Negotiate like a pro
Would it surprise you to learn that only 10% of professional negotiators are actually good at negotiating and getting the deals they set out to get? The data shows that we are rushing the process of building common ground, trust and understanding about what our counterpart really needs.
The lack of preparation means we are at risk of not making the full ask, not using the language or terminology that is familiar to our counterpart (so our ideas are not landing strong), and not seeing the opportunities for where our counterpart could actually be our biggest advocate.
Extensive preparation is just the beginning
The 3 sources on negotiation success that I’m quoting all counsel extensive preparation for every high stakes negotiation — whether it’s to agree a deal, a partnership, resolve a conflict or bring about strategic change. That preparation investment is alive and at play during the negotiation event itself. Preparation includes socialising our ideas and working through a process of creative alignment.
Bacharach says 80% of negotiating is all about preparation
Author, leadership development practitioner and Cornell University professor, Sam Bacharach is emphatic when he tells us that 80% of “negotiating effectively as a leader is all about preparation”.
Jensen & Unt say negotiation methods, not time, cause failure
In their book, Negotiating Partnerships: Increase Profits & Reduce Risk (2002), Keld Jensen and Iwar Unt call out some fundamental mistakes that are clear indicators of lack of preparation. Seeing only half the negotiation opportunity, aiming too low and not actively searching for the added value are just some at the top of their long list.
“It is not lack of time which makes negotiation fail. What causes the failure is the negotiation methods – a fact which many have difficulty accepting.”
— Jensen & Unt