Sometimes when you're solving a problem, your assumptions are flawed or out-of-date, so problem solving suffers. If you assume business negotiation is unpredictable, you will be more likely to lose control and lose the deal when the unexpected happens because you approached the problem as unpredictable.
We now know that negotiation follows patterns that are predictable. In the past, "getting it elsewhere cheaper" might have scared you. Remember that much of negotiation has to do with staying calm under pressure and acting rather that reacting. Preparation allows you to view all the pieces of the deal, in motion, in real time, without making mountains out of molehills.
We know that 97% of buyer's verbal tactics can be anticipated and prepared for. Almost everything you're going to hear is tied to defining It, agreeing on what the customer will pay for It and what you will accept for It.
Finding your It is what gives you the edge, the power and the price premiums. This type of netting out analysis needs to be completed for each deal, because the people, the context and the issues surrounding every negotiation are different. There are no market-level analyses, only deal-level analyses. In fact, your It is the only reason price premiums exist, unless a buyer does something stupid and overpays!
Negotiation really can be systematic and simple if you are willing to collect the right data and prepare. Thorough answers to these two questions will assist you in doing just that:
- What are the total consequences to both sides if we don't agree?
- What are the total terms of the deal in the event we do agree?