Pre-negotiation Objectives and Negotiation Plan

Pre-negotiation Objectives and Negotiation Plan

How to Rehearse the Negotiation Plan

Rehearsing the negotiation plan will be critical in identifying the negotiation position of the Old Dominion University, department of Biology. This element will assist the procurement officer in determining fair and reasonable prices of a water purification system. The procurement officer will be assumed to be the negotiating party representing the Old Dominion University in the negotiations with the suppliers.

In order to rehearse the negotiation plan, it will be vital to have a good time management plan. Most of the negotiations that fail are prepared in hurry where little time is dedicated to initial preparation (Goldman, 2012). As a party in this negotiation, the procurement officer should plan some of the expected outcomes for the negotiations. In the rehearsal, all the parties in the negotiation should be informed well in advance on the date and venue of the negotiations as well as the agenda for the negotiations. The procurement officer should consider the areas of common interest between the parties and probably choose a neutral venue to hold the negotiations. This will prevent some parties from gaining undue advantage over others.

As a negotiator, the procurement officer should prepare several open questions. Open questions require more detailed responses unlike the closed questions that only require ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. The procurement officer should go through all the questions to ensure they address the intended objectives for the negotiations. The questions should not be biased to some parties in the negotiation but should instead be critical and objective.

An Agenda for the Negotiation Session

One aspect of planning negotiations will be to set the agenda for the negotiation session. This will involve adequately defining the objectives for the negotiation and making preparations on the strategies to use in the implementation of the objectives. Some of the objectives for the negotiations will be to acquire a water purification system that is of high quality to serve the intended purpose in the Department of Biology in the Dominion University. The price must also be affordable but should not compromise quality.

The supplier who will win the tender for this system should be reputable and must not been involved in any form of malpractice in the past. It will also be necessary to involve various suppliers for the negotiations in order to compare them before settling on one (Overbeck, 2011). All the priorities for the negotiations will be written down and the records carried to the negotiation venue to ensure the agenda is adhered to.

In a negotiation, a well-rehearsed, and a well-defined opening statement is vital. The first statement said by the procurement officer should set the pace for the negotiating and may determine the direction the negotiations will take (Kilgour & Eden, 2010). As a competent negotiator, it will be critical to rehearse the opening statement several times before going to the negotiation room. In addition, you should reflect on such a statement and ask yourself whether it will create a positive impression to the other parties in the negotiation.

The Tactics to be used

Before engaging in any negotiation, it is significant to have some tactics that would be helpful in making the negotiation successful. All the parties in the negotiation show up with an intention of emerging as winners in the negotiation process. Skilled negotiators are known to apply various tactics depending on the type of negotiation. If you have same tactics for all negotiations, the other party will always be ready to counter them next time.

One of the tactics to used as a negotiator is to avoid being too competitive during the negotiations. Although you enter negotiations with a wish to succeed, an effective negotiator should be aware that deals may take long to materialize (Goldman, 2012). You should avoid being bossy or domineering during negotiations by giving all parties an equal chance of raising ideas. It will also be paramount to understand the suppliers’ needs before engaging them in the negotiations. This will help in the drafting of the final contract after arriving to an agreement.

Another tactic that will be used in this negotiation will be to avoid focusing too much on the price and the profit margin. When you tend to be too interested on the price of the water purification system, the suppliers may play it safe by convincing you to settle for the lowest bid. This may however compromise quality standards where the university may eventually settle for a substandard deal. The negotiations should mainly focus on quality issues such as durability, warranty, and the skills required for the operations of the water purification systems. Price consideration should only come after these factors have been addressed

Challenges Expected

Negotiation is one of the most difficult tasks that a person can do on behalf of an organization. Interpersonal skills, good judgment, persuasion techniques, and other traits are required for effective negotiation (Kilgour & Eden, 2010). There are a number of challenges that are associated with negotiations. It will be paramount to anticipate these challenges and develop strategies on how to deal with the expected challenges. Some of the challenges expected in the negotiation include time pressure, delay tactics, last minute wavering, and aggressive behaviors.

Time Pressure

As a procurement officer negotiating for the best prices for a water purification system for the Old Dominion University, the potential suppliers are likely to put pressure on the duration the negotiation should take. Although it will be important to appreciate that negotiations should happen within some time limit, the procurement officer should avoid being pushed by the suppliers to agree to their opinions. The officer should give all the parties involved enough time to express themselves before deciding on the best price for the water purification system.

Delay Tactics

This tactic is mainly used by the senior people while negotiating with junior people. The procurement officer should be aware that some of the companies who will be willing to sell the water purification system may have been in the field for many years and hence feeling they have the best prices (Overbeck, 2011). They do this in the hope that the procurement officer or the person negotiating on behalf of the university will feel nervous and hence agree to their terms. To counter this, the procurement officer should avoid rescheduling the negotiation meetings and only do so when the delay is genuinely unavoidable. At all times the procurement officer should avoid being manipulated by the suppliers or the bidders.

Last-minute Wavering

This happens when the other party begins wavering over some trivial points just after the negotiations are over and you have reached an agreement. The objective for raising more issues after the agreement is to try to convince the procurement officer to make changes on the agreement that would favor the suppliers. To deal with this challenge the negotiating officer should always refer to the previous points and find out whether the new points contradict them.

Aggressive Behaviors

During negotiations, one should expect use of sarcastic comments or inappropriate language aimed to make some of the parties in the negotiation feel guilty or intimidated. Such aggressive behaviors may delay the negotiations or cause other parties to withdraw from the negotiations (Goldman, 2012). The procurement officer engaged in the negotiations should deal with this challenge by communicating honestly, openly, and respectfully while holding the negotiations.


Goldman, B. (2012). The Psychology of Negotiations in the 21st Century Workplace: New Challenges and New Solutions. New York: Routledge.

Kilgour, D., & Eden, C. (2010). Handbook of Group Decision and Negotiation. New York:          Springer.

Overbeck, J. (2011). Negotiation and Groups. London: Emerald Group Publishing.


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