Monday, May 18, 2009

Negotiation Tactics

When you enter a negotiation, like almost any communication, it is important to have a collaborative mindset. If the other side feels that you are trying to take advantage, that you are insincere, that you are disrespectful of them or of the process, then it is just that much more difficult to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement. One of the BIG differences in a negotiation is that you should be wary of how much “good will” you extend unless the other side is reciprocating. It is alright to “go first” but make sure the other side is reciprocates in both the size and the quality of their gesture, or you will begin to feel like YOU are the one being taken advantage of, and that is no fun.

Before any dealing begins, review the agenda and discuss your expectations for the various points in it with the other side. Stay positive and treat the other side with respect. Feel free to have casual conversation and LISTEN to what they have to share. If they are more formal, then follow their lead. It may be that they feel informality is a sign of inexperience, or of a lack of seriousness on your part.

In an integrative negotiation, take your time making a proposal. This kind of negotiation is about making a deal together, finding ways to create value for each other. It is very important to explore each other’s issues and concerns before rushing to make any offers.

Be as forthcoming as possible about your interests. Let them know why you want to make a deal, why you are dealing with them, your priorities and preferences, and also any constraints you may have. These will all help the creative minds in the room to see new ways that you can create value for each other.

The key to the ways you create value for each other is in the DIFFERENCES between you; if your two organizations are identical, then you are limited in how you can help each other. Look for mutual interests and cooperative opportunities.

Once the proposals are on the table, examine them carefully, looking for ways to improve them. Improve them by mutual brainstorming. Talk about the PROBLEM you are trying solve and then list some solutions that you feel the differences between the two organizations can create. Then try to apply the various solutions to the problem.

Next time, we'll look at tactics for a DISTRIBUTIVE negotiation which is more of a "contest" kind of negotiation.

Insist on great business results! Go to Pathfinder Communication

No comments: