Negotiation Foundations FAQs

Negotiation Foundations FAQs

We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about negotiation.

What does a negotiation process look like and when would I use one?

A negotiation process is the steps you’ll go through to get from where you are in the negotiation cycle to a fully executed agreement with handover to operations/implementation. Typical steps in the process include:

  • Presentations
  • Commercial terms
  • Payment terms and Ts&Cs
  • SoW, SLAs, invoice profile and KPI targets
  • Contract execution and invoicing

What does negotiation preparation mean?

Negotiation preparation is critical to achieving mutually beneficial outcomes. Preparation means using templates, tools and checklists to ensure you’ve covered all the bases in advance of sitting at the negotiating table.

Negotiation templates may include:

  • Goal setting
  • Timeline analysis
  • Negotiation variables and limits
  • Issues tracker

Negotiation tools may include:

What does a negotiation strategy look like?

A negotiation strategy in our experience always has the following components:

  • Objectives (of both parties), ideal outcomes and the objective criteria that will be used to judge if the agreement is workable for both parties.
  • The process that will be used and milestones.
  • Scope of the negotiation, i.e. what variables are in, what’s out and what’s tradeable.
  • USPs for both sides and their BATNAs.
  • A way of capturing the issues that need to be resolved in order to reach agreement.

What is a negotiation workshop?

A negotiation workshop is often used in negotiation training. It’s an interactive way for the trainer/expert-negotiator to engage with the delegates about specific questions and issues they are facing.

Why is negotiating payment terms important when dealing with big companies?

When dealing with any large organisation, the payment terms and associated Ts&Cs are an essential part of the negotiation. The Ts&Cs contain all the legal terms, conditions and implications of breaching the contract that enable a supplier to work with a customer.

The payment terms are critical to SMEs as they are at the heart-beat of Working Capital Stretch. The longer the payment terms and the bigger the contract, the more working capital has to be funded.

They can take a long time to negotiate, so start the process in parallel with the commercial negotiations.

What is a negotiation coach and when should I use one?

Firstly, we distinguish between coaching and advising as follows:

  • Coaching is typically an inquiry led model (e.g. why do you think this is a problem) and the coach doesn’t need to have any subject matter expertise. The skill of the coach is asking the right questions to help the coachee reach their own conclusions
  • Advising is when you have a specific issue and want access to someone who has seen this, or something very similar before, to give you experienced based advice on how to solve the problem

Although everyone searches for “negotiation coach”, what we believe most people are looking for is a “negotiation advisor”, i.e. input from a highly experienced negotiator to help them get a better deal done.

What are negotiation tools and negotiation templates and when would I use them?

The best negotiation outcomes occur typically when the preparation has been done in advance. To prepare, you need negotiation tools and templates that enable you to repeat the same process for every negotiation.

Negotiation templates may include:

  • Goal setting
  • Timeline analysis
  • Negotiation variables and limits
  • Issues tracker
  • Piscari’s Negotiation Workbook

Negotiation tools may include:

  • BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement)
  • ZOPA (Zone of Possible Agreement )
  • MDO-LAO (Most Desirable Offer and Least Acceptable Offer)

What types of negotiation training are available?

Negotiation training comes in all shapes and sizes:

  • Face-to-face, classroom based, typically 10-20 delegates
  • Face-to-face, classroom based, large audiences of 150 delegates
  • Virtual, multiple sessions over 6 weeks typically, plus virtual coaching sessions
  • Online, pre-recorded sessions, with tests along the way through the modules
  • A blend of all the above

What criteria would you use to select a negotiation training programme?

Here are some of our recommended criteria to help you decide on which negotiation training programme is best for you and your organisation

  • Does the programme include scenarios specific to our sector and have the trainers/coaches operated in our sector?
  • Are all their trainers active negotiation practitioners with more than 10 years experience?
  • Are 1:1 deal negotiation coaching sessions included in the package?
  • Is there a workbook with templates that you can take away and use after the training?
  • What do their testimonials say about the quality of the materials and impact?
  • Do they have any impact measures post training?
  • What’s the learning model?
  • Is there a technology enabled component as part of the programme?

What are some examples of aggressive negotiation tactics?

Aggressive negotiation tactics include:

  • Table Thumping — “This is outrageous and nothing close to what I thought we’d agreed!”
  • The Lowball Anchor — “Your services aren’t worth anywhere near $50,000. The most we’re ever going to pay is $30,000, take it or leave it”
  • The Authorisation Trap — “Are you authorised to do a deal with me? Can you sign the contract? If not, you can leave now, there’s the door”
  • The Deadline — “We close out on supplier selection for this project at 09:30 tomorrow, you’d better sharpen your pencil if you want to be in with a chance”
  • The Buffer — “I’ve got a dozen people like you calling me every day, if you won’t yield, I’ll just call one of them back and we’ll do a deal with them”
  • The Gang Negotiator — “You think I’m tough, wait until you meet Jane, she’ll tear you apart; I can hold her off if we can get this deal done now, on my terms”
  • The Constant Chipper — They’re always chipping away at your offer, just because they feel they can
  • The Last-Minute Chipper — aka the Columbo technique — “Before you go, there’s just one more thing”

All of these are carefully designed by trained negotiators to get an emotional reaction from you. Emotions will derail you at the negotiating table and enable your counterparty to claim more value.

All of these are carefully designed by trained negotiators to get an emotional reaction from you. Emotions will derail you at the negotiating table and enable your counterparty to claim more value.