Here are some very specific ideas to help you in any negotiation. You begin your investigation into the parties and process as a first step. Your goal is to build a good and as solid a relationship as possible. Make sure you have the right people on board from the very beginning, through the negotiation and for the implementation and continuing relationship going forward. Make sure your leadership is properly involved to maintain visibility for the parties involved. It sounds simple enough. The question is, how do you do that?
Investigate the parties and process as a first step
Look at your team and theirs. Who is the decision maker? Who are the participants going to be? Why or why not? What are the implications of those specific participants? Keep your team as small as possible, but make sure you have all of the right players needed. Research your team and research the other team on line and with your network. What can you learn about their personal interests to help build a relationship besides their interests in the negotiation topic? This can be very helpful as you explore similar interests with the other team.
What can you learn about their personal interests to help build a relationship besides their interests in the negotiation topic?
How can you use this to develop a better relationship? Use what you learn from social media and your networking with your team and other contacts to bring up elements in common with the other parties at the beginning if possible and during breaks and lunch. It is very important to build an emotional relationship. Our brains are 98% emotional and 2% rational so don’t under estimate the need for a good emotional relationship.
Set up a flexible agenda around relationships and listening to the other party to truly understand the other party’s interests. Ask open ended questions.
Explore your own interests and consider exploring your own interests from the perspective of how the other party may perceive you. Also consider how the impact of this negotiation on other variables beyond price. Consider quality, future work, perception of other clients, perception with your colleagues, timing of services etc. Ask each member of your team to come up with an idea or concern while brainstorming your own interests. By taking this additional step you may be surprised at what you may have overlooked.
Build as good and as solid a relationship as possible
From your first introduction, be welcoming and interested in the other party. Ask open ended questions. From what you have learned ask some questions regarding background, hobbies, family or other insights in an attempt to build more than a business relationship. You want this to be as positive an environment as possible. Consider all of the senses and have a pleasant location with only the key players and decision makers there.
You want this to be as positive an environment as possible. Consider all of the senses and have a pleasant location with only the key players and decision makers there.
Have appropriate food, beverages, and seating arrangements conductive to a productive session. Consider a round table. Make use of breaks from the negotiation to discuss pre-identified areas of mutual interest to try and bond with each other. A few key topics of shared interest outside of work may open doors to help you enhance your relationship and develop a more collaborative atmosphere.
Make sure your leadership is properly involved to maintain visibility for the parties involved
Once the negotiation is completed ensure that members of the negotiation team are associated with the implementation and follow up. Ensure that leadership is regularly briefed and appropriately involved to ensure the other party of their importance.
Once the negotiation is completed ensure that members of the negotiation team are associated with the implementation and follow up.
By having key members of your team involved you can demonstrate the importance of the negotiation and you can address any concerns early should there be any misunderstandings to avoid the end result from going sideways.