Negotiation is easy to get wrong. The ultimate mistake is to enter negotiations unprepared. What happens if you think you have enough confidence to face any counterpart until you meet someone better trained in the art of negotiation? Do you approach negotiation as something that can be learned or something that calls for natural talent?

For example, in a study, the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business professor Laura Kray* and her colleagues told some participants that negotiation skills can be learned and led others to believe that negotiation traits were largely inherited. Everybody then engaged in the same business negotiation. Results - the people who believed that they can learn negotiation skills performed significantly better than those who regarded negotiation as a heritable trait.

In our experience, majority of the non-trained negotiators misinterpret the intentions and actions of their counterparts. And thus, they cannot appreciate the art and science of negotiation. They rely on learned behaviours, confidence, the force of will, basic sales training, or base instinct, none of which guarantee a successful negotiation.

Every excellent negotiator has developed a set of soft skills and has a tool they can rely on. There is no winging it in the negotiation because nothing ever happens by accident. To aid retailers in tricky negotiations with suppliers, our partners, and experts in commercial negotiations, Kah-Vay have come up with the tool for navigating negotiations, The Kah-Vay Negotiation Compass©.

What is the Kah-Vay Negotiation Compass?

The compass provides a framework for a negotiator to analyse a negotiation based on measurable circumstances, which we call P.L.A.N.T. With a simple analysis based on P.L.A.N.T, you are given a choice of a best negotiation tactic.

P.L.A.N.T stands for:

PPower: whoever has power, has options.

LLongevity: how long-term is your relationship and how long-term do you want that relationship to be?

A Advanced: how many issues, also known as variables, are you negotiating over? How many more, with a bit of creativity, could you add to the negotiation? How advanced is your counterpart?

N Need: how much do you need them? How much do they need you? How much do you need their stuff? How much do they need your stuff?

T Trust: how much do you trust them and how much do they trust you. Do you even need to trust one another?

You would use the compass to better understand ‘where’ on the compass your counterpart might negotiate and therefore ‘how’ they could negotiate, which is useful in determining the stance, tactics or positioning of your counterpart when you are preparing for your negotiation.

The compass allows you to analyse your negotiations before you enter them, but also enables you to factor in any changes during the negotiation process. 

It gives you the choice of four different personae based on this analysis. Each persona has a unique set of behaviours, tactics, planning tools and processes to guide your navigation of any style of deal. The compass needle will swing, allowing you to measure and adapt your persona, depending on where you or your counterpart is on the compass. These changes will occur throughout your negotiations and also your relationships.

The Eastern side of the Compass, Eastern Negotiation can be cold, closed and tough. We describe it as a win/lose situation or distributive. It represents the persona of The Haggler and The Dealer; this is usually where most conflicts may occur. Deals here are quite simplistic, ‘price’ is king, and levers are used to manipulate that price.

The Western side of the Compass, Western Negotiation, as an opposite, should be open, warm and cooperative. It is better known as integrative and more popularly described as a win/win situation. It corresponds with The Engineer and The Diplomat personae, where negotiations become more advanced, complex, and there is a need for trust and an opportunity for value exchange.

Whether you are dealing with inter-departmental negotiations or trying to negotiate a better price or delivery terms as a buyer, this multi-dimensional approach to negotiation creates more considered and thought-out decisions that deliver better outcomes. Our proof? Kah-Vay’s current Net Promoter Score (NPS) for the Master Negotiator Learning journey is a satisfactory 84.79%. 

Take a steer from us

You cannot negotiate effectively without a plan, and to plan effectively, you need a tool. A compass that moves with and adapts to the changing circumstances and experience. Find out more about how you can use the Kah-Vay compass in practice. You can learn to become a Master Negotiator at every stage of your professional journey. Why not take it with BRC Learning?

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