I can only speak for myself, but when I’m headed into a negotiation I like to have as much freedom to do things as possible. That’s why I tend to shudder when I discover that there are regulations or even laws that are going to impact the negotiations. However, maybe I’m not looking at the complete picture.
How Regulations And Laws Can Harm A Negotiation
When we enter a negotiation, one of the things that we need to know even before we sit down is just exactly who is in the room? Sure there are the people who are physically there, but are there requirements and restrictions placed on either side of the table by others? This can have a big impact on the negotiation styles and the negotiating techniques that we can use.
When regulations and laws get involved, that negotiating room can get pretty crowded, pretty quickly. When we have to negotiate with these kinds of restrictions, all of a sudden our options start to narrow. I for one start to fell rather constrained. The negotiation definition is altered in these negotiating situations.
One of the biggest challenges that I’ve encountered to conducting principled negotiation is when the laws that you are negotiating under require you to reveal more information to the other side than you normally would. This tends to screw up the whole negotiation process for me. A great example of this is when you are negotiating with the government – after all, they get to make up the laws. Often times you’ll find that you are required to reveal elements of your product or services’ costs that you normally would not share with the other side of the table. Ouch!
How Regulations And Laws Can Help A Negotiation
Having regulations and laws come and sit at the negotiating table with you is not always a bad thing. If it turns out that they are working for you, then this can actually be a good thing.
The key here is to do your homework before you start any negotiation. What you need to be looking for are those regulations, statutes, rules or laws that support your negotiating position. The more of these that you are able to find, the easier it is going to be to get the other side to come around to agreeing with your position.
In addition to helping you with the other side of the table, regulations and laws can help you better manage your own company. When others in your company see the constraints that you are operating under, they will be more likely to put their support behind your negotiating positions and provide you with the support that you’ll need to be successful.
What All Of This Means For You
Negotiations can be tricky to do well. When regulations and laws get involved, things can become a great deal more challenging. Sales negotiators need to understand how to work in these situations.
These conditions can require that a negotiator reveal more to the other side of the table than they normally would. It’s very important to take the time to understand just exactly what the regulations require you as a negotiator to do.
Depending on exactly what the restrictions are, they can work in your favor. If they limit the other side of the table’s options, then it may become easier for the other side to agree to your requests and reach the deal that you wanted to have negotiated. In the end, that may make it worth all of the extra effort that these restrictions require.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™
Question For You: When you discover that regulations and laws may impact a negotiation, what is the best way to research how they will impact how you negotiate?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
How did your last negotiation go? Did you and the other side of the table spend your time working through a long list of demands that the other side had made? Did you end up feeling as though you had negotiated for a very long time? The next time that you prepare for a negotiation, you need to come up with a way to streamline the process so that you can reach an agreement quickly. It turns out that you can make this happen by bringing a purple monkey to the negotiations.