Eight Most Important Stages Of Negotiation

Posted on Aug 10 2013 - 2:18pm by Davis Miller


Preparation is definitely a crucial process when it comes to negotiations. As business individuals we can’t go unprepared into a business meeting because we risk closing bad deals, or not closing at all. This article will present you 8 essential stages that you should follow if you want to become a successful negotiator.

It’s very important to understand the main objective of a negotiation, and you can do this by identifying and prioritizing your necessities and goals. Then, you have to do the same for your opponent. Start by gathering information about them in order to estimate their potential wishes and concerns. After this, prioritize their necessities and goals so that you can come up with a satisfying solution that can be accepted by both sides.

Create solution scenarios

After you understand your goals, and the ones of your opponent, you can identify the issues that you can both agree to. Besides, you have to establish how much you’re willing to compromise. Note that compromises are a key element if you want to close a successful deal. However, don’t give away too much without receiving something in return. Similarly, you should try to identify the concessions your opponent might be willing to make and which could be beneficial to you.

Determine alternatives

Prior to participating in a negotiation, a successful mediator establishes a limit that he won’t cross, no matter what happens during the meeting. In fact, both parties have such a limit, and it will be respected even though they can’t seem to reach an agreement. Therefore, a shrewd negotiator always has a BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) in mind. He will opt for this alternative in case the negotiation fails. Still, you should know that your opponent also has a BATNA, so you have to identify their best alternatives in order to propose a better deal.

Enhance your BATNA

A strong BATNA will give you power, so you have to do your best and improve it. You shouldn’t see your BATNA as a preparatory stage of the negotiation; you have to see it as a continuing process. Do whatever you can to fortify your alternatives, since this will make you feel more confident. Keep in mind that a weak BATNA diminishes efficiency, and it can even determine you to agree to a bad deal.

Establish authoritative decisions

You must be aware of what authoritative decisions you involve in the negotiation. What’s more, prior to starting a negotiation, make certain that you’re familiar with the decision making authority of your opponent. Once you are sure that you understand the authority levels of the individuals who negotiate with you, start tailoring your strategy.

Do some research

If you want to use a suitable negotiation strategy, you must adapt it to the negotiation style of your opponent. Hence, some research can help you discover important details about your counterpart, and also about the company they represent. Plus, you will be able to spot their necessities way easier if you are familiar with their activity and interests.

Be flexible

You should know by now that a rigid position won’t lead to a good deal. Therefore, it is important to be open-minded when new opportunities pop up and be able to settle in when the situation changes. Plus, you must be willing to correct your negotiation strategy and techniques when things don’t work out the way you want. If you adopt a rigid attitude, you won’t be able to compromise, thus you won’t reach an agreement.

Be realistic

You won’t establish a long-term business relationship with your associates if you keep pushing them to accept deals that don’t please them. When you propose an offer, it’s very important to be reasonable and understand that you can’t be the only one to win. Therefore, when you prepare your offer, you have to be proactive and consider the needs of both sides.

Last but not least, even though researching is not your favorite activity, you should keep in mind that preparation leads to success. When you enter a negotiation, you need to be well-prepared to accomplish your goals. Always keep your calm, and no matter what happens it’s important to maintain a professional attitude.

Photo Credit: Flickr/changeorder

About the Author

Davis Miller is an experienced writer with interest in small business, technology, and gadgets. He has written several high quality articles at many websites. He spends his free time in reading books and watching movies.