When negotiations fail

Even with the best preparation, you may not always be able to negotiate a successful outcome. You must plan for what to do in case negotiations fail. If you allocate time and resources to planning alternative solutions, you can avoid unnecessary stress and poor business outcomes. Having an alternative plan will help you to:

  • reduce your own internal pressures
  • minimise your chances of accepting an offer that is not in your best business interests
  • set realistic goals and expectations.

Preparing an alternative plan

It's important to remember that, when it comes to negotiating, there's always more than one positive solution for your business. Ensure you have an alternative plan.

Consider your 'best alternative to a negotiated agreement' (also known as BATNA). Take pressure off yourself by identifying several other options or alternatives to the outcome you are seeking.

  1. Brainstorm all available alternatives to the process you are negotiating.
  2. Choose the most promising ideas and expand them into practicable alternatives.
  3. Keep the best alternative in reserve as a fallback.

Take a firm and assertive stance when proposing ideas or drawing definite lines in your negotiation. Being willing to walk away is a powerful tool.

Clearly determine the worst possible outcome you are prepared to accept in the negotiation.

Consider mediation

If negotiations are unsuccessful, be prepared to consider dispute resolution. Third-party mediation can establish a constructive environment for negotiation that requires both parties to discuss, propose and resolve issues fairly and objectively.

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