Newsletter - Learning Matters - No.16

How to negotiate successfully

  1. Before starting discussions decide on your parameters: set your absolute 'bottom line', decide what is essential for you to achieve and what is desirable


  2. Don't be afraid to ask for a break if you reach a deadlock. People often make decisions whilst you are not in the room!


  3. Be prepared with information about the other party


  4. Know the value of your offering to the other party. If you understand what is important to them you are in better position to make a deal


  5. Remember that people only value what they pay for. Routinely giving away your product or service devalues it


  6. Bargain on the things you are willing to concede. Offer to give something to the other party if they give you something in return


  7. Be flexible in your approach. Be willing to change your negotiating style if it is not working. Alternatively bring a third, neutral, party into the negotiations


  8. Read and respond to signals. Observe body language carefully, listen to what's being meant in addition to what's being said. What is being left unsaid?


  9. Be concise when making your proposal. Avoid saying too much as you will weaken your position. Make your proposal and then wait for a response


  10. Follow up in writing once you have reached an agreement

US navy stand-off story - how not to negotiate

This is the alleged transcript of an actual radio conversation between a US naval ship and Canadian maritime contact of the coast of Newfoundland in October 1995.

Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees North to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees South to avoid collision.

Americans: This is the captain of a US navy ship; I say again divert your course.

Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.

Americans: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES' ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH, THAT'S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH, OR COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.

Canadians: We are a lighthouse; your call.



Learning Curve - Reading, Berkshire, England: +44 (0)118 987 5683 moreinfo@yourlearningcurve.co.uk

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