At my negotiation training workshops, someone inevitably asks the question, “Is everything negotiable?” The quick answer to this question is NO, but the question introduces a deeper discussion that has merit. While people can engage in negotiation over different services, goods, and ideas, it doesn’t mean that their negotiation will be successful.
Instead of focusing on what can or cannot be negotiated, I redirect participants to think about the journalistic questions of negotiation: who, what, where, when, why, and how. I challenge them to prepare their negotiation plans, to prepare their research, to pick (if possible) a favorable environment for the negotiation, and to think about the timing of the discussions.
By framing the answer of “is everything negotiable” to focus on planning, preparation, and practice, people will be more confident to negotiate on a wider variety of goods, services, and ideas rather than worried about coming up with the “right” answer to a philosophical question.
Successful Negotiations follow the 90/10 Rule = 90% Preparation, Organization, & Confidence and 10% Issues & Details