Five Negotiation tips for mining companies: #4 Go to the other side’s office
- By Pilot Law LLP
Often parties to a negotiation think that is a sign of weakness to agree to meet at the other party’s office, instead of a neutral place, or ideally their own office. I disagree. By meeting at your counter-party’s office you:
• Demonstrate a willingness to get a deal done. Remember, you are more than meeting your counter-party halfway—you’re meeting them on their turf!
• Increase your chances of getting a decision maker to the meeting (it’s always better to deal with the organ grinder than the monkey)
• Are able to “storm out” if needed
On this last point, I have experience. As a junior lawyer representing a client, which was definitely in an unequal bargaining position with a much larger entity (a common situation in the mining industry), we went to their lawyers’ office for the first meeting. My client tabled the first offer (see Negotiation Tip #3) which was admittedly a little aggressive. The other lawyer, a senior partner of his firm was outraged at our offer and stated that it was completely unacceptable and stormed out of his boardroom. Unfortunately, his client did not follow him and the two clients continued to negotiate, with only my client having the benefit of legal counsel. After about an hour, a junior partner was sent in to assess the damage, which was considerable.
The upshot is, you can’t storm out of your own office, but you can easily leave the other side’s office if needed.
Go to the other side’s office is the Fourth of five negotiation tips for mining companies that I am sharing with you.
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