David Page is a lawyer who has a dual law practice in both the United States and Israel, who concentrates on the field of business law. Mr. Page is a master negotiator, who not only advocates for various businesses and corporations but also offers advice on business negotiations to his clients.
Here are some of his thoughts:
- Understand the other party’s point of view.
Often times, the worst negotiators are those who are so prideful and full of themselves that they fail to assess the important hot buttons and issues that concern the other party.
- It’s critical to be prepared
Read the other party’s website. Read their press releases. Find out what articles have been written about them, or written by major executives of the company. Study the bio of the person you are negotiating with. Review previous negotiation, both successful and unsuccessful, that the company has previously been involved in.
- Keep negotiations polite and professional
Nobody wants to do business with make them land into trouble later on, and very often people forget this very important principle.
- Understand the push-pull aspects of the deal
Who wants the deal to go through the most, you or the other party? What leverage does the other party bring to the table? Does your company hold many of the key cards? Are there any important time constraints that either party is under the gun to complete? Does the other party have viable alternatives if they don’t make a deal with you? How much cash is on the line, and which side will be paying it?
- Write the first draft
If you come to a tentative agreement, then have your lawyers and company execs write the first contract draft. Unless the agreement is completely lopsided in your companies favor, by writing the first draft, you will set the tone for the negotiations. The other company may be more than willing to agree to certain aspects of the deal they may have some minor objections to, but don’t want to waste the dime completely redrafting the contract.
- Know when to hold’em, know when to fold and walk away
Know your walkaway price in advance of sitting down at the negotiating table. Not only will you avoid the critical mistake of paying way too much, but being ready to walk away is a key component of getting respect and getting down to serious negotiations.
- Don’t often concede just to make a deal
Sometimes, companies are so anxious to make a deal that they readily concede on every point. The result of this behavior is the negotiating party will just keep on asking for concessions, seeing how far they can go.
- Understand time is the enemy of many deals
While you don’t want to rush, the longer an agreement takes to complete, the more likely something will go wrong, and the entire deal will be quashed.
- Focus on the alternatives as well as the deal in front of you.
If you concentrate just on the deal in front of you, then you risk exploring alternative solutions, some of which may be better for your company.
- Don’t get side-tracked with a single issue
Often times, an agreement gets stopped in its tracks over a single issue. Suggest side-stepping the issue for now and see if you can’t come to a general agreement on the rest of the issues.
As you can see, negotiating is part science, part art. Therefore, you should hire an expert who is skilled at negotiating on your side to forge more business success.
And in particular, if you are doing business in Israel, choose a business litigation attorney in Israel like David Page