In our last post, What is Negotiation?,  we discussed the Five Negotiating Tactics. Starting in this post we will go in-depth with an explanation of each of them. This post covers the importance of Preparation.


Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. Before you begin any negotiations, remember that the person who understands the issues the best will be the strongest. Understand not only your side, but theirs as well, and all the other choices that could occur in the middle.

When developing a negotiation plan, make it simple. Remember, in every negotiation there is a beginning, middle and end. Understand each step and know where you want to be.


The more you believe there is only one solution for you, the more you’ll be in a losing position. Why? Because your mind becomes so focused on one outcome, that you cannot accept any other position. Ever hear the saying, “You can’t see the forest through the trees?” If you’re too focused on one particular outcome, you could be missing an even bigger or better outcome. Make sure you look at all your options.


Carefully set the parameters of your initial offer before you begin your negotiations. Remember what is driving you; is it the price or is it a principal you’re negotiating? If price is the driving factor, know where you want your end number to be. Set your negotiation zone. You set one end of the negotiation zone; the other party sets the other end.


What’s the best order? It depends on the situation. Going first may give you the power to set the parameters to your benefit. Or maybe you’re in a situation where you want your opponent to go first; you never know, they may come in at a better place than what you would have thought. They may also provide additional information that will support your side of the negotiation. So look at the whole situation before you commit to going first or second.


While preparing for your negotiations, identify in advance those areas where you would be willing to make concessions. Note that when you’re willing to make concessions (not get run over), you’ll find that it triggers the law of reciprocity. Each side needs to see the satisfaction of movement in their direction. Choose which areas you’re willing to concede before you negotiate, and have a strong story as to why the points you’re going to keep remain.


Negotiation leverage points include: needs, wants, competition, and time. These factors can be used as leverage either against your position or in your favor.  Always look for these four leveraging points; you’ll be surprised to know that the other person will likely be experiencing at least one, or more, of these factors as well.

Look at the next post on the Five Negotiating Tactics which will cover Portray.

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