Business development 27 July 2016

Ten business negotiating tips now Brexit is real

(6) Focus on what they want, what they really, really want

What your business partner says they want might be very different to what they actually require. Behind things over which people bargain lie true motivations. If you can discover these, then negotiating can involve finding solutions.

Asking hypothetical questions like If we could find a way to do x, then would that take away your concerns over y can help here, as these questions get a counterpart to reveal what matters to them.

(7) Find alternatives

Power in negotiation comes from having alternatives or at least the appearance of having alternatives. If a counterpart believed we had no choice but to cut a deal with them, they effectively have total control.

Ask What else could we do here if we really needed to and the possibility to find alternatives is opened up. When happy in the knowledge that alternatives exist, business owners will negotiate harder to secure the right outcome.

(8) Build relationships and sell the future

Consider the relationship you want to have with a counterpart beyond the deal, and work to build it in. it’s easy to think we should adopt a cold, arm’s length stance, but this is counter-productive. Sales people know this, so work hard to build a relationship.

When there is a relationship, negotiating gets easier. A degree of trust, and even obligation, gets established. This becomes especially important when negotiating with business partners in more southern parts of Europe. It becomes about selling yourself and, quite simply, making them like you as an individual. If you like someone, you are more likely to do business with them.


Business development