When we go in for a negotiation we should do so with a clear strategy prepared. We need to know what we want to obtain and what we’re willing to let go of. However, no matter how sure we are we did everything right, negotiation strategies fail. If you ever had a negotiation round go sour, you might find the reason why in the following list:
1. Insufficient planning
A well-planned battle is a half won battle. You need to plan everything: tactics, goals, priorities, and alternatives. What’s the worst deal that’s still profitable? When do you walk away? Additionally, you need to also understand the other party’s interests, goals, and constraints. Many times, however, insufficient planning is the cause of failed negotiations. Not knowing what you want from a negotiation and not understanding the other party’s position at the table well enough make you more likely to fail.
2. Disregarding cultural differences
Today’s global markets means it’s very likely you’ll one day meet negotiators from different cultures. And there are many differences between cultures, no matter how closely they seem to resemble. Even “Western culture” is a concept which is used to refer to many cultures which, although are very similar from most points of view, differ in key aspects. As long as you understand those differences are there, as long as you identify them and respect them, you have the potential to use them to your benefit. There are times, however, when negotiators assume that cultural differences will play no part in the coming talks. And they couldn’t be more wrong.
3. Not paying attention to the other party
It pays to listen to your opponent and understand his perspective. You can then use that information to change his attitude and point of reference in order to match yours. Not doing so, allowing him to perceive your offer in terms of other contracts he has information of, can be disastrous.