Anyone that has ever been in a serious negotiation knows that it can be a long drawn out battle that leaves both sides frustrated by the experience. You start a new relationship with one another already bitter about working with the person across the table. This isn't a good first step for either party.
This book introduces a process with three steps:
1. Take yourself out of your shoes and put yourself in theirs
2. Create a win-win for both parties
3. Think through the problem objectively
The challenge to accomplish the three steps above are to create an environment where both parties put their objectives on the table and work side-by-side to check off as many of the boxes as possible. Instead of being adversaries in a negotiations you should work as a team.
With all of the objectives on the table it is important to verbalize the position of the other person so you understand and they are aware that you understand their position. This should put them at ease to progress further into the negotiations. This is where creating a win-win scenario becomes a possibility.
Lastly, look at the problem objectively from outside sources. What are comparable values for the items found in the deal. For example, if you're in a media deal and the sales rep says they will send your offer to 50,000 people it sounds incredible. However, if their email open rate is only 10% you're really only reaching 5,000 people. If you find another example of a different company sending out an email to 25,000, but they have a 20% open rate they are also reaching 5,000 people. Find out what the cost for their email is and bring that back to the discussion.
What Did I Learn?
1. This book has taught me to be more of a team player when it comes to negotiations. Get through all of the small talk about weekends, weather, sports teams, etc. to find out what their goals are in the deal. You tend to leave a table more satisfied with the process than you were before you started. Sometimes you will run into an immovable force or someone that won't play ball. Wash your hands of them and find someone that will.
2. To be more prepared with what we want before going into the meeting. I've usually done a pretty good job of looking up information on a company I am about to meet with and comparable companies, but I can do better.
3. The challenge when you're in a negotiation with media outlets is that their objectives are simple: get the most money for the least amount of effort. You have to be careful that the objectives they put forth aren't superficial. For this reason you have to get them to care about you as a person and the product/service that you provide. Whatever objectives they say you should hold them to and try to accomplish. If they say they want to maximize your reach put it on the board. If they say, they want to make you visible in their audience, put it on the board. Hold them to it, not only in that initial meeting but throughout the life of the deal.
About the Author
Andy Rupert is a Penn State (B.A. John Curley Center for Sports Journalism 08') and a Southern Miss (M.S. Sport Management 09'). He has spent his whole career working in sports and tourism digital marketing and metrics.