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Tactical Tuesday:  Marry Me!  (aka: You and Me against the World)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Aug 8, 2017 9:32:35 AM

Name: Marry Me!

AKA: You and Me Against the World, Local Expert, Needy Ned

Description:  One side wants a relationship more than any other deal point or variable.   Unfortunately they may not have much else to offer.

If you have a strong brand, a protected technology, good marketing channels, or some other entrenched competitive advantage, you’ll find that there are plenty of potential partners who want to lock you into some form of strategic tie-up — even if the terms of the actual business aren’t particularly well defined.  Don’t be fooled by the low-cost, low-maintenance terms of the deal.   The moment you hint that a partnership isn’t completely out of the question, your new devotee is going to leverage this relationship within his or her own network.  This is very common with counterparties who are significantly smaller or new to the market. Scrappy boot-strappers love this move – you might not.

 Sample usage (Alvin and Bob):

            Alvin: I met a guy at the Chicago conference from China. TJ Chen, head of Hangzhou Software. Sounds like he has great connections in China.

            Bob: It always sounds like someone has great connections in China. What of it?

            Alvin: He wants to talk about distribution and localization.

            Bob: In China?

            Alvin: Yeah. I know that wasn’t exactly on our map, but TJ seems to feel we’d be a great match. He has the government connections and marketing channels. All we’ll have to do is pay for localization of the product into Chinese – but his engineers are all bilingual. He’s talking about an exclusive relationship.

            Bob: So we’re providing the IP, the product, AND we’re paying to translate it? All this guy is offering is to hold our hand and be a soft shoulder to cry on when and if things stall out. Meanwhile, he has EVERYTHING of ours.

            Alvin: We need local partners if we want to expand internationally.

            Bob: This guy isn’t a partner. He’s an opportunist. Don’t even take another meeting with him.   Partners share risk and costs. This is just a showboat who wants to tell his home network that he has a big deal with a foreign designer.

Strategic Planning for Negotiators:  Mind the Gap


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Topics: Tactical Tuesday, how to negotiate, millennial managers, negotiating tactics, marry me, killer negotiating tactics

Negotiation is a Duel Between Competing Stories.  Watch the video.

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Aug 7, 2017 9:49:42 PM

Negotiation is a duel between two competiting narratives.  You have your story -- he has his.  How can you turn this to your advantage?  

Take a look: 

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Topics: Dueling narratives, Negotiating strategy, how to negotiate, Negotiating agenda, how to succeed at negotiation, Cross cultural negotiation

The International Negotiator:  Apple in China

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Aug 4, 2017 7:30:00 PM

Nothing stays off the table forever.

Apple recently removed access to VPN services on its  China App Store in compliance with government wishes. VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are the chief method for 

circumventing China’s “Great Firewall” and getting access to websites like Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

Apple Removes Apps From China Store That Help Internet Users Evade Censorship - NY Tmes, 7-29-2017


Apple has been one of the most successful brands in China, largely due to its adroit negotiating with PRC authorities. Market access, however, has come at a cost. Apple, like many other MNC brands in China, has consistently given ground on its core values – particularly in terms of privacy safeguards and data protection. Apple has routinely put its China user information under the control of Chinese government agencies and submitted to Chinese authorities, even as the company was mounting sophisticated legal challenges to government policies in the US and Europe.

Last week’s announcement that Apple would be removing 3rd party VPN providers from it’s Apps Store came as a surprise to many, but Beijing had been hinting that they planned to curtail the use of VPNs. Amazon has made a similar announcement, and it seems clear that this is the latest “new normal” in the world of Chinese internet. 

Apple doubles down on China as rivals pull ahead - Reuters 8-1-2017

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Topics: millennial professionals, international negotiation, international business, Doing business in China

Your Killer Negotiating Plan(s) Part2:  Mind the Strategic Gap

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Aug 3, 2017 11:53:10 AM

Strategic Negotiation Planning:  Mind the Gap

Negotiating strategy is about setting goals and limits, while negotiating tactics are your methods for reaching those goals.

Part 1:  Why You Need a Killer Negotiating Plan

Negotiating strategy is built around two things – your organization’s business goals and your best alternatives to not reaching that goal.  

The difference between where you want to be and where you are now. We’ll be calling that the “strategic gap”.  



Strategic Planning for Negotiators:  Mind the Gap

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Topics: Negotiating strategy, international negotiation, strategic planning, negotiating plan

Tactical Tuesday: Dropping Anchor (aka: Stage Setting)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Aug 1, 2017 10:04:29 AM

AKA: Stage setting, Ambitious Open, Seizing the agenda

Description: Deliver your ambitious opening offer first, and set the range of all subsequent discussion. Anchoring is useful for establishing a price or value range – and for determining the negotiating agenda.  You must be confident in your opening offer, however, since you can’t raise it later.

Intent: Seize the initiative, influence value, and set the agenda.

Style: Competitive – but can be Collaborative.

Category: Value Manager

FlashMBA's Negotiators Toolkit

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Topics: Tactical Tuesday, negotiating tactics, Negotiating agenda, Drop anchor, Anchoring

Why You Need a Killer Negotiating Plan.   Part 1

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Jul 27, 2017 8:53:01 AM

Why You Need a Killer Negotiating Plan.

Part 1: How do I prepare for a business negotiation?

