Every negotiation has at least three "roles:" the person who makes the decisions (the "Business Owner"), the person who does the talking (the "Negotiator") and the person who understands how the product or service being acquired really works (the "Subject Matter Expert"). Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are called upon to provide vital technical information during negotiations designed to elicit not only the best business deal but more appropriately, the best solution to meet the needs of a specific industry or environment. As a result, SMEs are expected to drop into negotiations at a moment's notice to provide their expertise, sometimes without knowing the dynamics of the situation. SMEs therefore can benefit by more fully understanding the role of the SME in negotiations, and how they can communicate their knowledge both across the table and to their own team without liability.
Negotiations expert Jeff Gordon explores what the SME brings to the table, the points of the process the SME should be involved in, how to communicate with your own side, and how to communicate with the other side.
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Check out our resources on Negotiations.