Building a Negotiation Process: Get It Right Every Time

By RED BEAR March 30, 2023 | 6 min read

To build effective negotiation strategies for your team, you need to leverage the power of proper planning.

Here at RED BEAR Negotiation Training, we understand that without standard practices for negotiation planning, your team will start every negotiation session from scratch without the institutional knowledge, skills, processes, and information needed to stay on track and reach consistent, profitable, and scalable outcomes.

But how do you begin? What elements are essential to an effective process? How do you invest in your people’s skills? What terminologies should be consistent across your organization?

If you're looking for consistent results, planning is key.

A negotiation process that everyone uses and executives enforce is essential to see consistent results.

Let’s explore what a standardized negotiation planning process might look like for your organization and discover why this essential stage of the process is critical to long-term and sustained success.

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Why Effective Negotiation Planning Matters

While many companies and organizations rely on individuals with the “talent” or skills to manage negotiations, with planning, and the right negotiation training, every team member can enter into sessions with confidence.

It’s all about establishing the processes and standards for consistent success.

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Without this foundation, negotiators rely on previous training or experiences, if any, that rarely consider the right principles and behaviors for effective negotiations. Moreover, this approach fails to incorporate an organization's needs, demands, elegant and alternate negotiables, and other critical information.

To make the most out of each negotiation session, teams need to develop standards and processes around planning. This helps drive enhanced and consistent negotiation planning across global business units.

In short, planning improves negotiation power.

“Planning improves negotiation power.”

This essential step also helps teams and individuals build on negotiation principles and better anticipate the other party’s strategy. 

Teams need structure and alignment to succeed. It all starts with understanding the phases of good negotiation planning.

The Phases of Good Negotiation Planning

Negotiation planning is a two-phase process:

  • Research phase
  • Anticipation phase

Whether it’s cross-cultural, sales, or procurement negotiations, good negotiators build effective strategies by planning and using these two distinct phases.

The research phase is all about objective preparation. During this phase, teams and individuals gather facts, run numbers, and get approvals. They’ll also develop several options to prepare for the upcoming negotiation session.

Next is the anticipation phase. This phase is all about subjective preparation. Experienced negotiators will spend time picturing themselves in the other party’s shoes

  • What kind of pressure are they under?
  • What do their demands look like?
  • What are some difficult questions they might ask?

High-performing negotiators ask these questions and many more to build a firm understanding of the other side.

Planning It Out

During these planning phases, skilled negotiators will spend a good amount of time in both the research and anticipation phases. But how can they marry this information with the foundational principles of a good negotiation?

Building out a robust negotiation planning template is vital to consistent success. 

“Building out a robust negotiation planning template is vital to consistent success.”

You’ll often see planning broken up into several key areas:

Let’s explore how to build an action plan and tackle negotiation analysis.

Preparing the Right Action Plan and Negotiation Analysis

The action plan phase of your negotiation planning will cover a general summary of the upcoming negotiation.

An action plan is also beneficial for presenting an overview of your plan to management and colleagues, so everyone is aligned and you can build confidence and credibility across your organization.

Built on the right principles and behaviors, a good template will review several key areas of a negotiation:

At RED BEAR, we help teams and organizations build effective action plans that will become staple elements of every future negotiation session.

Ask for RED BEAR’s Proprietary  Negotiation Planning Template

Another critical area that needs your team’s attention is negotiation analysis. 

In essence, negotiation analysis is all about the details of your plan. It can be as broad as marking general targets or as granular as defining difficult questions and your responses.

Much of this information will overlap with your action plan, so it’s always an excellent strategy to tackle this first.

Building a Concessions Plan

No practical negotiation planner is complete without a proper concessions strategy.

A powerful concessions plan is critical to building relationships, setting targets effectively, and getting value from each negotiation session. Concessions are essential to any negotiation — whether it’s for sales or procurement.

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Mastering a good concessions strategy is all about avoiding costly and manipulative negotiation tactics, operating with a give-and-take approach, and leveraging the power of reciprocity.

The best negotiators always plan and have an intimate understanding of several key areas:

  • What are your underlying needs?
  • What are possible negotiables?
  • What can you ask for?
  • What tactics might you expect from the other side?

When building a negotiation strategy and template for your team, taking a holistic approach to information is a good idea. Think not only about what concessions your side might make but imagine the other party’s negotiables too.

Throughout this process, a good negotiation template and process will always maintain the foundational principles and behaviors. 

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For instance, a positioning theme is a powerful tool in any negotiation. Once you understand elements like your concessions strategy, you can create a strong positioning theme to carry with you throughout the negotiation.

Get The Tools You Need to Succeed

RED BEAR Negotiation Training transforms teams and individuals into world-class negotiators. Forward-thinking companies around the world trust our tested methods. 

Across every industry, our training has helped teams leverage the power of effective negotiation, produced measurable results, and provided tailored learning experiences that stick. 

When it comes to creating a negotiation template and process, it’s all about establishing standardized processes and a working terminology library that every team member uses to approach a negotiation. This helps teams enhance cohesive negotiation planning across all of their global business units where everyone in the organization speaks the same negotiation language.

Whether it’s proper planning or learning the foundational principles and behaviors of effective negotiations, RED BEAR can help your team get more from every negotiation meeting.

Master your next negotiation session.
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