To negotiate is essentially to confer or communicate with each other in order to reach
a settlement of matter. Through the negotiating process, the parties establish an agreement
and they develop a course of action which has to be followed by each party (Fortgang, Lax &
Sebenius, 2011). Assuming that I am the lead negotiator of a small firm as described in the
scenario, this paper provides an in-depth analysis of the main approaches which my
negotiation team will need to employ to research the government negotiators who will attend
the negotiation session as well as the overall operations of the federal government. Similar
products produced by the competitors are examined and negotiation gambits that would be
used in conducting the negotiation session successfully are described. Lastly, this paper
examines the common body language traits which my negotiation team will look for
throughout the process of negotiation.
Approaches for researching the government negotiators and government’s operations
The first approach is using insider reports and industry reports – these would provide
very important knowledge with regard to the operations of the government. By reading
insider reports, my negotiation team will be able to get information regarding what the
government may be prepared to pay for my company’s GPS-guided equipment. The second
approach entails asking questions – by asking people in the government some questions, the
negotiation team would be able to find information about the government negotiators and the
operations of the government that cannot be found somewhere else (Mislin, Campagna &
Bottom, 2011). Asking relevant people questions especially people in the government could
provide my negotiation team with very relevant and specific information that could then be
utilized to the company’s advantage.
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Internet search – using this approach, the negotiation team will research about the
operations of the government and the individual government negotiators. Moreover, this
approach will allow the negotiation team to determine the names of the key government
negotiators as well as their titles and positions. Searching the individual negotiators on the
internet would enable the negotiation team to find out about the neighbourhood where these
key government negotiators live in, where they go for shopping, the schools their children go
to, and even the church which they often attend. All these information could be utilized in
creating rapport afterwards when the process of negotiation starts. In essence, tailoring the
tactics of negotiation so that they are well-matched to the individual government negotiators
would be helpful (Tomlinson & Lewicki, 2015).
Similar equipment produced by competitors
At the moment, my company is involved in the production of GPS-guided guidance
equipment which could be utilized in many different types of vehicles. Similar equipment
that competitors currently produce include: (i) Outback Guidance – this product is a
sophisticated precision farming system which is quite expensive and not very easy to utilize.
The product uses Global Positioning System (GPS) and is designed for farming use (Outback
Guidance, 2016). (ii) The Dozer 2000 machine guidance system from Leica Geosystems –
The Dozer 2000 GPS machine guidance system consists of a radio data receiver, ruggedized
high-precision Global Positioning System receiver, in addition to a touch screen computer.
This product, which is mostly used by mining companies, has a GPS antenna mounted on its
topside (Leica Geo-systems, 2016). (iii) The Spirit made by Autonomous Tractor
Corporation – Autonomous Tractor Company was established by Terry Anderson and The
Spirit, the self-driving tractor which he developed, was Terry Anderson’s initial attempt at a
totally automated vehicle. This product is square and gold, and runs on tracks. However, this
driverless farm equipment does not utilize the Global Positioning System technology. It
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works with transponders based on the ground, set up around the farmland’s perimeter and it
automatically shuts down upon sensing an obstacle such as a tree stump on its path (Hirsch,
(iv) Jaybridge Robotics autonomous vehicles – Jaybridge Robotics is a company that
specializes in automating vehicles for driverless operation in industrial domains such as
mining and agriculture. The company does this through the use of its software and
commercial, off-the-shelf parts. The management of Jaybridge Robotics Company believe
that the biggest obstacle in making vehicular robotics dependable and cost-effective is
actually software. This firm has worked with Kinze Manufacturing in automating Kinze
Manufacturing’s line of agricultural equipment (Brown, 2013).
To overcome any objections on quality or price of my company’s product, 2 possible
selling points which my team would utilize are as follows. First is that our product is the least
expensive compared to the products offered by the competitors, hence they are affordable and
cost-effective for the government and the federal government would save money by
purchasing our product. Secondly, our product is the easiest to use among all the other
Steps in opening the negotiation session
In the process of negotiation, the first stage of the process is the opening session,
which is typified by the first meeting or a set of meetings. To open the negotiation session
with the negotiators representing the federal government, the important steps which my
negotiating team would utilize include the following: step 1: all parties to introduce
themselves. At the start of the negotiation session, every party will introduce themselves
hence my negotiation team should also do the same (Lewicki, Saunders & Barry, 2015). Step
2: secondly, the negotiation team should seek to understand, then to be understood – the team
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should ask questions to make sure that the team members actually understand the position
and issues of the government negotiators. The team will seek information in order to build
their case. Step 3: exchange statements with the government negotiators that show readiness
to share ideas, listen, demonstrate openness to reason, and show willingness to bargain in
good faith. It is in this step where the negotiation team should describe its product including
the price and features of the product and the benefits of using it. Step 4: articulate
expectations for the contract negotiation (Fortgang, Lax & Sebenius, 2011).
