Challenging and Negotiating: TABLE

The TABLE is a single page summary of key points to decide before going into a negotiation. As the title implies, these points are organised in the form of a table, and it consists of:

  • Exchanges to consider
  • My Fall Lines (soft negotiation limits)
  • My Fallback position and the Fallout if negotiations fail
  • The perceived Fallback and Fallout of my client.

The tool is useful for all types of multi-issue, B2B negotiations, where negotiable items might include technical specifications, time, resources, money, and so on.

It is important to be in a good state of readiness for negotiations, since the party who is best prepared has a distinct advantage. The primary benefit of the TABLE, therefore, is that it helps me to get ready quickly. A secondary (but important) one is that it may highlight issues of concern to other people in my organisation. By catalysing and structuring internal conversations about external negotiations, the tool encourages effective teamwork.