Negotiation Tips & Techniques

Published: July 10th, 2009

I do not take any credit for the first portion of this list, it came from notes I made while on a FREE Gartner webinar today. The closing points are my own and I thought unique enough from the previous points to share. This list is compromised from Tweets I sent on Twitter, so they are reduced to the 140 character limit of Twitter, you would need to attend the Gartner event to get all their insight behind these bullets. From Garner Conference Call titled; Hardball Negotiating Tactics Negotiating tactic #1 – Don't play hard to get – be hard to get a hold off (ensure entire team is on side and not having side conversations)

Negotiating tactic #2 – Commoditize Pricing to demonstrate market awareness (vendors & pricing)

Negotiating tactic #3 – Cancel Contracts for non critical elements, hard dollar impact lets them know you are serious

Negotiating tactic #4 – Reset the rules for RFP's, go back and re focus based on business needs & keep asking until you get the right answer

Negotiating tactic #5 – Give nothing away for free, does your vendor know more about your business than you do, close the door on their information network

Now for 5 extreme tactics for negotiating (credit to Gartner for these also)

1) Keep looping on strategic decisions until vendors comply

2) Good cop. Bad Cop with other parts of business, let IT be the good guy in negotiating

3) Use indirect competition, services based offerings a good tactic these days

4) If vendor performing negatively today, score their performance and use it to bring them in line

5) Delay purchase until vendor is compliant

Here are a few of my own negotiating tactics;

1) Negotiate on the basis you are establishing a 10-15 yr relationship with them, focus long term vs short term

2) Negotiate on the basis of honesty, be fair and honest and recognize we need a deal and they need to make money

3) Negotiate for the business and not for yourself, avoid temptation of add-on's, cash incentives, and other freebies, you win – biz loose

4) Know when to walk away and not waste everyone's time, perhaps your too early on the curve for the offering

5) Finally know you target goal and be happy when you meet or exceed it, don't keep pushing as you may risk some part of the relationship



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