Reading Between the Negotiation Lines
Nov 18, 2020 | Blog
We’ve discussed it here before: the idea that negotiations are equal parts an art and a science. And it’s true, although some parts of the process lean more towards one than the other. When it comes to negotiating behaviors, the latter of the two comes out full force. The way we act, the way the other party acts, both are propelled by intersecting factors ranging from psychology and sociology to economics and finance and informed by everything from what we had for breakfast to previous business experience. Well, maybe not as much the former. Although, if someone skipped breakfast, they’d probably get grumpy, and nothing breaks down business talks quite like low blood sugar and irritability!
This complexity can make it difficult to figure out what negotiating tactics to use. Likewise, it can also make deciding whether you should be negotiating or not extremely cloudy. After all, if you can’t get a read on the other party, can’t predict their angle or what they’ll do, and can’t predict whether you’re getting a good deal on both sides, there’s no certainty that business talks would even provide a good enough outcome to warrant the effort. This is where AI comes in – it can “read between the lines” where humans can’t and better inform our negotiations.
Turning Clues into Data
For those not particularly technologically apt or those who’ve simply done their best to steer clear of AI after watching one too many Schwarzenegger movies (to be fair – Skynet is pretty terrifying), the idea of artificial intelligence being used in business decisions seems… sketchy at best. But it truly is an invaluable tool. What AI does is essentially look for “clues”. Behavior, previous negotiation outcomes, business/financial circumstances, and anything else like public records and other accessible information are all up for grabs.
These are gathered together and converted into useable data that can be compared against other inputs, allowing programs and people to decide on the best course of action going forward. The AI can then sometimes suggest how to respond to an offer or indicate the odds of a successful outcome, but the hard decisions still lie with humans. Although – this time – humans with far better information to make sound choices.
The Real-World Effect of AI
Curious about what this actually looks like in practice? Well, for some companies, this can look like AI being used to read facial expressions in practice negotiations, decoding that into emotions and analyzing what emotion gets the best response from the stakeholder/other party in question. Other companies rely on AI that’s a little more straightforward, allowing AI to compare offers against determined criteria to see what should automatically be denied or looked over a second time.
Meanwhile, here at Intellext.ai, we’re using this awesome tech to analyze the behavior of those who use our platform. Rather than looking at posture, facial expression, etc., we track the language used in offers and counteroffers. What are the key terms? How do their proposals change? Where do they start and where do they end? Our goal is to use all of this to figure out not just what they’re explicitly saying in negotiations, but also what they’re implicitly saying. Once again – read between the lines. It is then that we can suggest alternatives or even auto-negotiate the final outcome, lightening the load on people and aiding them in getting the best deal possible.
Intellext is an AI startup that is revolutionizing the way contracts are negotiated, accelerating time to close, and improving deal terms. Intellext’s Intelligent Negotiation Platform™ eliminates the complexities of contract redlines and stakeholder collaboration and optimizes deal terms by applying machine learning during the negotiation process.