I hope that you enjoyed the article “Why To Hate Fact-Based Negotiation, Part I.”

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When people talk about old-school procurement negotiation, they often paint a picture of a crusty old guy pounding on the table and yelling at a supplier to lower its price or else.  While I’m glad that stereotype no longer represents how modern procurement negotiation is done, I’m not exactly pleased with the fact-based negotiation style that seems destined to become the fodder for procurement humor a couple of decades from now.

As procurement and finance have become intertwined in many respects – and that’s generally a good thing – one consequence is that procurement people have been increasingly driven by numbers, numbers, numbers.  Nothing but numbers.  “If it can’t be entered into a spreadsheet, it has no place in procurement.”

Most things are usually best in moderation.  And number-centric procurement thinking is like most things.

Executive leadership and sales aren’t always so numbers-driven.  Especially, as I pointed out, when an executive leader is the founder of the supplier and serving in a selling role.

These people live to win.  In some cases, they are dying to win.

They revel in the thrill of the hunt – the hunt for new clients, new business, new revenue.  Sure, the numbers matter.  But the numbers are not the be-all, end-all of their world.

So, numbers – particularly your estimated cost calculations – shouldn’t be the be-all, end-all of your negotiation strategy.  Tap into the emotion of your supplier counterpart.  Display emotion on your face, in your voice.  That doesn’t mean to put fist to table or ratchet up the decibels of your speech.

But communicate artfully along with the presentation of your science.  Part II of this series will arrive in two weeks – stay tuned!

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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