How to make the best out of your negotiation

It all depends on you.

We’ve all taken part in a negotiation at some time in our lives.

Whether you were introduced to the process as a child or an adult,

it’s my job to help you learn how to make the best deal you can.

Prepare for the negotiation

Sometimes a negotiation can fail before it even begins.

Every deal involves many moving parts, all coming together in a high-pressure situation.  

  • Does the person you’re negotiating with have the power to make a final decision?
  • Do they understand your process, and what you need to come to an accommodation?  
  • Do you know what they need from you?  
It’s best to have everything organized before you even sit down to the table.

People have taken time out of their busy day to get together to discuss this deal.

Seize the opportunity!  

Follow these five steps to get the best results.

1.        Get your documentation together

The first step is to sign a good NDA (non-disclosure agreement) before you exchange relevant documentation such as standard agreements, patents, trademark registrations, or information about the company structure.

Product-related information like production costs, packaging, and transportation should also be covered.  

Work with your in-house and external lawyers to be prepared. Preparation is key.

The information you need should be at the table or easy to gather during the negotiation.  

2.         Speak to your mediator (if you have one)

If you don’t have a mediator, consider hiring one. Emotions can run high during a negotiation.

A mediator is professional who can argue your side without getting caught up in their feelings.  

If you have the advantage of mandating a mediator, make sure you understand how he or she works so that you are prepared.

Schedule a preparatory conference call so that you’re on the same page before talks begin.  

3.         Know your numbers and prepare all your bidding steps

Numbers are the heart of any negotiation. You need to know your exact bidding steps – not just the first bid and bottom line.

Many companies make the mistake of not thinking this through beforehand.

Once you’re at the table you won’t have time to work on your strategy.  

4.         Get the right people to the table

The right people with the right personality will ensure the negotiation process goes as smoothly as possible.

You want to have business enablers at the table, not people who are focused on risks that will never materialize.  

5.         Have your boss or superior on speed-dial

This is an important one if you’re trying to be safe. Depending on the authority you have, you need to make sure your boss is available to back up your decisions if necessary.

You might need more flexibility than you originally thought.

Try to be open-minded, as you’ll receive fresh information during the negotiation that might require a re-think of your plans.  

Delving into the negotiation process  

I’m lucky in that I take to it like a duck to water. I love my job!

I can’t wait to sit down to a big bundle of documentation and untangle all the ins and outs of this specific deal.

A tough day of negotiation, combing through and thoroughly understanding all the highly complex aspects of the case, testing my listening skills with unfamiliar Austrian and Swiss German dialects, leaves me exhausted but smiling from ear to ear.

The signature on the contract is like a cherry on top of a delicious sundae.  

Mediators have first-hand industry knowledge and understand how different players work together.

I’ve learned from the best professionals in the field and consider it a challenge and a blessing.  

The personal touch

It was clear to me, talking to the innovator in this particular negotiation, how passionate he was about his business.

When he talked about his product his eyes simply glowed with enthusiasm.  

Some of you who have worked with me know that I have an affinity for informal single sessions.

I like to speak with people when they sip their tea outside the conference room.

Sharing food and drink together can help develop a fellow-feeling between the parties in a negotiation.

We celebrated the successful conclusion of this meeting with an incredible Swiss fondue dinner.  

What do you do to commemorate the occasion when you close a deal?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the negotiation process!

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on how you can keep winning! 

Legally yours, 

Miryan Weichselbaum-Gharibo

Managing Partner, Let's Agree