“Be willing to walk away where negotiation is not profitable, not in line with best practices (statutorily compliant) or at variance with your core values”- Perita Kimeng

Has there ever been a time you got way less than you deserved? You gave so much value, yet, at the end of the day, the value you got wasn’t commensurate. Well, this is bound to happen when you aren’t skilled at negotiating. Don’t feel terrible; we’re here to help.

Ms. Perita Kimeng, Executive Director, StreSERT Services Limited and alumna of FATE Foundation (EEP 22) brings you negotiation strategies that have worked for her for 17 years as a management consultant. Find them below: 

1. Never Assume: Clearly define the scope of the engagement, such as meeting venue, agenda points, presenting parties and focus of negotiation before the process. Ensure that all parties have the same understanding of the scope, and get them to acknowledge their understanding formally.

2. AdaptabilityThe ability to determine what is most important to you during negotiation is a skill to possess. Parties may decide to change demands at the last minute, so you must be able to adapt the scope and structure to suit your goals while ensuring that it remains profitable. You must also ensure that the new structures are in accordance with best practices. 

3. Have a clear idea of your value: The greatest asset to have when going into a negotiation is a clear idea of the value you bring and the outcome you expect. Furthermore, patience is required as decision-making is a process that may take some time. Be careful not to erode your brand or reputation by settling for anything that is unsustainable or against your values.

Here are some other salient points to note:

  • Always try to present the value you are bringing in tangible and economic terms, even where the economic value is not easily quantifiable. It allows for a clear cost-benefit evaluation of the engagement. Where possible, provide an approximate EVA – economic value added.
  • Explore and present alternative solutions where possible or applicable.
  • Present similar solutions offered to other clients and the benefits derived therein.

In conclusion, it is important to note that establishing a common ground is a sure-proof way to have a win-win outcome. You should always identify areas of common agreement, and then seek to understand the other parties’ point of view. While engaging, listen for cues that speak to the areas that resonate with you and leverage those while negotiating.