It’s amazing how many people go into negotiations with no clear idea about their bottom line. “We’ll see how it goes,” seems to be the rather naïve thought and of course they leave themselves open to the risk of a really poor and unprofitable deal at the end of it.
It is empowering to know your bottom line, especially when you have an internal agreement at senior level. Think about it: the other side is aggressively demanding that you improve your terms, but you know that what they are asking for is beyond your bottom line. Suddenly, all of their posturing and aggression can be seen for what it is and you can respond in a quiet and contemplative way, in the full and certain knowledge that you will be backed up by senior management.
As I say – very empowering.
But then there’s the situation when negotiating where you have too many limits – every issue has a “red line”. This is especially common
In the UK right now, we are about to become embroiled in the Brexit negotiations with our partners in the European Union. The fact that the country voted (by 52% - 48%, so hardly a ringing endorsement) to leave the EU has allowed various extreme “conviction” politicians to come out of their dens and loudly proclaim, no matter the reality of their position, that such and such an issue is a “red line” for them; indeed, how dare anyone suggest otherwise in the light of the “democratic decision of the people”.
As I write the following seem to be “red lines” for someone or another
In other words, just about everything!
David Davies is the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and all of this makes his life as a negotiator all the more difficult. He does at least – and unusually for a senior politician in the UK – have a business and negotiating background, having worked in senior positions for Tate and Lyle for many years before becoming a politician.
Oh, but hang on; he was one of the ones that wanted out and managed to persuade 52% of the population that they wanted out as well – something about £350m a week for the NHS, I seem to remember.
Good luck for the next couple of years then. Enjoy.
About the author:
I come from a sales background, firstly selling brands like Del Monte, Campbell’s and Nabisco to the grocery trade, then working in the hotel business, selling and marketing top-end brands like Gleneagles Hotel and the St Andrews Old Course Hotel to an international market.