Nothing but negotiation

The Gap Partnership

The other side's 'needs' should be identified during business negotiations

A clear snapshot of the other firm's position can be obtained through questioning

13 September 2010

Companies should find out the other side's needs during business negotiations, it has been claimed.

Although firms will enter talks with their own interests in mind, it could be worthwhile to identify what the other business requires from the negotiations.

Nancy Slessenger, the founder of business consultancy firm Vibnehouse, advised negotiators to ask the other side a series of questions to create a more detailed snapshot of their position.

She wrote on "By doing this effectively you will be able to find out what it is they really need. It could be that they need to look good to their boss. Or perhaps they really need to get home early that day so are doing things in a hurry."

Ms Slessenger also underlined the dangers of showing extreme emotions, such as anger, during talks.

Entering negotiations in the wrong frame of mind can reduce the chances of attaining a good deal as decision making can be impaired, she added.

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