Why A Negotiation Playbook Is Essential For Strong Results

set goals, priorities and create strategies before starting a negotiation

In today’s post we’re exploring the 2nd step in advantageSPRING’s signature DEALS method for brilliant negotiation - Establish.

With the research and consultation in the Discovery phase complete, it’s time to make sense and strategy out of all of the information we’ve gathered. Though it may be tempted to launch straight into the active negotiation phase – resist. Establishing priorities and strategies ahead of starting discussions is vital for several reasons.

Establish – to avoid the slippery slope

In the midst of a negotiation, adrenaline runs high. Especially as the finish line comes into sight we can be tempted to start making concessions in order to get the deal done.  If we’ve skipped Establishing our walk-away point and the steps we’ll take to avoid arriving there, we’re likely to end up on the slippery slope of giving away too much. The result? A lacklustre deal that will turn heads at head office for all the wrong reasons. 

Establish – to avoid hitting the wall

Our Plan A approach in negotiations rarely gets the job done. A proposal will be rejected, a counter made…and if we haven’t prepared a few more proposals in advance we can find ourselves stuck at an impasse or scrambling for what to do next. Professional football and hockey teams don’t practice a single play and then call it a day – they come to each game with a playbook of strategies and techniques to get those goals scored. Same goes for our negotiations. 

Establish – to avoid trouble down the line

Even in integrated, matrix-based organizations, decision-making can happen in silos. Mandates for top priorities are handed down and as brilliant negotiators we achieve them. The Establish phase helps us see beyond those top-level priorities and set course for how to achieve a result that will support the way we’ll do business with our partners for years to come. Planning for the What Ifs in all aspects of that business relationship will help you avoid the Oh No’s later on.


Here are 3 Top Tips for Establishing strategy in your next negotiation

Check on priorities from a variety of stakeholders to ensure essential terms are secured in the contract.

Look beyond this year's financial results and consider how this deal will help your organization reach medium and long-term goals and operational requirements as well

Think about what your counterpart may be offering in their proposals. What will they value? How low/high/far are they willing to go with commercials and terms? Where can you offer trades to move the discussion forward? 

To learn more about how advantageSPRING can help your firm implement the DEALS Method, explore our range of negotiation skills training programmes or contact us at office@advantagespring.com.