Back to School: 5 More Ways to Up Your Negotiation Game

Fall is in the air and we’re going back to school for negotiations! Like all things, negotiating well takes practice. As we saw in our post a couple of weeks ago, it’s always easier to learn from experts who’ve mastered the craft. Ready for more tips to level-up your negotiation skills? 

Read on to find out how sourcing leaders at Adobe, MDC Partners, LendingTree, and more handle difficult conversations and how Scout can help drive transparent and fair negotiations.

Here are 5 more best practices you can put to use immediately in your next negotiation:

Make Time to Educate Yourself 

Take time to learn about your audience, your market, and your objectives. When you come to the table with a solid understanding of these three elements, you are in a much stronger position to negotiate the best possible outcome for your team and your business.

  1. Know your audience inside and out

It’s no secret that IT and Marketing departments have vastly different needs–so why use the same negotiation tactics for them? Antonio Humphreys, Senior Manager of Global Procure to Pay at Adobe, understands that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to negotiating. Procurement professionals must be fluid in their negotiations and adjust their strategies as required. 

2. Become a subject matter expert

Jason Cammorata, VP of Strategic Sourcing at MDC Partners, knows that one way to engender trust is to understand the business and the surrounding market inside and out. Always come to negotiations prepared and know exactly what impact your ask will have on the business.

Communication is key

This point may seem obvious, but it is no less important. Most negotiation experts agree that direct and honest communication, especially during tense situations, leads to better outcomes and stronger relationships.

  1. Don’t be shy and ask for what you want

Negotiations can get derailed all too often when one or more parties aren’t clear about their objectives.  Don’t be afraid of rejection. Michael Leiken at Lending Tree encourages procurement professionals to be candid about their wants and to ask their stakeholders/ suppliers to do the same.

2. Get aligned with your fellow negotiators

Once all parties are honest about their desired outcomes, it’s time to negotiate. Natasha Gurevich at Salesforce stresses the importance of direct communication when hashing out business outcomes with both your suppliers and stakeholders. 

3. Know when to push and know when to stop

Professional negotiators know to always ask for more during their negotiations, but Jason Cammorata of MDC Partners argues that it’s just as important to know when to back down. Negotiations are about establishing lasting partnerships, and by respecting the other party’s boundaries early on, you can leverage your relationship to do more for the business in the future.

Want to hear more tips and tricks from procurement experts?

If you’re still hungry for even more advice from procurement leaders, sign up for our upcoming webinar with the Gemological Institute of America on October 3rd. We’ll see you there!


Danyelle Guernsey | Tags: , , , ,

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