How to succeed in negotiation
Recently, I observed a negotiation that went spectacularly badly for a company that completely forgot the basics. The owner had decided to sue one of the big banks in Australia, and not content with that, he also decided to sue a second major institution. Remembering these negotiation basics could have saved the owner a lot of time and money.
Don’t let emotion cloud your judgement
When you decide to take on an organisation in an altercation, it is worth considering first what your state of mind is in. Recall that old piece of advice: never send a letter (email, text message, anything) when you’re mad. The company’s owner went in with all guns blazing, and their plan backfired.
It’s easy to rush to conclusions without stopping to consider where you stand in the situation. If you’re feeling angry, ripped off, or hard done by, give the dust some time to settle. Try and look at the situation objectively, and consider how power, time, and information fit into your situation. These are the three pillars of negotiation, and your understanding of their relationship could make or break your negotiations.
Large institutions hold intrinsic power.
Some organisations have intrinsic power by their very size alone. No matter how ‘right’ you think you are, if the organisation you are dealing with is intrinsically powerful, you should consider the situation carefully. If you’re thinking of taking on a bank, government, or other large enterprise, you had better use the other two pillars to bear.
Time is money.
Negotiations can be time consuming, and if you’re going to court, they can get very costly. Institutions can afford to employ delay tactics, and smaller companies just can’t compete. Always consider if the costs outweigh the benefits.
Information is key.
It’s important to enter any negotiations informed and prepared. Do your research and familiarise yourself with the other party and their tactics.
Although smaller companies might find it difficult to negotiate without the benefit of intrinsic power, with careful and considered action, it’s possible to use time and information to sway the power of negotiation back in your favour.
If you want to learn how, join our next negotiation workshop.