4 Tips to Prepare for a Competitive Negotiation

In the book Mastering Business Negotiation: A Working Guide to Making Deals and Resolving Conflict, authors Roy Lewicki and Alexander Hiam point out that it’s natural to use ‘competitive negotiating’ if the relationship with the other party does not matter a great deal or you simply don’t need to worry about the other party because you know this person can take care of him- or herself.

To effectively prepare for a competitive negotiation, you must identify four key points:

  1. What you consider an acceptable deal. This is your target point. A target point is the settlement you would like to achieve when the negotiation is finished
  2. Where you will start. Since most people expect that a negotiation involves the process of give and take, or making concessions, you probably will have to ask for more than you really expect to get or have to offer less than you will ultimately have to pay. This is your opening offer.
  3. What your limits are. Think in terms of the most you will pay or the least you will take. This is your walkaway.
  4. What you will do if you cannot strike a deal with the other party. This is your alternative.

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