Figure out What You Need and Want before the Negotiation
Before you even sit down on the negotiation table you need to be absolutely clear what you want to get out of the deal. Also remember, the outcome that you want from the negotiation is not necessarily what you will start out by asking. Your approach has to be carefully planned which might involve starting with asking for more than you require. If you start by stating only what you need, the likelihood is that you will be pushed down and have to compromise on that. Basically, when you sit down with a piece of paper and try to put down what you need to get out of the negotiation process, you need to make 2 lists, one that has the deal points and the other the trading points.
Deal points are something that you must win and if you can’t get those the negotiation will be of no value. Trading points however, are something that you can compromise on without creating too much of trouble for your business and which even maybe a deal point for the other side. In a negotiation your goal is to get as many trading points as possible and all of your deal points. Simply put, deal points are those points that concern your profit and spending money directly. All others are trading points.
Remember, when trying to get the other side to agree on your most deal points, you might have to give consideration to theirs and may have to compromise a few of your demands. This is extremely important. Do not agree to give up something without asking for something else in return. Do not let go of things that you want to so easily even when you think that it is fair and generous. The other side is not going to perceive it like that and will probably see it as a sign of weakness and press you for even more concessions.
When trying to figure out the important points that you need from the negotiation, you need to be realistic. Be careful in evaluating the things that you really need and the things that you can compromise on. Don’t waste a lot of time and effort concentrating on something that you can afford to overlook as that may result in you having to gave way on the more important factors.
Be absolutely clear about what you want and make it absolutely clear to the other party on the points that you are not willing to compromise on. The secret to a good initiation is using any and all leverage that you possibly can. If you can make the other party sweat it out a bit, then do so. Do not panic, do not get nervous and more importantly, never let the other side see you nervous.
While you can take your time to think about things, and even let the negotiation carry on to a 2nd meeting, never ever give the impression that you are willing to compromise on the deal points that are crucial to your business. Make that absolutely clear. Also, if the other party requests time to think over the points that you brought up, make sure that you make them understand what points are negotiable and which are not. Also ask for a definitive time frame and date when they will be able to provide you with a definitive answer or hold a 2nd meeting. If you do not want to waste too much time with the negotiation tell them clearly that you expect an answer from them in the 2nd meeting.