Negotiation isn’t about winning and losing. It’s about both sides feeling there was some progress, with both being better off than before. For example, gaining good will may be as important as gaining concessions.
Negotiation is a PITI-ful process that takes place within a web of tension. The important factors are Power, Information, Time and Intention.
Power means you have something that the other party wants.
Information is about knowing the other party’s needs.
Time imposes pressure, when deadlines apply the imperative to resolve.
Intention is about the objectives of both parties.
Most things are negotiable, but only if you follow the basic principles … in the right order. Never try to negotiate after making a commitment, and never if you first alienate the other person. It then becomes a battle for supremacy.
Here are 15 useful tips. There are others, of course, but these will help:
1. Know what you want (Best Case)
2. Decide on your lowest fall-back position (Worst Case)
3. Know what you have that the other party wants (Power)
4. Find out what the other party needs … and why (Information)
5. Develop a relationship (Trust)
6. Don’t show you are in a hurry or under pressure (Time)
7. Start with a side issue or product that you don’t really want
8. Come indirectly your objective (Intention)
9. Allow lots of space to manoeuvre and horse-trade towards a shared goal
10. Appear indifferent and allow the other party to ‘sell’ it to you
11. Be an active listener – ears and eyes!
12. Find some benefit for the other party to give you what you want
13. Treat the negotiation as a process not an event
14. Know what you are prepared to concede, but hold back as long as possible
15. Focus on interests not positions (sometimes there’s no real conflict)
Finally, be clear whether you are negotiating for something you want, or if the other party is negotiating with you. The rules are similar but not the same.