Know the Other Side Before Discussions and Negotiations


As you prepare for Discussions and Negotiations with Government Contracting Representatives, it’s good to know The Other Side before conducting these Discussions and Negotiations. 

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 15 supports Discussions and Contract Negotiation 

As you prepare for a Discussions and Negotiations with the government contracting representatives, it can be very easy to focus on the wrong thing. We think about the Discussions and Negotiations styles and techniques that we plan on using during the Discussions and Negotiations and we forget that what is really important, is actually sitting on the other side of the table from us. The government contracting representatives always has a story and we need to take the time to learn it. 

The Other Side’s Story
When you are conducting Discussions and Negotiating with government contracting representatives, you always have to realize that they have a story. There is a reason that they are willing to sit on the other side of the table from you. They want (or need) to get something out of this negotiation and there is a story that explains why they are willing to spend time with you in order to get it. 

If you want to have any hope of understanding what kind of deal the other side is looking for or what kind of price they are going to be able to live with, then you are going to have to take the time to understand their viewpoint. This is not going to be easy to do, especially when you are focused on what you want to say, you’ll find that the key is to get the deal that you want. 

In order to understand the other side’s story, you need to become a good listener. Most government contracting representatives will be willing to tell your their story, you just need to be willing to listen to it. Your listening must be done without having you criticize the government on how they conduct business or interrupting them with your own thoughts. If you take the time to listen to their story, then you’ll get the respect of the other side for hearing them out, the Discussion nor the Negotiation will be as difficult as you think.  

What Happens If You Don’t Listen and Understand The Story On The Other Side 

Many government contracting representatives always have a second choice in mind that may not be as technical as your company. They feel as though they can work with them to get them to the level of your company, with a better price of course. Many companies can talk themselves out of an award if you don’t listen and understand the other side of the story. Companies are simply in a rush and not providing quality information to convince government representatives that your company is their best solution. 

When you realize that this has happened you need to take action. You need to revisit your Discussion/Negotiating Tactics and Strategy and renegotiate with the other side, consider problem solving solutions that supports the need of your client. Understand how government agencies reached their position, and having support for what their goals and objectives are provide you a better discussion and negotiating strategy. 

Know the Other Side