Negotiation Do’s for Positive Results

by on Jul 29, 2016 8:59 AM

Your ability to negotiate in business and in life often determines how successful you can be. Successful negotiation means keeping a relationship intact while creating a better deal for yourself and providing satisfaction to the other party. The goal of partnership negotiation is to find workable (not perfect) solutions that are mutually satisfactory to both parties and can be sustained over time. Reaching the lucrative “yes” requires you to navigate strategic approaches while dealing with a wide range of demands advanced by the other party.

There are plenty of resources that teach us how to negotiate, and there are many opportunities to do so, such as negotiating a short or long term contract from a single source supplier or negotiating with employees.

The following are “Negotiation Do’s” for you to use whenever there is a need to create sustainable partnerships for mutual benefit.

  • Take your time. Negotiation is a permanent activity over time. It is not a hurried up operation, and requires one to understand the other party, their business issues and their concerns.
  • Plan, plan, plan. It is the most important activity in negotiation. No other activity has greater payoff.
  • Keep your options open. The process of a partnership negotiation is to create a universe of possibilities and keep your options open, together generating alternative ideas that lead to creating workable solutions.
  • Maintain a proper mindset. It has to be: there is always better deals for both parties, and let’s find it together. Patience and risk will be needed to do this.
  • Define your issues. Unless the issues are clearly defined, there is nothing to negotiate. Negotiation seldom has more than 2 or 3 key issues.
  • Test all assumptions. Doing so will provide clarity and insight.
  • Give to get. You need to put workable cards on the table. Often the parties hold back information thinking that they need to protect themselves – to the detriment of having the other party not understand what they need in order for the negotiation to move forward. You have to give enough truthful information (without hurting yourself) so the other party understands.
  • Pause for a while. Time away from the negotiation is called a caucus and most movement in a negotiation occurs away from the table. In the caucus, you have a chance to think about what happened and how to move forward with your own party.

It is also useful to remember:

  • You must have the ability and desire to get close to the other party and be committed to mutual satisfaction.
  • There are always three negotiations. The first negotiation is with self, the second is with your own organization (so you don’t get undercut or unsupported) and third, being ready to meet with the other party.
  • Give concessions worth value and concede carefully. Ask for things in return before you commit to giving something. Everything should have perceived value even though it costs you nothing. Create value for concessions.
  • Negotiation is about “getting objectives” (dollars, goods and services) as well “proving objectives”. You have to prove to the other party in thought and action that you are working for “the deal” that benefits both.

By taking these tips into account can, you can strengthen your negotiation skills for better results.

If you would like to discuss these points or learn more about negotiation, please contact Jon at Trilogy Partners at