In the current climate, I would strongly encourage anyone buying or selling services to invest in practical negotiation training. Most businesses are under a huge amount of pressure to maintain revenue streams, and this means that there are huge opportunities to negotiate discounts if you have the right skills to do so. Whilst many of our clients think they are getting a favourable deal because they don’t accept the first price offered, they often accept the first discount, and don’t get any further.
However, as any experienced negotiator will say; “if someone moves once, they will move again.”
As an example, my team are currently booking training venues outside London for clients at the moment. After asking for a reduction, we are being offered 20% off the published rates. However, by the time we are making the booking, we have received over 60% off published rates. We are achieving this by following 5 simple steps, all taught during our half day Negotiating for More programme.
- Look at Motivations, not Positions: Put simply, put yourself in the shoes of the person on the other side and try and understand their perspective, motivation and the pressures they are under.
- Understand the Variables: What can be traded in this transaction – is it just the price of the goods, or are there other tradable items or services that have a value to one or both sides?
- Best and Worst Outcomes: What is best you could hope for – and the worst you would accept? Think about both sides – and then establish an engagement strategy, a trading range and a walk away position.
- Build Relationships: Be professional and pleasant. Try and find common ground with the other side and establish rapport, trust and mutual respect when you engage to them.
- Keep Negotiating for More: If someone moves once, they will move again. Negotiate every variable, and don’t stop until you have got as close to your best outcome as you think possible.
At the end of any negotiation, our advice is not to leave the other side feeling that you have been dishonest or unprofessional, or you will find it difficult to do business with the other side again. So keep relationships in mind at all times.
During our Negotiating for More programme you will not just learn these planning tools – you will practice applying them in real situations, using specific work related scenarios. These scenarios are designed for each client and we always use video to review and coach performance. That way, you know you can walk straight out of the learning environment and start to repay the investment.