You can’t possibly prepare yourself for everything that could go wrong during a business negotiation, but you can evaluate potential problems and do your best to avoid them. Sometimes even the best negotiators fall into traps and leave resources on the table because they didn’t anticipate pitfalls. That’s why it’s always important to consider these possibilities so you can be prepared to face any problems that might come your way during a negotiation.
Authority to Negotiate
You may have spent days preparing to close a big deal but all of that could be shut down immediately if you aren’t in contact with the right person. Before entering into any negotiation, be sure the person you are negotiating with has the authority to make decisions. Don’t waste your time talking to the middle man. When it comes to negotiating, you only want to deal with the decision makers.
Understanding Their Needs
One of the biggest problems for many negotiators is their lack of concern for the other party involved. Some people only think about their own interests and they tend to ignore the needs of the other. Emotions can also get in the way at times, hindering your ability to come to a mutual agreement. Failing to acknowledge the other’s needs can be a huge problem in any negotiation.
Assuming You Both Want the Same Thing
Another problem that you might face in a business negotiation is the false assumption that you and your counterpart want the same things. This is a common mistake that can make it difficult to reach a solution. Be sure you are well aware of both your needs and the needs of your counterpart prior to entering into negotiations.
Walking into a negotiation without fully preparing for it is a recipe for disaster. Successful negotiators make detailed plans and they know their goals and priorities on the front end. Likewise, they have a list of concessions ready-should they need them. They are fully aware of their BATNA and walk-away point so they don’t have to worry about making a rash decision in the heat of the moment.
Unfortunately, not everyone is peaceful and respectful during negotiations. Some negotiators can be quite aggressive and use bullying tactics to get what they want. You must prepare yourself for these kinds of negotiators and have a plan in place for how you will handle aggressive behavior. You need to be able to remain calm and respectful in order to reach a mutual agreement even in a hostile environment.