Recently, I shared some of my notes from Danny Ertel's keynote at IACCM Americas. Danny's firm, Vantage Partners, are the folks who came up with the concept of BATNA (best alternative to negotiated agreement). But putting options on the table -- and showing a willingness to develop alternatives -- is only part of the Vantage school of negotiation. As I mentioned in my earlier post, Danny believes that implementation is the most important thing in a deal -- not the process leading up to signature itself. In this regard, "effective negotiators set the stage for how you will work together" rather than simply serving as transactional "deal closers". For example, in the case of structuring a contract that encourages suppliers to innovate and take chances (e.g., for a new product introduction where the final specifications are not complete), a good negotiator will look to factors beyond just price and locking up IP ownership. Instead, they will negotiate and develop terms that work in areas such as the amount of information that is shared or provided and under what restrictions and joint or one-way protections in IP submissions that benefit both parties. If you're curious to learn more about the Vantage Partners negotiating philosophy, you can read more in their learning center (registration required).
- Jason Busch