Walk from negotiation without regret – BATNA and ZOPA
KNOW THE TERMS – What every negotiator should know
A Quick Intro
BATNA and ZOPA. Your BATNA is your Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement. Your ZOPA is your Zone of Possible Agreement. In any negotiation, these two terms should be as familiar as your right and left hand, and used as such.
Your BATNA is extremely important; if you cannot secure one, or a few, you are in a very weak or no position to deal. Economists know this as your opportunity cost. Simply put, no BATNA equals no other viable opportunities and you can wrap up your negotiation right there. The BATNA is what to do when you do not reach a deal and ideally minimizes your losses; any offer that is less than your BATNA should be refused.
ZOPA is slightly more difficult to determine based only on the information that you readily have. You are not the only one with a BATA. The people you are negotiating with have a BATNA as well. Both your BATNAs combined creates the ZOPA and it is in this zone where your final outcome is most likel to be.