The Negotiation Checklist - Simons and Tripp.pdf

Consider that the point values might increase

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Consider that the point values might increase dramatically between certain adjacent pairs of settlements in the range, or might just barely increase. The most important thing to remem- ber about assigning points is that the assignment should reflect what is important to you. (f) Double-check your scoring system. In completing steps (a) through (e) you undoubtedly will make a few capricious choices based on “gut feeling.” For example, you may be so focused on the room-block issue that the points assigned to the other issues could be changed by five points either way without affecting your stance. The point is to make sure your scoring system accu- rately reflects the important issues and highlights the critical plateaus. To check your numbers, compose three to five com- pletely different hypothetical agreements. Each agreement should emphasize different issues. For example, one agreement might offer a cheap room rate but a short no-penalty cancellation period, while another agreement offers high room rates but a long no-penalty cancellation period. Compare the different agreements on the basis of points and intuitive value. The pro- spective agreement that has the best “gut feel” should also have the most points. If not, you need to tinker with the values you assigned in steps (a) through (e) or reconsider your priorities. (g) Use the scoring system to assess any offer that is on the table. You should work toward obtaining the highest-scoring agree- ment that the other party allows.
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February 1997 19 H U M A N R E S O U R C E S organizer, while the four-day jump from 14 days to 10 days is worth only two points. Such a difference in value carries an important message. The organizer is saying that it is very important to have at least a 14-day- out block reservation, and that any improvement over that would be nice but is not critical. Constructing a detailed and accu- rate scoring system can mean con- siderable work (see the second col- umn of Exhibit 1). However, the task can be worth the effort for sev- eral reasons. First, it allows you to compare any package of settlements that may make up an agreement. With large numbers of issues, it quickly becomes difficult to com- pare different packages without some kind of scoring system. Second, having a scoring system can keep you analytically focused while keeping your emotions in check. If you force yourself to evalu- ate each proposal using a predeter- mined scoring system, you are less likely to lose sight of your original interests during the heat of the ac- tual negotiations. Resist the tempta- tion to revise your scoring system in mid-negotiation. 5 Third, a scoring system is a useful communication tool that gives you a format for soliciting detailed infor- mation about the priorities and goals of your boss, your company, or your constituency. Building an accu- rate scoring system can become the topic of pre-negotiation meetings that will improve your chances of pleasing the people you represent.
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