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Negotiation Strategies: Services

Negotiation can be very stressful because conflict often make us feel frustrated and powerless.  Many of us have never been taught, however, that there are three keys to re-claiming our power in negotiations: knowledge, leverage, and creativity.  Amanda loves to help her clients optimize these variables to help achieve their goals.  Below, you will find the general framework that Amanda will help you work through to arrive at the bargain you're seeking.


Know yourself, and know your opponent.

In order to negotiate effectively, you have to know what you are trying to accomplish.  We often assume that negotiations are simply about minimizing costs and maximizing gains but we fail to realize that costs and gains are not always solely financial.  Another mistake we frequently make is to conflate our own underlying interests with those of our opponents.  We assume that the conflict arose because we and our counterparts want to claim the same property or divide the indivisible when, in fact, a deeper understanding of both our own and the other side's true needs might reveal an elegant win-win solution that does not involve splitting the baby.

Any negotiation must begin with thorough preparation.  Amanda will partner with you on a deep dive into what you seek to gain from your negotiation and to go past your opponent's positions to understand what they actually require to close the deal.


Create leverage by improving your alternatives.  (And making theirs less attractive.)

Your bargaining strength depends directly on your next most attractive alternative.  The more credibly you can walk away from the bargaining table, the more likely you are to grab a bigger slice of the pie.  The strength of your alternatives is not static, though.  You can - and should - be consistently striving to improve your options throughout your negotiation to lower the stakes of this bargain and to ensure you make the best deal you can.  Think both quality and quantity here.  If you have identified your goals, there are likely a number of alternatives you might consider.  Pursue several of them.  Negotiate each one vigorously.  Do the work here and you will be rewarded with a strong bargaining position for whichever you ultimately choose.  

Similarly, the strength of your opponent's alternatives is not static either.  Modulating the other side's alternatives can often be the key to achieving your goal.  Amanda's multidisciplinary background proves useful in identifying and influencing your opponent's pressure points.  While this might mean making the other side's alternatives worse - through, for example, a PR campaign to publicize the costs of not making a deal - it might also mean making the other side's alternative so much better that he chooses the alternative, leaving whatever scarce resource was at the heart of the conflict for your taking.


Think outside the box.

Once you have identified what you really need from your deal and optimized your alternatives, it's time to sit down with the other side and get creative.  Never underestimate the importance of intangibles - for yourself or for your opponent.  Go beyond price.  Go beyond fault.  Change the paradigm and partner with your opponent to satisfy as many needs as possible on both of your lists.  View this and every negotiation as an opportunity to co-create a better future for both sides.

Negotiation Strategies: List
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