Planning for Negotiations September 9, 2009

What is your mission?

Before you go into any negotiation, you prepare. You know what you are willing to do to reach your goals. But are your goals in line with your company’s goals?

Most companies and organizations have a mission statement (and some even have a vision statement), which outlines the company’s goals in the market. As a business negotiator representing your company, you should be familiar with the mission. The mission can help organize your negotiation priorities.

Entrepreneur Magazine gives the following definition for a mission statement: A sentence describing a company's function, markets and competitive advantages; a short written statement of your business goals and philosophies.

The article goes on to say the following:

“The mission statement reflects every facet of your business: the range and nature of the products you offer, pricing, quality, service, marketplace position, growth potential, use of technology, and your relationships with your customers, employees, suppliers, competitors and the community.”

(Read full article here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/term/82494.html)

It is imperative for negotiators to understand exactly what they are representing. A company’s mission statement helps encapsulate this. Also, when you enter any negotiation you have a certain set of goals, both for the negotiation and for the company. In fact, in deciding your goals for the negotiation, you should have a sense of where these fit in the overall company business strategy.

If you are not aware of your company’s mission, it is time to familiarize yourself with it. If your company does not have a mission statement, it can be extremely helpful to develop one.

How familiar are you with your company’s mission statement? Is it helpful to you when you negotiate?

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