Before embarking on negotiations, it is always wise to do your research. You should always know what your competition is offering to your clients.
This point became clear during one of my interactions in the last week. Everything in the process was going smooth until we got to the point where I ventured into unchartered territory. My naivety was in full force, and I lost the deal. Not knowing the ins and outs may have hurt me in the short term.
You can never be too prepared, and you can never be too cautious. If you feel that the person at the other side of the table has an upper hand in the negotiations, you may want to bring along a more senior member of your team.
So there are many lessons of the day here.
- Know your stuff before you start talking turkey: That should be a given...but sometimes an old dog like me should heed that advice
- Email is a very bad communicator when negotiating: Too many things get misconstrued while emailing. Unfortunately, once that "send" button is pressed, you lose your negotiating power. You are much better off discussing things over the phone
- You learn more from defeat than you do from success.
- Learn the word "Next". There are few mistakes that are fatal...And there are always other avenues you can take.