I hope that you have enjoyed the article, “3 Risky Negotiation Approaches.”

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A risky negotiation approach that was not mentioned in the article was to negotiate hard enough to push your supplier to the brink of walking away from the business.  Unfortunately, if you are willing to negotiate that hard in today’s world of win-win negotiation, there is a chance that your supplier will indeed walk away and essentially refuse to do business with your organization.

So, what do you do?

If you run into a situation where you’ve pushed a supplier so hard that the supplier would rather have its pride than your organization’s money, that doesn’t mean that a deal isn’t possible.  But it does mean that you’d be unlikely to continue to negotiate yourself with any semblance of leverage.

If you come back and try to convince the supplier to reconsider, it’s almost like groveling.  And, if you’re groveling, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to persuade the supplier to make any more concessions.  At that point, the supplier will be pretty certain that they are more valuable to you than you are to them.  All tentative agreements made during the negotiation to date may be off the table and you’ll be starting from square one.

Therefore, if that unfortunate situation ever comes to be, the best approach is probably to have a new negotiator from your side take over the negotiation.  A “good cop,” if you will.  This person can separate your behavior – which the supplier obviously found reprehensible – from the intent of the organization and can begin repairing the relationship and, hopefully, resuming the negotiation from the point just prior to it going off the rails.

It’s not the best of situations.  But it may be better than settling for a second-best supplier and the embarrassment that you ruined a potentially good deal.

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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