By Greg Williams
Once a negotiation concludes, we go into relaxation mode. Don’t do that! Instead, start to consider how the opposing negotiator might attempt to renegotiate the deal.
In some cultures, it’s commonplace to renegotiate a deal once it’s settled. The only thing that’s in question is when such will occur. Master negotiators will wait until the other negotiator has settled into the thought of the deal being settled before beginning the renegotiation process; that’s an optimum time to do so because that’s when the opposing negotiator’s guard is down the most. He’s not thinking about whether the deal will stick because time has passed and nothing has occurred to unravel it.
A good negotiator is always thinking about the future per what might cause a negotiated deal to come apart. The following are suggestions per how you can address the prevention of renegotiating a deal and keep agreed deals from having to be renegotiated.
- Make sure the other negotiator understands and agrees to the covenants of the original negotiation. Do so by asking him to recite the covenants of the agreement or points you think may pose challenges going forward. Your efforts will be to prevent a future challenge from occurring by addressing it in its infancy.
- Once a deal has been agreed on, state emphatically in the agreement document that there will be no renegotiation of the deal once the agreement document is signed.
- Check in periodically to make sure the agreed deal is still in place per the original agreement. With the passage of time, people lose sight of how much time, energy, and commitment they agreed to apply to the agreement. Remind the other negotiator of that if you sense an attempt to renegotiate the agreement might be in the making.
- Be very mindful of dealing with those that attempt to renegotiate a deal once a deal is consummated. If someone reneges on the agreement as you’re engaging in it, seriously consider not doing business with that person again per that type of agreement. Adopt the motto of “burnt once, twice shy”.
- If you decide to acquiesce and grant the opposing negotiator a concession, extract something in return. Do not allow her to perceive you as an easy mark; that will only set the ground for additional requests, using the same tactics in the future. In addition, don’t make the concession easily acquired. Make her feel she earned it! By doing so, you’ll also be sending the message that it won’t be easy, if at all, to get such a concession in the future.
As you can see, if you’re observant about what’s occurring per how the agreement is being addressed, you can determine how you’ll head off the ploy of additional solicitations by that negotiator. One of the reasons I state you’re always negotiating is the fact that what’s done today in a negotiation influences what occurs in future negotiations. Lock your negotiation agreements down to the degree that such serves you… and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!