Final negotiation with power

This should be the last step.

I refer to this as the final negotiation. However, this should really focus on minor tweaks based on the negotiation in the prior phase.

Commonly the final negotiation is to hit some hot buttons that the ultimate decision-maker or signer or some other department has that require incorporation into the agreement. Usually, this is not where major elements of discussion occur but unfortunately, sometimes it can happen that you are dragged into major commercial discussions at this stage and these invariably are difficult conversations around pricing or commercial value.
It is usually possible to get your champion to give you a heads up on what is likely to occur so that you’re prepared not just with your suggested offer but you know where you need to go to seal the deal.

Amplifying Factors: Decision-Maker Signer 

Further reading :

Power in Negotiation: The Impact on Negotiators and the Negotiation Process

Negotiation Skills: Ways to Use Power Plays in a Negotiation

What’s Your Negotiation Strategy?

RED – Disagreement over some final points

The prospect introduced requirements for changes that perhaps you weren’t expecting and are commercially unacceptable to you. You need to be creative in how you may bring them value without conceding on these points, but be prepared to walk if they make the deal unpalatable.

AMBER – Stalled in final negotiations.

They want more, you need to make a decision whether or not these are reasonable requests that you can concede. Ideally, you would want to request concessions in return.

Green – Completed final negotiation.

Move quickly to confirm in writing and provide the paperwork to the prospect.

Mitigations – What to Do?

Avoid surprises. If you can find out from your champion what elements of final negotiation may be required and have your answers prepared and ready.

 Bear in mind sometimes final negotiation is simply gamesmanship, so concessions may or may not be actually necessary.

Make sure in advance that you know exactly what has already been agreed and have it in front of you, that you can refer to and if appropriately read these back. If you find yourself in a position where they’re pushing you for something that you don’t really want to concede, don’t be tempted to agree on the spot.

Sometimes say something like, “if you agree to this price will you sign straightaway”. So in the conversation, you may put the phone on hold or suggest you ring back in five minutes. This is gamesmanship on your part to make it look like a tough decision, but either way, a time gap like that is useful. Always begin your response with “I’m assuming you agree that we can get to the paperwork and you can get it back today, then I think we can we can agree to…. “

Always make sure concessions are tied to the close.

Be aware that they may seek a concession in one area but will be happy with a concession in a different area. For preparation purposes, list out areas of concession that you could agree to that don’t radically cost you money but are very valuable to the prospect. For example, you may give them a free month upfront to implement the solution; you may agree to hold the price for contract renewal and so on, all of which are valuable to them but don’t really cost you anything, so consider what concessions you could have, write them down and refer to them while conducting a final negotiation.

Price isn’t always the issue. Sometimes it’s legal terms, so always seek advice before conceding on those areas if you’re not familiar with them. 

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