Planning your negotiation attack plan

September 29, 2006

What I’ve come to learn over the years is that you need to plan when dealing with people. If you want the results of a meeting or decision to go your way, you need to think straight through to your desired conclusion, anticipate hurdles, frame your argument and put a plan in place to get to your desired result.

I’m telling you this because I haven’t addressed the money issue yet with my partner. I need a plan. I don’t even have business cards designed yet. Plus I’m extremely busy with other things so rushing into a heated discussion before I’m ready is probably not the best thing to do. Anyway, he could still come around before I even bring it up. Slim chance but at this point, time is on my side.  It’s Friday and I have the weekend to think through the scenarios and figure out how to get to my desired outcome. This should also give me some time to work up some designs and use them to broach the subject.

I realize that my problem is a small one. That doesn’t matter. We could be talking about closing a million dollar deal or deciding who is going to go pick up office supplies. If you want the tide to flow with you and your desired outcome you need to have a plan and have the facts on your side.

Regarding my outcome, my desired goal is to be able to purchase my ideal business cards. First, I need to look up pricing data and compare what I want vs. what I expect my partner to want. I’m expecting him to choose a cheaper set of business cards and save $150 so I need to have a fairly firm grasp on pricing options. That price should consider time, taxes, shipping, turn-around time and quality.

Next, I need data on my thought process. Why does my company image matter? Why should we spend an extra $150 on our image?

Thirdly, I need to determine if there are technical reasons why we need to go my route. These are reasons that demand going with a service provider and a higher quality product because it just can’t be done any other way.

And lastly, you need some general trump cards and you need to plan how to present them. For example, I am the creative person, he is technical. I know more about these things and it should be my decision. Second, the printer that gave me the quote for the higher priced cards is a friend from our local chamber. It’s an investment in a relationship and will surely pay off in the future. Lastly, you can focus on the real value vs. the money. Is $150 more for business cards really worth fighting about? Is it even worth the time talking since our time is normally billed at $100 an hour each? Make the time vs. money argument if you can and it might turn things in your favor.

A powerful tool is finding a way to frame the debate so your opponents opinion looks like it doesn’t make sense. You can use this framing technique in any aspect of your business relationships. It can explain away objections to your service, actions, price and many other areas that affect sales and relationships. Knowing how to frame your argument is a very powerful tool if you can learn to do it right.

Anyway, I am going to take the weekend, plan my attack and get all my materials together – as well as my business card design suggestions. Then, when all is ready and I have my argument framed properly, then I’ll call my partner and address it with him unless he brings it up first.

In closing (and on a separate subject) I’d like to close with a quote. It’s a very simple quote, yet one that sums up a lot of what I’m trying to do with this site. As I work through my problems here, I’m trying to think through my plans and strategies so I can poke holes in my path to success and get to my desired goals. To run a successful business you need to be a leader. You need to lead the company, your employees and lead your competition, in the sense that you’re always one step ahead of them. We’ll talk a lot more about leadership in the near future.
Have a good weekend.

In simplest terms, a leader is one who knows where he wants to go, and gets up, and goes.” John Erskine



One Response to “Planning your negotiation attack plan”

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