Quick Negotiation Best Practices Intro

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No guest this week and I’m going to be short and sweet as a foundation to reference.   As a salesperson, there are a few key things I’d suggest always keeping in mind regarding negotiation (a lot of it I’ve learned the hard way- by experience):

-Negotiating can be a fun game if you choose to let it be!  No reason to ever fear it if you’re prepared.

-Never engage in negotiation if you’re not prepared and attempt to politely but firmly withdraw if you realize you’re not as prepared as you should be.

-Negotiating is an expected custom of doing business in America.  Thinking you can avoid it by jumping to lowest price, loosest terms, or trying to appease in any other way will only hurt you and your company.

-It is perfectly ethical and legal to not reveal your BATNA (more on what that is in a minute) and other information that benefits you throughout a negotiation.  Where I’d argue it becomes unethical is when you’re intentionally trying to hurt the other party (psychologically or otherwise in attempts to manipulate).  Negotiation becomes illegal when you’re attempting to commit fraud, e.g. promising what you can’t deliver, etc.  

-Every professional interaction, i.e. with a prospect, customer, or even boss or colleague, is likely part of a negotiation to some degree, or a negotiation will develop out of it, so always be prepared and respond accordingly.

-The best negotiators are interested in the healthiest possible outcome for all parties.  They get there by focusing on the interests of all sides, knowing their BATNAs, not being afraid to be very real (meaning polite, discerning, candid, and brave) with all parties, and not being afraid of withdrawing when their BATNAs dictate.

-Finally, I’d strongly recommend adopting a negotiation framework or guide.  My personal preference is “Getting to Yes” by Fisher and Ury because it’s the output of the Harvard Negotiation Project and focused on principles vs situational tactics, although it gives tactical application examples.  They define BATNA too, which I’m not going to do here to encourage you to buy the book and find out for yourself 😊. 

-Todd Lameoreaux

Todd Lamoreaux