B2B Street Fighting Blog

negotiation strategy: a powerful competitive edge

Posted by Marie Dudek Brown on Thu, Dec 22, 2011 @ 09:32 AM

About 30 years ago, the perception of a great salesperson evolved from a back-slapping pitch agent to a highly analytical professional who can expertly wield repeatable sales processes to uncover client needs and leverage their value proposition to meet them.  Negotiation hasn't made that leap if you consider that:

  • organizations have sales process in place, but not negotiation processes.
  • last defining book on negotiation, Getting to Yes, was written over 25 years ago and is still a best seller and marketplace standard.
  • most negotiation training resembles 1981 sales approaches:  long lists of tactice and countertactics vs. strong analytics that provide actual insight into value, as percieved by the customer.
negotiation strategy - a competitive edgeTo combat commoditization attempts, we must stop viewing negotiation as a series of tips and tactics, and start integrating sales and negotiation processes.  You can make this happen by:
  • creating a corporate-wide negotiation strategy, ensuring everyone agrees on where they want to go
  • standarizing your negotiation process and language, ensuring everyone agrees on how they'll get there
  • completely integrating the selling and negotiating processes
  • putting more power in the hands of the dealmakers to make decisions; aligning internal negotiation to support and advance them, not slow them down

Think! defines negotiation strategy as cross-functional, organization-wide alignment on negotiation guardrails and outcomes.  Embrace negotiation strategy and you'll have a powerful competitive edge, especially considering that value, not price, is the foundation of a lasting relationship.

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Tags: negotiation strategies in business

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