Are You An EFFECTIVE Event Negotiator?

Most organizations today have come to realize that, while they often need events to garner their much needed revenues, they often fail to optimize their potential results because their initial negotiations are far less than optimal from the point of view of their priorities, needs and perspectives. More often than not, groups utilize either their volunteer leadership or staff members, who often are superb at other aspects and abilities, but fail to possess the experience, expertise or nuanced approach that differentiates how a quality negotiator approaches the process. Therefore, it would generally help if organizations, their leadership and those responsible for negotiating, learned and understood what it means to be an EFFECTIVE negotiator.

1. Nothing concrete or productive will occur during this process unless a negotiator sets out from the start to earn the trust and respect of the party on the other side of the proverbial table! One cannot be phony, pretentious, or avoid reality, but rather must be absolutely earnest throughout.

2. Find and focus on the intent and purpose of the most desirable agreement, and set out to communicate this openly and clearly from the onset.

3. Forget personality or any other sort of petty differences. Negotiating must never be controlled by emotions or feelings.

4. Emphasize your commitment to quality and excellence, and put needs and priorities first.

5. Don’t assume that the other party knows what you seek, or what you are going to ask for. Rather, understand that it is incumbent upon every quality negotiator to clearly articulate his position and needs, and do so in an honorable manner where his claims are legitimate and impactful. Begin with creating categories for every aspect of what you are requesting, and address each area completely and in a comprehensive manner.

6. Maintain your integrity and commitment to absolute trustworthiness. When you do so, you generally will maintain the basis for a priority – driven discussion. However, one needs to avoid the temptation to either take shortcuts or rush, but rather commit to take the time to get it done in a meaningful manner.

7. Begin your discussions by explaining your priorities, and frame the discussion by explaining the most significant or important matters first. Remember that the actual task of negotiating is not to be the time for initiating.

8. There must be a overall commitment to value, and views, while maintaining your honor, integrity and quality of personal values.

9. Negotiating always involves at least two parties, if not more. It is never solely about your, or your party’s needs. Therefore the professional negotiator approaches his tasks in an empathetic manner, because when one can clearly understand what others’ needs are, you can best address achieving the proverbial win – win scenario.

Negotiations should generally be left to the professionals or at least those with extensive expertise. Remember that mere experience, however, is far different than being a real expert!