Negotiation Strategies July 6, 2012

Sellers: You Have More Power Than You Think

Competition is intense in most industries. Salespeople meet with rejection every day. They lose orders to others who bid less or offer more than they do. For those who sell in the face of intense competition, the question is, “What limits a buyer’s power to use the seller’s competitors?” The seller who understands the buyer’s limits will find they are in a better position to make more profitable agreements.

As a procurement executive with considerable experience in large companies, I can tell you first hand of a buyer’s limits in using competition, even when suppliers are fighting for the business. Here are 5 constraints that lessened our ability to make a better deal.

1) Some sellers fell by the wayside because my engineer or manufacturing head didn’t like them.

2) Some fell because I didn’t like them for failing to make a critical delivery in the past, making me and the company look bad.

3) Some were too small to deal with. Too much risk was involved. Maybe they couldn’t do the job.

4) Some were producing Cadillacs when all I needed was a Honda and

5) Some offered marvelous features which raised the price for those who needed them. I didn’t need them.

It is often said that the buyer is “king.” As you can see, there are many times when I, as a buyer, didn’t feel that way. Yet the sellers usually thought I was. They made concessions I never dreamed possible. Often, all I had to do was act like there was lots of competition. I told many sellers that all that mattered was price since all of them were offering essentially the same package of goods and services. It was never quite the case, but most chose to accept it anyway.

An understanding of the buyer’s limits in using all the competition that exists is important. For those who sell, I means that the salesperson who is more aware of the buyer’s limits will be in a stronger position than those they compete with. Because of this, they may not have to agree to a larger discount or feel coerced into offering costly added services at no additional charge.

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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