Negotiation 101

Nick CleggYour lecturer this week, Nick Clegg.

When in a position of strength:

  • Have Suitor A believe they can be replaced by Suitor B at no cost to yourself;
  • Indicate to both Suitors how good the other is with you and your organisation;
  • Have Suitor A and B both believe they are playing second fiddle to each other;
  • Leave no stone unturned and explore every option from the start gun – you can never anticipate all the outcomes;
  • While various suitors are making offers, consider what all your stakeholders would appreciate and have other suitors make counter offers from those positions thus keeping momentum towards your goals;
  • Have your spokespeople dirty their hands with the groundwork leaving you free to play the trump cards in the 11th hour;
  • Keep your private thoughts just that, private. (Mr Clegg said far too much about who he’d do deals with during his campaign).

Note to dealmakers: this leverage negotiation can only work when you are strongly courted by suitors who appear, to each other, to offer you similarly successful products/outcomes. Sound familiar?

Is Mr Clegg regretting what he wished for?
Will he overplay his hand?
Will he be wrongfooted?
Is it all a poisoned chalice?

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