You need to keep track of all of the details during a negotiation

You need to keep track of all of the details during a negotiation
Image Credit: mahjqa

Let’s face it, negotiating can be a very tricky thing to do well what with all of the different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that are used. There are a lot of different reasons why negotiating can be hard to do, but one of the biggest is that there are just so many different things that you have to keep track of. The really good negotiators have found a way to do this, perhaps we should start doing what they do…?

Use A Deal Book To Keep Track Of The Details

The deal that you want to get out of your next negotiation will be the result of how you come to agreement on a number of different details. Not all of the details will be of the same size (there will be small details and large details) and they will not all be of the same importance (there will be more important ones and less important ones). However, they will all be important to your ability to create a deal that both sides can live with.

What this means for you is that you are going to have to start to use a deal book to keep track of everything that is going on in your negotiations. Ultimately what you are going to want to create is a checklist that you can use to keep track of the points that have been discussed during your negotiation.

What you are going to be trying to track will be what has already been agreed to and what negotiation items you consider to still be open. For the open items, you are going to want to maintain a separate list of what you think is going to be required in order to create a solution to these open items. Ultimately, by creating this checklist you are going to be able to both track and organize the status of your negotiation as it moves from start to finish.

Every Claim Has To Be Checked Out

During a negotiation, both sides are going to be making claims in order to generate support for their position in the negotiation. That’s all fine and good; however, every time the other side makes a claim you are going to have the responsibility of checking it out to ensure that it’s valid.

During a typical negotiation there will ultimately be a fair number of these claims that you are going to end up having to check out. Once again, your negotiation deal book is going to come in handy here. When a claim is made, you are going to have to take the time to properly document the claim.

Just writing a claim down is not enough. You are going to have to create a “to-do” list related to all of the claims that the other side has made. As you take the time to check out each of the claims that has been made, you can start to check off each item on your check off list. It is also possible that as the negotiations proceed, some of the items on this list may become either unimportant or no longer required.

What All Of This Means For You

When you sit down to negotiate with the other side of the table, you are accepting responsibility for both managing a lot of details and checking out a lot of claims. This may sound like a lot of work, it is. However, if you want to be a successful negotiator, then you are going to have to master both of these tasks.

The good news is that you are probably already using the tool that you’ll need in order to take care of both of these items. The deal book that most negotiators use to keep track of everything that is going on in a principled negotiation will help you to stay on top of all of the negotiation details. Additionally, when the other side makes a claim, your deal book will allow you to create a checklist that you can use to check out and verify all of their claims.

No, the use of a deal book is not going to make your next negotiation any easier. However, it is going to boost your chances of not overlooking any details or not checking out any claims. Just this alone should help you to feel that you have a better grasp of what’s going on in the negotiations. Use these suggestions to make sure that you are able to reach the best deal possible in your next negotiation!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that you should stop the negotiation to check out claims?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

I can only speak for myself, but when I’m involved in a detailed negotiation, things can get pretty confusing very quickly with all of the different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that are being used. There are a lot of different issues that need to be resolved as a part of reaching an agreement with the other side of the table and the more people who are participating in the negotiation, the more complicated things can get. The best way that I’ve discovered for dealing with complex negotiations and not getting lost is for me to use a negotiation scorecard.

{ 0 comments }

In order to get what you want out of your next negotiation, you're going to have to have a deal book

In order to get what you want out of your next negotiation, you’re going to have to have a deal book
Image Credit: Tony Hall

Let’s face it: negotiating is a complicated process even before you start thinking about all of the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that are involved. There may a number of different people involved, you may be discussing many different issues, and don’t even get me started on all of the dates and places that can be involved. Needless to say, it can be very difficult for a single person to keep all of this straight before, during, and after a negotiation. That’s why we all need some help. That’s why we all need a “deal book”.

What Is A Deal Book?

So, if this deal book thing is so important, perhaps we should take a closer look at exactly what it is. One way to view a deal book is to think of it as being sort of a general ledger where you keep track of everything that has to do with a negotiation that will be happening in the future. Instead of a host of post-it notes, files on your laptop, or scribbled sheets of paper, instead everything having to do with the upcoming negotiation is always in one and only one place.

I’m sure that you are proud of just how many details about a given negotiation you are able to store in your head. However, I’m also willing to bet that you can’t keep it all up there. This is where the deal book comes in. You’re going to have to use your deal book to keep track of such things as who you’ve called in setting up the negotiation, who called you about the negotiation, what was agreed to, etc.

As you can start to see, the deal book is going to be a key tool in helping you get ready for your next negotiation. In fact, if you are going to be negotiating as a part of a team, your deal book is going to be a critical tool for everyone. This means that as you make updates to your deal book, you are going to have to get those updates transcribed and passed on to the rest of your team so that everyone is in the loop.

