What Makes a Win-Win Negotiation? Try Conversation.

October 15, 2012

Linkage Principal Consultant Susan Healy knows first-hand that negotiation is a critical skill that, when done right, can lead to mutually beneficial outcomes or, when done wrong…. collateral damage. Here, Susan shares a valuable lesson about building trust and some tips on how to communicate effectively and negotiate with power.

Building trust in negotiations
“I was working on the acquisition of an oil and gas company from a mid-size international company that had been burned in an unrelated deal in the past,” she says. “As a result, they were highly distrusting, so, when our offer was accepted, they assembled quite a crowd of heavy hitters to discuss terms and conditions.
“But we also had an ace in our pocket: The agreement they’d drafted had a clause which created a $2.5 million purchase price reduction to us. As this realization became apparent to the chief counsel of the company, I could see that he was becoming very uncomfortable. He began to fidget, pull at his collar, and show signs of distress. I could see that he knew he was going to have to call his President and tell him that within the first hour of negotiations, he had lost $2.5 million.

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