How to plan better: get good information

Planning is an essential step in negotiation, and part of planning is gathering information. You will want to know about issues such as:

  • Current market conditions
  • Industry trends
  • Pricing trends
  • Company information

Dr. Chester Karrass provides useful questionnaires for planning purposes in his book “In Business As In Life—You Don’t Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate.”  He suggests you should have a strategy to gather information. In order to structure your thinking about information gathering, he provides some questions. Following are some key questions to start creating your information gathering strategy. A full list is available in the book.

  1. What kind of information do you want to know? (look at list above for some ideas)
  2. Where can you get this information?
  3. Can you learn anything from past negotiations with this party?
  4. How much business are you doing with this party?
  5. How well is this company doing?
  6. What don’t you want the other company to know about you?

The more detailed information you are able to gather, the better you will be able to negotiate. Keep in mind that the other party will most likely be gathering information about you. It is just as important for you to know what information will tell the other party about you and your position.

How do you plan to get good information? What are your main sources of information?

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