Basic Principles in Negotiating Strategy / Laurie Oberman

Basic Principles in Negotiating Strategy / Laurie Oberman

When I ask my students whether they are involved in negotiations, their immediate answer is “No” unless, of course, they are marketing or purchasing managers or fulfil some other function on the commercial side of their business.

People tend to forget that asking the boss for a pay rise or a perk of one kind or another, interviewing for a new job or even buying and selling the family car or purchasing a new house invariably involves quite complex negotiations over large amounts of money.
The reason people overlook these transactions is because these kinds of negotiations take place in their “natural surroundings”, with a common language and business culture shared by both sides. As with meetings (see previous chapter), an international negotiation demands the ability to express yourself clearly in a foreign language whilst considering the business culture of the other party. Add to this the need to develop the necessary negotiating strategy and tactics, and you find yourself with a major task on your hands.
The General Manager of a major manufacturer of security doors told me that the negotiation with the overseas client had reached quite an advanced stage before he realised that there was a complete misunderstanding regarding the positioning of the door handles, with one party assuming them to be on the right hand side of the door, while the other party clearly expected them to be on the left. Only at the last minute was an embarrassing and costly mistake avoided.  

Whatever the objective of the negotiation the chances of achieving the goals are severely limited if some basic steps are not followed. 
Knowing your objectives
Firstly, your strategy will depend on whether this is to be a single deal with the other party or whether you intend building a long-term business relationship. In the latter case you should take into account that the negotiation has to be win-win, encouraging future contact between the parties.
Secondly, you should decide which factors (money, payment terms, guarantees, service, delivery, etc.) are to be the principle focus of the negotiation and prioritise them. Decide on a realistic objective for each one, and know on which items you are prepared to make concessions in order to achieve the targets you have established. No negotiation can be completed without concessions.
Make sure you have all the facts and figures at hand. Know the cost and price and logistics of each item discussed so that you can calculate alternatives, if and when suggested by the other side. Collect market data and be aware of trends, technological developments and competition. Consider your strengths and find and use relevant information to emphasise them. Think about your possible weaknesses and how to present them, if challenged, in a more positive light. Never lose sight of your overall potential bargaining strength.  

 The writer of this article is Mr. Laurie Obermann, the academic coorfinator of the business english course and the author of the book "How To Manage In English"

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קורס אנגלית עסקית ומסחרית

השפה האנגלית מהווה את הנדבך המרכזי בתקשורת המילולית והכתובה בסחר הבינ"ל בין חברות. עסקאות יבוא ויצוא ,כוללות תכתובת ענפה ודורשות מיומנויות מקצועיות בהתנהלות מול הגורמים השונים בחו"ל בהיבטי כתיבה, דיבור וקריאה.
המכללה העסקית של לשכת המסחר ת"א והמרכז מזמינה אותך, העוסק בסחר בינ"ל על היבטיו השונים, לתגבר את יכולתך העסקיים בשפה האנגלית.

הקורס מתמקד על השפה האנגלית העסקית ולא על השפה המדוברת אותה אנו מכירים דרך בית הספר, סרטים, קריאה ושיחות חולין.

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