Business development

Assessing your strengths and weaknesses as a negotiating partner

Assessing your strengths and weaknesses as a negotiating partner

One of the core aspects of successful business development is having strong negotiation skills. But simply having strong negotiation skills is not enough: your negotiations skills have to be as good as, if not better than, your competitors.

So how do you find out how effective your team’s negotiation skills are compared to your competitors? There are three ways that you can try and get insights into your negotiation skills:

  1. You can look at the outcome of the negotiations: were you successful or unsuccessful? This approach has its place. However, it has its drawbacks. First, how do you assess the actual impact of your negotiating on the final outcome? The outcome of the negotiations may actually have had very little to do with your team's negotiation skills. Second, this approach gives you little information about how your negotiating skills compare with your competitors. Third, because it only effectively gives you one data point - the outcome - it gives you no information about where your team's negotiating strengths and weaknesses lie.
  2. You can ask your negotiating partners to give you directly their assessment of your negotiating skills. This has obvious drawbacks. First, how do you know the answers they are giving you are true and not being treated as part of the negotiations with your team? Second, many negotiating partners, particularly those where the final outcome was no deal, may have criticisms of your team's approach. If you want these people to be honest with you, you have to offer them the ability to give their feedback in an anonymized format. You can't do this if they are talking to you directly.
  3. The last, most effective option is to ask an independent third party to collect the feedback on your behalf anonymizing it where it is required. This is where Silico Research can help you.

Our platform produces immediate feedback about your negotiations that is relevant, contextualised, highly targeted and in near real-time. Where necessary the feedback is confidential and anonymised. Through the process the questions that we ask participants are iterative, threaded and responsive to previous comments by the participants.

Email us at for more information about how we can help you maximise your team's negotiations skills.