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The phases of conducting negotiations

The four phases of negotiation:

How to lead, bargain and secure your negotiations

As an entrepreneur, managing director or decision maker, you not only have the ambition to acquire the right customers and identify the relevant opportunities, but also to secure the best possible deals.

The Management of the Sales Pipeline, which you can read about in other blog posts, contributes to this. You can learn about definition and relevance, success probabilities, the right target, relevant key figures and tactics for development and filling, by clicking on the respective links.

However, they must not only find and prioritize the relevant deals, but also close them at strong terms. Conducting negotiations is an essential part of targeted offer processing, both in the acquisition of new customers and in the optimization and expansion of existing mandates. In order to conduct successful negotiations, you must master the processes and tactics.

The negotiation process consists of four phases: preparing, leading, bargaining and securing. In addition, external circumstances and the type of deal influence the process over the entire period.

In the first part of the negotiation process, you learned the seven steps that are ideal for preparing a negotiation. The next phases will be discussed in the following.

In the second phase, leading the negotiation, a constructive debate should be strived for and achieved. Use neutral statements instead of accusations, affirmations instead of negative statements, questions instead of threats. It is always important to summarize what has been said, record commonalities and document the dialogue. Adapt the way you conduct negotiations to the personality of your negotiating partners. Challenge your approach continuously and make adjustments as needed. If you have a negotiating team, define roles and timing. And always keep yourself in mind:

Your negotiating position is always better than you think!

After the guided discussion follows the phase of bargaining. This is about turning what has been discussed into an offer and then into a deal. Do not waste your time in meaningless negotiations that are not goal oriented. Agree on each tradable good as you have defined it beforehand. Ideally, you should structure this dialogue in such a way that the simple points are clarified first, followed by the difficult ones. Finally, you discuss the deal-breakers, i.e. the decisive criteria.

To close and secure the deal in the end, you now move on to the final phase. Right from the start, make sure that the details and points discussed are thoroughly and comprehensibly documented so that you do not have to repeat the discussions or renegotiate agreements that have already been reached. Then all that remains is to formulate and sign the written agreement. Ensure your delivery capacity and monitor the delivery. Continuous improvements should of course be added and implemented.

These steps describe the different phases of a negotiation and help you with the professional execution and implementation.