There are distinct
benefits of preparations before negotiating. A skilled negotiator
knows the benefits of preparation. There can be many ways out of
which four are being described below :
1. The Skilled Negotiator
knows his Counterpart. Purchasing
professionals often fail in negotiations due to being caught
off-guard by the experience and/or aggressiveness of the supplier's
So, always learn about your counterpart before you begin
negotiations. Insist on a phone conversation prior to the
negotiation. You can tell the supplier that the purpose of the call
is to shore up logistical details like time, location, and length of
your meeting. And do shore them up.
But also find out more about
your counterpart through "small talk." How long has she been selling
the product or service? Is he an aggressive personality? Then,
adjust your tactics for that type of counterpart.
2. The skilled negotiator
uses logic. Logic can be a powerful
negotiating tool. But a skilled supplier negotiator will anticipate
your logic and shoot it down.
For example, let's say you were buying used aircraft parts. You may
say to the
supplier who bid $3,000
for a part "I always see these parts selling for $2,000, so your
price isn't fair."
That might be
good logic, but the supplier may say "But those parts are in
'repaired' condition rather than 'overhauled' condition and don't
have the same warranty."
If you didn't go deep with your logic and consider all possible
supplier responses, you likely have no more ammunition for
3. The skilled
negotiator controls the meeting. Sales people are taught to
control meetings. In a negotiation, this disarms you and
prevents you from reaching your negotiation goals.
Don't let the
supplier control the meeting. Either present an agenda or
prepare a set of probing questions to lead the conversation. And
when you've achieved the results you're looking for, give
signals that the meeting is over (e.g., stand up, say
"Thank you for your time in meeting with me today," etc.)
4. The skilled negotiator knows what the supplier will
ask & how to answer. At the outset of negotiations, suppliers
want to learn if they can earn your business with their current
proposals or if they have to
improve them. Be prepared
for their questions and know how you're going to
answer them. What the supplier wants to
Who is the decision maker?
Does he have the budget to pay the current price?
How quickly does he need to make a decision?
Are there other suppliers up his sleeves ?