The Negotiation Checklist - Simons and Tripp.pdf

Issues may be researched and intro duced as part of a

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issues may be researched and intro- duced as part of a food contract, conference booking, or union con- tract that you are preparing to negotiate. Consider also whether any of the issues you have considered might be broken down into mul- tiple components or sub-issues. For the conference-booking negotia- tion, for example, you might nor- mally consider the room-block guarantee as a single item (i.e., so many rooms reserved until such- and-such a date). In fact, breaking the room reservations down by per- centages and multiple deadlines (e.g., 50 percent by one date, 75 percent by another date) might open avenues for mutually beneficial arrangements. You should anticipate as many issues as possible for the negotiation. By doing so, you will be better in- formed and thus feel comfortable and confident when negotiating. Also, the more issues you can intro- duce, the more likely it becomes that creative solutions will arise, as those are often built by packaging or trading off multiple issues. Creative solutions often make it easier to discover an agreement that both parties like. By adding items to the negotia- tions agenda, you increase your chance of discovering some issues that you value more than the other party, and discovering other issues that the other party values more than you. Trading off such differ- ently valued issues dramatically in- creases the value of the agreement to you without costing the other party. Moreover, if you know what issues the other party highly values that you value less, you can use those issues to get concessions on issues that are important to you. Imagine that you are a food and beverage director of a hotel seeking a dry-goods supplier and that you have written a request for bids from potential vendors.You have consid- ered your storage capacity and speci- fied every-other-week delivery in your request for bids. Now, suppose you receive a bid from Alpha Dry Goods, which has another customer in town to whom they deliver once every three weeks. Alpha’s quote for biweekly delivery might be medio- cre, but it turns out that they could save you substantial money on tri- weekly delivery. They could save you so much money, in fact, that you consider changing your storage ar- rangement to accommodate their every-three-weeks delivery schedule. If you had been unwilling to negoti- ate the delivery schedule, you might never have discovered that opportu- nity. By adding delivery schedule to the agenda, you were able to dis- cover an issue that improved the business potential for both parties. In this example, you are able to secure a lower overall price in return for a concession on delivery schedule. For any issue that is not discussed, the parties risk the possibility of making different assumptions.
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February 1997 17 H U M A N R E S O U R C E S In general, the more issues you can put on the table (within reason), the better off you are.
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