11 things that every negotiation needs to succeed

Give your negotiation the maximum chance of success with these must-haves:

1. Aims.

Make a clear plan of what you need, what you want, what would be nice to have.

2. Limits.

Set strict high and low boundaries for what you want. Don’t breach them unless the facts change.

3. Plan B.

Have a back-up in case the negotiation fails. Even if it just buys you more time, a back up is essential.

4. Concessions.

You have to give to get. Know where you are prepared to be flexible and what you have to offer.

5. Creativity.

Good negotiations include many options, possibilities and hypotheses.

6. Listening.

Be prepared to listen and consider ideas that you have not planned for. Avoid a fixed mindset.

7. Influence.

Persuasion should be tailored to the personality and motivations of the other negotiation party.

8. Data.

Even if the facts do not support your line of argument, understand them.

9. Control.

Assert control by stating the purpose of the discussion, managing the agenda and keeping to time.

10. Intelligence gathering.

Understand the market conditions. Don’t let your internal commercial information leak outside.

11. Style.

Choose the right style – competitive or collaborative – depending on the environment of the discussion, the relationship you want and the outcomes you seek.