Can a Negotiation Checklist Improve your Results?

Negotiation checklist

Preparing for a negotiation is critical to success. Though not intended as a substitute for learning, preparing this checklist from Next Level Purchasing can steer your negotiation preparation for great results. Do you follow these steps?

  1. Identify the primary supplier to negotiate with.
  2. Identify your second-best option in case you cannot reach agreement with your primary supplier.
  3. Determine the format (i.e., face-to-face, phone, etc.) and location of your negotiation sessions.
  4. Invite the primary supplier to negotiate and learn who the supplier’s principal negotiator is.
  5. Ensure/insist that the supplier assigns a negotiator with decision-making authority.
  6. Assess your leverage over the supplier.
  7. Determine your overall negotiation strategy (e.g., hardball, collaborative, etc.).
  8. Identify all the terms that you will negotiate.
  9. Set targets and least-acceptable alternatives for each term.
  10. Determine your negotiation tactics (e.g. threatening to use another supplier, emphasising the benefits to the supplier of doing business with you, etc.).
  11. Decide what to concede, if necessary, to reach agreement.
  12. Develop a timeline for the negotiation process.
  13. Identify the risks to achieving your terms, timeline and other goals and plan to mitigate those
  14. Develop and share internally a communications plan stating who must be updated on the negotiation progress and what information they must keep confidential.
  15. Review notes from previous negotiations, courses, etc. for tips for success.
  16. Anticipate your supplier’s reaction to each tactic.
  17. Create an agenda for the negotiation and practice it.
  18. Start the negotiation confidently.
  19. Document agreements reached and share this with the supplier throughout the negotiation process to ensure that no misunderstandings later derail a negotiation in which you have invested a great deal of time.
  20. Self-assess after each negotiation session and adjust strategy and tactics if necessary.
  21. At the end of the negotiation, encourage the supplier to feel positive about the new relationship rather than feel like they lost the negotiation.
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