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Business Negotiation FAQ

Business negotiation is about both parties winning but you can do a lot better than you think.

  • Who needs a negotiator?

    If you are involved in a business negotiation or if you think you are about to get involved in one you should speak to a negotiator.Negotiations are always much easier to conduct and bring a better result when planned and professionally conducted by people with experience who are not emotionally involved.

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  • It’s only a small deal – is it worth talking to a negotiator?

    There is no such thing as a small deal. Even minimal guidance from a negotiator can make a big difference. What is small now may one day be larger and you could be stuck in an expensive contract. Also, not every deal is about money so winning concessions on non-financial matters can be important.

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  • What does a negotiator bring to the table that is new?

    A negotiator is trained to you find a good solution that works for you as well as your counterparty but ensures that you maximise what you get out of the deal. Negotiators consider the needs and wants of your counterparty in a dispassionate manner that you may not understand, and can exploit these to your benefit..

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  • At what stage in talks can a negotiator become involved?

    At the outset or in the middle. Your counterparty need not know that you are consulting a negotiator. A negotiation is not over until it is finally  agreed  so you can change your mind.

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  • ‘Our friend has tried to help us’: what will a negotiator do different?

    A well-meaning friend can often do more damage than good. It takes training and experience to recognise what is really happening in a negotiation. The old adage: ‘If you think an expert is expensive, wait till you see the cost of an amateur!’ rings very true in negotiation.

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  • Does negotiation always work? What happens if it doesn’t?

    A well-meaning friend can often do more damage than good. It takes training and experience to recognise what is really happening in a negotiation. The old adage: ‘If you think an expert is expensive, wait till you see the cost of an amateur!’ rings very true in negotiation.

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  • Is negotiation a Win-Win?

    A well-meaning friend can often do more damage than good. It takes training and experience to recognise what is really happening in a negotiation. The old adage: ‘If you think an expert is expensive, wait till you see the cost of an amateur!’ rings very true in negotiation.

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  • We are splitting our partnership, how can a Commercial Negotiator help?

    A well-meaning friend can often do more damage than good. It takes training and experience to recognise what is really happening in a negotiation. The old adage: ‘If you think an expert is expensive, wait till you see the cost of an amateur!’ rings very true in negotiation.

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  • What professional backgrounds do negotiators come from?

    Negotiator come from all backgrounds but their core skill is in helping their client to clarify and prioritise their objectives and to get into the mind of their counterparty, often using tried and tested tactics to gain valuable concessions. Where legal, accounting or any other professional advice is necessary, the negotiator will encourage the parties to take such advice.

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  • The other party doesn’t want to talk - is negotiation possible?

    Negotiator come from all backgrounds but their core skill is in helping their client to clarify and prioritise their objectives and to get into the mind of their counterparty, often using tried and tested tactics to gain valuable concessions. Where legal, accounting or any other professional advice is necessary, the negotiator will encourage the parties to take such advice.

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  • Who makes the decisions in negotiation?

    You do. You are in control of the process from start to finish. You are free to accept or decline the advice of your negotiator.

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  • Is the negotiation agreement legally binding?

    At the end of the negotiation process if it leads to the parties drawing up an agreement as a contract it will be legally binding. In any negotiation until you agree everything you are entitled to change your mind.

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  • I am not happy with the way things are going – can I walk out?

    Yes you can, as negotiation is a voluntary process

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  • I don’t like the unknown, what happens in a negotiation?

    The most common format for a negotiation is as follows:

    Pre negotiation: The negotiator will be in contact with you and request an outline of the case and any supporting documents. The negotiator will discuss both your position, the other party’s position and the range of outcomes you envisage, being mindful of where you want to end up.

    Starting negotiation : Whether it is a face to face with the negotiator present or without him or her present one party will usually make their case and the negotiations will begin. Usually it is fairly clear who has to open and there can be advantages in letting the other side speak first especially if they are not experienced at negotiating.

    Private session: After the joint session face to face the negotiator will spend time with you reviewing what has been said and offered and re-examining the position of the parties. Where the negotiator is behind the scenes this can take place at any point.

    Having said all this, it is important to note that no two negotiations will be the same, and the negotiator may vary the process to suit your requirements as they see fit.

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  • ‘I don’t want anyone to know about it’ – tell me about confidentiality

    All negotiation is confidential before, during and after the process. Notes will not be held by the negotiator.

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  • What support will I need at a negotiation?

    If you require another member of your firm to assist you are entitled to do so but the more people there are the greater the chance of tactical blunders by inexperienced colleagues.

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  • Why should I not go to a lawyer instead of negotiating when in dispute?

    Lawyers are far more expensive and slower. You could unwittingly end up in court which is where they feel comfortable and you will not. A negotiator takes a more commercial view of the situation and it is less confrontational.

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  • What is negotiation ?

       

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  • Director, shareholder and partner disputes - can they be negotiated ?

    Boardroom negotiations involving directors, shareholders and partners are very common but can have the most damaging effect. Usually the root is either down to poor drafting of agreements at the outset or a failure of one party to understand the needs of the other. 

    Whatever the cause the ramifications can be catastrophic as often the business ends up deadlocked or one party walks out taking with a swathe of clients and contracts. The only beneficiaries in these circumstances are usually solicitors, and the squabbling parties end up so entrenched that homes and life savings can be lost along with the damage done by stress and aggravation.

    An independent negotiator can often bring the dispute to a swift resolution especially as the negotiator will be taking a commercial view  or at least advising their client what is and is not feasible. Our negotiators have many years of SME boardroom issues at a practical level.

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