There will come a time when you will be entering into a B2B partnership, investor relationship and or marketing contract. Every small business will encounter this type of challenge so it’s better to be ready and waiting then to scramble around, looking to form your team at the last minute. A negotiation team will have multiple people, from different backgrounds and different personalities. Some of the top CEOs don’t even lead their negotiation teams, instead, they rely on others that have the best approach. So, don’t think that you need to be at the helm, pulling the levers. This is what you will need to form one of the essentials of business, a negotiating team.
The logical risk approach
A negotiation is really a combination of facts, figures and wills. At the end of the day, it’s just a chess match, involving lots of different pieces that are all controlled by people. That’s how you should see it, you’re trying to get the most out of people in order to win. The type of leader you need to look for, to head your negotiation team, will be one that is the least emotionally involved. Pick a person that has the ability to be rational, logical and factor in as many different things as possible while maintaining a central narrative. A risk officer is a great choice. Risk managers are in the profession of logically calculating various challenges and trying to meet goals as is best possible.
The quiet sponge
Every negotiation has to be recorded, for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, it’s to protect your business legally. The other side cannot bring forward a false accusation such as you agreed to something verbally but did not honour it if you have taken the minutes. Select an employee that has shown themselves to be quiet and thoughtful, and give them minute taking training. Use a trusted company’s infographic for tips, so they will understand the gist of their role as quickly as possible. They will separate every topic so that the discussion for each is logged and linked only to specific sections. They will also note the various people who were talking and what they agreed and or disagreed with. They will not be writing quotes, but they will note the people talking, what the topic was, what issues were most concerning and what the final decision was.
The wealth of knowledge
Somebody has to have the facts, figures, charts and general detail of both businesses. This is something that multiple people can be given the responsibility of having. One person can have the financial reports of your business so that if anything needs to be asserted in the way of success and proof of capabilities, they can open up the documents and quote them during the meeting. Other members of the knowledge team, can have the contract open, with a focus on terms and conditions, in case anything needs to be amended or reassured with the other party.
This is a negotiation team consisting of about 4-5 people. It’s not something out of the realms of capability for small businesses. You just need to rehearse many times before entering into a negotiation so you have your wits about you.