“A winning effort begins with preparation.” – Joe Gibbs
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell
“I’m a big believer in the fact that life is about preparation, preparation, preparation.” – Johnnie Cochran
“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” – Arthur Ashe
Take any of the above quotes (or the countless others about preparation) and they boil down to one thing. Preparation leads to success. In negotiation, preparation can be the difference between getting the deal you want and walking out of the room with regrets. It is the only aspect of a negotiation that is in your full control.
There are lots of ways to prepare, but one great way is to use role-play. Find a friend or acquaintance that can take the other side. Let them play devil’s advocate and see how the negotiation may play out. Do it a couple times to build confidence in your position and delivery as well as thinking through what the other side may say.