Preparation and planning in negotiation

Preparation and planning in negotiation
Preparation and planning - Neil Clothier


Video transcription: When Huthwaite International carried out one of the biggest objective negotiation research projects. One of things they did is they compared skilled negotiators who;

  • have a track record of success
  • low implementation failure
  • were rated as effective by both sides.

What they did is, they looked at what these skilled people were doing. One of the areas they looked at was getting ready for the negotiation. What do they do as far as preparation and planning is concerned? We set-off with a hypothesis that if getting ready for a negotiation and preparing and planning was important, skilled negotiators would do more of it. That was a first big surprise, because in actual fact what we found is that skilled and average actually do about the same amount of preparation and planning. So the amount of time that they spend getting ready for a negotiation is roughly the same.

The critical factor of that research is the fact that skilled do about the same but actually their focus is slightly different. Yes of course they'll do the preparation, the gathering of facts, figures and data. But, once they've done that, they spend time working out what they're going to do with it. So they'll take those facts and figures and say; how do we use this in negotiation? How do we use it to make us more effective? Whereas average negotiators actually do very little of that. Their focus is mainly on preparation  - getting the facts and the figures but not working out how to do anything with it.

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About the Author
Neil Clothier

Written by Neil Clothier

Neil Clothier has been with Huthwaite for 21 years, firstly delivering and designing training, now managing Huthwaite’s team of sales and negotiation strategists. He has worked with sales and procurement divisions in sectors as diverse as logistics, IT, oil & gas, telecoms, pharmaceutical, industrial, government, professional & financial services. He has coached multi-million dollar negotiations gaining buy-in from multiple stakeholders and helping to secure robust mandates and ultimately workable and profitable deals. He is a regular guest speaker including IBM’s Asia Pacific Conference.