Managing Conflict in Negotiations
The Pacific Oil Company went into negotiations with Reliant Manufacturing, and its goal was to sign a more long-term agreement. Pacific assumed that the new contract would be signed with no major hurdles or objectives, and that the dominant point of negotiation would be price. Jean Fontaine, who is the marketing vice president for Pacific Oil, went into a negotiation process with Reliant. Jean started the process several years before Reliant Manufacturing’s contract was up, hoping to beat her competition to the lower price offers and leave with a contract extension of 5 years. Unfortunately, Jean did not properly research her client’s needs or adequately project what the outcome might be. Because of this, Pacific Oil Company was not prepared to address the concerns and requests that Reliant brought up during the negotiation. Though both parties wanted to move quickly toward signing a contract, Pacific Oil Company elongated this process because it did not have a thorough negotiation strategy that included a contingency plan or best alternatives. Pacific oil also neglected to draw out its best alternatives or bottom line in advance.
Staying on the Same Page in Business Negotiations
Pacific believed that other elements of the contract might be discussed, but that no dramatic changes would be expected. Because of Pacific’s lack of strategic planning, they wasted valuable time, money, emotional stress and energy. They also risked losing other opportunities that could have been more favorable for them. Adding to the problem was Pacific’s assumption that Reliant would sign a new contract quickly. Because of the time and money spent on traveling and negotiating back and forth, and the potential need for new technology development, which would be based on the contract’s outcome, Pacific Oil Company became increasingly desperate to finalize a contract with Reliant. As a result, Reliant obtained the advantage needed to make more...