How Negotiating As a Team Can Safeguard Your Success
It may seem daunting to negotiate as a team. You have less control over the flow of information, risk a team member making a concession that you would not make, or risk the team as a whole preventing you from accepting a deal. The benefits of teamwork, however, can far outweigh the risks.
Teams bring more knowledge to the bargaining table. They tend to prepare more thoroughly and consider potential offers more carefully. You can benefit from a diverse set of skills and come out with a better outcome — assuming, of course, that you make wise choices when gathering and preparing your team for a negotiation.
Assembling a Team
Your vendor will likely bring their strongest group of negotiators to discuss the sales contract. Their top team is likely to include people with a variety of skills and specialties. Similarly, it's essential that you consider a range of people to fit different roles in the negotiation.
You'll want someone with good general knowledge of mutual gains negotiation as team leader. They will organize the others, decide on key goals, and guide the negotiation. People with technical knowledge relevant to the deal and people who can represent groups affected by the deal, such as shareholders or employees, can also be valuable. They can bring up information during the negotiation that you might not have otherwise considered. It's also important to have a member who builds bridges with the other team, someone who is skilled with communication and able to inspire trust in your counterparty.
Preparing For the Negotiation
Once you've chosen the best people, it's essential to get them on the same page regarding their role and your overall objectives. Discuss issues as a group and smooth out any disagreements between team members prior to the negotiation. Delegate tasks that match each team member's skills and expertise. Present the primary goal you're all working towards. Make sure the team knows the key issues on which they are not to make concessions and when to turn down a sale.
The preparation stage is also a good time to ensure that each team member has the resources they need to excel in their role. Your bridge builder, for example, may be in charge of writing up the contract. Building trust with the other team relies on their ability to make the contract look great.
Make sure they have the proper software to make the contract presentable - for example compress PDF to have an easily shareable document. If they need additional support with details on the contract to make sure it will impress your counterparty, ensure that they receive that support.
Trusting Your Team
If you've chosen your team carefully and given them the time and resources to prepare, your job during the negotiation is far easier. A well-organized team can accomplish more and make better-informed decisions than a single negotiator.
Don't be afraid to lean on your team and to trust the accomplishments you make together. If you're struggling to find and recruit talent from which you can build a team or you have an interest in building business relationships, your local chamber of commerce could be the perfect place to get started.
Join today to begin making contacts that can help with future team building.