Tactics in Negotiation

Tactics in Negotiation:

1) Opening position
2) Allowing concessions
3) Avoiding the deadlock
4) Settlements

Opening position: How to make one’s opening. This is one of the most difficult issues which one faces with any negotiation. It is hard to assess the position of the other party or parties present there is always the fear that your opening will either be too low or too high. Both these options are to be avoided. Also keep your aspirations high and make sure that your opening allows you sufficient room to move.

Allowing concessions: Concessions mean those items that you are willing to give up. Your success depends on how you use your concessions and how well you derive the maximum benefit out of it. Concessions are what you trade in order to get what you want. With this in mind, concessions should be treated carefully.

Try to estimate the value of each concession. Gauge what a concession is worth to you, and how much it is worth to the other party. A concession of lesser importance to you may be of much worth to the other party. Make the other party feel that each and every concession you make is of great importance to you. Also build up the act of making a concession. Do not give it up at the very first instance available. A concession given quickly and without effort has less leverage and effectiveness. Let the other party make effort to obtain each concession from you, do not just throw it away.

Avoiding the deadlocks:
There is always the fear of a deadlock being encountered during a negotiation. Such deadlocks can be of two types: Real and Created

Real deadlocks: While in the negotiating process, if a deadlock is faced on one issue, it is better to leave that issue aside and move on to the others. Later on you come back to the pending issue.

Created deadlocks: If any deadlock is encountered, you should review the strategy and style of negotiation. If required, change the style and strategy accordingly.

Break the process at regular intervals. This will allow you as well as, the other party to discuss amongst themselves and come back afresh with some different points.

Do not hesitate to change the team members if the discussions are becoming personality based. It will pave the way to smooth negotiations.

Settlements: Many a times it seems difficult to reach this step in the negotiation process. We find it unable to get the other party to say “yes”

In such a case, see if the other party is facing any problem. Also make sure that enough time is given to the other party to think, decide and react. Offer a concession that was previously requested. This would induce the other party to act quickly. Also hint at the benefits which will be lost if a settlement is not reached.

Utilizing the Skills in Finalizing the Deal:

Towards the end of a complex negotiation, no matter how carefully you have kept notes, no matter how carefully you have received them between sessions and no matter how carefully you have tried to clear up outstanding issues during successive sessions, you will have a number of loose ends outstanding as you draw the close.

All the best skills for reaching agreement on these outstanding points are built on the fact that there is by this time a mutual will to reach agreement and that the issues need to be handled gently, but firmly. The important thing is that you retain the initiative how the remaining points are handled. They may each in themselves be small, but you could give away some quite significant gains made earlier, if you are not alert.