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Win-Win Negotiation Techniques

Win-Win Negotiation Techniques

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Published by Junaid Shaukat

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Published by: Junaid Shaukat on Oct 30, 2011
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11/08/2013

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Without a backup plan you have very little negotiating power. With an
attractive alternative you have great power, even if your counterpart is
a large, wealthy corporation. What traditionally passes for power —
money, resources, an impressive title with a large organisation, and other
trappings of power — are no guarantee of success in negotiation. Other

Let’s talk about my
salary increase,
shall we?

Win-Win Negotiations.indd 82

7/21/10 9:35:07 AM

DEVELOPING AND USING YOUR PLAN B 83

sources of power, such as information, preparation and expertise, can tilt
the balance of power in favour of the little guy. An attractive alternative
is perhaps the greatest source of power of all. This source of power is
largely a function of information and preparation.

Your Plan B is critical for a number of reasons:

Your

Plan B gives you confidence. Your Plan B is like a safety net. If
you can get a better outcome in the negotiation, take it; if not, walk
away from the table and go with your Plan B. It guarantees that you will
not be worse off by negotiating.

Your

Plan B is a benchmark. Most of the time, your Plan B is not very
different from an option on the negotiating table. For example, your
Plan B may be an offer for a position with Other Company at $3,500
a month and you are negotiating with Myco for a similar position at a
comparable salary. Knowing your Plan B gives you an idea of what
a realistic option should be.

Your

Plan B must be realistic. It should be something you could and
would really do if the negotiation fails. Bluffing, that is, claiming to have
a Plan B that does not exist, can be risky. If you are negotiating a salary
increase with your boss at Myco and you tell her that Other Company
has offered you $1,000 more, she just might say “A thousand dollars
more? That’s great! You should take it!”

Don’t deceive yourself by fantasising about an alternative that you
wouldn’t actually exercise. For example, suppose you have no competing
offer and you decide your best alternative is to start your own business.
That would require capital, a business plan, a considerable amount
of effort, a healthy bank balance to tide you over for several months,
some quantum of risk, and so on. If you are not prepared to accept
these challenges, this is not your Plan B. Stop dreaming, and develop
a realistic Plan B.

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7/21/10 9:35:07 AM

84 WIN-WIN NEGOTIATIONS

Your

Plan B can be improved. Your Plan B is not fixed. For example,
suppose your Plan B is an offer for a position with Other Company at
$3,500 a month. All things being equal, you would not accept an offer
from your boss for less than that figure. If Myco offers you $3,600 you
take it; if they offer you less you go with Other Company. But what if,
during your negotiations with Myco, you contact Other Company and
they agree to increase their offer to $3,800 plus insurance coverage
and a transportation allowance? Or you get an offer from ThirdCo at
$3,900? Now you can confidently ask Myco for more, knowing you
can beat their previous offer of $3,600. Once you determine your Plan
B, see if you can improve on it.

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