Introduction to our New Series: The Negotiation Timeline

At its core, the Negotiation Timeline offers a structured process to guide you step-by-step through important actions during a negotiation. It might seem tempting to rush to a quick solution, but we all know that the initial solution to a negotiation is often inadequate and unsatisfactory, and rarely offers the best outcome for all parties involved. 

In contrast, the Negotiation Timeline allows all parties to feel they’ve truly contributed to the process with their unique ideas and options, creating a fertile ground for successful negotiations.

So let’s dive right into our Negotiation Timeline series with the first critical step: 

Preparation and Homework. While some may view this step as less exciting than the actual negotiation, the truth is that a lack of preparation is often the root cause of unsuccessful negotiations.

Jumping into negotiations haphazardly, without contemplating potential challenges or considering the wants and needs of the other parties, can lead to impasses and unsuccessful outcomes. Therefore, a systematic negotiation preparation process is essential and requires thoughtful consideration of the following points:

  1. Define your desired outcome and the reasoning behind it.
  2. Understand what the other party values and why they value it.
  3. Consider your “suite of alternatives,” which we will delve deeper into in module 3.

One key aspect of your preparation should be identifying your walk-away alternative. Whether you’re negotiating a property deal, a job agreement, or a sales contract, it’s essential to determine the least acceptable combination of price, terms, and deliverables. This is your safety net, the deal you’d prefer to take rather than no deal at all. Without this, you’ll lack a clear roadmap for the negotiation.

Preparation is not just about being ready to face the negotiation; it’s also about doing your homework. Good negotiators invest time to ask critical questions and gather valuable data points that might not be evident at first glance. This deep dive provides a better understanding of your goals and strategy and ensures you’re well-informed and competent in the negotiation room. While this process may require some time and effort, the return on this investment can be considerable.

Remember, the time you spend in preparation sets the stage for successful negotiations, giving you the confidence and knowledge you need to drive the process effectively.

Stay tuned for our next newsletter where we’ll take you through the second step of the Negotiation Timeline.

Thank you for joining us in this journey towards better negotiation practices. If you would like to receive a copy of our negotiation preparation worksheet send us an email here info@einegotiation.com

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