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Business Negotiation

时间:2009-11-15 22:15来源:ECA 作者:admin 点击:
Business is negotiation. You will negotiate to buy, to sell, to conclude contracts with suppliers, to fix the staff salaries and so on. What is more, you have to negotiate with regulators, Banks, Insurances. It means that the business life

Business is negotiation. You will negotiate to buy, to sell, to conclude contracts with suppliers, to fix the staff salaries and so on. What is more, you have to negotiate with regulators, Banks, Insurances. It means that the business life is a permanent negotiation with others people who are defending their own interests.

Here are the key points:

1、 Preparation is a must(略)
2、 Define your goals(略)
3、 Define the strategy(略)
4、 Psychological preparation(略)

    When they deal with negotiations, business schools emphasize on the quality of the relationship between the two parties. The negotiation is mainly described as a conversation between polite persons. The two parties explore their common interests and try to reach the win-win option.

Real life example

   These scholars have certainly only experienced negotiations in an academic context. In this case, the win-win option is perceived like the politically correct option between well educated persons.

   Unfortunately, I must tell you that the small business world is merciless. People fight like dogs because their own money is at stake. It's no more a conversation in an academic lounge. Any negotiation is heavily stressing!

According to the balance of powers, we have two main strategy: Attack or appease. In fact, during the negotiation the two can be mixed.


The balance of power is clearly in your favor. Don't hesitate: Attack immediately once the negotiation is open.

Real life example

   We take again our previous example about the complaint of a supplier. First, I entered into the negotiation room looking absolutely furious just like if I had swallowed a living frog ( I precise a living one because thanks to our British friends, we have the reputation to eat cooked frogs with all our meals!)

"What is this cranky paper!" I screamed out in showing the complaint letter. “you can sue me" I said “I do not care about it. But prepare you to leave any business because I will not renew your contract!"

"No! No!" said the other party. "We have never intended to sue you or to ask any indemnities! Don't take any account of this letter that has been written by a young clerk we have just fired few days ago”. I go on in grumbling a little, then after several heavy sighs, I just said "OK, I prefer that".

And the so called negotiation ended. Of course we do not paid any indemnities but I gave them a little advantage about another clause of the contract. Even when you win, never humiliate your opponent and always try to give him a small reward.

Of course, even when the balance of power is clearly on your side, things are not always so easy and we have to envisage all the type of situations


As in chess game, the opening is very important in any negotiation. As the balance is for you, begin by stating your upper position and make clear that it is also your only possible solution. You have to opt for an aggressive opening but it's better for everybody to avoid making threats, menace, insult and so on.

Down earth advice

Unfortunately, in many small businesses, people are not very polite. If you are too cool, be sure that they will think that you are weak.

Consequently, I recommend you to be polite but to look tough once the negotiation is open. A firm behavior could prevent the other party to play the aggressive role.

1.2-Middle course:

Usually, during the middle course, each party tries to concentrate on the core of common interests. Negotiation then comprises common thought and not confrontation. Try as much as possible to change from being an opponent to advisor analyzing with him his own options.

In the event of deadlock, proceed as follows: Re-clarify the common aims. Reformulate the questions that have been badly posed. It is sometimes just necessary to call things otherwise to free the situation. Faced with an option, rather than refusing it, propose another option.

Remember, as a last resort, the negative consequences of failure for the other party. Always stay calm when your opponent becomes aggressive. Disassociate yourself to remain in control of your emotions.

However, most negotiators try to manage a crisis during the middle course. When they feel that things are not doing in their way, they suddenly menace to leave the negotiation and so on. This crisis is a part of the negotiation and must be carefully prepared and managed. As the balance is on your side, you have interest to take the initiative of the crisis.

Down earth advice

A good tip is to have a colleague that plays the inverse role of you. You are the naughty and he is the good. When you have just attacked, he comes to appease. The goal is to destabilize the opponent with a constant mixture of hot and cold!

1.3-End of the negotiation:

Be very careful about the final minutes of the negotiation. You think that you have gotten your goals and you relax. What is more you want to be friendly with your opponent. It's at this time that an agile opponent can demand one-sided gains. You could agree because you have down your defense and sometimes you realize that these outside gains give to the opponent an advantage that you should have never conceded in the curses of the negotiation!



It's not your interest to attack. Just start with your upper position but try to explain it as fairly as you can. Insist on the idea that your goal is to find a common agreement with a high value placed on the constant relationship between you and your opponent. Play the good Guy. Be courteous but nevertheless be firm to deter the aggressiveness of the other party.

2.2-Middle course:

Do not hesitate to make one sided concessions with the expectation that the opponent will reciprocate. You don't lost anything because anyway you should have been quite obliged to make these concessions.

Consequently, go to the win-win position and try to defend it. Always say that you are seeking for solving a problem and not to gain a benefit. Explore and take in account the problem of the other party. Your fellow should now be the naughty. Let's him complaint and try to place you above the fight just as if you were a mediator between two parties!

If you are under a strong pressure, use the following tips: Say that you do not understand, come back in the previous discussions, make your best to keep the debate unclear and confuse. By the end your opponents can lose the follow of their arguments and concede a card just because they have been too much confused!

On the other hand, prepare to face a crisis. The opponent will say that they are losing their time, that you are incompetent, and that they have never experienced a so stupid bargaining. No matter. Keep cool and play the outrageous dignity. Give a feeling of culprit to your opponents. Bored by this feeling, they can leave you more advantages than you expected!

2.3-End of the negotiation:

Thanks if you have survived. If the result is too bad, you always can ask for a delay. Anyway, when you have given your agreement, you have to respect it. A person who does not respect his parole is "burned" on the market place.


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