Negotiating in Life, Negotiating Tips December 23, 2009

Negotiating with Santa...

What to do when asked for more than you can handle...

Santa gets lots of requests: bikes, toys, cars, computers, you name it. Sometimes Santa gives you exactly what you ask for and sometimes, he doesn’t. The negotiation with Santa takes place before he brings your gifts: have you been naughty or nice? Santa goes all out for nice people, even throwing some extras, but if you’ve been naughty, well, there goes half your list.

As far as negotiations go, negotiating with Santa is straightforward. You only negotiate with Santa once a year. You come up with a written agendalisting your requests (or demands). Santa checks out your requests and then he checks out your background. If you are deemed to be “nice” he concedes on the items on your agenda. In return, Santa asks that you provide cookies and milk upon delivery.

If only all business negotiations were that simple!

If you are seller, unlike Santa, you are dealing with prices. You are not giving things away. And often, your customer asks you for a better price. Since you aren’t Santa, you can’t refuse to negotiate just because the customer hasn’t been that nice. But, sellers who are being asked to concede on price do have options.

There is a great article from the Tool Kit column in the New York Times: “Dealing with a Customer who Wants a Better Price” by Paul B. Brown. Brown gives advice to those who are being asked to lower their prices. He provides several pointers on how to best deal with this scenario:

  1. Negotiate on the whole package, not just one piece at a time
  2. Don’t lower you price, instead offer additional value (extra services, etc.)
  3. Don’t give a concession without asking for one in return
  4. Don’t let the other side’s problems become your own
  5. Maintain and flex your sense of humor

Since you aren’t Santa, you aren’t likely to get cookies and milk after your negotiation, but you may still be able to please the buyer while maintaining your bottom line.

Karrass wishes our readers successful negotiations and happy holidays and a very Merry Christmas!

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.

Deanna D.
CASE MANAGER at THE JACKSON LABORATORY

IF YOU HAVE THE TRAINING BUDGET AND TWO DAYS TO SPARE, YOU'LL STRUGGLE TO FIND A PROGRAM MORE FAR-REACHING, ON-POINT, AND INSTANTLY IMPLEMENTABLE.

Jeff G.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

EXCELLENT COURSE, BRINGS MORE CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE. I THINK THIS COURSE IS A MUST FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHO DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS.

John S.
CHIEF ENGINEERING MANAGER at EXXONMOBIL

THIS WAS VERY EFFECTIVE WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON BOTH-WIN NEGOTIATING.

Kathleen L.
SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

THE KARRASS CLASS WAS THE SINGLE BEST TRAINING CLASS/SEMINAR I HAVE EVER ATTENDED. EVERY TIME WE DID AN EXERCISE IT TAUGHT YOU WHAT TO DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME. THANKS.

Kim C.
PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

THIS PROGRAM HAS GREATLY INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR MYSELF AS WELL AS MY COMPANY.

LaDonna E.
SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

THE NEGOTIATING CLASS WAS VERY INFORMATIVE. THE INSTRUCTOR PROVIDED AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO EVERYDAY LIFE.

Mary S.
INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

WE NEGOTIATE EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY. THIS COURSE DEFINES THE PROCESS AND PROVIDES TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL RESULTS.

Phillip H.
VICE PRESIDENT at GE

PRIOR TO THIS CLASS I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS GETTING EATEN ALIVE BY INTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH SALES REPS. NOW I FEEL PREPARED TO CHALLENGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING AND BET TO THEIR REAL NEEDS.

Steve Q.
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..

Stuart B.
CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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