How To Prepare for A Successful Negotiation

How To Prepare for A Successful Negotiation

40-year veteran Attorney/CPA Rich Michi is a business negotiator & trainer called “The Negotiation Magician,” “A Virtuoso Negotiator,” “A Master Negotiator and Businessman,” “A Grandmaster Chess Player,” and “The Negotiating Maestro” by top executives, lawyers, CPAs, & others in written testimonials at which identifies these individuals by names and titles.

The following is a statement by Rich Michi.

I function as a business negotiator and not as a practicing attorney. Earlier in my career I put my own money at risk to start new businesses to buy and sell commercial real estate and other investments, and thus, as a CPA and businessman, I understand numbers and I understand how to operate businesses on a day-to-day basis.

As a professional business negotiator, I do not draft contracts for my business clients, nor do I replace the current attorney of my business client. I provide my client’s attorney with the business terms I have negotiated at the table. Practicing lawyers discuss legal issues with other practicing lawyers; they do not negotiate business terms.

I negotiate the business terms, the dollars and cents aspects, of a transaction at the negotiating table, but only after I have spent a good amount of time preparing for the entire negotiation process. Because I have planned in depth, and because of my broad background as a lawyer, CPA, and businessman, I am in a much better position to be astute and shrewd at the negotiating table.

Here are a few items I consider as I prepare for a negotiation, and I recommend you follow these steps. I have written and refined over the years various worksheets and checklists I use when I prepare for a negotiation, and I share these items with trainees of my negotiation courses.

Before I arrive at the negotiating table, I have spent many, many hours preparing for the negotiation, often in consultation with my client. I want to be and will be the best-prepared person at the negotiation table.

What does my client (or you) really want to achieve? I am no longer surprised that my clients often have not carefully defined their objectives.

Decide what the most important issues are for you in the total negotiation, their priority amongst one another, and the approximate dollar value of each. Issues may include price, discount for volume purchases or sales, terms of payment, terms of delivery, frequency of repair services, length of warranties, and many more. Now ask the same questions about the other side.

Decide for each issue what you would accept and what would cause you to walk away from the table.

Learn a great deal of information about your side and the other side. Read items such as websites and annual and quarterly reports, and talk to people in the industry.

Determine the questions that should be asked at the table, and how those questions should be asked, to provide important information you would like to know.

Determine if you or the other side has more leverage. If you do not have more leverage than your counterpart, determine how you can appear to have more leverage than you do.

Determine who the real decision-makers are for the other side. Negotiate only with decision makers.

Decide items that may be of greater value to the other side than to you. These are items you might trade to the other side for items much more valuable to you. Decide who will join you at the negotiating table, and who will be the leader.

Decide how you will respond to negotiation ploys from the other side that you do not think are fair.

Do role plays with fellow employees. In these practice sessions, sit on both sides of the table so you can better understand your counterparts on the other side.

Prepare, prepare, prepare. With meaningful preparation, you can make substantially better deals for your side that will be less likely to generate disputes in the future.

Learn more by watching my video!

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