Imagine having to reach a destination when you know of only one route and that one is blocked! This is the situation that Arun – a Senior sales leader with a large MNC firm - was dealing with, as he spent many rounds negotiating with his client for recovering what he considers to be genuine costs incurred during a project. Arun had valid reasons for why the invoice needs to be paid but the client was not able to approve it. More arguments to persuade the client not only had no impact on the negotiations, but it also raised the overall temperature in the room!
What are the options for Arun? For starters, it will be valuable to have an alternative strategy in his back-pocket, should the main strategy fail. For instance, are there other ways to recover this cost (e.g. other services)? Why would the client not pay? Is it because she is not convinced or are there some internal challenges that prevent her from approving this cost? Is there an opportunity for repackaging the proposal?
As a best practice, it is handy to have at least one alternative strategy for our negotiations (the more the merrier of course). However, this comes from finding time to prepare & collaborating with the internal teams ahead of the meeting. Also, as the conversation progresses, through careful listening of client’s issues, negotiators often get vital signals for what that alternative strategy could be.