My personal experience from the negotiations with Easterly has completely transformed what I thought the process entailed. I learned that I do not have to impress any party during the negotiation process, neither does the other party has to impress me. After all, the sole aim of any business negotiation is to win. You have to paint the picture of the vulnerabilities of the other party and strike a deal from it that will best suit your circumstances. From the Easterly negotiations, for instance, its owners were concerned that our upcoming development in the Salt Harbor property would negatively affect their business as it would mean its clientele would not enjoy the view of the surroundings because it will be obscured by the new development. In negotiating for the sale of the property, this could be used as our strongest point in asking for a higher price. If they fail to agree to our terms, then it means that they might end up losing business.
I learned that negotiations could be lengthy, requiring several counter offers before a final deal is agreed upon. One party might come up with a deal but later renege on it, requiring that several other rounds of negotiations be conducted. In the sale of the Brims property in Salt Harbour, for instance, Tom had to consult with the owners of Easterly severally before finally signing the deal. From this, I learned the importance of negotiating with the people pulling the strings instead of intermediaries. The people that matter expedites the negotiation process as they are the ones calling the shots as opposed to intermediaries who are uncertain of what their bosses might say in a certain deal. In the process, projects that were meant to commence within schedule might be delayed pending the outcome of the negotiations. The development of the property at Salt Harbor, for instance, had to be delayed as negotiations were underway. The purchase of the new substitute product was also stalled pending the outcome of the ongoing negotiation process with the owners of Easterly ("Drafting a Memo - Negotiation - Grand Valley State University", 2016).
I learned the importance of conducting extensive research about the matter at hand as well as on other interests related to the matter on the table. To do this, it is essential that a thorough background check of the partner you are negotiating with be conducted so as to identify their interests in the matter and to come up with an appropriate strategy to counter their offers. In the sale of the Brims property, for instance, Easterly had conducted its background checks on the statutory requirements required for the property and had an upper hand in claiming that it was only legal to develop the property for residential purposes as opposed to commercial purposes as we (Brims) had planned. I learned that negotiation entails the process of determining your opponents vulnerabilities and exploiting them to draw benefits to your side, using these as your strong negotiation basis. It was hard to determine the motive as to why Easterly was opposed to the development of the property, a wise, wild guess that it would obstruct its view was used as our strong counter argument to balance matters.
I learned that it is okay even when the person you are negotiating with turns down what you consider as the most plausible offer you could give under the circumstances. In negotiating for the sale of Salt Harbor property, for instance, my aim as the seller was to gain the most from its sale while Tom, my opponent on the other end of the negotiation table was willing to offer the least possible price for the property. He would turn down an offer I would deem to work best for them. I, on the other end, turned down several offers he extended, claiming he thought were the best under our circumstances. I realized that winning a negotiation deal largely depends on how strongly you present your case, regardless of the real value of the property under consideration. It entails blackmails and manipulations when you know that you have your partner at their weakest point and you now call the shots; whatever price you quote shall suffice ("5 Basic Principles for Better Negotiating Skills", 2016).
From the negotiation process with the Easterly manager regarding the sale of the property, vital lessons were learned in the process.
Neediness: expressing to the other partner that you are needy puts one at a disadvantaged position. If the other party senses your neediness, they have a better chance of trouncing you in the deal, benefiting the most from the negotiation. It is also important that talks are kept as minimal as possible, talking only when it is necessary. Talking too much is a sell off the sign of your neediness. If for instance, I would have shown that I really needed to make a sale of the property because I needed the proceeds to reinvest in the purchase of another property, it would have exposed my neediness and jeopardize the whole negotiation deal, making my opponents have an upper hand in the negotiations. On the flip side, if Tom, my opposing partner had revealed during the negotiations that they really did not want our property going up because it would obscure their view, this would have been their sell out, and I would have called the shots, stating the price I wanted for the property (Bordone, 2000).
Use of questions: asking questions in a negotiation is a vital skill to be learned. It is both science and art; the science part being the construction of the questions using words such as can and do. The art part comes in the form of delivery and articulation of these questions. It is also important that these questions are kept short and simple.
It is also important to maintain good relationships with the people on the opposing side of the negotiation table. After all, it is business, and we all need people for our businesses to flourish. It is not, therefore, necessary to burn bridges or let differences at the negotiation table create rifts and divisions between people. Negotiations should be conducted in a professional manner.
5 Basic Principles for Better Negotiating Skills. (2016). Creonline.com. Retrieved 13 July 2016, from http://www.creonline.com/principles-for-better-negotiation-skills.html
Bordone, R. (2000). Teaching Interpersonal Skills for Negotiation and for Life. Negotiation Journal, 16(4), 377-385. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1571-9979.2000.tb00765.x
Drafting a Memo - Negotiation - Grand Valley State University. (2016). Gvsu.edu. Retrieved 13 July 2016, from https://www.gvsu.edu/negotiation/drafting-a-memo-22.htm
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