What are Bargaining Strategies?
While you might choose from several bargaining strategies for conducting a negotiation, a mutual-gains approach will help you find ways to create value and expand the pie of resources.
Some negotiators seem to believe that hard-bargaining strategies are the key to success. They resort to threats, extreme demands, and even unethical behavior to try to get the upper hand in a negotiation.
In fact, negotiators who fall back on these bargaining strategies in negotiation are typically betraying a lack of understanding about the gains that can be achieved in most business negotiations.
The most effective distributive bargaining strategies do not require you to sacrifice your integrity or resort to dirty tricks. Rather, distributive bargaining strategies can help ensure that you claim as much value as possible in your next important negotiation—but you have to be willing to prepare.
Business negotiators can negotiate by brainstorming creative solutions, identifying differences in preferences that can be ripe for tradeoffs, and building trust.
When you know the areas of agreement where you and your counterpart are in alignment (and those areas on which you diverge), a skilled negotiator can craft an agreement that most closely approximates her own and her counterpart’s needs while building a bargaining relationship with her counterpart. Rather than antagonistic, the negotiation process becomes a value-creating, integrative situation in which each side gets a “fair share” of the pool of resources.
Wise negotiators recognize the value of both collaborating and competing at the bargaining table. They look for ways to increase the pie of value for all parties. By identifying differences across issues and making tradeoffs, both parties can walk away with a winning deal.
Discover how to boost your power at the bargaining table in this free special report, BATNA Basics: Boost Your Power at the Bargaining Table, from Harvard Law School.
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