In Negotiating, It’s Really All About The Details…

by drjim on May 22, 2015

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?

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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.

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