Negotiating Tip #68:
Involve Your Colleagues Early On
To avoid internal tension, sound the stakeholders out: How would this contract affect you and your team? Since you’ll know more about the overall deal, be patient in laying out the facts. At the same time, you should also be prepared for the other person to see those facts in a different light.
Timing is everything in internal negotiations.
The process must begin long before the external deal is done. Consulting with stakeholders is more than a pro forma exercise. Often they’ll add value by catching something you overlooked. It’s impossible to please everybody. But when you bring people into a negotiation upfront, rather than treating them as afterthoughts, it makes a big difference. It’s one thing to tell someone, “Okay, I know you like option A over option B, but it just makes too much sense to go with B. You’ll have to live with it.” You’ll send a very different message by saying, “Look, we know you like A, but it makes so much sense to go with B. What else can we do in this deal to help you live with B?”
One more thing: it helps to deliver a disappointing verdict by phone, if not face-to-face. Brusque emails have poisoned many a relationship.