You should also understand the other side's reasons for being at the bargaining table and what their objectives are, independent of who represents their side at the bargaining table. Sometimes these objectives are stated; sometimes their objectives are camouflaged and must be gleaned indirectly. For example, if negotiating a labor contract, management might want to look at the contracts that the union negotiated recently with other firms in order to determine the common features that emerged -- such features may give you clues as to the other side's objectives. Knowing their objectives can help you tailor your arguments to make them more persuasive because you can show how your proposals satisfy their goals.
|Thorough preparation involves knowing about:|
|The issues under discussion|
|Your product, or service, and your proposals for each issue|
|Your opponent's professional concerns|
|Your opponent's personal objectives|
|All of the above.|