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Communication Savvy - Erfolg durch geschickte Verhandlungsvorbereitung

Schlagwörter: Insiders English, Verhandlungen, OWAD, Geschäftsreisen, Englisch lernen, Business

A negotiation is a meeting where people who have different interests try to come to an agreement. Because of these different interests, it is important that you prepare yourself well for such a meeting. There is a well-known maxim in English: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

This is very true when negotiating and vital when negotiating in a second language. In fact, when preparing for an international negotiation, do it in English. This will help you prepare linguistically, as well as for the actual negotiation itself.

Your goals

There are three questions you need to ask yourself here:

• What is the optimum outcome of this negotiation for me? In other words, in a perfect world, what would I hope to get out of this meeting? The more clearly you can specify this, the more chance you have of achieving it.

• What is your walk away point? What is the pain threshold, beyond which you are not prepared to go?

• What is your BATNA (Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement)? If the negotiation fails, what are the alternatives? Are there other organisations or companies you can talk to? Can you change the focus of this negotiation in some way?

By very clearly defining these limits, it shows where compromises can be made.

Their goals

The next step is to put yourself in your counterpart's shoes. This requires doing some homework about your business partners. The result of this research should be an educated guess about their optimum outcome, walk away point and BATNA. This will allow you to see the areas of give and take more clearly. It might also indicate where the main sticking points could be.

You can do this research on the Internet, by asking people who know them and their company – and by asking your negotiating partner what they want in prenegotiation phone calls.

The background

What is the context to this negotiation? What, if any, is the previous history between your company and theirs? Have any previous contacts been positive or negative? What doubts or mistrust might you meet? What good experience can you refer to as a way of building trust?

The competition

This could be part of your BATNA.

Check carefully what competitors are out there. Are they better/worse, cheaper/more expensive, reliable/ unreliable? The more you know about the competition, the easier it will be to counter your partner’s arguments. And think about your alternatives

Profit and loss

Try to define exactly what both sides gain by coming to an agreement. Be specific. Make clear, concrete calculations. Then try to determine what both sides lose by not agreeing. Loss is a powerful motivator.


Once your preparations are finished, transfer them to an agenda. You do not necessarily need to show your business partner this. You can keep it as an outline strategy for yourself. Having a clear structure for your argumentation can be a powerful negotiation tool.

In negotiations, we usually look for the so-called “win-win” approach. Why? Because most of us want to build lasting business relations based on mutual trust and respect. Preparing in the way just outlined enables us to put ourselves in our partner’s shoes and allows us to see more clearly what a “win-win” outcome is likely to be.

Schlagwörter: Insiders English, Verhandlungen, OWAD, Geschäftsreisen, Englisch lernen, Business

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