Top Tips for a Successful Negotiation – some considerations to bear in mind
How can we be successful in our negotiations? Read on for our Top Tips…
With this unprecedented hot weather upon us, I have noticed all the additional advice we are being given about how to cope. I know the summer comes every year, but we are not used to these sorts of temperatures in the UK. It is fine if you are lying in the shade by a pool, sipping a cold drink, with an air-conditioned hotel room and not much to do all day. But if you are working from home, travelling, going to school/college or doing any of the other things we all do in a typical day; these high temperatures can catch you unawares if you aren’t prepared.
And it is the same with a tricky negotiation. Most people negotiate on a daily basis – whether it is with your kids about what time they are going to bed, or how much their allowance should be, or with tradespeople you are buying services from, negotiations are part of our everyday lives. But when you decide to enter into a bigger investment, like buying a new car or moving house, the stakes get higher and you therefore need to give it a bit more thought and attention.
It is the same in the procurement world. So here are my top tips to stay cool both in the heat of a hot summer’s day and in the negotiation arena:
Make sure you have as much information to hand as possible. Know all the facts, ask as many questions as you can up front (be curious) and do some scenario planning. Put yourself in the shoes of the other party, think about their drivers and what is important to them (and maybe even ask them to tell you?) so you can pre-empt those points with counter-arguments or options of your own. Remember the objective is to find the best place that works for both parties or an agreement won’t be reached. Just like in the heat you’ll take water with you, pack suncream and find out about whether where you are going has air-con or other facilities to help you stay cool. #beprepared
Talk to the experts
When dealing with some of the large IT publishers in particular, suppliers will have standard commercial offerings and models. They do change their positions over time, however, so engaging with an expert who has experience in dealing with these suppliers means you can short cut some of the guess work and make sure you have the most up to date intel. Experienced negotiators who are external to your business can also bring an objective perspective that you may have missed. They can ask questions from angles you may not have considered, improving and enhancing your negotiation strategy. #talktotheexperts
Timing is everything
Don’t be rushed. Often suppliers will tell you that month end, quarter end or year end deals will disappear once the date passes….this is sometimes the case but often they are able to honour the deal after the deadline has passed, so if the deal isn’t right for you then don’t be pressured. You also need to ensure you have done all your necessary due diligence around alternative supplier options, contractual terms and third party risk mitigation etc before you sign on the dotted line so consider what works best for your organisation and work to your time frame. It is the same with the hot weather – it is a great time of year to be outside but clearly there are better times of the day to be in the sun and times when you need to be waiting in the shade.
Check out our article on LinkedIn.
And also check out our case study on negotiations.