Sunday, May 18, 2014

Essential Negotiation Strategies

Margaret Neale is an Adams Distinguished Professor of Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In her presentation, Getting What You Want, she explains different ways of approaching negotiations and states three things that are important to know before heading into a negotiation. The first thing is knowing your alternative, which gives you better negotiating power as you know you have the best alternative if a deal isn’t made. Secondly, you should know your reservation point. She further explains this as the point where you are indifferent, where a yes is as good as a no, the point where you can say yes or use the alternative.
Lastly, what you hope to achieve out of a negotiation. In order to get more of what you want, you should assess the benefits vs. costs, know your interests and the other side’s interests, ask and share unique information, and bundle your proposals.
One interesting aspect I learned was how to package, therefore, avoiding an issue-by-issue negotiation where you either win or lose. By packaging, and using if-then statements, you can trade among the issues on the table.
Negotiation is not an adversarial process. Rather, to get what you want, you should approach it as a problem solving process.
She further gives women tips on how to handle negotiations by considering why they are asking, how they ask and for whom they are asking. Being able to say no to a bad deal is also very important. You will never know if you can get a better deal unless you are willing to walk away. Her presentation is important to me, as a woman interested in the entertainment industry, because she affirms that negotiating is vital and doing it right ensures you get what you want. 
Brian Tracy is a motivational speaker and an author whose focus is on personal and business success. In this video, he explains a few tactics and strategies to use when negotiating. An interesting fact that I learned from the onset is that everything is negotiable and preparation is 80% of success. That means everyone negotiates, the difference is whether you are good or bad at it and you should know what to improve on.
It is also important to note that one should negotiate based on their contribution. For example, when asking for better pay, you should demonstrate why it is beneficial to the organization.
In the entertainment industry especially, being able to negotiate a good deal is vital for the success of every client, where, in a good deal, everyone wins. Being able to come up with creative solutions is very important.
Interestingly enough, the person who is most emotionally involved has the least power. Negotiating power is exhibited by expertise, knowledge, relationship, reward and loss, investment in time.
Shawn Casemore is a leader in operational excellence. For over two decades, his business helps organizations focus on business improvements strategy, leadership and team development. In this presentation, Shawn explains how the results of negotiations rely on your ability to influence and persuade others.
He further explains how the art of language is essential to reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial.
In the entertainment industry, knowing when and how to express yourself is a great strategy that always makes a lot of difference in the negotiation process. According to Shawn, it is necessary to understand the art of language to build credibility, to strategize on language and the timing.
The idea that objections in negotiations demonstrate the interests of a group is perhaps the most interesting fact I learned from this presentation. They are a clear indication that you are reaching an agreement and may be used to gauge where the process is heading.

These three videos are very informative and the approach can be applied to any industry or sector.

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