How to keep the power in a negotiation

How to keep the power in a negotiation

Dan Hughes Negotiator, The Negotiation Guru

The world looks like a different place from their side of the table. Find out about them. Find out what’s important to them.

Have a strategy for your negotiation So many companies go into negotiations with their clients without a plan. They may have a goal, such as a price increase, but no idea of how to achieve it. As a result, as soon as clients put up any kind of fight, they end up backing down because they don’t want to lose the business. You need a negotiation strategy. Consider what advantages you have, what leverage they have and how you can put forward a situation where everybody feels they have got something out of it.

Perceived power is more important than real power While you can’t change how powerful you are, you can affect the perception of power. That perception is controlled by the individuals within the negotiation. Focus on the value you create. It makes sense. If you have something that solves a problem, something they want, you have power. What your solution is worth to them is much more important than its market value. Power is not related to the size of your company. It’s the effectiveness of your solution to that client.

Put yourself in their shoes A great way of formulating a negotiation strategy is to imagine yourself on the other side of the table. The more you can see what they are trying to get from the negotiation and why, the easier it is to trade for the outcomes you want. If they need to pay a lower price for your product, what could you ask for in return? Volume? A longer contract? An introduction to a different part of the business?

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