The keys to any successful negotiation are threefold; understanding the value of each aspect of the contract to the other party, detailed preparation and having the right team negotiating for your side.

What’s valuable to who?

Understanding the value is all about really understanding what something means to the other party. There may be some aspect of the contract terms you can give away with little cost, but that aspect of the contract has enormous value to the other party.

Developing that understanding of value to the other party is the result of thorough preparation.

Know when to walk

Preparation is all about being totally clear about when to walk away. And the positions along the way – each negotiating ‘stand’ in the textbooks.

It’s crucial you prepare negotiating positions by listing the important negotiating points with monetary values assigned to each point, identifying what you must have and what you’d like to have.

Take the right team

And the final point is to go into any negotiation with the right support around you. A negotiating team that’s fully briefed on every aspect of where you’re prepared to give and where you’re not.

Some negotiation do’s and don’ts

If you’re looking for disaster in a negotiation, try some of these:

  • Try to negotiate on the hoof – winging it. You’ll probably be looking at thorough preparation on the other side of the table and if that’s the case you can only loose. Probably more than your shirt.
  • Try to be Superman and do it all yourself. Will you still feel so good when you’re facing their Executive Sponsor, Subject Matter Expert, Legal Counsel, and Commercial Specialist across the table. That’s going to start feeling very lonely, very quickly.

Alternatively, if you want things to go well, try some of these:

  • Never move backwards to discuss issues already agreed to. Keep going forwards.
  • Set time limits for overall negotiations and discussing individual subjects, and stick to the timetable. That means staying focused on the topic at hand and not getting distracted by appealing looking rat holes around the edges
  • It’s business, it’s not personal. If your ego needs to win, you need to get out of there and find somebody else to progress the negotiation for you. Think of it this way. If there’s a winner, there’s a loser too. And there’s probably a more than 50/50 chance it’ll be you.

Here’s what to do next

If you’re interested in how this could help you, or feel I may be able to help you with some of the challenges you’re facing, please get in touch for an informal discussion.

There’s no commitment, we’ll just discuss your situation to see if working together might be a good fit.  Contact me now.

Best regards

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