“Implementation” is the name of the game when negotiating an agreement. These five approaches can help you and your negotiating team understand that you’re not dealmakers as much as people who are trying to get something done:
1. Know how it ends before you start. Visualize the result one year out. Ask: How will we know if we’ve succeeded? What will blow up? Who have we forgotten to include?
2. Help the other team prepare. Surprising them almost never makes sense, and promising things you can’t deliver makes no sense either.
3. Share responsibility for aligning your interests. If your interests and those of the other side are not in sync, it’s a problem for both of you.
4. Send one clear message. Create implementation teams on both sides of the deal. Then brief them together so that everybody’s on the same page.
5. Manage the course of the agreement as you would any business process. Aside from the negotiation itself, be sure to put a preparation phase in place and review the entire process after the agreement is settled.
— Adapted from “Getting Past Yes: Negotiating as if Implementation Mattered,” Danny Ertel, Harvard Business Review.