The third stage, Bargain, is when the action begins, or at least when there is greater intensity to the interaction.
Bargaining has traditionally been the "face-time" stage. Modern times, globalization, and marketplace needs have changed this a great deal. Advances in technology have made substitute methods both efficient, cost effective, and in some instances critical, like the need to cross the planet or time zones to communicate. Almost no negotiation in the 21st century avoids use of telephone, voice mail, email, on-line auctions or instant messaging, and most use a hybrid of "face-time" via teleconferencing and telephones, where although we may not be in the same room, we can sense subtext from facial expressions and voice tone.
When much is at risk, it is highly recommended that at some point in the Bargaining Stage the parties meet face-to-face, and the earlier in Bargaining the better, especially if they have not previously met in the Exchange Stage.
At the essence of the Bargaining Stage is how we use the information we discovered in the Preparation and Exchange Stages. Two critical tools will be used in Bargaining. One is the Negotiator's Probe, used to explore for options that create value. The other is the Negotiated Yes, or "Yes, if…" which will be used to respond to an offer in a way that captures value.
The Bargaining Stage is a process of give-and-take that can take hours, weeks or months, and maybe even years. But every Bargaining Stage must start with a proposal, the statement of a position, supported by interests.