Answer To Negotiation Question From Sample Exam Paper

Paul Naybour

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.

3 thoughts on “Answer To Negotiation Question From Sample Exam Paper”

  1. Peter

    You are dead right the key words in the question are ” prepare for a negotiation”, do it is not asking for the whole negotiation process, just the actions you take to prepare. The only point is that they as for five point and each of three sentences.


  2. Thanks Peter I think I read the question to mean what is the process/steps in Negotiation. Your suggestions make much more sense!

  3. Hi Rosalita

    Couple of points I would suggest, understanding the need to negotiation probably shouldn’t be in that list. Negotiation is a means of dealing/solving conflict on a project so understanding the need for negotiation is really just understanding that the conflict exists and needs to be solved.

    Here is my list:
    1 – Identify all stakeholders required.
    Identify all the required stakeholders, and those whose presence would be useful.
    2 – define and understand Objectives:
    Make sure your party understands your objectives for the negotiation. On top of this try and understand the opposition’s objectives, and ideally the drivers behind these objectives. This allows a common ground to be reached on higher levels.
    3 – STRATEGY
    Your party must decide on the strategy it is going to adopt for the negotiation, Some strategies are conducive to maintaining a relationship while others are not. Some strategies are aimed at uncompromising gains while others will work together to reach a common ground.
    4 – Concessions and tolerances
    Your party must give thought to areas that can make concessions, and the what degree is acceptable. Knowing areas where tolerances exist helps maintain control during the negotiation.
    5 – Agenda and Ground rules
    Thought needs to be given to the agenda and the basic rules of engagement of the negotiation.
    6 – EXPERT
    Depending on the nature of the negotiation and the experience of your negotiator. It may be prudent to involve an expert to handle the event.

    Ideally you would tailor the above with examples of each point for the supplier project scenario mentioned in the question.


Comments are closed.

Upcoming Courses

Scroll to Top