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BATNA - Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement


Having clear options available before you start negotiating can set you up for success.  You'll feel empowered and confident to either reach a mutually satisfactory agreement, or walk away to your better alternative. BATNA, or Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement, is a technique to understand the next best option to what you are negotiating.  Imagine you are an engineer looking to negotiate your starting salary at a new company.  If you have done your homework, you might have some key pieces of information: 1. The company looking to hire you just lost someone with your unique skills last month and the company was recently awarded an important contract for work right in your sweet spot. 2. You were just offered a position at another firm with a salary equal to what you are requesting, but…the situation there is less desirable.   Without revealing any of this, you have the power seat in this negotiation.  Make sure you vetted all your information and have an idea of the hand the company holds.  This thorough analysis of the next best option can swing the balance for a successful negotiation and two happy parties.  It’s super helpful if your current negotiation reaches an impasse to know what’s your best outside option and what is the Zone of Potential Agreement (ZOPA).

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