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Anticipating (and Preparing to Overcome) Hurdles During Business Negotiations

Posted July 4, 2019 in Articles

When approaching any type of business negotiation, thorough preparation can greatly improve your chances of success. Whether you are buying a business or trying to land a new client, evaluating your priorities, anticipating your counterpart’s priorities and developing strategies to find common ground can help you avoid unnecessary hurdles and be ready for those that cannot be avoided when they arise.

There are many different aspects to preparing for business negotiations. The steps that are necessary for any particular deal will be heavily dependent on the specific facts and circumstances involved. In broad terms, some of the preparatory steps that will often be key to successful business negotiations include:

1. Identifying Long-Term Priorities

While short-term priorities often take center stage (i.e. “How much can I negotiate the price?” or “How quickly can we close this deal?”), long-term considerations will often merit the greatest consideration during contract negotiations. Identifying potential risks three to five years down the road may not seem that important now; but, when the time eventually comes, you will be glad that you had the foresight to plan ahead.

2. Building Rapport

While building rapport is arguably not as important as it used to be in the United States, in other cultures it is often a necessary predicate to successful business negotiations. Building rapport not only reduces the chances of negotiations ending up fruitless (or in litigation), but it can also provide key insights into your counterparty’s values and cultural norms.

3. Anticipating Areas of Conflict

If you walk through the transaction in your head, where do you see the greatest potential for conflict? Is your counterparty likely to hold firm on price? If so, what can you do to ensure that you realize adequate value from the deal? Is liability a key issue for both parties? If so, put yourself in your counterparty’s shoes, and think about ways you can maneuver the negotiations toward common ground.

4. Countering Biases

Biases can impact business negotiations in a number of different ways. This includes biases on both sides of the table. By acknowledging that these biases exist before the negotiations begin, you can take strategic steps prior to and during your negotiations to both subtly and overtly keep talks focused on the true issues at hand.

5. Preserving Ethical Negotiations

While you may be committed to negotiating ethically, this commitment may not be shared on the other side of the table. Furthermore, even the members of your team may have different opinions about the importance and relevancy of ethics in business negotiations. Understanding how ethics can, should and do impact business negotiations is critical to making informed decisions – not only about how you conduct yourself but how to interpret and respond to the conduct of others.

We Provide Expert Consulting Services for Complex and Cross-Border Business Negotiations

Mithras Investments provides expert consulting services for complex domestic and cross-border business negotiations. To speak with one of our consultants about your next deal, please call 305-517-7911 or contact us online today.

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