3 Goals That You Need To Have For Every Negotiation

by drjim on October 18, 2013

Without goals you won't be able to score during a negotiation

Without goals you won’t be able to score during a negotiation
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If I was to ask you what you were hoping to get out of your next negotiation, what would you tell me? I’m willing to bet that it would be something along the lines of “to get a good deal”. Sure, that’s something that we all want, but if you took the time to think it through, what other reasons for taking the time to negotiate would you come up with?

It’s All About Profit

Just exactly what do you want to get out of your next negotiation? Forget about all of the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that will be used during the negotiations, why are you willing to invest the time in negotiating? Sure you would like to “profit” from it; however, just exactly what does that mean? It turns out that you can profit from a negotiation if you are willing to expand your definition of profit beyond just financial terms.

What you really want to get out of your next negotiation may be a benefit that you are not aware of going into the negotiation. If you are willing to keep an open mind then you’ll be more receptive to achieving an unexpected outcome that ends up profiting you in the end.

Time To Get An Education

In order to be successful in a negotiation, you need to understand as much as you can about the other side of the table. What this means is that you need to listen to them and hear the story that they want to tell you.

Their story explains why they are there negotiating with you. If you can take the time to listen to them, then you just might learn something that you’ll be able to use later on in the negotiations. This can go a long way in helping you to develop a relationship based on trust with the other side.

Find The Bottom Line

How low will they go? Ultimately every party in a negotiation has a so called “bottom line” that once they go past, the deal is no longer worthwhile to them. It is your job as a negotiator to find this bottom line.

The balance between the minimum that the other side of the table will accept and the maximum that you are willing to give forms what negotiator George Ross likes to call the “zone of uncertainty”. Keep in mind that everyone involved in a negotiation may not be telling the truth so you are going to have to do a good job of careful investigation in order to discover what the real zone of uncertainty is.

What All Of This Means For You

If you want to have any hope of being successful in your next principled negotiation, then you’re going to have to show up with some very clear goals. Just wanting to “get a good deal” is not enough, you’re going to have to give some thought to all of the different goals that you want to achieve.

Clearly one of your goals has to be to profit from the time that you invest in the negotiations. This turns out to be about more than just money. In order to be successful you are going to have to take the time to learn everything that you can about the other side of the table. Finally, every negotiation has a bottom line and one of your goals has to be to do some research to find out where it is.

Having goals allows you to establish a framework for your next negotiation. When you have to make decisions during the negotiations, you can use your knowledge of what goals you are trying to achieve to steer the negotiations. Take the time to fully understand your goals before the negotiation starts and you’ll be on your way to getting a good deal for both sides.

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

Question For You: What do you think that you should do when you think that you’ve found the other side’s bottom line?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

In order to be successful in your next negotiation, you need to know what kind of goals you are going to have to set for yourself. You can think of these goals as providing you with “tips for success” as you face all of the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that will show up in your next negotiation. Things can get confusing during a negotiation, but having these goals at the start will help you to stay on track.

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