TOP 5 TIPS FOR NEGOTIATION PREPARATION 

 

1. Make sure you set aside time to prepare.

Even if it is only 10 minutes between receiving a phone call and having to return it, some preparation is better than none.

2. Think about an agenda for the negotiation.

What are the issues on the table? It may be valuable to set the agenda prior to the meeting commencing so that both sides can prepare effectively.

3. If you are about to negotiate on a set piece issue think about taking along a team with you.

The team should be prepared effectively and have set roles. A well drilled team creates an advantage when the meeting begins.

4. Practice your response.

In your team think about how you will respond to the various 'plays' that the other side might make.  Spend time developing 'what if' responses to how the other side may play their agenda.

5. Test any contentious issues with stakeholders.

Make sure you have the authority and backing to take any tough decisions you may need to take.

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Muck Shift

Just when is a deal not a deal…? I heard this story from a friend of mine the other week; there are some lessons to be learned! So, my pal is a developer and is building some houses on what is essentially a square site. Two sides of the square can be accessed from the road in a neighboring housing estate and the other two are beside a field owned by another developer. There is a huge pile of muck to shift before the actual building project; this phase is known in the trade – and not unreasonably - as a "muck-shift"! As there will be 80 -100 lorries coming in and out each day for 6 weeks, it was considered more convenient to access the site over the field, so an approach was made to the developer to discuss the terms under which he would allow access. This is a standard arrangement and the deal typically is that the field would be returned to the owner in its original condition. Developer makes a bit of money, where otherwise he wouldn’t; homeowners in the adjoining estate are less inconvenienced; builder does not need to spend money cleaning the streets and getting them back to a usable state at the end of the project. Win-win.

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