Be a better negotiator by having a “BATNA” - Deepstash
Be a better negotiator by having a “BATNA”

Be a better negotiator by having a “BATNA”

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BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement)

BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement)

Many negotiators worry about their BATNA - what they’re left with if a negotiation doesn’t work out.

BATNA is your default state. It is crucial to determine your leverage in life's most important negotiations, such as a job offer, sale or purchase of a house, or daily business dealings.

If you feel confident about your BATNA, you’re more likely to “stick to your guns” and not negotiate as hard.


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Don’t panic if you think you don’t have a BATNA

You always have a BATNA but must differentiate between not having a BATNA and not liking your BATNA.

For example, you may not wish to stay at your current job (your BATNA), but it may be best to keep looking for new opportunities until you find a better job offer. 


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Be proactive about your BATNA

Your BATNA needs to be nurtured. 

If you seek a job, ensure you're networking and going to recruiting events. If you're looking for a supplier, talk to a good number that fits your broad criteria. 


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Don’t lie when asked about your BATNA in a negotiation

Don’t lie when asked about your BATNA in a negotiation

If the other party ask you about your BATNA, don't lie. Don't claim you have offers you don't have. Instead, signal that you have a BATNA without revealing exact details.

Keep the focus on the current discussion and relationship. For example, “I have other interesting options, but I prefer to talk about what it would take to work things out with you.”


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Don’t start a bidding war

If you have multiple offers, don't play them off against one another. It is often shortsighted and can result in a worse outcome.

An exception may be where the price is the main term, such as a home sale.


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Share your top choice and target terms

Share your top choice and target terms

Telling your first choice they're Number One can promote goodwill and move the negotiation forward.

If you tell them they’re your top choice, and they agree to your terms, accept the offer on the spot. If they don't agree, let them know that you will think about it and weigh your BATNA, including other offers.


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Be gracious

If a party makes an offer, thank them for it. If you have multiple offers, remind yourself how fortunate you are, and consider releasing some of them, so you don't waste other people's time.


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