Negotiation Checklist – 9 Crucial Things You Must Not Forget

A professional negotiator should always have a negotiation checklist. That’s a given. Not having a checklist before the crucial stage of going to the negotiation table is like a soldier going to war without a weapon in hand.

That is why we at Procurement Tactics decided to write an article about creating a negotiation checklist because too many negotiators out there fail to do so before it’s too late. We’ll talk about the 9 important factors to not forget during negotiations and what to do in case you do forget about them.

By the end of this article, you should already be an expert in creating a negotiation checklist. You shouldn’t be unprepared anymore anytime there’s a negotiation!

A Negotiation Checklist is a Must!

A professional negotiator should always be ready for any kind of negotiation. This is the importance of a negotiation checklist. With a checklist, you can prepare for almost anything heading your way. Failing to prepare for negotiation is extremely bad for a negotiator’s reputation and results, so it is important to do every ounce of preparation expected of a professional negotiator.

For those who are not familiar with the idea of a negotiation checklist, there’s no need to panic. Our Negotiation Gamechanger course is perfect for those who are still learning the ropes to becoming a true negotiator. Our course will help mold you to become a professional negotiator in no time at all; you can check out our website once you’re done reading this article to learn more about this fantastic course!

9 Important Questions to Ask Before Negotiations

Without further ado, here is our negotiation checklist. Take note that these 9 sections are all drafted to help negotiators prepare for any type of negotiation. With most negotiations nowadays involving the procurement process and the supply chain plan, the checklist below should help a negotiator in being prepared for the upcoming negotiation table:

1. What do I want from this negotiation? List short-term and long-term goals and dreams related to the negotiation.

This is very important as this will form the basis of your negotiation. You are going to formulate how you will proceed with the negotiation based on this checklist, so it’s imperative to get the answer for this checklist first more than anything.

2. What are my strengths—values, skills, and assets—in this negotiation?

Learning where your style limits are is one of the big foundations of becoming a professional negotiator. Knowing where you stand before, during, and after the negotiations will also help you prepare for other negotiations in the future. Check out these 3 success factors in negotiating to get an idea what forms of “edge” you can bring to a negotiation.

3. What are my weaknesses and vulnerabilities in this negotiation?

Give yourself time to assess what your weaknesses and vulnerabilities are and you’ll be unstoppable at the negotiation table in no time at all.

4. Why is the other party negotiating with me? What do I have that they need?

It’s almost important to learn why the other party would want to negotiate with you. Clearly, it might not be out of consideration with your skill; sometimes, the other party may feel that they can take advantage of you to get what they want!

5. What lessons can I apply from past negotiations to improve my performance?

Learning from your past mistakes is crucial. You can only learn to be the best negotiator by looking back at your past mistakes and not doing them again.

6. Where and when should the negotiation take place?

Like a true master negotiator, you should also consider where the negotiation is going to take place. The venue is also important, as sometimes, it will set the mood of how the negotiations are going to fare through.

Accomodation Negotiation Example Cartoon
Editor's note:

The Negotiation Game Changer Certificate program teaches you the skills needed to drive better, fact-based decisions that ultimately benefit both organizations and its employees. As a negotiation game changer, you will have a comprehensive analytics skill set that will enable you to achieve deals with results you have been dreaming of.

7. How long should sessions last? What deadlines are we facing?

Are you negotiating for extending a deadline? Are you in a hurry to finish negotiations so you can move on to the next step? Take these into consideration as well. Sometimes, the other party doesn’t appreciate being rushed into making a decision just because you are late for another event.

8. What are my interests in the upcoming negotiation? How do they rank in importance?

Again, look at what you want to achieve with the current negotiation. From there, learn what you can about the other party and decide on how to take the initiative with the negotiations. 

9. What is my reservation point—my indifference point between a deal and no deal?

In a negotiation or deal, there will always come a time when you don’t get what you want. If that time ever happens, it’s very important to learn when to stop.

Sometimes, it’s even better to just simply walk away. But be careful when doing this, as there’s no point of return once you walk away from a negotiation.


What is a negotiation checklist?

A negotiation checklist is a series of questions to ask before getting into negotiations.

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Want to close better deals? Prepare faster and achieve deal results you have been dreaming of?   This course is a perfect fit for ambitious procurement & sourcing professionals. Enroll  now and equip yourself with the full range of skills needed to master the deal.