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Achieving better negotiation outcomes

Published: Mar 12 , 2019
Author: Jayant Bhat

Most people I meet look for ways to achieve better results through negotiations. Using a college exam analogy, they want to move from, lets say, a 70% score to 90%.

Negotiations are like an exam. Failure to prepare is preparing for failure! The problem is that negotiations are like an open book exam – lots of pages, lots of things to cover and not sure where to start.

If there is one thing you want to do – it is to be clear about your objectives. What is it you want to achieve? Not being clear on the outcomes is like getting into a taxi and not sure where you want to go. The taxi ride will unlikely result in the quickest or lowest cost outcome.

Many people go into a meeting not sure about what they want. Be clear about the variables you want to negotiate e.g. price, delivery, warranty, payment terms etc. Set a realistic goal for each variable. Prioritize the variables – which is most important, which is less – where you can be prepared to be flexible and where you cannot.

All the best!


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Anjana – a sales leader with an IT firm – is busy preparing for negotiations with a large bank on renewing her firm’s contract with them. Given it is a decent sized deal, Anjana has been preparing for these negotiations over the last several days by interlocking with the account delivery teams, getting buy-ins from the senior leadership & CFO on commercials, getting a handle on the likely strategies from the competition etc. It is no surprise, given the rigour of her preparation, that Anjana was feeling confident about her meeting with the Client CIO.

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