1.    Prepare your negotiating agenda .

Know other party’s agenda .

What are the underlying issues/interests—not necessarily “position,” of the parties?   (What information do you plan to elicit during any “information phase” to determine other party’s underlying needs, interest, and objectives?  What questions do you anticipate using?  What information are you willing to disclose and how do you plan to divulge it?  Can you prevent disclosure of “sensitive” information?  What does “good faith” negotiations “really” mean?  Any “external” factors impacting disclosure obligation?)

2.    Your minimum settlement point (lowest result you and organization would accept given your alternatives to negotiated settlement):

3.    Determine “your” ultimate goal.  What is your target point (best result you might achieve in negotiations): 

4.    Estimate of other party’s minimum settlement point (based in part upon the external options that appear to be available to that party):

5.    Try to use an analysis or value system that the other party may have available in order to estimate the other party’s target point (e.g. where price is an issue—assume you are a Seller, use price analysis techniques available to Buyer to establish their “cost” basis/analysis of your quote):

6.    Your factual/legal/persuasive/logical “leverage” with respect to each unsettled item (issue/interest) that may be in “contention/dispute.”  Prepare an explanation supporting each strength and anticipate ways in which you might minimize your weaknesses and/or expand the universe of options.

7.    Estimate of other party’s factual/legal/persuasive/logical “leverage” with respect to each unsettled item (issue/interest).  Prepare “counter-arguments” that are consistent with “your” universe of options.

8.    What is your negotiating strategy? Competitive verses Cooperative OR “both?” 

Plan your anticipated concession pattern carefully including “signals” that may be required as well as the disclosure of information you intend to divulge to the other party.  Prepare explanations for each planned concession and how it satisfies the applicable issue/interest.  Ask probing “why” questions!

What is other party’s negotiating strategy?  How will you “respond” to it?

Prepare opening position and rationale to support it.  Prepare other responses/counter-offers:

9. What role does BATNA have in the negotiation process?

©2002 Charles E. Rumbaugh