Insurance Company Negotiations: A Few More Do's
A Few More “Do's” In Negotiating
Listen. Actively listen and watch for opportunities for mutual gains. Ask questions to look for new ideas to come to the win-win solutions. It shows you are actively trying to understand the other side's points of view and situation. Negotiating is all about trading information.
Communication.Maintain good communication at all times. Assume the best and stay positive. (3)
Honesty. Have your facts straight. Never lie or be deceitful. You lose credibility and bargaining power. Without credibility, you will not be able to negotiate successfully. Of course, this does not mean you have to tell all.
Look for the win-win. Seek solutions or compromise on both sides to come up with a solution that both sides can sell to their constituents, bosses, membership, or others as a positive outcome.
Be confident. Good negotiators have high self esteem and feel passionate and confident about their cause.
Speak in order. Only one person should speak at a time. Do not try to battle by raising your voice or interrupting people. This also means that you expect to be able to finish what you say without interruption.
Provide contact information. Provide the other side with your delegation's business cards so they can easily contact you and maintain open lines of communication. Make it easy for them to reach you when they need you.
Avoid irritation. Do not let the other side “get under your skin.” Deal with the issues objectively. Remain calm. Separate the people from the problem. (4)
Remember your goals. Keep sight of the big picture. Look at your objectives and focus on your goals. If the talks get off track, redirect the discussion to the original objective.
Do not look or act needy. If you are needy, you lose control and may make poor decisions. Look for the needs of the other side.
Use “we,” not “you.” Start sentences with “we” or “I.” For example, don't say: “You have underpaid us for years and you don't seem to care.” Instead say: “We believe we have not been fairly compensated for our services especially if you compare your reimbursement rate to Medicare. I believe that there is not much interest from your company's point of view to change this problem.” It is less threatening. How you say things can make a big difference in how your negotiations are going to progress.
If you move to a close and reach an agreement, put the agreement in writing and ensure that the other party is fully authorized to close the deal. Record all finalized agreements in detail at the conclusion of the negotiations. Verify that everyone agrees with the final written document and make sure it is clear, well defined, and complete. If you are not satisfied with the deal, do not sign it.
3. 8 steps for highly effective negotiation. Letting the other person have your way. Rockhurst University Continuing Education Press; 2004.
4. Fisher R, Ury W, Patton B. Getting to Yes. Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. 2nd Edition. New York, NY: Penguin Books; 1991.
5. Museler MC. Negotiating Skills in the Practice of Dietetics. Top Clin Nutr 2004: Vol 19,(4),303-307.