In our many walks of life we will prepare just one objective. For a negotiation you should prepare three.
- Top-line objective – is the best case scenario or outcome that you could wish for. Better than what you expect, but still within reason.
- Target objective – is a more realistic expectation than the top-line objective. This is the outcome you intend to achieve.
- Bottom-line objective – is the lowest acceptable outcome for you to still be successful. If the negotiation offers anything less you will walk away.
Negotiations in our global world are becoming more and more complex. It is unlikely that your counterpart has the same position and interests as you so you need to operate with greater flexibility and ingenuity. Preparing these three objectives will help, and after you have considered: position, interests, alternatives, BATNA, anchor, options and criteria you will have a great framework to work on making the negotiation pie bigger for both parties.