Are you an Extreme Negotiator?


Author: Steven Zolman

Achieving commercial business success in a volatile global marketplace requires the vision to continually shape and re-shape the negotiation process and the ability to continually engineer and re-engineer the desired outcomes. This needs to be done, despite the obstacles that are in your way, and the obstacles that are placed in your way after your goals and objectives are known.

Most of our clients agree that they must constantly negotiate to create and capture value and structure that value into complex agreements. This challenge becomes exponentially more difficult when dealing with suppliers with power in vertically integrated solutions, especially when you have high costs of switching and/or few options.

Most clients have good instincts in sensing that they’re in a situation where they can hemorrhage value when dealing with suppliers with enhanced power. In this instance, however, most clients mistakenly react by acting fast, and trying to project a higher degree of control than they actually have. Also, most clients in these situations rely on coercive tactics, and try to defuse tension at nearly any cost.

The end result may be a compromise that fails to address the real problem or opportunity, increased resistance from the other side that makes agreement impossible, resentment that sours future negotiations, a failure to develop relationships based on mutual respect and trust, and/or an agreement that creates enormous exposure to future risk.

In order to greatly enhance your chances of success in these situations, Extreme Negotiators:

  1. Solicit other points of view
  2. Propose multiple potential solutions
  3. Invite their counterparts to critique their proposals
  4. Use facts and principles of fairness to persuade counterparties
  5. Systematically build trust and commitments over time
  6. Have the vision to shape and re-shape the negotiation process
  7. Have the ability to engineer and re-engineer the desired outcomes

If you're in a difficult situation, remember these tenants of Extreme Negotiations and apply these practices for enhanced results.

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