BATNA stands for Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. It is an acronym which has largely fallen out of favour, and instead many people in business will instead refer to this scenario as the ‘Best Alternative’.
It is important to have thoroughly prepared a BATNA before you go into negotiations, so that you are clear about the worst agreement or price you are willing to accept. Having a clear understanding of your BATNA will also wield you additional bargaining power in the negotiation, and it means you have a back-up plan if negotiations aren’t successful. Knowing your BATNA means that you won’t unnecessarily reach an agreement in negotiations which are worse than other available options.
Exploring what your counter-negotiators BATNA is will put you in a better position within the negotiations. This should be investigated in detail before getting involved in any serious negotiations.