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Fundamental principles surrounding negotiations
This paper is about some of the basic, foundational and fundamental principles surrounding all negotiations. An understanding and appreciation of these will ensure you get all your negotiations off to a flying start, making sure you are prepared and able to handle many of the brickbats and setbacks that will almost inevitably come your way. Over the next few paragraphs you will learn the importance of thorough preparation and the steps with which you should familiarise yourself, including conducting ‘an audit of the barriers to an agreement’ to save time poring over the reasons why a deal ‘died’. You will be introduced — if you were not already acquainted — to the Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA): why it is so important, what you should be doing during your negotiations to strengthen it, and how it differs from a ‘bottom line’. Knowing the difference between ‘distributive’ and ‘integrative’ negotiations is explained, as is why you should always (with the odd exception) make the first offer, providing it is within a reasonable Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA). You will be introduced to ‘break points’, ‘fixed pies’ and the fundamental distinction between ‘positions’ and ‘interests’ and why taking the time to decipher the difference is a huge aid to you arriving at a great deal. Finally, I will highlight some of the tricks and techniques used by the other side in an attempt to pressure you into giving in and, perhaps more importantly, how you sweep them aside and render them useless.
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Nick Davies background is in field and retail sales (as well as being called to the Bar in November 1999 and briefly working as a lawyer). He has been a trainer and speaker since 2006, helping people get better at persuading, selling, developing business relationships, negotiating and presenting. Nick started The Really Great Training Company in January 2008. Nick’s clients span the globe from the Cayman Islands to New Zealand and include international law firms, banks, accountants, charities as well as many other large institutions. He is also trainer to members of the Royal Household. Nick is author of How to be Great at the Stuff You Hate: The Straight-talking Guide to Persuading, Selling and Networking and a visiting lecturer at University College Dublin, Smurfit Business School.