Preparation for Negotiation
You should try to answer these questions before any negotiation
Dig for the Information
Find out about people on the other side (e.g., background, reputation, working style). Look up the Internet or talk to people who might know the other side.
Create a positive atmosphere at the onset of negotiation. For example, tell the other side that why your approach would be best for both you and them. Convince the other side from the beginning that the negotiation is going to be fair.
Prepare documentation. Find reference to back what you are going to say in the negotiation. This documentation will help you create aura of legitimacy.
This is one of the most powerful tool in negotiation. A deal book is a book which keeps track of all transactions. There are two types of deal book. The first one is a general deal book. It keeps track of what you do daily such as who you talk to, what they said--in person, in a meeting, on the phone, what works, what not. Keep this deal book at a particular location which is easily accessible such as your office. Do not take it with you everywhere. You might lose it, or someone might be able to see the confidential information in your deal book.
The second type of deal books is specific for each deal. This is a checklist and organizer. It includes everything such as plan for negotiation, phone numbers, meeting details (see pg 137), agenda for each meeting, the entire agenda for the negotiation. Track what has been agreed to, what terms are still opened, and what is needed to solve them. It takes a lot of time, effort, and thought to maintain a great deal book. But it worths.
This is the list of conflicting issues, summarizing the difference between both sides. Keep track of these issues. Prioritize them. When the list is complete, show the list to the other side and ask ‘are these all issues we have?’ and ‘If we solve all these issue do we have a deal?’ If the answer is ‘no’, find out what’s missing. If the answer is ‘yes’, proceed to solve the issues in the list.
This is the list on your side. You should record what you need and create the list. You can then review the list from time to time to add/remove things from the list.
POST (Person, Objective, Strategy, Tactics)
Find out all persons who will be in the negotiation. If an unknown person walks in, ask nicely who this person is.
Make sure you know your objectives of each meeting. Are you testing the water? Or, do you really need this deal? You may or may not stick to them. But, you need to know what your objectives are.
You need to adapt strategy based on situation. Here are few strategies:
- Eagerness: You may show that you are so eager in the deal. Your passion will resonate to the other side. This may help the other side see you point of view.
- Good Cob, Bad Cob: Have two persons in a negotiation. One is positive. Another is negative. This strategy will confuse the side of who would be the real decision maker.
- Note Taker: One does the talking; Another does nothing but taking note. Even if the note-taker is just nobody, this person would put pressure on the other side.
This is about who does what in order to achieve the strategy. If you are adopting a note-taking strategy, make sure that you instruct the note-taker properly. If you want to other side to slow down, perhaps you should try to let them know that we have a note taker. If they don’t notice, perhaps you can do a detailed minutes and send it to the other side.
After The Meeting
Review the negotiation and make a note with your team immediately after negotiation. Organize the notes nicely so that it is easily accessible.
These are crucial points you might want to review and document. Did you get what you want?, If not, find out why. What went wrong? What did you learn? What should we do in the next meeting?
Revise the Assumptions
You may go to a meeting with one assumption, but come out with the others. You need to revise it. You also need to test the assumption periodically.
A deal can go over several meetings. If this is the case you should adopt the following strategy:
After 3--4 meetings or once a milestone is reached, send the following email to the other side.
‘I’m so glad we’ve agreed on these items:.....If you disagree with this, please let me know immediately.’This will be an evidence that both sides have resolved the issues.
Book or Audiobooks?
Personally, I prefer audiobooks. It's fun, and I can listen when I'm doing something else. It also makes other activities (e.g., jogging) a lot more fun. For more detail about audiobooks, please read [this post].
There is one more reason that may encourage you to go for the audiobook version. You can get it now for FREE. Audible offers you a free trial for 14 days. Even if you get the book and cancel the subscription right away (so that you don't have to pay), you can keep the book. And, don't worry if you lost the audiobook file. Just log into audible.com. You can keep downloading the over and over again.
However, when the material is an audiobook, it is extremely hard to locate a specific part of content. Most likely you will have to listen to the entire audiobook once again.
This book summary will help solve the pain of having to go through the book all over again.
I am leaving out the details of the books. Most books have interesting examples and case studies, not included here. Reading the original book would be much more entertaining and enlightening. If you like the summary, you may want to get the original from the source below.