4 Tips For Conducting A Successful Negotiation

by drjim on October 25, 2013

Every negotiation has constraints that you need to be aware of

Every negotiation has constraints that you need to be aware of
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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.

Know Their Constraints

No negotiation is conducted in a vacuum. What this means for you is that the other side of the table is dealing with a number of constraints. Perhaps there is a time by which they need to have this negotiation completed by. Perhaps they won’t be the one who will be able to approve a deal – they’ll have to go back to someone further up their management chain. As a negotiator, it’s your responsibility to take the time to find out what these constraints are because they are going to shape how the other side chooses to negotiate with you.

Take The Time To Study The Other Side Of The Table

In order to be successful in a negotiation, you need to take the time to study the triangle of understanding. This triangle consists of the three things that you need to know about the other side of the table: their personality, their depth of knowledge on the topic that is being negotiated, and how good of a negotiator they are. The reason that this information is so important to you is that you are going to want to adapt your negotiating style to match their style in order to make them feel comfortable negotiating with you.

Assess Your People

Every negotiation is a careful balance between your negotiating posture and reality. It is important that you take the time to understand how each person who is helping your side of the table feels about how the negotiation is going. You also have to take the time to bridge any gaps in differences of opinions on what they believe your next negotiating steps should be. The last thing that you want to have happen is for your team to show the other side that there is a disagreement within your team about how to proceed.

Define “Fair & Reasonable”

You will never be able to reach a deal with the other side of the table if you don’t know what you think a fair & reasonable deal looks like to you. Along the same lines, you’re not going to be able to get to where you want to get to if you don’t have a good understanding of what fair & reasonable looks like to them. Discovering how your two views of this differ is going to be critical to your ability to find ways to bridge the gap and create a deal that both of you can live with.

What All Of This Means For You

Every negotiator needs to have guidance in order to make a principled negotiation turn out correctly. Creating a set of goals, or tips if you will, can help to make sure that you stay on the right track as the negotiations proceed. The trick is to make sure that you have the right set of goals to follow.

Before any negotiation starts you need to take the time to learn what the other side’s constrains are. You’ve got some homework ahead of you: you’ve got to study not only the other side of the table, but also the people on your team also. Ultimately, if you want to have any chance of reaching a deal with the other side, you’re going to have to have a solid grasp of what you believe a fair & reasonable deal looks like to you.

The good news is that if you are willing to do the prep work, then you can increase your chances of being able to reach a deal with the other side of the table during your next negotiation. However, it’s only by having a clearly defined set of goals that you’re going to be able to get to where you want to be. If you can take care of this, then your chances of success will be very good!

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

Question For You: Do you think that you should tell the other side what you think is fair & reasonable?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Quick: define what you think the perfect negotiation would be. What came into your mind? Did you see yourself showing up at the bargaining table, laying out your demands, getting agreement from the other side of the table, and then going home? Bad news if that is your dream because it’s never going to happen that way.

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