Setting Objections

Before you even contact the other side, think about your interests and concerns and what’s really important to you. This is necessary so you can formulate a content goal, which should be specific, precise, and measurable. It’s the what (substance) that you wish to attain in the final agreement.

Should the negotiation be more complex, multiple objectives are probably needed. When this occurs, it is wise to obtain input from those who might be affected by any outcome. Also, you may want to prioritize among your goals, while contemplating fallback positions and potential trade-offs.

In this case, your objectives might fall into three categories:
First and foremost, are the must haves. This primary group consists of items that are the raison d’etre for the deal. Those things that have substantial economic impact on the bottom line.

The second category is the would likes, which are of importance but on these matters there is more room to maneuver since they are not deal breakers. Indeed, often a concession can be made here, in order to obtain a more profitable edge on a primary objective.

Finally, there are the tradeables, items that have relatively small economic impact to you, but may have value to the other side. Invoking the reciprocity norm, these can be swapped grudgingly for a concession in a category that has a higher priority.
When you establish your goals prior to negotiating, make sure they are challenging. In short, stretch your thinking. Considerable research and empirical evidence indicate that a determinant of success is the aspiration level of a negotiator. Yup, kids have it right: “If you expect more, you get more.” So, we ultimately achieve what we think we can achieve.

Earlier I said that an objective must be precise and measurable. Preferably, it should be written down as a number. That means that statements like “I’ll do the best I can here” or, “My goal is to get everything that’s possible” would fail the test of specificity and quantification.

Instead, a proper objective would be, “To purchase this home for not more than $239,000” or, “For me to change jobs and feel gratified would require a compensation package of at least $115,000.”

Very much related to goal setting is strategy, an overall plan of action that involves a coordinated and synchronized use of all available means to attain the objective. If the goal is What you want to achieve, then the strategy is How you will get there.
Once the objective is set, you should think strategically to formulate this game plan (a pattern of actions and behaviors), which provides a vision of the direction you will go to hit your target.

Author's Bio: 


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