The Negotiator Magazine

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Although control of time and expense must be a key objective, it is vital that you manage, but do not let these factors become dominant elements in the conduct of your negotiations. As in all negotiations, particularly lengthy ones, time and expense are investments for a successful product.

If scarcity of these resources takes control of your negotiations, the results can well be disastrous. Deals made simply to move onto other matters or save expenses are generally not good deals. Similarly, deals made by concessions offered solely to try to salvage something of value from an investment in the negotiations are usually poor agreements. You must take and present a position that you have all of the time necessary for productive negotiations. Additionally, you must guard against the mental trap of trying to salvage a deal, albeit even a poor one, simply because you have invested so much resource in the negotiations. It is critical to keep the option of walking away at any point.

Next, if you do not practice the technique of recording and obtaining written sign-off on agreed terms as negotiations proceed, this is the time to begin the practice. Lengthy and complex negotiations need this type of record. This is particularly true in this case in which your negotiators may be stable, but shifts in corporate personnel may occur even the best of plans. You certainly do not wish to renegotiate everything half way through the process. This method of keeping a progressive record is always of great value in keeping your support team up to date at home and for your negotiating partnerís corporate hierarchy to follow the progress.

Finally, there are times when you should carefully assess the value of committing more resources to the project. One example in which small company negotiators shine brightly is in volunteering and pressing to have their companyís attorney draft the contract. The advantages are well worth the added expense.

Good luck,

John Baker

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