How to Understand the Counterparty
Negotiating is a cat-and-mouse game, where both sides are merely trying to reach a place of mutually beneficial agreement. Sometimes, however, to land the deal, one side tends to mislead or manipulate the other. Strategies and tactics to "win" take precedence over finding common ground, and if you're not careful in doing your research on the counterparty, you may be on the unfortunate side of a bad deal.
What Do They Want?
The most important factor to consider in trying to understand the counterparty is to find out what they really want. This may not be something they reveal, but you need to determine the answer. What benefit do they hope to achieve by securing a deal with you?
Another important question to consider is the bottom line. When are you willing to walk away or find an alternative if no agreement is reached? What is their bottom line or BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement)? Is there a ZOPA (zone of possible agreement)?
Do Your Research
To find out more about the counterparty, conduct plenty of research. Some information is held on public platforms with free access. These public spaces can teach you a lot about a company, its followers, complaints they may have received, and competitors.
Review their website. What do they offer? What information do they share in their About Us section? How much valuable information is there?
Search the web for articles and press releases written about them. This gives you insight into services and product releases, the scope of business, and their popularity.
Check their executives and employees on LinkedIn. This allows you to see the people behind the titles and how many other employees there are as well as their previous employment.
Look at their company profile and stats. Do they appear on the stock markets? Are they registered with any trade or association?
Conduct a thorough Google search. Think outside the box. Search for competitors, products mentioned on their website, and anything linked to the counterparty.
Look at their social media accounts. Dive into their followers, reviews, and comments.
Look for any complaints and legal problems. Various websites list reviews and complaints that you can use to analyze the counterparty.
Sometimes the information isn't easily available. You may have to spend some time browsing through website pages to find something, so be patient and take your time.
Putting Pen to Paper
Once you've done your due diligence and thoroughly understand the counterparty, it's time to prepare the contract and present it for review and signing. Knowing you've done your research gives you greater confidence so that you can proceed with preparing a professional offer. The best way to make your contract as attractive as possible is to present it in PDF format with a JPG to PDF converter.
By planning the negotiation strategy carefully and doing due diligence, you're less likely to encounter surprises later. Taking the time to do your research and learn as much about the counterparty as you can is advantageous and gives you peace of mind.
To gain even more confidence in your research capabilities, join your local chamber of commerce, and begin networking with businesses in your area.
This Hot Deal is promoted by Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Inc.