Business Negotiations

Effective business negotiation is a core leadership and management skill. This is the ability to negotiate effectively in a wide range of business contexts, including dealmaking, employment discussions, corporate team building, labor/management talks, contracts, handling disputes, employee compensation, business acquisitions, vendor pricing and sales, real estate leases, and the fulfillment of contract obligations. Business negotiation is critical to be creative in any negotiation in a business setting. Business negotiation strategies include breaking the problem into smaller parts, considering unusual deal terms, and having your side brainstorm new ideas.

Leveraging the contrast effect is also a powerful tool in negotiations. You might ask for more than you realistically expect, accept rejection, and then shade your offer downward. Your counterpart is likely to find a reasonable offer even more appealing after rejecting an offer that’s out of the question. Additionally, offering several equivalent offers that aim higher than your counterpart is likely to accept will elicit reactions that can help you frame a subsequent set that, thanks in part to the contrast effect, are more likely to hit the mark.

Building a team is critical to negotiations in business. To prevent conflicts among diverse, strong-minded team members from overshadowing group goals, negotiation teams should spend at least twice as much time preparing for upcoming talks as they expect to spend at the table. Because the other side will be ready and willing to exploit any chinks in your team’s armor, it’s important to hash out your differences in advance.

Other business negotiation tips include curbing overconfidence, creating value in the negotiation, establishing a powerful BATNA, effective use of emotions at the bargaining table, caucusing, delineating your zone of possible agreement, and other skills geared toward an integrative bargaining outcome rather than a distributive, or haggling, bargaining outcome.

In addition, considering the ethical and legal repercussions of a deal to insure that it is a true win-win is the hallmark of every experienced business negotiator.

Articles include many business negotiation examples, and explore concepts such as creative dealmaking, renegotiating unfavorable deals, seeking advice from a negotiation opponent, identifying a solid BATNA and crafting draft agreements.

Taking the Plunge: How a Controversial Business Partnership Agreement was Born

PON Staff   •  09/16/2021   •  Filed in Business Negotiations

business partnership agreement

“A huge mistake.” “A shot in the dark.” “An audacious move.” Those are just a few of the media’s characterizations of the business partnership agreement between wireless carrier AT&T and media and entertainment firm Time Warner (now known as WarnerMedia). It was the biggest merger of 2016, with $85.4 billion in cash and stock transferring … Read More 

Using Effective Group Leadership to Bring a Multiparty Agreement Back from the Brink

PON Staff   •  09/09/2021   •  Filed in Business Negotiations

In December 2015 in Paris, delegates from 195 nations celebrated the results of effective group leadership when they reached agreement on a landmark global climate accord. But a year and a half later, the future of the accord sank into doubt when American president Donald Trump revealed he was withdrawing the United States from the … Read More 

Framing in Negotiation

Katie Shonk   •  09/02/2021   •  Filed in Business Negotiations

So, you’ve offered what you think is a great deal, but your counterpart doesn’t seem to agree. What’s the problem? The offer may be excellent—it’s how you’ve approached framing in negotiation that’s holding you back. … Read More 

The Process of Business Negotiation

Katie Shonk   •  09/02/2021   •  Filed in Business Negotiations

Negotiators are more satisfied with the outcome of a negotiation when they think the process has been fair, research shows. To maximize satisfaction and build a strong working relationship, don’t leave the process of business negotiation up to chance. Given the importance of negotiation in business communication, you’d be wise to consider the following seven … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Coping with a Change-of-Control Provision

PON Staff   •  08/10/2021   •  Filed in Business Negotiations

Q: I represent a company—let’s call it “ClientCorp”—that has a long-term contract with another company, “TargetCorp.” A change-of-control provision in the agreement allows ClientCorp to exit the contract in the event of a “change of control” at TargetCorp. We have become aware that TargetCorp is in negotiations to be acquired by a third party, “AcquirerCorp,” … Read More