Business Negotiation December 6, 2013

Guiding Standards, Rules and Regulations

Few things in negotiation carry as much weight as well-thought-out standards and norms. Negotiators who can back their position with objective standards take the high ground in a negotiation.

Cost standards lend legitimacy to the buyer who says to the seller, “We’ve got to buy it within my standard cost guidelines. This is all management has allocated for this part.” If the buyer shows the computer printout for standard costs to the salesperson, the bogey becomes doubly credible.

From the seller’s standpoint, standards can guide the buyer to a “yes” decision. The salesperson armed with standard price lists, standard terms and conditions, standard warranties and standard discounts holds the high ground. In a strange way, the seller’s standards make it easier for the buyer’s organization to accept the proposal offer.

Before going into your next negotiation, ask yourself whether there are any standards or norms that will help your viewpoint prevail. There probably are.

Another type of supporting backup for your position is guiding rules, regulations and laws. At one time or another, most of us have been kept from doing what we felt to be reasonable because some company policy or computer program prohibited us from deviating from its constraints. For example, there were many occasions when I, as a seller, had to provide the buyer with cost breakdowns I didn’t want to give. This cost information was submitted because government procurement regulations said I had to. If they represent your viewpoint, rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and laws make it easier for your position to prevail, but they can be a real problem if they work in favor of the other side.

From now on, put the power of legitimacy on your side. Before going into a negotiation, search for the high ground in your own company policies and procedures. Even better, see if there are government regulations, rules or statutes that support your position. These guides to action make it easier for the other party to say “yes.”

THE PROGRAM WAS GREAT! MY SEMINAR LEADER AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE KEPT ME CONSTANTLY STIMULATED. I NOW AM BETTER PREPARED TO GO INTO AN IMPORTANT NEGOTIATION MEETING AND STAY IN CONTROL, WHILE FINISHING THE MEETING SATISFIED.

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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

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SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

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PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

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SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

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INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

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VICE PRESIDENT at GE

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PLANNER at HONEYWELL

MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO NEGOTIATE A WIN/WIN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES. THIS CLASS IS AN EYE OPENER TO THIS DYNAMIC..

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CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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