Initial Points to Consider in Preparation

What You'll Learn
  • Diligent preparation always pays off
  • If you have the upper hand, how can you maintain it?
  • It's never too early to start a contingency plan
  • Write down your instinct

Diligent preparation always pays off. But before you get in too deep, give yourself an overview of the situation. You won't want to miss the forest while counting the trees.

Ask these kinds of questions:

  • Should you be negotiating?
  • Should you be negotiating?
  • Who has the upper hand at the start of the negotiation? If you, how can you maintain that position? If not you, how can you change the situation to your advantage?
  • It's never too early to get started on your contingency plans, or BATNAs.
  • Are there egos that need to be massaged early on, people who need to feel like they had input or gave guidance?
  • Before you do all the homework, articulate and write down your instinct on what is the other side's most likely position and strategy?
  • What else?

Need-to-Know Circle

Next make a long, long, long list of all the things it would be helpful to know to achieve success in this negotiation. This list will assist you in knowing what to research later in Preparation Stage.

No matter how outlandish, take time to list all your questions as well as all the facts you currently know. Ask your team members what questions they think should be posed to the other side as you gather important facts. List all the facts that need confirmation. Develop your fact base so that you can speak with confidence.

Then organize your information into three categories:

  1. Things you know to be fact
  2. Things you are assuming to be true
  3. Things you don't know but need to know