B2B Street Fighting Blog

negotiation skills training: blueprinting your "it"

Posted by Marie Dudek Brown on Fri, Mar 02, 2012 @ 09:33 AM

Just as you would never dream of starting to build a house without a conventional blueprint, you can't build a deal that is worth negotiating without a plan to get where you are going.  The processes of data collection and analysis are key steps to what we at Think! call "blueprinting" a deal.  Blueprinting is a convenient way to view data-based preparation and analysis in its most basic and raw form; it essentially describes the steps needed to get your arms around all the moving parts in a complex B2B deal.

blueprinting your valueSince value in negotiation is completely relative to the deal on the table, you need to refine your total value to a unique It, what you have that this customer wants that the competition does not deliver.  A truly unique It counteracts all of the buyer's attempts to commoditize since It is, by definition, not "the same thing" as what anyone else is offering.

Example:  Defining It at Think! Inc.

When we worked through the three-step process to finding It for Think!, we used the following broad headings and measurable subheadings:


  • what does the supplier do to diagnose root causes?
  • what does the supplier do to engage cross-functionally and set success measurement?
  • what kind of tailoring and customization is involved?


  • how easy is what we learn in the training to integrate into our other processes (like selling or account amanagment)?
  • how much of the workshop is applied to live deals versus generic case studies?
  • are the sales department and all relevan cross-functional players invovled in the training?
  • how easily is the training assimilated by the team?
  • what are the skills of the consultant delivering the workshop?


  • when it comes to ability to impact business results, how does supplier A solve our business problems better than supplier B?
  • what does this company do to assist with coaching and implementing the training?
  • which supplier measures return on investment better?

Would you like to complete this three-step process to determine the It for your organization?  Request our guide sheet below.

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Tags: negotiation strategies in business

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