FlashMBA.com: The Evolution of Professional Skills Training

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 GapStrategic Planning for Negotiators:  Mind the Gap 


3 Step Strategic Planning:

How you move from where you are to where you want to be?

  1. Set your goal
    • (Where you want to be)
  2. Observe your Best Alternative
    • (Where you are now)
  3. Plan how you will bridge the gap
    • Select the right counter-parties

Every bargain you set out to make will bridge that gap – either entirely or in part.

Read:  Millennial Negotiators and Strategic Gap

Your strategic negotiating plan is going to be include 3 things:

  1. Your overall business goal. Where you want your organization to be.
  2. The parts of your goal that this negotiation is going to supply you with.
  3. Your “least worst” option, if there is no deal.

 That sounds pretty simple – but the analysis driving each decision is extremely sophisticated. For now, let’s just treat the strategic plan as a range between your ambitious goal and your rock-solid no-deal option.

Strategy is an insider affair.

Strategic negotiation planning is internal. It is driven by your organization’s goals - which are integral to your competitive advantage.  Never allow a counter-party to influence your goal system (though they will try). Your negotiating goal is an extension of your REAL business model.   You (or your company) have a set of long-term goals - where you want to be and what you want to be doing. You will probably need to acquire resources, services, materials, and know-how from other firms to hit your targets. That’s where negotiation comes in.

Not everyone sets their own strategic plan – often it is given to you.   Purchasing managers and salesmen at large firms are often given very specific parameters for prices, quality, and scheduling. When it comes to prep & planning for a negotiation, however, it really doesn’t matter.    Your job is to understand your side's TRUE goal system and best alternative, and then build a plan to reach that goal and stay away from your bottom line.

Next:  Building Your Tactical Roadmap

Strategic Planning for Negotiators:  Mind the Gap

Strategic Planning for Negotiators:  Mind the Gap 


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

Written by Andrew Hupert

FlashMBA.com -  Cross Cultural Skills for New Business leaders.

FlashMBA teaches cross-culture business skills  and international negotiation techniques to professionals who demand fast, high-impact learning that focuses on real solutions.

  • Negotiation
  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Management
  • Leadership 

Subscribe to Email Updates


Professional skills training delivered in a fast, flash-card format.

Online classes, slideshows, videos and articles focusing on soft-skills.

  • Negotiation
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving

Manage your skills training like you manage your career.

Subscribe to Email Updates

FlashMBA's Negotiators Toolkit
Join the Managing Millennials Newletter

ChinaSolved: Business Solutions for International Negotiators

The International Negotiator: Apple in China (from FlashMBA.com)

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...Read more

3 Negotiating Takeaways from the NK Coal Boat Maneuver

Win-Win with Chinese Characteristics The new US administration seemed to score a big coup in Asia last week, when China blocked a fleet of North Korean cargo ships carrying coal to Chinese markets....Read more

Three Negotiating Issues to Watch at the Xi Trump Meeting

The upcoming Xi – Trump meeting is the first face-to-face sit down between the two leaders.  The US side has been clear about what it wants from China, but it’s not quite as clear what it plans...Read more

The Future of US-China Commercial Relations: Welcome to the Multiconomy

Takeaway – Established Western brands will continue to defend their global leadership positions for a while yet, but Chinese corporates are taking control of growing niches and new...Read more

5 Negotiating Lessons from Sec. of State Tillerson’s Beijing Trip

That treacherous opening Chinese toast. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made his first official visit to China last weekend, and the White House probably sees it as one of the bright spots in a...Read more

Share FlashMBA Articles


Follow Flash