Dear Paul, please could you check my answer to this sample exam question as I am not sure if I understood the question completely.
Exam Question: List five actions that need to be in done to prepare for a negotiation with a supplier of goods or services for a project. Describe the relevance of each action.
1. Understand the need to negotiate
2. prepare for negotiation
3. Discussion and dialog/debate
4. Confirm and document
5. Check against agreement
1. Understanding why the negotiations are necessary is important. Conflict can develop in any situation and it therefore helps resolve these issues, if both parties can agree that the one and only forum for discussion is formal negotiation.
2. Thorough preparation is important to be able to understand what the other side/parties position is and what angle they are coming from. This will help you to define your own position and what you are prepared to do differently. This could also include drawing up different scenarios and possible outcomes.
3. At the actual negotiation meeting you will need to be friendly, but also careful not to have the wool pulled over your eyes. It therefore useful to be open,but watch for any tricks, exchange ideas give offers and accept offers. If needed call in third party to help chair and mediate the negotiations.
4. Once you have arrived at an agreed outcome it is very relevant to make sure this is written down and recorded. It can be just a simple written agreement but should be signed by both parties.
5. Follow up is a vital part of the negotiation process. One needs to make sure that any agreed actions or ways of working are being acted on. It is important to realise that at any point you may need to revert to a previous stage in the process and re-negotiate if the current position is not working.