Critical Negotiations Skills : Selective Bargaining For the Executive

Critical Negotiations Skills Selective Bargaining For the Executive

The season and setting are the same, a fine spring evening outside the door of Mr. Young Executive's house. The time is different, however, and so is Young Executive. He is fifteen years older and fifteen years wiser. His salary is now $180,000 a year.

The main change in Young Executive, however, is that his name is different. In corporate circles he is known as Mr. Key Executive, a person whose business acumen and devotion to his company make him a valued asset. As Mr. Key, he is no longer merely a hired man. He has become a valued partner in the corporation, in spirit if not in fact. He is a decision maker, a planner, and a member of the corporate management team, performing many of the functions that the old-time individual business owner used to perform. He makes good use of his negotiations skills.

Corporation Americana wants to hang on to its Mr. Key. He is one of the important people on the team that makes the profits. They would like to build a fence around him, if that were possible, to keep him from straying down the street to a competitor.

By a not-so-odd coincidence, this is exactly what Mr. Key is thinking of doing on this very spring evening. He is returning from a most interesting meeting with a person known in the higher-echelon circles he frequents as a headhunter, a person who specializes in finding top executives for her corporate clients. The most likely place to find such top executives is in other corporations.

This particular "headhunter" has just "found" Mr. Key. The client in question is Corporation GlobalBiz: powerful, big and successful, just like Mr. Key's own Corporation Americana. Mr. Key got the idea, although no precise terms were discussed, that there would most certainly be a substantial salary hike for him, plus certain other unnamed benefits that they could "work out" if Mr. Key were interested. He will make good use of his negotiations skills.

He doesn't realize it, but the advent of the headhunter, her offer, and all that it implies, has just opened the door to a fruitful estate-building opportunity for him. He will need to make good use of his negotiations skills.

Mr. Key is now in a bargaining position. Both companies want him, and are willing to negotiate with him for additional benefits that will secure his services and his loyalties. Most corporations regard these additional benefits as inducements and incentives for key employees. They realize that people like Mr. Key are hard to come by, that they devote all their time and energy to their work, often to the neglect of their own financial problems. They know that they must help Mr. Key make up for that neglect by offering special opportunities to ensure the financial security of Mr. Key and his family. They know an unworried executive can concentrate on the company's needs instead of diverting his time and attention to his own financial concerns. He will need to make good use of his negotiations skills.

These additional benefits, if Mr. Key bargains well and wisely for them, will provide him with a custom-made program of capital accumulation that can be keyed to the rest of his estate plan and to his regular compensation package. Its long-range benefits may be worth far more than a mere salary raise. He will make good use of his negotiations skills.

The companies will make offers, undoubtedly. But if Mr. Key is to drive a good bargain, he must not only listen to offers; he should also make proposals of his own. To do that, he needs to analyze two important factors: his own needs and the range of possible benefits open to him. He will need to make good use of his negotiations skills.