company in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Know what they value so
you can use that information to move
negotiations forward. Is staying on budget more important to the sponsor than
meeting deadlines? If you need more
time to implement the project, knowing that the client values budget more
may be your bargaining chip to win the
“It is difficult to negotiate with-
out having established good commu-
nication,” Ms. Ruiz Diaz Lovera says.
“Especially in a long-term project, it is
important to invest in the relationship.
Even in virtual projects, the ideal is to
have some face-to-face meetings with
the team to be able to build the basis of
a relationship and future negotiations.
It is more difficult to establish trust
from a distance.”
When meeting with the project
sponsor, talk less and listen more to
learn as much as possible about the
project goals, she adds.
Once you’re familiar with what the
other party deems important, you can
rank the tasks and start to plan your
6Explain your dilemma.
The other side needs to understand
where you’re coming from, and one of
the best ways to accomplish this is to
state exactly what the consequences of
denying your request would be.
“The biggest mistake project managers make is not selling the problem before they make a request,” Dr.
For example, if you need to purchase
a material to develop a new product,
don’t just tell your project sponsor, “I
need this material.”
Instead, provide details about the
situation. Something along the lines of,
“We’ve encountered some problems in
argue, says Keld Jensen,
Market Watch Centre for
Denmark. “Most negotiators are confused about
negotiation and think it’s an
argumentation game. On
the contrary: The more you
argue, the less information
you gain from the counterpart. Information is king.”
our preliminary tests. It looks like the
material we initially chose isn’t going to
work. The project is going to fail unless
we find an alternative material.”
This approach should leave stake-
holders eager to hear a potential solution.
Follow these tips and you will find
yourself in a better position to receive
the help you need. After all, the project—and your reputation—are on the