Negotiation for Procurement Professionals
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Negotiation for Procurement Professionals

A Proven Approach that Puts the Buyer in Control

Jonathan O'Brien

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eBook - ePub

Negotiation for Procurement Professionals

A Proven Approach that Puts the Buyer in Control

Jonathan O'Brien

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About This Book

Highly effective negotiation skills are an essential element of a purchasing professional's toolkit. Negotiation for Procurement Professionals provides a step-by-step approach to delivering winning negotiations and getting game changing results. It provides purchasers with the necessary tools and tactics for a detailed, planned approach to negotiation.

Jonathan O'Brien shifts the emphasis away from relying mostly upon personality to a more structured approach that enables anyone to negotiate effectively, even when up against a formidable opponent. This approach allows the purchasing professional or the buying team to evaluate the supplier in advance, assess the sales team, and tailor their negotiation strategy depending on cultural differences, personality traits and game theory. Negotiation for Procurement Professionals provides a strong framework for discussion in advance of the meeting, allowing the negotiator to plan their agenda, objectives and tactics. Based upon Red Sheet Methodology, the book is a proven and collaborative technique used by many companies globally. If you are in a buying role, this book will increase your confidence and transform your ability to secure winning outcomes and better business results. Negotiation for Procurement Professionals is the perfect companion to Jonathan O'Brien's other books Category Management in Purchasing and Supplier Relationship Management. Used together, they provide a complete and powerful strategic purchasing toolkit.

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Winning event tactics and techniques

Negotiation is about process, personality and repertoire and this chapter explores what repertoire is, why it is important and how to develop and deploy a strong repertoire of winning tactics and techniques for any negotiation and any stage of a negotiation.

Build your repertoire

A repertoire is a stock of items that a performer knows or is prepared to perform; it is a supply of skills or behaviours that a person habitually uses.
The UK comedian and game show host Bob Monkhouse famously had a joke for every situation. When he died in 2003, at the end of more than four decades of appearing on British TV, he had come to be regarded as a comedy legend. However, those who knew him tell of a man who felt he lacked the same natural comedic ability as other comedians of the time. Bob Monkhouse gained his advantage by developing a huge repertoire of jokes and comedic ideas that he catalogued and indexed in a series of hard-backed volumes. The compilation came to represent a life’s work and accompanied him everywhere he went, constantly being added to, learnt and re-learnt. The result on stage or in front of the camera was the ability to recall and deliver a joke about any topic on demand. When the books were stolen in 1995 the loss was so great that Mr Monkhouse immediately offered a £10,000 reward. They were returned safely 18 months later.
Repertoires become pivotal tools that enable performers to do what they do with confidence, as they know they have something to call on to get them out of any situation. Committing things to writing is a great discipline because it helps deepen our repertoire and provides something we can revise to aid recall. However, it is the repertoire we carry in our minds that is important and any written document can only ever be an ‘aide-memoire’ to help learn and remember. It would be somewhat unusual during a negotiation to ask for a moment to consult a notebook for a suitable tactic to use. Developing a negotiation repertoire is therefore about building a mental library of tactics, techniques, behaviours, styles, gestures, learnings, powerful phrases, things to say and things to do. All these things should be selected according to what works and also determined by experience, observation or research, and stored in a way so as to enable future recall. Keeping a notebook or electronic file can help; however, some of the best negotiators would say they have never done this, but rather will describe ways they simply remember the various approaches they use or put it all down to ‘experience’.
Our personal repertoire defines our negotiation style but there is no magic reference book for such a thing; instead repertoire building is a personal journey. Cohen (1997) describes negotiation style as a ‘family of possibilities rather than a rigid and invariant pre-selection’, suggesting that repertoire is more than a mental library – it is also about learning what to use when and so making us more effective in different situations. Therefore as a repertoire develops so too does negotiation capability. Within this book a range of tactics and techniques are provided; these are in no way definitive but rather a launching-off point for personal repertoire development. The rest is down to you.

Choosing the right tactic or technique

Neither this, nor any other book, can truly do justice to what exactly we should do in the eye of the storm, in the midst of a tough negotiation. As a negotiation plays out, each party will deploy tactics and techniques among the exchanges and interactions designed to win or realize desired outcomes. Familiarization with the use of common tactics and the ability to spot and counter these when used by the other party is essential.
This chapter provides the 50 individual tactics (including 15 countermeasure tactics). A range of winning techniques is also included in this and other chapters. Together, the tactics and techniques provide everything a negotiator could ever need. However, bear in mind that it is not about how many tactics can be squeezed in, it is about deploying the right tactic at the right time.

50 winning tactics

I will cover each of the 50 tactics over the following sections. They are organized according to the four phases of negotiation (Figure 11.1).
Figure 11.1 Complete list of negotiation tactics and countermeasures

Opening tactics

In the last chapter we explored the opening statement to kick things off and after that the negotiation begins; but how, with what? If you go to an auction then things start once the auctioneer invites people to agree to an opening bid level. In a negotiation however there may be a reluctance to make the first move. If they lead then we can follow. If we need to lead then the starting point is always our negotiation 3P agenda based upon the concession strategy and therefore should reflect how we want to approach the discussions, eg small things first or go straight for the big thing and so on. There are some specific opening tactics that can help when used in conjunction with the concession strategy and these are...

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