January 8, 2024

Opening The Negotiation

Many people stumble at the opening of their negotiation. This can set the stage for a less than optimum outcome. Here are just a few points I find helpful to keep in mind when I start a negotiation.

1. Don't set your initial offer near your final objective. Give yourself room to negotiate. It doesn't matter what you are negotiating—hours on a project, scope-of-work, specifications, price, who's going to do what, etc. When you start any negotiation you must assume the other party will always put their maximum positions on the table first. Equally important is the fact that they probably will not disclose to you the minimum they are willing to accept. Don't be shy about asking for everything you might want and more during a negotiation.

2. Give yourself enough time to negotiate. Before you start make sure you have allowed a realistic amount of time for the negotiation process to take place. Hours, weeks or months—it will frequently take longer than you expect. Rushing through the negotiation almost always works against you.

3. Don't assume you know what the other party wants. It is far more prudent to assume that you do not know and then proceed to discover the realities of the situation by patient testing and questioning. If you proceed to negotiate a deal on the basis of your own untested estimate, you are making a serious mistake.

4. Do not assume that your aspiration level is high enough. It is possible that your demands are too modest, or too easy to achieve. The other party may not know what they want or may have a set of values quite different from your own.

5. Finally, never accept the first offer. Many people do if the offer is as good as they expected or hoped to get. There are two good reasons not to accept: First, the other party is probably willing to make some concessions. Second, if you take the first offer, the other party is often left with the feeling that they were foolish for starting too low. In any case, the negotiator who takes the first offer too fast makes a mistake.

THE PROGRAM WAS GREAT! MY SEMINAR LEADER AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE KEPT ME CONSTANTLY STIMULATED. I NOW AM BETTER PREPARED TO GO INTO AN IMPORTANT NEGOTIATION MEETING AND STAY IN CONTROL, WHILE FINISHING THE MEETING SATISFIED.

Deanna D.
CASE MANAGER at THE JACKSON LABORATORY

IF YOU HAVE THE TRAINING BUDGET AND TWO DAYS TO SPARE, YOU'LL STRUGGLE TO FIND A PROGRAM MORE FAR-REACHING, ON-POINT, AND INSTANTLY IMPLEMENTABLE.

Jeff G.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

EXCELLENT COURSE, BRINGS MORE CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE. I THINK THIS COURSE IS A MUST FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHO DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS.

John S.
CHIEF ENGINEERING MANAGER at EXXONMOBIL

THIS WAS VERY EFFECTIVE WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON BOTH-WIN NEGOTIATING.

Kathleen L.
SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

THE KARRASS CLASS WAS THE SINGLE BEST TRAINING CLASS/SEMINAR I HAVE EVER ATTENDED. EVERY TIME WE DID AN EXERCISE IT TAUGHT YOU WHAT TO DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME. THANKS.

Kim C.
PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

THIS PROGRAM HAS GREATLY INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR MYSELF AS WELL AS MY COMPANY.

LaDonna E.
SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

THE NEGOTIATING CLASS WAS VERY INFORMATIVE. THE INSTRUCTOR PROVIDED AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO EVERYDAY LIFE.

Mary S.
INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

WE NEGOTIATE EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY. THIS COURSE DEFINES THE PROCESS AND PROVIDES TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL RESULTS.

Phillip H.
VICE PRESIDENT at GE

PRIOR TO THIS CLASS I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS GETTING EATEN ALIVE BY INTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH SALES REPS. NOW I FEEL PREPARED TO CHALLENGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING AND BET TO THEIR REAL NEEDS.

Steve Q.
PLANNER at HONEYWELL

MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO NEGOTIATE A WIN/WIN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES. THIS CLASS IS AN EYE OPENER TO THIS DYNAMIC..

Stuart B.
CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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