When it comes to negotiation, “winging it” or negotiating “on the fly” is likely to lead to missed opportunities and unexpected demands from the other party to which concessions can rapidly follow.
Think of giving concessions as a cost to your business, one that we would rather avoid incurring.
In order to maximise the return on concessions you may need to give, there is a clear three-stage approach to a negotiation that will help maximise the return on concessions you may need to give.
Let’s take a closer look.
1. Pre Negotiation = Preparation
This first stage is where 80% of your time will be spent and includes the following:
- – Setting your objective levels
- – Quantifying variables
- – Understanding your counterpart’s objectives
- – Variables and trading pressures
- – Obtaining internal alignment and authorisation of your negotiation parameters.
- – There are many aspects to consider prior to a negotiation but good preparation is the key to achieving a desirable outcome.
Holding your counterpart accountable for their side of the agreement and ensuring you deliver on your negotiated commitments is key.
Nick H. HQ Managing Partner
2. During Negotiation = Holding to your negotiation plan
During your preparation you will have planned how to approach the negotiation. This includes determining who should go first, tracking multiple offers, effectively proposing and receiving counter proposals, handling objections, managing your behaviour to align with their behavioural style and dealing with possible buyer tactics.
3. Post Negotiation = Implementing the agreement
Once the negotiation has been successfully completed, you must set out who does what and by when. Holding your counterpart accountable for their side of the agreement and ensuring you deliver on your negotiated commitments is key.
Setting a clear three-stage approach to a negotiation will enable you to identify opportunities, strengthen your objectives and highlight areas of potential weakness.
Of course, we advocate you not only take a three-stage approach for your negotiation objectives, but also take a three-stage approach from your customer’s perspective. This will highlight both zones of potential agreement and zones that represent a challenge for both parties.