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Conditional Proposals  The Ultimate Guide

Conditional proposals can help you avoid giving something too important for you, especially if the other party does not want to compromise. However, how to utilize it?

For this article, we are going to tackle what a conditional proposal is. We will show you an example of how you can utilize it in your profession.

Once you are done reading this article, you will be able to use it in all your deals effectively. Thus, increasing the chance that you will gain more from the offer. 

Conditional Proposal: What is it?

Conditional proposals, also known as conditional bids, are documents that limit or modify any of the terms, specifications, or requirements of the request for proposals. 

When making a conditional proposal, you must ensure that the other party knows all the conditions to avoid a delayed response from them. Additionally, you should take that not because you have laid out all your conditional proposals, does it mean that the other party will agree to make a deal with you. 

Everything may change at the last minute of the negotiation. Thus, always ensure that you have your BATNA and your priorities updated. Furthermore, this can also be a good opportunity for you. 

At the final or last minute of the agreement, you can use some tactics to gain what you want to win a final concession before the closing of the agreement. 

Tips on Presenting Your Proposals

It is good that you have prepared your conditional proposals to ensure that it will increase your chance of closing the deal. However, no matter how good your proposal is, you will fail if you do not present your proposals well enough. 

That is why we are here to give you tips on how you can present your proposals well in negotiation:

1. Be confident

This may seem obvious. However, many still lack confidence when they are about to present their offers. You may ask, how can you gain confidence from negotiation? Our answer is that by being prepared. 

If you are prepared, then you can be confident enough that the other party will like your presentation as both of you will mutually benefit. 

Additionally, preparation will allow you to answer their questions which may corner you about your true intentions in the negotiation. 

If you know that you are better off without the other party, then your key negotiation tip is to be confident. If your words and actions communicate that you are not desperate enough to get the deal, then you become significantly attractive to them which increases your value. 

2. Ask what you want

This might seem easy but it is very daunting in reality. No one likes to sound that they are demanding, especially in negotiation. However, asking what you want will enable the party to know what you want in the negotiation. Thus, a chance for concession between you and the other party. 

Additionally, you can include more items to negotiate. Asking for more will enable you to exchange variables with the other party until you get what you want. 

3. Know your BATNA

BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) is a must before you go into any negotiation. The use of it is one of the most powerful contingency plans in negotiation as you can use it as a fire exit when the negotiation is unsatisfactory. 

Having a strong BATNA will enable you to have a greater range of alternative courses of action. If you do not have a BATNA, then you are in danger of entering into an agreement that does not benefit you as much as you expect. 

4. Leave your ego and emotion at home

To make the proposal work, you should be open to finding common ground with the other party. If you bring your ego to the negotiation table, then things will certainly explode. Leaving you and the other party to be in dispute. 

By leaving your ego and emotion at home, then you will be able to think clearly when facing an intense situation with the other party. Additionally, you should not take the other party’s refusal in the agreement personally. You should take note that it is the presentation they do not agree with and not you as a person.

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Guide on Using a Proposal Planner

The proposal planner is used to specify the details of conditional terms placed against each of the trade-offs created. It provides you with a list of well-thought proposals. 

Each proposal needs to be specific. Thus, it gives the other party the chance to weigh, calculate, respond, and consider. Asking for improved payment terms in return for a bigger order will not help in bringing your negotiation further. 

You need to be more specific about what is needed. If not, you cannot expect the other party to take your offer seriously.

The team of Procurement Tactics made a template that will help you to put the details on your move planner on paper:

It is one of the many tools you can use to keep track of your proposals before advancing further with your negotiation tooling. These are conditions that you have studied, calculated, and considered objectively during the day:

An Example of Conditional Proposal by the Founder of Procurement Tactics

In my years as a negotiator, I always tried to make my proposals conditional. This is important for two reasons:

  1. To get something back for your offer
  2. by making variables conditional, you will never give something “away” unintended

When considering a conditional proposal, try to avoid introducing more than three items at once. It can prove difficult for the other party to respond or calculate at once in a meaningful way. It also slows down any momentum created.

If you factor in every conditional proposal prepared all at once, you are more likely to draw a delayed response from the other party for three reasons:

  • The other party may find it incredibly difficult under pressure to calculate what it all means. Thus, they are more likely to pick off the terms they do like while ignoring the conditions attached to them.
  • They will have some ideas that you want to think about first before tabling your entire position.
  • They are left without the task of working out links or connections between each conditional proposal which may confuse them more.

The approach of gradually postponing your proposals and allowing the deal to build requires a lot of patience and a certain degree of comfort with the early ambiguity. Before making any proposals check both your and the other party’s priorities one last time. 

Priorities can change at the last minute. That is why you should always make sure that you update priorities when it needs changing. Remember, where there is complexity, you will need to park elements and return to them later after examining some of the other agendas first.

Frequentlyasked questions

+ What is a conditional proposal?

It is a document that limits or modifies any of the terms, specifications, or requirements of the request for proposal.

+ Why is BATNA so important?

BATNA is so important in negotiation as it can take you away from situations that seem unsatisfactory by having alternatives.

+ What is a proposal planner?

It is used to specify the details of conditional terms placed against each of the trade-offs created. It provides you with a list of well-thought proposals.

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