Going into a negotiation and desperately want to win the contract but still make a profit? Here are some pointers to a successful negotiation.
First of all congratulations of doing a pretty good job in getting so far - let's see if we can improve that for you. I've done some pretty heavy negotiating myself so I know how difficult it can be sometimes. Firstly some golden rules:
1. Both parties should leave the negotiating table feeling that they have been successful and gained something from the proceedings.
2. It is not a contest but a process where mutual agreement is being striven for.
3. Leave egos, prejudice and fixed ideas behind. Bring only your willingness to listen and your manners into the room.
4. Ensure that you know what you can give away, what you can't and what you must most definitely not give away.
5. Be respectful of the culture of the people that you are negotiating with - this means not just the company culture but the culture of the company - an Asian company negotiates quite differently from an European or an American!
If you remember the above the process is very simple:
1. Prepare yourself, know what you are negotiating about, know what you would like the end result to be and know what your bosses have authorized you to agree to and not agree to. Understand as much about your fellow negotiator as possible.
2. Bring in all the documents that you need to the negotiating table and have someone handy on the phone in case you need more.
3. Make the negotiating room comfortable and friendly and non intimidating with refreshments and regular comfort breaks possible.
4. If you are the receiver of money you start. Start low and leave plenty of space to move to a middle area that is comfortable to both parties.
5. If something is not possible at all - politely explain why. Sometimes it helps to refer to a high level boss who won't let you - but do not give away the authority that you have to negotiate to completion.
6. The answer you are seeking is Win Win
One last piece of advice: Listen, Listen, Listen to what is being told to you and what is not being said. Sometimes silence will win you the deal.