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Achieving good results in business negotiations can be tricky. Many people are afraid of negotiating: leaving unlocked value on the table. As long as negotiations are done with a win-win mindset, they are usually positive long term for all parties involved.
As always, a good preparation is useful for the result. Here is a guide for how to prepare

  1. Assess the business relationship:
    1. Do we have a history and how does it look?
    2. Do we have relationships at the right levels?
    3. Do we understand each other’s strategies?
  2. Understand your counterpart
    1. What the counterpart’s targets with us?
    2. What negotiation power do we have towards each other?
    3. What is the counterpart’s strengths and weaknesses?
    4. Does the counterpart have the authority to make decisions?
    5. Which arguments do we think the counterpart will have?
    6. What information is available about our counterpart that can be useful to us?
  3. Understand your position
    1. What are our strengths and weaknesses?
    2. Which are the negotiation variables?
    3. What are we willing to give away?
    4. Which are the deal breakers?
    5. What is our walk away point?
    6. What is our BATNA (Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement)?
    7. Which arguments do we have?
  4. Set goals
    1. What is a realistic goal for us? What do we want to achieve?
    2. What is the best possible result?
  5. Set a time plan
    1. Which are our deadlines?
    2. What time plan should we set for the negotiations
  6. Negotiation team
    1. Who should participate?
    2. Who is the leader and what are the other roles?
    3. Do we have the right authority?
    4. Book a premeeting
  7. Develop the tactics
    1. What should we say and when?
    2. How should we start?
    3. Do we have all necessary information?
    4. What is the agenda?

 

Common pitfalls

  • Negotiators have not done their homework about the counterpart – especially of what they really want. Getting this information can be very powerful to help the deal and can easily be done by just asking the questions
  • Targets are set too low. By stretching yourself and your team you will reach higher results than expected
  •  Negotiators have too little time for the process meaning the process is stretched and the best possible results might be left on the table