“When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two thirds of the time thinking about what they want to hear and one third thinking about what I want to say.”
Imagine you’re in the midst of licensing negotiations and you start to notice little changes occuring. Perhaps the lead negotiator on the other side is not returning your calls or is becoming progressively harder to reach. Maybe the tone of the meetings between the two sides seems to have subtly changed and it’s not for the better. Or the opposing team seems to be putting less and less time, energy and resources into moving things forward. Uh oh. These are red flags that things are not going well. Worse, any time wasted by unnecessary delays could mean that your first-to-market advantage may be threatened. What can you do? Or, for that matter, what could you have done to avoid things doing downhill during important negotiations?
Taking the time to prepare for negotiations can have real implications for the outcome of the negotiations themselves. MaRS Advisor John Buckingham recently spoke at a MaRS Best Practices session on Setting the Table: Preparing for licensing negotiations, where he drew from his experience in alliance management including as a VP at Johnson & Johnson. Here are some critical things he encourages you to consider before you enter licensing negotiations:
Whatever you do, before beginning negotiations, avoid doing nothing. Remember that the relationship starts from the instant that the parties start talking and any relationship built early on will carry forward to the future. Starting off in the right way can help you avoid any unwelcome surprises during the negotiations process and is imperative for the future success of the relationship.
Want to hear John’s four must-do tips before beginning licensing negotiations? Check out the video “4 Hot Tips for Preparing for Licensing Negotiations”.
Looking for more pointers on how to prepare for licensing negotiations? Watch the whole presentation at Setting the Table: Preparing for licensing negotiations.