The difference between negotiating and haggling is a comprehensive plan – which is underpinned and driven by information. On the tactical level, you need to engage your counterparty to elicit pertinent data and information. Your priorities once the negotiation has begun are:
1. What are his real goals? What does he want from you in the long, medium, and short term? Your first priority should be to identify his true interests — not just his stated position.
2. What is his BATNA and walk-away point? What will he do if this deal doesn’t work out? What are his negotiating priorities and variables?
3. What is his power level? Is he the primary authority at his organization, a key member of the decision-making team, or a representative without real authority? Remember — some gate-keepers have the power to say NO, but not to affect the scope or terms of the deal. Does he have the ability to build meaningful relationships?
4. What style and tactics is he employing? Are they consistent? Professional? Is he negotiating for his real commercial interests, or is he simply trying to be smartest guy in the room?
5. How does his organization view your side? Are you long-term strategic partners or a one-off opportunity? Do they plan on entering your market or business?
The information tactics are: