The Negotiator Magazine

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The next option is to look at alternative outside suppliers of the service or components. Again, this is not a maybe enterprise, it can become a reality in moments.

I would suggest that you also thoroughly discuss this situation with your internal organization. You need bottom-lines here. You need solid numbers and internal buy-in to your assessment of the negotiations and their importance to the company. There should be no surprises for top management here.

Your next step is to prepare yourself for dealing with the type of behavior these men seemed to be using against you last year. You might review several of the articles on tactics that have appeared in this magazine, especially Roger Dawsonís essay entitled "Good Guy-Bad Guy" (July, 2002). What you saw last time out was an example of

Good-Guy-Bad Guy in action with a variant that included the mysterious silent partner routine as an addition to the basic routine. Donít stop your reading there, however, keep going through the repertoire of unfair tactics. If these men are scoundrels, they surely will have more than one "dirty trick" in their bag.

As your prepare for the actual negotiations, you might find imagining the coming negotiations in your mind as a valuable exercise. Imagine, for example, that they are totally different this time and your response. Try out the darker scenario and envision that they are playing the same game again. Now, envision you are responding.

You could also enlist someone in your organization to do some role playing with you. Itís a very valuable way of preparing for any negotiation. Recognize too, that human interactions are rarely predictable and keep yourself open to assess and respond to other wrinkles as they arise in the actual negotiations.

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