PurchTips - Edition # 177


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The Superior Negotiation Advantage

By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

How Easily Can You Get A Negotiation Advantage?

In almost every negotiation, a dynamic between the negotiators determines how good of a deal you get. Very few negotiations are interactions between equals - one side is superior and one side is subordinate.

Can you guess which side gets the better deal?

Of course, the superior does. So, establish yourself as the superior early by applying these techniques.

Make The Transition To Business Discussion Yourself – Most negotiations begin with non-business discussion. This can be helpful in building rapport and perhaps even getting useful information, so you want to engage in it. However, the party that makes the transition to the agenda of the negotiation is the one that creates a sense of superiority.

Make & Maintain Eye Contact – Looking into someone's eyes conveys seriousness. It can also be uncomfortable for both parties. But if you're more comfortable with eye contact than your supplier, that's a negotiation advantage. Look into a supplier representative's eyes almost the entire time. Looking away or down indicates weakness which will enable the supplier to assume the superior role.

Act Like The Decision-Maker (Even If You're Not) – When a supplier knows that you simply are taking a deal to your management to be decided upon, the supplier is not inclined to give you the best deal. After all, your management may not know much about the market and may blindly accept a higher-than-market price. If the supplier thinks that you are the person that needs to be pleased in order to win the business, you will relegate the supplier to the subordinate role.

Act Like Nothing Is Impossible – If you go into a negotiation thinking about all of the reasons the supplier has more leverage, you are destined to lose. If a supplier explains why a better deal isn't possible, say something to indicate high expectations like "That sounds like a challenge. But you're a smart guy/woman. I bet you can find a solution."

Show Some Freakin' Passion! – Raise and lower your voice. Use non-profane hand gestures to emphasize your points. Use creative phrases.

There are two roles available for you in a negotiation. Choose to be the superior, not the subordinate.

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