BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) Woman tears agreement documents in front of agent who wants to get a signature

Why You Need Better than BATNA: Formulating a Defensible “Walk Away” Rationale in Negotiations

Either through becoming emotionally invested, getting pressure from leadership or being unable to analyze key factors that should indicate retreat, business negotiators often find themselves spending long amounts of time on deals of diminishing — or even illusory — value.

One of the cornerstones of negotiation theory is BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement), advanced by Roger Fisher and William Ury of the Harvard Program on Negotiation (PON) in their book, Getting to YES. Read more

Using Your “Incumbency” to Create Positive Leverage in Negotiation

Some concepts are better expressed using an example. Our client was at a crucial juncture with their customer — a European bank. In just three months, the time frame was expiring on an agreement to provision identity access management. That project had been running for three years, and had progressed substantially as forecasted. So a renewal to continue with the work was being discussed, plus, our client wanted to extend the scope of services for 24/7 identity and access management, which they believed the customer could use.

This project was extremely complex, and it was incumbent on our client to express the value delivered to that point. This is extremely important: Nobody owes you recognition of your value. You have to make the case!

Being successful in this situation meant Read more

Negotiation Examples: How Avoiding Unprincipled Concessions Kept the Customer’s Respect (And Won More Revenue)

 

When competition starts putting the pressure on you, it’s natural to look at price-cutting as the primary way to keep the business. But in the long run, this is a mistaken impulse, unless accompanied by a sound business rationale such as a reduction in scope, change in terms or outcome from the deal. One of our engagements with a client that served a European industrial (the customer) with technology solutions definitely illustrated the value of avoiding such “unprincipled concessions!”

Unprincipled concessions are “giveaways” not tied to a credible business rationale. Our research shows that this simple business negotiation mistake costs companies between 9 and 18% of gross revenue and significant profit. (See our infographic on the topic for a more detailed discussion of this vital principle and how it can be applied.) Read more

Communication Credibility: Without It, There’s No Persuasion or Negotiation Leverage

<img style=”float: left; margin: 0 35px 15px 0;” src=”https://www.negotiators.com/wp-content/images/CEO-sales-performance-3.jpg” alt=”Communication Credibility” width=”220″ height=”223″ />Show us a successful negotiator and we’ll show you someone who is highly conscious about how they communicate with others. It’s not about who can talk the fastest or prove that they know more than everybody else in the room—it’s about building credibility. This is crucial because credibility ultimately translates into leverage for getting the right deal done. Read more

K&R CEO Mladen Kresic Discusses Negotiation Know-it-Alls with Knowledge@Wharton Host Dan Loney

K&R CEO Mladen Kresic Discusses Negotiation Know-it-Alls with Knowledge@Wharton Host Dan Loney (Complete Transcript)

On Friday, May 20 K&R CEO Mladen Kresic joined Knowledge@Wharton (Sirius XM Channel 111) host Dan Loney to talk about how negotiators can keep “know-it-alls” from ruining their next big deal. (Kresic wrote on the subject in his 2016 white paper, “Dealing with Negotiation Know-It-Alls: How to Keep Instructors, Intimidators and Impostors from Derailing Your Deal.”

During this segment, Loney and Kresic discussed the three major types of know-it-all (The Instructor, The Intimidator and The Impostor), the threats they represent to successful negotiations, and strategies negotiators can use to mitigate their negative influence and keep their deal discussions on track.

This content reproduced courtesy of Sirius XM and Knowledge@Wharton.

Loney: Have you ever been part of a negotiation and feel like you’re hitting your head on a brick wall because the person on the other side is the “know-it-all”? It can be one of the most frustrating things to deal with, but there may be some hope. Mladen Kresic returns to the show. He’s the president and Chief Executive Officer of K&R Negotiations. He’s recently published a white paper on the problem and how you can handle the situation — and maybe even make it work for you. Mladen, the author of Negotiate Wisely in Business and Technology, is joining us on the show right now. Great to catch up with you, Mladen. How have you been? Read more

Mladen Kresic’s Negotiation Advice for CEOs Featured on Chief Executive

Delineating how and when senior management will take part in negotiations is an important factor in maintaining position and outcome. When a member of senior management’s personal timeline or motivations clash with an already established value argument, money can be left on the table.

K&R Negotiations CEO Mladen Kresic used a deal from the firm’s client case files to illustrate just how this can happen in Negotiation Lessons: When CEO Meddling Degrades the Deal, a contributed article that was featured this October at ChiefExecutive.net.

“It’s easy to become emotionally invested in a deal, especially a complex one that requires a significant time and resource commitment from you and your team. Nobody wants to simply walk away from something they have cultivated for months—even when the value of the deal begins to degrade.”

Mladen offers several takeaways from the case study that serve as good counsel for CEOs whose teams have a big deal on the hook and may or may not need the chief’s “help.” We’d like to thank ChiefExecutive.net for accepting our contribution. We’re honored to be included.

K&R’s Mladen Kresic Contributes to Thomson Reuters’ Legal Solutions Blog

Thomson Reuters’ Legal Solutions Blog recently featured a guest post from K&R Negotiations CEO Mladen Kresic, who penned a piece about the importance of lawyers not getting too lost in legal terms and keeping an eye on their client’s business value:

“When brought on as the legal member of a business negotiation team, it’s natural that we view the process through a legal filter. But sometimes attorneys get lost in the purely legal dimensions of the negotiation process and lose sight of the fact that we are ultimately there to provide business value for our clients.”

The post features an example of a negotiation in which K&R was involved—and in which one lawyer solved a business negotiation impasse by discovering and addressing the business value of the critical term over which the two parties disagreed. The takeaway is this: if there is no business rationale for a legal term in an agreement, chances are it won’t help a lawyer deliver business value to his or her client.

We’d like to thank Thomson Reuters for including us. We hope to contribute again in the future!

Procurement gets a Ferrari

K&R does a lot of work near year-end.  In addition to delivering Negotiation Skills Workshops, we directly consult on sales that are projected (or sometimes just hoped) to close before December 31st.

Having had many of these discussions lately, one thing struck me as a pervasive problem.  Many sellers who consulted with us said something like this: “Procurement told me that they need to reduce costs with us to 10% below last year’s spend.  I have a plan to do it, and with that plan I think I can close this deal by year end.”  To me, this is Procurement asking for a Ferrari (or for any other very hard to obtain item).  Let’s talk about why. Read more