How to negotiate in uncertain situations
A right rule to make a great deal when you negotiate about price: for the seller — to name the highest real price, and for the buyer to start negotiation from lowest real price. The word ‘real’ in this context means that if any side claims an unrealistic (too low or too high) price other side might lose their interest in any further negotiation. To guess the right boundaries for the price each side tries to collect more information about the deal. For instance, it is easy for the buyer to propose for the seller the minimum real price for one kilo of apples if he bargains in the fruit market, because there is enough other sellers there, so anyone in this situation knows the real highest and lowest prices.
But what about situations, when nobody knows enough details to name a proper price? First of all, you need to collect any information about the future deal. So negotiation process, in such conditions, starts when each side presents its’ understanding of situation. And only then they start negotiating about the price. This is the trick! In the first round of a negotiation process you need to force the other side to look on the deal from your point of view, this is what you need to be worried about at first of all.
For example, you decided to start a company with your classmate. Neither your friend nor you do not know how to divide the ownership of the company. So you need to arrange a start point for negation. For instance, you choose the position that the one who invests more money get a bigger part of the company. And your friend’s position is that the one who invests more times during the first year of building the product needs to get a bigger assets. In this way, the first round of the negotiation is to make the believe the other side believe that your point of view on the deal is the right one. This round is the most important one. For example, you accept the position of your partner. From this moment he is in a better position:
- he had a better opportunity to think over his strategy in this position, than you did;
- as you do not know all his ideas, it will be a challenge for you to attack his position.
Note here that in the situations when both sides of the negotiation process don’t know enough information to start discussing the price it is very important to win the first round and create the great foundation for a future victory.