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Plan Your Next Negotiation, Negotiate Your Plan, Be Successful

April 14, 2012 By: azjogger Category: Human Resources, Training

By Dr. Jim Anderson

When I’m working with negotiators who are trying to become better, they  always ask me what the secret to moving to the next level is. For years I always  told them that there was no “silver bullet” that would allow them to make the  jump. It was just going to take a lot of hard work.

Lately I’ve decided that I’ve been wrong. It turns out that there is one  thing that any negotiator can do that will allow him or her to move up to the  next level. This secret turns out to be something that all of us should be doing  anyway. In fact I think that it should really be part of the negotiation  definition: planning the negotiation.

Negotiating Is Dynamic, Why Bother To Plan?

Nobody could possibly object to the idea of creating a plan to guide your  actions during a negotiating session, right? If this is what you think, then  you’d be wrong. I get a lot of push back from my clients when I suggest  this.

What they tell me is that they view negotiations as being a dynamic thing.  They don’t think that a plan will do them any good – it will quickly become  useless and so why waste the time creating one in the first place?

I have a saying that I share with my clients when they say this: plan your  work, work your plan, and it will all work out. Yes, a lot of things that you  can’t possibly anticipate may happen during a negotiation process. However, by  having a plan you’ll know where you want to go during the negotiations and  you’ll know how you want to get there.

The Best Way To Develop A Negotiating Plan That Will  Work

If I’ve been able to convince you that having a plan for your next  negotiation is the way to go, then perhaps your next question will be how can  you get better at creating plans for negotiating?  It turns out that this is  actually pretty easy to do.

The first thing that you’ll want to do is to do some role-playing. Because of  the dynamic nature of negotiating, you’ll never be able to know exactly how the  other side is going to react to your proposals. If you can get someone to play  the role of the other side of the table, then when you make your proposals you  just might be surprised by their reaction. This is a good thing – you can update  your plan to take this kind of reaction into account.

Additionally, during the actual negotiations you will want to make sure that  you and your team have enough time to make sure that you are staying on plan.  This means that you should plan on taking frequent caucus breaks. Only by  re-synching with your team will you be able to get your side of the table back  onto your plan if things have goon awry.

What All Of This Means For You

All of us want to become better negotiators. We spend a lot of time  researching new negotiation styles and negotiating techniques; however, it turns  out that one of the most powerful ways to become better has been under our noses  all along: practice planning. It’s so simple that we’ve overlooked it for too  long.

Sometimes a negotiation seems to be too dynamic. I mean how could you ever  hope to plan for something that changes that much? However, it turns out that by  having a plan, you’ll always know where you want to go and how you’ll get  there.

In order to make sure that your plan will work for you, you can take the  extra step and do some role-playing before the actual negotiations start. By  doing this you can adjust your plan so that it accounts for the actions that you  believe that the other side may take.

Having a plan gives you something that every negotiator needs before a  principled negotiation starts: self-confidence. If you know what you want and  how you’re going to get it, then there’s a much better chance that what you’ve  negotiated is going to end up producing a good deal for both sides.

Dr. Jim Anderson http://www.blueelephantconsulting.com/

Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Dr. Jim Anderson has spent over 20 successful years negotiating sales of all  sizes. Dr. Anderson offers you his insights on how to develop your negotiating  skills so that you can approach sales negotiations with more confidence that  you’ll be able close more deals and close them faster!

Oh, and if you want to follow Dr. Anderson on Twitter, he can be found at: http://twitter.com/drjimanderson

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