Why do you need a negotiation strategy? This question relates to the motivation for developing a strategy in the first place, that is, the reason for wanting to make a change. Often the term "strategy" spawns nebulous phrases or written statements that get tucked away in a boardroom somewhere, never to be heard from again. Your goal is just the opposite: keep it simple, actionable and clear that the cure is not worse than the disease.
The first and most critical step in establishing a successful negotiation strategy is stakeholder involvement and internal collaboration.
Start by asking your stakeholder group what kind of problems it has encourntered in the negotiation process. It's likely that members of this group will come up with a fairly long list, but it's best to pare the list down to three to five most important issues. After going through this process, some of the answers companies typically arrive at include:
- irrational competitor pricing is on the rise
- there is too much internal negotiation, misalignment and bureaucracy
- professional buyers are trying to make our product / service a commodity
- we have margin pressure
- our consultative sales process has us selling solutions, but we end up negotiating price.
Sound familiar? Click on the button below to find out more about guidelines and measurements for a negotiation strategy by requesting the Strategic Account Management Association's (SAMA) Velocity article entitled, "Developing a Negotiation Strategy."