How to Prepare for a Business Negotiation

Prepare for Business Negotiation

For top negotiators, preparation is key to their success – no matter the size or complexity of the deal at hand. With the right preparation, negotiators know how to manage the other party, how to read the room, and what the most important aspects of the agreement are for each party. Here are some essential preparation tips from the negotiation skills training team at our training company in Randburg.

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  • Know your objectives: Always have a clear and comprehensive list of your objectives and keep this in your mind throughout the negotiation preparation process. If you’re unsure of your objectives, chances are that you’re going to make a compromise in a key area that’s likely to hurt you in the long run. Categorise this list of goals further into non-negotiables (where you will not compromise), realistic compromises (where you are prepared to negotiate) and bonus objectives (goals that would be an additional positive, but not essential).
  • Know where the power is: Negotiations seldom happen on an equal playing field, but this doesn’t mean that the more powerful party always wins – and a small compromise from a powerful party can bring significant gains for the other party. This is why it’s important to know exactly what you bring to the table as well as what the other party risks by losing you. Always know exactly how you contribute to the relationship, where you want it to go, and what the other party needs from you. Be careful of how you share this information at the negotiating table – if at all. For example, letting a supplier know that they are the main vendor and the alternatives are much more expensive gives them significant power.
  • Develop your confidence: Confidence has a very real impact on the success of a negotiation – your claims are taken more seriously and bargains will be made earnestly. Building up confidence takes practice and time, but you can help create this image by controlling your body language, the way you speak and even the way you dress. Remember to stand tall with your shoulders back, speak clearly and articulately, make eye contact and shake hands firmly. It’s also important to avoid fidgeting.
  • Practice: There are a few ways to practice negotiations before you sit down at the table in a real-world situation. While you can run through scenarios by yourself, it can be helpful to have a colleague act the part of the other party and add in some different approaches or scenarios. Another highly-effective technique is to get some one-on-one coaching from a negotiations skills specialist to run you through your paces, strengthen weak points in your tactics and help you create robust strategies for achieving your goals.


Transform Your Team into a Negotiations Powerhouse with High-Impact Business Negotiation Skills Training

At Maurice Kerrigan Africa, our focus is on providing industry-leading corporate training programmes that empower companies, sales teams and leadership to take on new challenges, formulate new strategies and iron out effective deals.

Our one-on-one negotiation skills training courses include a 2-day Creative Negotiation Skills Course for beginner and intermediate levels as well as a 3-day Advanced Negotiations Skills Course to tackle even the most complex negotiation scenarios. To find out more about our business negotiation skills training courses and the other courses offered by our SETA accredited training company in Randburg click here

 To find out more about our business negotiation skills training courses and the other courses offered by our SETA accredited training company in Randburg, simply call +27 11 794 1251 or email