Whether you are purchasing a property, negotiating a salary raise, working your way through a protracted dispute or chasing a client on a bill they now don’t agree on, you need to do the research.
This simply means that, to negotiate well, you need to :-
- be aware of the critical facts;
- distinguish between fact and opinion;
- understand who you are dealing with – their painpoints, their over-riding goal in this negotiation and the context in which they seek their position;
- critical external factors that may come into play – market conditions, industry movements, assumptions that have been proven correct or false and/or pre-conditions for the deal.
Why can this go wrong?
Sometimes, when the negotiation is very protracted, or contains layers of complexity, it may be hard to distinguish fact from opinion. It may be hard to see what goes to the heart of the matter and what may be irrelevant to either party or to the discussion.
Positions may change over time for a variety of reasons. The less you know about these changes in position, the less likely you are prepared.
If you are new to the process of negotiation, there’s much to be learnt simply by doing. Some of these lessons may be costly but the lesson is most likely to stay with you.
There’s even a possibility that you may be over-prepared. You’ve considered all bases, you’ve got answers for every conceivable angle but in doing so, you’re burnt out. You’re not able to see the woods from the trees. Too much analysis…
It is, ultimately, a fine balance of research and preparation, your gut feel, being proactive in action, taking a nimble approach, appearing and ultimately, being genuine, forthright and ethical.
Final: Tip #14. Understand the impact of the emotional context.