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The Gap Partnership

Research is 'key' when negotiating a contract

Negotiators should have a clear list of objectives before opening talks

23 July 2010

Negotiators should thoroughly research a potential deal before opening talks, according to an expert.

Rob Enderle, a former contract negotiator at IBM, claimed employees should carefully plan a list of objectives to ensure negotiations run smoothly.

He wrote on itbusinessedge.com: "If you know what you want and what the other side wants and can map priorities, it sets a negotiation foundation that should get to an acceptable agreement more quickly."

Many negotiators focus solely on achieving a lower price for their representatives in situations where other factors are more important.

Preparing a list of desired outcomes will allow mediators to focus on their client's preferred objectives, Mr Enderle added.

During any deal talks, it is crucial to remember that you hold something the opposite side desires.

They may require an endorsement or credit for a deal but Mr Enderle underlined how staff should seek leverage in any deal.

"These will be tools that you will use during the negotiation," he claimed.

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