When learning to negotiate with another party, it is important to discover their personal negotiating characteristics. At the same time the knowledgeable negotiator on the other side of the table is learning how to deal with us.
Even though we try to do business only with cooperative business partners, the old military admonition, “Know thy enemy,” certainly applies.

Here are a few characteristics that will be useful to understand your other party’s approach to negotiation:

  • What range to negotiate do they leave themselves? In other words, historically, is there a consistent pattern from where they open to where they close?
  • Concession valuation: It was interesting to learn that not everyone values concessions the same way. Some count concessions, while others look at the total value of the concession.
  • People who count concessions are bargainers who are very comfortable with the tit-for-tat approach. Dr. Karrass reminds us that if we must give a concession in return, make sure it is less costly than the one gained.
  • How does the other party respond to deadlines?
  • Can we believe their deadline?
  • How good is their planning?
  • How is their team synergy?
  • Do they use ploys like Good Guy-Bad Guy?
  • Does the boss come in at the eleventh hour as the bad-guy?
  • How much emotional content do they use in the negotiation process?
  • Do they have non-verbals that signal a willingness to close?
  • Is there someone on their team who talks too much?
  • How well do they honor agreements once they have been made?

These are a few ideas on reviewing and recording at the end of this negotiation to learn how to negotiate with the same party next time.

Quote: “People tend to replicate behavior which has proved to be successful in the past.” Chester Karrass

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