How Do You Use A Deal Book?

Having a deal book is a good first step; however, it’s how you choose to use your deal book that will provide you with an advantage over the other side of the table. Your deal book will help you to keep track of things as you prepare for the upcoming negotiation. You can use it to record on a day-by-day basis all of the people that you are talking with to schedule the negotiation, their telephone numbers, and any action items that you need to take care of before the negotiations start.

Many negotiators have very specific rules for what their deal books look like and how they are treated. The experienced ones tend to favor using a spiral bound notebook as opposed to a loose leaf notebook. Losing or misplacing your deal book would be a serious loss. In order to make sure that this never happens, most negotiators insist that it always occupy a specific place on their desk. This way when they need it, they never have to go looking for it.

Used correctly, your deal book will contain a complete list of what you’ve told the other side and what their response to you was. This can come in handy later in the negotiations. If during the negotiations they say something that contradicts what they’ve already told you, you’ll be able to look it up in your deal book and resolve the discrepancy.

What All Of This Means For You

We negotiators are always looking for a way to get better. It turns out that using what is called a “deal book” is how the professional negotiators keep everything straight during those long and involved negotiations that have so many different details associated with them. We need to start using deal books.

A deal book can physically be just about anything. The pros like to use spiral notebooks so that they can’t lose any pages. A deal book is used to keep track of all of the details that are needed in order to prepare for a principled negotiation . This includes calls made, calls received, telephone numbers, and who said what. All of this information can become critical during the negotiation if the other side says something that contradicts what they said before the negotiations started. You’ll have your notes and so you can get things straightened out if this happens.

You wouldn’t think that something as simple as a notebook could have such a big impact on how a negotiation turns out. However, it’s not just a notebook – it’s a deal book. Take the time to create your own deal book and use it as you prepare for your next negotiation. You just might be surprised at how much power it puts in your hands!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that it is wise to let the other side know that you are using a deal book during a negotiation?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Let’s face it, negotiating can be a very tricky thing to do well what with all of the different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that are used. There are a lot of different reasons why negotiating can be hard to do, but one of the biggest is that there are just so many different things that you have to keep track of. The really good negotiators have found a way to do this, perhaps we should start doing what they do…?

{ 0 comments }

Negotiators Need Both A Checklist And An Organizer

May 8, 2015

Every negotiator should be using a deal book in order to keep track of all of the 100’s of tiny details that go on in every negotiation. So that you don’t forget or overlook anything, your deal book can act as both a checklist for the negotiation and as an organizer for your thoughts. Deciding […]

Read the full article →

The Power Of Bringing Documentation To A Negotiation

May 1, 2015

Guess what? You’ve been asked to participate in a negotiation. Great. Now what do you need to do in order to prepare for this negotiation? One thing that you are going to want to give some thought to is just exactly how you are going to be able to convince the other side of the […]

Read the full article →

Turns Out Your Face May Determine How Good Of A Negotiator You Are

April 24, 2015

I wish that there was a way that when I first met the other side of the negotiating table that I could instantly size them up and know what negotiation styles, negotiating techniques I should use with them. I’d like to know how they were going to approach this negotiation: were they going to be […]

Read the full article →

Getting The Information That You Need In Order To Prepare For A Negotiation

April 17, 2015

What we’d all like to have in our next negotiation is more control. The big question is how can get this? It turns out that the answer is fairly simple: we need to do a better job of preparing for the negotiation than the other side does. A big part of this preparation is obtaining […]

Read the full article →

What Does A Negotiating “Game Plan” Really Look Like?

April 10, 2015

Our goal for any negotiation that we participate in is to be able to walk away with the best deal possible no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques were used.. However, all too often we go into a negotiation with no clear idea just exactly how we are going to achieve that goal. What […]

Read the full article →

What Is Your “Vision” During A Negotiation?

March 27, 2015

Have you ever wrapped up a negotiation that didn’t end in a deadlock and yet still you felt disappointed? There is a very good possibility that what has happened here is that you entered into that negotiation without knowing what your bottom line vision was. For you see, if you don’t have a clear understanding […]

Read the full article →

How To Use The Other Side’s Short-Term Thinking To Get More

March 20, 2015

When we are involved in a negotiation, just exactly where should our focus be? I mean, we enter into the negotiation with a very clear understanding of what kind of deal we’d like to be able to walk away from the negotiations with, but what happens during the negotiation? Perhaps even more importantly, what happens […]

Read the full article →

What Is The Bottom Line In A Negotiation?

March 13, 2015

You would think that when we start a negotiation that we’d know what we wanted to accomplish no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques were being used. However, all too often this is not the case. What seems to trip us up is not having a clear understanding of just exactly what our “bottom […]

Read the full article →