Sneha is a sales leader with a large digital consulting firm. She recently had a contract renegotiation discussion with Amit, a procurement leader of a large FMCG company. Sneha was under pressure from her leadership to renegotiate rates and also expand the scope of work to be able to meet the company’s ambitious revenue goals for the upcoming year.
Sneha’s approach during the discussion with Amit was to talk about her company’s value adds, the work they have done despite constraints, the overall wage inflation in the market, etc. However, the conversation did not go as Sneha expected.
Amit came into the conversation with his own set of issues – resourcing concerns, remediation of projects in red, financial compensation for project delays, etc. As the two sides continued to press their case, the meeting grew increasingly intense but much less productive!
A successful negotiation often becomes impossible when the negotiators often fall into the trap of pressing their issues too much and not exploring the other party enough. If you are a seller, it becomes inevitable to be well versed with key negotiation skills and this includes understanding how the buyer works, what defines success for them, how that will be measured, and what makes them look good in their organisation. The same is clearly true the other way around. In other words, ‘changing the lenses’ we wear during the negotiations often, so that we see the issues from the other party’s perspective will be time very well spent.
Proper negotiation skills training will not only help you understand how important it is to ‘change the lenses’ but also how accurately you can envision things on the other end by doing so. It can help you master the art of empathizing with the needs, demands, requirements, etc of the other party, the strategic way. This is, in fact, mandatory in every level of negotiation training, beginning with salesmanship training to advanced negotiation training, training for key account management, or business strategy execution training.
To put it in a nutshell, it often accounts for the difference between a successful deal and a failed negotiation!