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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Dear Negotiation Coach: Dealing with Early-Bird Bidders

PON Staff   •  12/06/2016   •  Filed in Dealmaking

Q: I’m selling my house in a seller’s market. As is the convention in this market, I listed the house at the higher end of its value and specified a deadline for prospective buyers to submit their offers. I was attempting to induce a bidding war. Typically, in this situation, offers come in very close … Read More 

10 Top Business Negotiations

PON Staff   •  11/03/2016   •  Filed in Dealmaking

business negotiations

Looking back on the past, 2013 witnessed a series of colorful mergers, acquisitions, and other deals. Here are the 10 top negotiations and negotiation trends of that year from which business dealmakers can learn. … Read More 

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