Dealmaking

Dealmaking is defined as the art of crafting deals through negotiations focused on an integrative, or value-creating process, rather than through distributive bargaining, or a haggling process. Dealmaking includes the range of activities both at the bargaining table and away from it that seek to bring two or more parties together toward some common end, whether it is the sale of an asset, a vendor agreement, or a merger between corporations. The Program on Negotiation emphasizes integrative bargaining in its dealmaking literature and teaches methods and techniques from this school of thought in its executive education courses.

In corporate dealmaking, much of the action happens away from the negotiating table. Successful dealmakers understand that deal set-up and design greatly influence negotiation outcomes and successfully closing a deal. Other critical factors in successfully making deals include strategic behavior – the unwillingness of one or both sides to make a best offer – psychological factors, lack of a deadline, poorly-prepared formal documents and refusal to allow the other side to make a graceful exit, even when they’ve agreed to your demands.

Strategies for successful dealmaking include tactics such as creating more value by exploring hidden interests and adding issues that appeal to your bargaining opponent. Another tactic is recruiting a third party mediator when the dealmaking process is at an impasse. Sometimes, Harvard experts find, it pays to be the first person to make an offer, while at other times, it pays to wait.

Articles from the Program on Negotiation focus on a vast array of dealmaking strategies, and explore the latest concepts such as expanding the pie, “negotiauctions,” anchors in negotiation and bartering.

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Dealmaking: Don’t Wait for Them to Blink

PON Staff   •  04/06/2017   •  Filed in Dealmaking

dealmaking

In labor disputes and dealmaking, negotiators on both sides are likely to overestimate the odds that the other side will view their proposals as fair. In fact, however, self-serving perceptions of what constitutes a fair settlement can cause negotiators to remain miles apart. These factors appear to have come into play when the National Hockey … Read More 

Dealmaking: Dealing with the Other Side’s Constituents

PON Staff   •  04/03/2017   •  Filed in Dealmaking

Dealmaking: Dealing with the Other Side's Constituents

During a meeting with a potential customer, a new salesperson leaves the room several times to make phone calls. Each time when she returns, she tells the customer she can’t accept the terms they just negotiated. Exasperated by her apparent lack of authority, the customer ends the meeting abruptly. … Read More 

Deal-Making Negotiation Strategies: Short on Cash? Try Bartering

PON Staff   •  03/23/2017   •  Filed in Dealmaking

In an economic downturn, negotiation opportunities sometimes dry up because parties think they have nothing left to give. During times like these, bartering flourishes. This article will help you decide how and when to include bartering as a component of your negotiations. Here are four guidelines to help you bargain successfully at the negotiation table. … Read More 

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