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Bad Negotiation Habits: Break Them Today!

PurchTips - Edition # 210

By Charles Dominick, SPSM


Do You Have Any Of These Bad Negotiation Habits?

Bad Habit #1: Not Sharing Information. When negotiating, some buyers withhold information from suppliers. For example, a supplier may ask about the size of your budget. Some buyers refuse to share that, thinking that the supplier will inflate its prices to capture every bit of that budget money.

While you and your supplier may have a few opposing interests, the goal is for you to work together as partners - not opponents - at some point. This means that it may benefit you to share certain information at some point in the negotiation.

If a supplier knew the budget constraints you have, it may be able to recommend and/or customize a solution that works optimally for the amount of money you have available. Without knowledge of your constraints, your supplier is left guessing and may end up proposing a solution that is too expensive or not optimal for the budget you have.

Bad Habit #2: Overusing The Word "Honest." Some people use the word "honest" as a "filler" in their conversations. "Honestly, I never thought about that" and "To be honest with you, we don't have enough money to pay that much" are two examples of how "honest" is commonly used.

But when prefacing a statement with a "disclaimer of honesty," the other person may think that other things you've said were not honest. Trust is important in negotiation for a supplier to know that you will stand by your commitments when they improve their terms for you. Disclaimers of honesty don't build trust, they degrade it.

So, if you catch yourself about to use a disclaimer of honesty, use the word "frank" or "frankly" instead. For example, "To be frank with you, your price is substantially higher than we're able to pay."

For Bad Habit #3, go to

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