Preparation is key to negotiating success. Just about every guide or coach will bang the same drum, but they are often less helpful about what you should prepare. Here’s the answer:

Every successful negotiator has three plans for the deal, whether he is aware of them or not.

1)  Strategic plans set your negotiating range.    
You need to decide on: Goals and walk-away limit. Ceiling and floor.
2)  Your tactical plan is your roadmap for moving towards your goals – and away from your bottom line.   Decide: Who makes the first offer? How do you maximize your results?
3)  The style guide tells how you will manage the relationship with your counter-party.   Decide: Partnership, transaction – or string of transactions.
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Topics: Negotiating strategy, how to negotiate, negotiating tactics, how to succeed at negotiation, planning your negotiation

Tactical Tuesday: The Stepping Stone

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Jul 25, 2017 9:12:50 AM

Name: Stepping Stone

AKA: Climbing the ladder, HK Love Affair,  Getting the Right Sequence

Description: Using one partner or counter-party as a ploy to negotiate a better deal with a more desirable partner. Working your way up the ladder of potential partners.

 Sample usage (Alvin and Bob):

Alvin – “Who is Quantum Associates?”

            Bob - “Oh – QA. Yeah – they were an outfit I talked to a year or so ago.”

            Alvin – “I met one of their new bizdev managers at a party last weekend.”

            Bob – “A salesman from QA? What did he say?”

            Alvin – “I didn’t get the impression he’s a big fan of yours.”

            Bob – “Ours.”

            Alvin – “Yeah. Not a big fan of ours. You backed out of deal with them last year?”          

            Bob – “No. I pulled out of a negotiation. I learned a lot about them, they learned a lot from me, and we decided not to go forward.”

            Alvin – “You pumped them for information and spread the word around that you were moving into the IoT space.   Then you signed an exclusive deal with someone else.”

            Bob – “That someone else was Mississippi.Com, and that deal is the reason we are sitting here today. Yes, I did use QA to set up the bigger deal. But I never signed or agreed to anything. They were nice enough, but didn’t have much to offer as far as marketing firepower. MisCom did. It was a business decision.”

Intent: Increase the perceived value of your brand or organization by seeming to negotiate with key players in the counter-party’s market or industry.

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Topics: Tactical Tuesday, Tactics

What is Your Negotiating Agenda?

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Jul 20, 2017 11:26:37 AM

 The old saying is true: If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

A negotiating agenda is your plan for success.   The first commandment of negotiation  is “never think and speak at the same time”. Your agenda is the advanced planning that will prepare you for any contingency once you are at the negotiating table. It is made up of 3 components:

  • Deal points / Variables
  • Process
  • Relationship 
FlashMBA's Negotiators Toolkit
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Topics: how to negotiate, Negotiating agenda

Tactical Tuesday: The Crazy Guy (aka: Loose Cannon)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Jul 18, 2017 10:53:00 AM

Name: Crazy Guy

AKA: Loose Cannon, Madman

Description: You’ve become so irrational and unpredictable – they had better start making concessions and giving in if they want a deal. This is like Good Cop Bad Cop, but you are on your own.

Sample usage (Alvin and Bob): Bob cursed himself as he returned home from the meeting with Alvin. “I came on really strong back there. I’ve got to rein it in.”  

The meeting between Alvin and Bob was supposed to tackle 2 open issues in their ongoing partnership discussion – one was about ownership of IP, and the other about international expansion. Both were sore subjects with Bob, and he had been through them so many times with clients and service providers that he had no patience left.

The good news was that he seemed to have won the argument. Alvin had agreed to Bob’s terms – pretty quickly, actually.

The bad news was that it was an argument and not a discussion. As soon as Alvin brought up the subject of international markets, Bob let him have it with both barrels. Alvin agreed with him, but then just squirmed in his seat until he was able to escape.  

If Bob wanted to build this agreement into a real business, he would have to keep a lid on his temper and act more like a rational partner.

 Intent: Scare the other side into making concessions, giving ground, and signing a deal that is better for you. Can also disqualify you as a potential partner.

FlashMBA's Negotiators Toolkit

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Tactical Tuesday - Big Talk (aka: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Jul 11, 2017 11:27:37 AM

Big Talk

AKA: Tell me about YOU, What’s your story?

Description: This is not bragging — rather it is the opposite of “small talk”. These are big, open-ended questions that give him the opportunity to talk about his business philosophy, where he sees the industry going, how his business differentiates itself from the rest of the market, etc. Should be very low pressure — just move the conversation to serious but non-sensitive issues. It gets him used to talking, and allows you to subtly take control of the direction of meeting.

 Sample usage (Alvin and Bob):   “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Bob asked Alvin and sat back in the seat. This was one of his standard questions at the beginning of a negotiation.

            “Running 3 major project teams, building a new navigation architecture for IoT devices, and opening a new branch in Seoul — or maybe Beijing.” Alvin stopped.           

“Ok. Why Seoul?” Bob had no interest in setting up a branch in Seoul – but he was extremely interested in hearing Alvin’s reasons for wanting to do so…

 Intent: Big Talk is a relationship builder that is designed to move the conversation where you want it to go.

FlashMBA's Negotiators Toolkit 

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Topics: Tactical Tuesday, relationship building, negotiating tactics, Big Talk

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