With the right good-faith negotiation strategies, you can build trust and make a favorable business deal with just about anyone.
When it comes to closing a business deal, agreements sometimes fall apart for good reasons. If one or more parties realize they could get better outcomes elsewhere or don’t see how they can work together in the future, there’s no sense in investing further time and effort.
But many of us head into a business negotiation focused on our differences. However, negotiation experts at Harvard University suggest looking for hidden similarities instead. Identifying shared interests that aren’t competitive can pave the way to a solution that benefits all parties.
The more time you spend getting to understand your counterparts and their organizations, the better equipped you will be to assess whether your partnership is a good idea or not.
Closing a business deal is a complex process—and, notably, even when we give it our best efforts, it’s not always the best option. But you can be better equipped to identify when a deal is within reach as well as when you should explore other opportunities.
Effective negotiation strategies in business are critical. If you don’t know how to negotiate a business deal, get the information you need to succeed today by downloading our free special report, written by some of the nation’s foremost experts in negotiation, Business Negotiation Strategies: How to Negotiate a Better Business Deal. It will teach you how to negotiate a business deal and gives you the tools you need to navigate even the stickiest business deals.
We will send you a download link to your copy of the report and notify you by email when we post new business negotiation advice and information on how to improve your dealmaking skills to our website.
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.
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Strictly limited to 60 participants who have completed a prior course in negotiation, this first-of-its-kind program offers unprecedented access to experts from Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—all of whom are committed to delivering a transformational learning experience. By working closely with them, you will:
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“ABC: Always Be Closing.” That’s the sales strategy that actor Alec Baldwin’s character Blake shared in the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross as he tried to motivate a group of real estate salesmen. In his verbally abusive, profanity-laced speech, Blake presented a ruthless model of closing a business deal that ignores customers’ needs and cuts … Read More
In 1994, the Walt Disney Company faced an unexpected test of leadership and communication after its president and CEO, Frank Wells, died in a helicopter crash. Disney chairman and CEO Michael Eisner believed his longtime friend Michael Ovitz, the founder and majority owner of successful Hollywood talent firm Creative Artists Agency, or CAA, as it … Read More
Executives rarely view themselves as diplomats engaged in international diplomacy but business negotiators often find the two fields share negotiation skills and negotiation techniques. Rightly or wrongly, diplomacy evokes images of frivolity – days spent wandering exotic capitals, nights spent cruising embassy cocktail parties.
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Sometimes a negotiation is all about managing perceptions. As this story below shows, focusing a counterpart on his own BATNA can persuade him to reduce the intensity of his hard-bargaining tactics.
Q: A customer is pressuring me to make a deal fast. I don’t want to be forced into a one-sided agreement and prefer to reach … Read More
A married couple was debating whether their four-year-old daughter should attend public or private elementary school. It was a difficult issue, and Mike had a tendency to walk out when the conversation got heated. Frustrated, Lisa turned to negotiating terms and conditions just as a negotiator would in a business deal.
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Excerpted from the article “Will Your Negotiation Make It to the Finish Line?” in the December 2020 issue of Negotiation Briefings, the Program on Negotiation’s monthly newsletter of advice for professional negotiators.
When it comes to closing the deal in negotiations, agreements sometimes fall apart for good reason. If one or more parties realize they could … Read More
If you are interested in buying the property you’re renting, but aren’t able to do so immediately, you may benefit by negotiating a right of first refusal from the property owner. A right of first refusal for real estate can create value for buyers and sellers alike. But what is “right of first refusal” in … Read More
In late 2016 and early 2017, news stories abounded of companies that were having second thoughts about planned mega-mergers. Abbott Laboratories began looking for ways to exit its acquisition of Alere, citing investigations of the medical test maker, for example. And Verizon started rethinking its acquisition of Yahoo! following a data breach at the tech … Read More
Looking for ways to get more value out of your sales negotiations? You may be able to do so by negotiating a right of first refusal.
A right of first refusal, also known as a matching right or right of first offer, is a contractual guarantee that one party to a business deal can match … Read More
As the COVID-19 virus began to spread through the United States, Xerox CEO John Visentin announced on March 13 that the company was putting its hostile takeover of HP on hold in order to “prioritize the health and safety of its employees, customers, partners and affiliates over and above all other considerations.”
With health experts worldwide advising citizens … Read More
When closing a deal, new business partners are typically optimistic about the path ahead. But somewhere down the line, conflict is almost inevitable. One party may miss a deadline. The two sides may interpret contract terms differently. Changing economic conditions may make it difficult for one side to uphold its end of the deal.
When a … Read More
When partners are negotiating a new business deal, overconfidence can lead them to overlook the possibility that the business will fail or otherwise struggle. Wise negotiators envision not only the best-case scenario, but the worst-case scenario, and prepare for it before signing on the dotted line.
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As a lifelong dealmaker, Donald J. Trump will enter the Oval Office with considerable bargaining experience in the business world. But his blank slate as an elected official combined with his fluctuating positions on key issues such as immigration and tax policy throughout the presidential race have left many wondering what kind of negotiator he … Read More
When interests collide, some managers dig in their heels: You get your way or I get mine. Others go for a compromise where the plan is to give up as little as possible. Neither strategy is likely to lead to the best outcome. But businesses, nonprofits, government agencies … and even rock ‘n’ rollers … … Read More
Understanding how to arrange the meeting space is a key aspect of preparing for negotiation. In this video, Professor Guhan Subramanian discusses a real world example of how seating arrangements can influence a negotiator’s success. This discussion was held at the 3 day executive education workshop for senior executives at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.
Guhan Subramanian is the Professor of Law and Business at the Harvard Law School and Professor of Business Law at the Harvard Business School.