Insights

Concession Trading in Negotiation - 10 Surefire Winning Techniques

A good negotiator needs not just a repertoire of strategies, tactics and techniques but also the experience to know when and how to deploy them. The concession strategy lies at the heart of every negotiation as it determines how we should manage the way the negotiation plays out, implementing planned and considered actions and interventions to help us achieve our goals. Yet it is the least planned-for and most avoided component of negotiation preparation.

Here are ten winning techniques to help you develop an effective concession strategy.

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Using Day One Analysis to Drive Out Value in Negotiation

Whilst predominantly used by purchasing professionals in Category Management and Supplier Relationship Management, Day One Analysis can also be a powerful tool in negotiation planning – particularly when sourcing goods and services. It helps us understand our current position and what scope we might have, if any, to negotiate and then enables us to determine what sort of negotiation we should conduct if we are to maximise our outcomes. It is simple to understand and simple to apply… but can make the world of difference.

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The Power of Alternatives: Why you should never leave the office without a BATNA!

Everyone knows the importance of planning in advance of a negotiation to ensure that we are as prepared as possible to get the result that we want. But do you know what is the single most effective way to dilute or remove the other party’s power in a negotiation?

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Negotiation planning: How do you work out what the ‘final price’ should be?

“How do I know what I should pay for this?” is a fair question when planning a negotiation and one I frequently hear being asked, especially by those just starting out. There is a common misconception that somewhere out there lies a magic tool or approach used by the professionals to gain this insight. Sadly, there’s not!

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The great negotiation race - what we really need to do now Brexit is real: 10 Brexit negotiation tips!

It’s hard to find an article that isn’t asserting a view on Brexit right now, but it’s even more difficult to find one that gives real help and guidance on what business leaders, politicians and the rest of us need to get on and do. There is much talk of the need for negotiation, and lots of it! This article gives a snapshot of the difficulties we face and begins to outline 10 tips around what we really need to do to survive and emerge strong in the new world of Europe – and the international marketplace beyond.

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10 questions to help understand and prepare for cultural differences when negotiating

In today’s global market, surely we no longer need to consider the old fashioned idea of cultural differences when negotiating? Wrong!

International commerce means the world is fast becoming a smaller place. As a result it is easy to assume that, if organizations are interacting routinely across geographic boundaries and conducting business in one increasingly universal language, there is no longer a need to consider our cultural differences. Cultural differences shape who we are, and failure to understand these differences and adapt our negotiation approach can doom a negotiation to failure or, at least, deliver sub-optimum outcomes.

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Ten Years of Red Sheet - What the last 10 years have taught us about negotiation

The Red Sheet negotiation approach is the tool of choice by many negotiators and companies the world over, whether in sales, purchasing, HR, project management or security services.

As the Red Sheet negotiation approach celebrates its 10th anniversary, this month we reflect on what these exciting 10 years have taught us about negotiation.

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Buying Your New Car – 10 tips to negotiate a better deal

When we buy a new car a good salesperson will make us feel valued and important—after all, they will be incentivized to make the sale. It is true that our leverage is small; we are just one buyer, buying one car, from a dealer acting on behalf of one of the global car giants.

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Of Course I Love You! Five ways to spot if the other party is lying

“Did you pack those bags yourself, Sir?”

“Yes”, I replied, locking eye contact with the Customs officer for as long as possible.

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Is it OK to Lie in a Negotiation?

Should we lie when negotiating? Lying is frequently regarded as a necessary component of negotiation, as part of the way the game is played. For negotiation we tend to use slightly different language to make it more palatable and we call it ‘bluffing’ or ‘laying out a position’.

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Is Win/Win Really Possible or Even Desirable?

“Negotiation is all about getting a win/win” – This is a suggested approach I frequently hear and a claim found in many negotiation textbooks. But is a ‘win/win’ really possible, and if so, is it desirable? The answer is it all depends. It depends upon the circumstances of the negotiation, your relative position and what you want to get out of the negotiation beyond the deal itself.

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Born or Made? The Negotiator

It is true that some people seem to have more affinity to some parts of negotiation – we all know the natural dealer, happy to deal and trade, to take or make a position, to rattle the cages of the opposition; but that is only one facet of negotiation. A real negotiator has built a whole range of styles and techniques to suite the particular position that they find themselves in, with a range of short and long term approaches aimed at creating a favorable position.

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Time is the Enemy

I’m running down a corridor to a meeting with a supplier, a negotiation where I’ve had no time to prepare, but I know I’ll be OK, because I’m a born negotiator.

It has happened to all of us: a lack of details; a lack of big picture, but the capability to somehow get through this; pushing decisions out; regrouping; making space and time to do it right.

We hear stories like this all the time; there’s too much happening at any one time to be able to stand back and prepare enough. Even when we make some space, someone comes along and steals it from us.

There are consequences of this, naturally.

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Negotiate Better by ‘Being in the Moment’

Much of our lives are scattered through with interruption and diversion: e-mails and phone calls continuously vie for our attention; conversations are interrupted by others being diverted by messages; new tasks and interventions from colleagues break up our flow of activity.

The net effect, discussed in ‘productivity’ forums and software endlessly, is a reduction in our ability to achieve anything worthwhile. Although many plates are spinning, much of the activity is worthless, or achieves little.

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The Negotiation Jigsaw

There’s so much to think about when pulling a negotiation together, it’s like a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle. There’s stakeholders, and culture and power balance to address; there’s team members to rehearse and prepare; there’s supplier conditioning to get right; there’s all the physical room and route to meeting influencing to work on; there’s even all that detail about what we’re negotiating for and how we might work towards a solution. Just like a jigsaw, but there’s no lid to help us visualise what the finished picture should be.

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Searching for Power in Negotiation

Negotiations have within them a search for power—the power to walk away with the things you want. Finding ways to change that balance of power is an ancient human activity, encompassing espionage, war, trade delegations and playground fights. With sufficient power, one side can force the counter-party into a position of disadvantage and seek to benefit from that.

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Ten Things to Do to Improve Procurement

Here are ten things you can do to improve procurement in your organization and make a difference to the contribution you are making to your business. 


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The Softer Side of Negotiation

My new book Negotiation for Purchasing Professionals was recently reviewed by Peter Smith on the Spend Matters UK website. I read with great interest some of the commentary following the review and I thought it might be helpful to enter the debate and share some thoughts. Peter asked me to do a guest blog spot on his site and I’m sharing the content of that with you here as well.

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