In the vast majority of organizations, every negotiation is seen as zero-based and different from every other negotiation. But, on a basic level, all business negotiations ultimately follow the same blueprint:
- every negotiation entails perceived and real consequences of no agreement for both sides, and
- wish lists of items both sides want to obtain on reaching agreement.
Few negotiations need to be seen an either unprecendented or unusual.
For example, one of our clients, a liquor distributor, tracked data and found that the most common demand from both retail stores and bars/restaurants was a reduction in price per case. But they also leaned that the underlying reasons for these demands were different. The retail stores wanted lower prices because they wanted to offer cases at a discount as loss leaders to attract people into the stores and thus increase their margins.
The bars/restaurants wanted the discounts because it affected their cash flow and they wanted to use that money for marketing. In response, instead of lowering its prices, the distributor created value for both sides by developing mutually beneficial programs to drive store traffic and improve margins for the retailer, as well as help bars/restaurants better regulate their cash flow and develop successful marketing programs.
Most important, though, is the distributor was able to do all this only because they had gathered the information about their customers and shared it among all of their salespeople, which in turn enabled the sales people to be ready with creative options when presented with those demands.
Look at your offerings from the perspective of how they would impact the customer. You may also further discover your own value!
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