A handy concept to understand in sales is yours and the other parties BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement).

BATNA is the course of action that will be taken by a party if the current negotiations fail and an agreement cannot be reached - a party should generally not accept a worse resolution than its BATNA.

I'm always amused when I enter a negotiation with someone who hasn't looked at the situation from a position other than theirs. Equally amusing is someone who hasn't fully explored their options to understand which ones are actually available and/or suitable.

BATNA is the key focus and the driving force behind a successful negotiator and it has interesting parallels with the battle strategy of Helmuth von Moltke.

Moltke's main thesis was that military strategy had to be understood as a system of options since only the beginning of a military operation was plannable.

As a result, he considered the main task of military leaders to plan for all possible outcomes. His thesis can be summed up by two statements, one famous one that I often repeat: No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.

Worth noting with any negotiation, people's positions and what they value will change over time (timing is everything).

The important thing is to ask for what you want - don't make people guess!

Image by Sanja Gjenero

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posted by Lee Gale @ 1:29 AM,


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