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Business negotiations – preparation for negotiations

With the previous entry, we started a series of articles in the area of business negotiations. We discussed the issue of different negotiating styles and their characteristics. This time we will describe what preparation for business negotiations should consist of and what should be taken care of.

Get ready for preparation

Proper preparation for negotiations can determine their outcome. It can be said that preparation is a key stage in the entire negotiation process – 90% of success depends on it. It is then that we collect information about the other side of negotiations, analyze the internal situation, define goals and strategies, and prepare a team to support us.

The negotiation plan is worth writing down and, if possible, dividing the issues necessary to discuss into categories. As a result, it will be possible to maintain the order of talks and maintain order, especially when the topic of negotiations is multi-threaded.

It is also important to answer some key questions:

  • Who do we negotiate with?

  • Why do we enter into negotiations?

  • What do we want to achieve as a result of negotiation talks?

  • Where will the negotiation meeting take place?

When preparing for negotiations, it is also worth writing down the potential scenario of the talks, along with any other party’s questions or objections. The stage of questions or objections of the other party is called, somewhat jokingly, while referring to real situations, DIRT WASH. You also have to be ready for this. If we have a lot of time until the meeting date, we should consider using the negotiation experience of a sparring partner with whom we can train our own negotiation skills.

We certainly need to learn as much as possible about our contractor. Further strategy of conducting negotiation talks may also depend on this knowledge. It is also important to set goals – minimum (Break Point), optimal and maximum (Openning Point). This will allow us to later define the limits below which we are not able to give way. It should also be remembered that the other party to the negotiations is likely to define such goals.

The best alternative to the negotiated agreement – BATNA

BATNA is the part of preparations for negotiations that should be the basis for every negotiator. BATNA is his strength! It allows to determine the best alternative in case the negotiations take the wrong direction or if they are interrupted. Thanks to BATNA, we are able to determine which negotiation strategy to adopt: offensive, defensive, and maybe cooperative. A strategy that guarantees maximum satisfaction. The most powerful BATNA is an alternative contractor. From the buyer’s perspective, another supplier, and looking at negotiations through the eyes of the seller, another customer who “patches” the sales volume, in quantity or money. It should not be forgotten that TIME can also be BAT. Appropriate management allows you to build leverage in negotiations. It should be remembered that effective BATNA determination will not be possible without prior, detailed analysis of the contractor, our internal situation and the market situation.

Strategy at a premium

The final stage of preparation for negotiations is the choice of strategy. It cannot be accidental and it cannot fall on one. Before we start the talks, we will not know the strategy adopted by the other party. We wrote about negotiation styles here:

Negotiation strategies are based on conflict resolution, which is an integral part of negotiations. These ways are: offensive, defensive, cooperative. It’s hard to determine the best method. Negotiating experts also disagree in their recommendations and sometimes tend to cooperate, involving both sides of the negotiation, and sometimes towards compromise. Regardless of the approach, it is crucial to ensure a sense of satisfaction for both parties.

Preparation for negotiations, however, is not just a strategy. Also, do not ignore the other factors that may affect the reception by the other party to negotiations and thus the course of talks. These are such aspects as: the number of participants in the negotiations (they cannot be random persons, and the composition of the negotiating team should be proportional to the composition of the other party’s team); place of negotiations (the comfort of conducting conversations is as important as their content); outfit or even the smell of perfume.

If you want to be sure that your team is perfectly prepared for conducting strategic negotiation talks, provide them with substantive support by choosing one of the negotiation workshops available in Eveneum or training with a negotiating sparring partner. Contact us.