

23. “So much of life is a negotiation – so even if you’re not in business, you have opportunities to practice all around you.” Kevin O’Leary

24. “Negotiation is like an athletic contest; Momentum is paramount!!” – Dr. Jim Hennig

  1. “If there is negotiation, it must be rooted in mutual respect and concern for the rights of others.” –  John F. Kennedy

Procurement Expert’s Insights on Negotiation Quotes

For this article, we asked an experienced procurement expert to share her insights to help answer common questions about the phases of negotiation.

Hilce Vallenilla
Procurement Manager, Sanofi

LinkedIn Profile:

1. What negotiation quote struck you the most when you read it?

“Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another
thing.” – Carrie Fisher

2. Can you give us an example of your own quote and explain what you meant about it?

“In a negotiation, do not be the first to speak, think quickly, speak slowly, but the
most important thing is to listen carefully.”

This means that if you connect with the other party using empathy, it is more than likely that the negotiation will be successful for both of you.

Featured Download: Enjoying this article? Click here to find out your own negotiation styles so that you can prepare your upcoming negotiation better.


In conclusion, negotiation quotes continue to hold relevance in the modern age of science and technology. While negotiations are increasingly viewed as a science, the wisdom encapsulated in these legendary quotes serves as a timeless source of guidance and inspiration for negotiators.

Experienced negotiators often draw upon these quotes as a source of motivation and a reminder of the art and skill involved in successful negotiation. These quotes can provide valuable insights, whether it’s in shaping negotiation strategies, building confidence, or navigating through the complexities of procurement processes.

Frequentlyasked questions

What are negotiation quotes?

Negotiation quotes are concise and insightful expressions of wisdom related to the negotiation process.

Are negotiation quotes only for experienced negotiators?

Negotiation quotes are valuable for negotiators at all levels of experience.

Where can I find reliable negotiation quotes?

You can find valuable negotiation quotes in books, articles, speeches, and negotiation websites.

About the author

My name is Marijn Overvest, I’m the founder of Procurement Tactics. I have a deep passion for procurement, and I’ve upskilled over 200 procurement teams from all over the world. When I’m not working, I love running and cycling.

Marijn Overvest Procurement Tactics