Negotiating gambits to use
The gambits for negotiation that would be used to carry out a successful process of
negotiation include the following: (i) never saying yes to the initial offer. If the negotiation
team says yes to the first offer, this would trigger 2 thoughts in the minds of the government
negotiators, that something must be wrong or that they could have done better (Lewicki,
Saunders & Barry, 2015). (ii) Nibbling – using this gambit, the negotiating team can in fact
get slightly more even after they have agreed with the government negotiators on everything.
(iii) The negotiating team should ask for more than they are expecting to get – it is worth
mentioning that the negotiating team could get away with an opening position that sounds
really outrageous if they imply some flexibility. (iv) Being ready to walk away – using this
gambit, the negotiating team projects to the government negotiators that they would leave the
negotiations if they cannot get what they want (Tomlinson & Lewicki, 2015).
Importance of writing a contract which represents my company’s interests
Interests generally lie behind the negotiators’ positions in the negotiation process. In
essence, interests are why the negotiator wants the position that they are taking.
Understanding interests helps to understand win/win negotiations (Mislin, Campagna &
Bottom, 2011). It is important for the negotiator to write the contract which represents the
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interests of the negotiator’s company because this will allow the negotiator to protect his/her
company’s interests in the negotiation and avoid lose of interest. In addition, when the
negotiator writes the contract which represents the interests of his/her company, the
negotiator would be able to write a contract that (i) maximizes the chances of getting to an
agreement that satisfies the interests of the negotiator – that is, the negotiator’s desires and
needs; (ii) reaches a contractual agreement that would accomplish its purpose; (iii) reaches an
agreement that would last; and (iv) reaches an agreement which would pave the way for other
agreements later on in the future (Tomlinson & Lewicki, 2015).
In essence, I would not want to let members of the industry to write the contract
primarily because these individuals would want to take advantage of my company. Members
of the industry may write a contract which does not maximize the chances of getting to an
agreement that satisfies the interests of my company – the negotiator’s company. Secondly,
the contract they write might not reach an agreement that would last because my company
may not commit to it if a contract is written which shows that my company is a loser in the
negotiation. In this case, it would be important for my company to search for a way out of
Body language attributes to look for
The common attributes of body language which my negotiation team will be looking
for throughout the process of negotiation include Maintaining Friendly Eye Contact: eye
contact is a very powerful communication tool between 2 persons since it helps to convey
trust, honesty and openness. Nodding the head during the conversation – this helps to defuse
tension and build alignment. Other body language attributes include remembering to smile,
relaxing one’s body, and keeping an open posture (Mislin, Campagna & Bottom, 2011).
These attributes will help my negotiation team to overcome any possible objections or
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hindrances which may arise in that maintaining a friendly eye contact during the process of
negotiation would help to develop a good rapport. It would give the government negotiators
the feeling that my negotiators are being honest and clear, both of which make the process of
negotiation easy. The negotiators should keep moderately consistent eye contact, although
they can look away when processing or thinking since this is natural given that too much eye
contact could really be threatening and considered intimidating or aggressive (Tomlinson &
Lewicki, 2015). Nodding the head will be helpful in overcoming any potential hindrances or
objections since this helps to calm tension during the negotiations and establish alignment. In
addition, negotiations could become very intense. As such, assuming a relaxed body posture
can really be helpful in easing the tension. On the whole, it is important to ensure that the
negotiation process does not become very intense. To reach a successful deal or agreement
that would result in a long-term relationship, remembering to smile could help to make the
environment friendly for both sides (Tomlinson & Lewicki, 2015).
In conclusion, a negotiation is understood as a process that involves 2 or more persons
who try to come to an agreement which satisfies the interests of every party in the
negotiation. To research government negotiators and operations of the government, the
approaches that would be employed include researching on the internet, asking people
questions, and reading insider reports. There are several similar products from the
competitors, for instance the Dozer 2000 machine guidance system from Leica Geosystems.
Some of the negotiation gambits that would be used include nibbling and never saying yes to
the initial offer. The body language attributes to look for include smiling, nodding the head,
and maintaining eye contact.
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Brown, J. H. (2013). From precision farming to autonomous farming: How commodity
technologies enable revolutionary impact. Robohub.
Fortgang, R. S., Lax, D. A., & Sebenius, J. K. (2011). Negotiating the spirit of the deal.
Harvard Business Review 81: 66–75.
Hirsch, J. (2013). This tractor drives itself. Modern Farmer.