6 traps that may be killing your negotiations

It's no coincidence that the first synonym listed for negotiation is cooperation. The ideal outcome of any negotiation is for both parties to come together appreciating how they each benefit from working together.

Healthy negotiations are possible in business development with a little pre-planning. According to Dr. Victoria Medvec, negotiations expert at Medvec and Associates, there are 6 traps to avoid so your deal isn't derailed.

  • Negotiating the wrong deal This happens when standard or typical things are negotiated rather than putting the right issues on the table. Are you aware of how this deal fits within your and their overarching strategies? If not, you may walk away from a deal that's actually good.

  • Failing to establish an ambitious goal beforehand Without this you may leave monies on the table or settle for less than the best deal.

  • Primarily focusing on issues that are quantified, so you tell the wrong story. You know pricing and timing will be discussed at some point. Focus your conversation on the qualified issues: service, value and expertise, for example. Some things you do or provide may not matter to them. Once you've determined what's important to them tell your solution story from their perspective.

  • Not having a reservation point What would be too much to give on your end? How about on their end? Establish when you would stop a negotiation and walk away. Understand what would make them walk away and know upfront whether you can meet their parameters.

  • Making single offers rather than employing a multiple offer approach. This allows you to trade off on the differences of what's preferred on both sides of the table. If they want your lowest price for multiple years, might you agree to the lower price for the first year, slowly raising the price over consecutive years?

  • Not being mindful that there is always another solution Know what they would do if they didn't negotiate with you. For example, when hiring if you can't meet the candidate's desired salary, might they agree to your terms in exchange for being allowed to work from home, have more vacation time, etc.? If your competitor offers those alternatives, they may well decide to work there instead.

The real win-win in any negotiation is when both parties shake hands and feel great about the deal they just made together.

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