Negotiating 101

Be patient and LISTEN.. Most people are in a hurry to wrap things up and move on. Many times you will get what you want by just waiting out the other party. This point follows closely behind the second point. If you can live without whatever you are negotiating for, then you do have the luxury of being patient. Along those lines, when talking over the phone or face to face, don’t respond immediately to an offer. Many times your silence will be taken as a sign that you do not care for their offer. This can be difficult, but you must learn to be patient.

Be professional and courteous. You don’t want to appear confrontational. Never give someone a reason to want to “stick it to you.” If you want to win the business you have to earn their trust. This is very important if your goal is to build a long term mutually beneficial relationship. It will also help set you apart from a vendor trying to sell something to make quota and somebody who has a genuine interest in helping an organization succeed

Determine exactly what the other party wants even before you start to negotiate. So to confirm you are looking at 5 licenses for North America is that correct. If you do not do that you have no foundation to work upon and are not even sure what you are about to negotiate. I also make it clear before you negotiate and confirm the pricing with them first. As you know from the pricing I sent you 1 North American license is $1000.00 and we provide you with 5 for $4500.00 plus tax. The license is for a 1 year term so it would be $4500.00 plus tax in Cdn dollars. Then I explain how our process works. When you are ready to move forward we just email you an invoice and you can pay by credit card or cheque. How would you like to proceed?

Then you must listen….. The urge to lower the price or keep talking is strong do not do that. The better you are at listening the better your chances are of making them happy and winning the business.

One example would be the person asking for a discount. The natural temptation is to come back with what if I take off 10% or 15% or whatever. That is wrong. I would say when you say a discount what exactly are you thinking. They may come back with 3%. If that makes sense for your organization I would respond with if we can get you the 3% discount can invoice you this week or this month. I would also ask how their procurement process works. You do not want any surprises and hopefully by knowing how their process works it will help going forward.

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