I hope that you have enjoyed the article “Join A Negotiation With Caution.”

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In the article, I gave managers three things to think about before joining a negotiation. I wanted to expand a bit on the first one: “Learn the obstacles to agreement from your team first.”

It is a common manager mistake to assume that the non-price issues a buyer is haggling over are trivial and can easily be exchanged for a price reduction or just waived in order “to get the deal done.” And this mistake can be a big one.

For example, at the instruction of the Legal Department, the buyer may be insisting that no changes be made to a certain contract clause. When the manager joins the negotiation, the supplier knows that the manager is there to get an ego boost for getting concessions and may say something like “I’ve been willing to reduce the price by 5%, but your buyer has been inflexible on this contract clause.” The careless manager will accept the price reduction without considering the ramifications of conceding on the contract issue.

What happens when the protection of that contract clause is needed months or years down the road? While it would seem like common sense for managers to meet with buyers in advance of a negotiation in order to identify what the issues will be and to prepare for the supplier’s tactics, it is shocking that these meetings often never happen.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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