Strength in Numbers: Team Negotiation Advantages
In any negotiation, team members follow a logical framework to achieve the desired outcome. This may involve a variety of strategies that take into account the type of business involved, the counterparty, the negotiators' levels of experience, the financial implications, and what the counterparty desires. When working with others, the tactfulness of the negotiation determines whether or not a deal is consummated. An important aspect is, therefore, the cohesiveness of the negotiation team.
Experience or Combined Effort
A team that works together well achieves great results. This goes for any industry or area. Think about a football team. The players have a strategy to follow that produces wins, and they work as a team to achieve this goal. Experience can play a role; however, too many experienced negotiators can sometimes cause conflict, and each may try to outdo the other. Sometimes it's more beneficial for everyone on the team to be on the same level or at least have one negotiator with experience. A team negotiation process can look something like this:
Agree on the substance. What's the objective of your negotiation, and what are you focusing your talks around? Everyone needs to be on the same page.
Identify key team members. Allocate certain tasks to certain members of the team, with key team members being in control of the negotiation. This is usually the person with the most experience.
Leverage strengths and weaknesses. Learn about your team and which skills each member provides so that your team is strong in all areas.
Coordinate unique abilities. Team members must carefully coordinate their efforts so that the negotiation runs smoothly and the desired outcomes can be reached.
Be Aware of Problems
Your team is only as strong as its weakest link. If you're aware of any conflict on your team or issues between team members, you need to discuss the way forward and how to deal with these before you step foot into the negotiation. Any issues on the team may affect the negotiation, and this may potentially cause a deal to fall through or a flawed contract to be signed. A bad deal can result in financial and other losses. It's better to walk away from a bad deal with your reputation and finances intact.
Work Toward the Contract
By ensuring that everyone on the negotiating team understands their role and what to do, you minimize the possibility of losing the upper hand. Mistakes leave you in a vulnerable position, and this is something you want to prevent. Your team needs to aim to slowly close the deal and be cautious in the pursuit. This gives you time to discuss, regroup, and focus on any problems that crop up.
The final part of closing a deal is signing the contract. When presented to the counterparty, this document must be accurate and look attractive and professional. Be sure to convert JPG to PDF to help ensure the contract looks polished, whether it's viewed on a computer screen or printed on paper.
When a team works well together, it's apparent. It achieves the desired outcomes and is more effective at a successful negotiation.Consider joining your local chamber of commerce if you want to learn more from your business community about teamwork in negotiations.