B2B Street Fighting Blog

what a strategic negotiation process can't do for you (part 2)

Posted by Marie Dudek Brown on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 @ 09:22 AM

what a strategic negotiation process cannot do for you (part 2)It's not only ineffective or nonexistent sales processes that cause negotiation problems. Other aspects of a deal, although not directly connected to negotiations, can have an impact on them.  For example, we've worked with many clients over the years who have products that are priced too high, quality that's too low, or technology that's out-of-date relative to their competitors.  Not surprisingly, these firms experience many sales and, subsequently, negotiation problems, which is why they turn to consultants for solutions.  But these aren't the kinds of problems that can be fixed with a training class on a negotiation process. These are value-proposition problems, and they can't be negotiated away.  Having to compete against a firm that has a better, faster, cheaper alternative to your product or service can only be rectified in the long term by correcting your own company's value proposition.

There is, finally, one other area in which a strategic negotiation process cannot provide the solution to a problem.  Because of the nature of the process, it is effective only when there is more than one item to be negotiated, and the more items there are, the more effective it can be.  For that reason, if you're selling a service or product that's a commodity, that is, one for which the only variable is price, a negotiation process can provide you with very little benefit.  Fortunately, however, there are very few real commodities.  In the vast majority of negotiations, even though it may appear at first that price is the only item, if you look further you will almost invariably find that there are other items that can - and should - be part of the negotiation.

For additional information on what a strategic negotiation process CAN do for you, request our synopsis on the Six Reasons for a Strategic Negotiation Process.

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