"Fair is when one side gets exactly what they want and the other side gets just enough to stop complaining." - John Dutton, Yellowstone
Although this is a great life lesson, it should never be your intent when you are negotiating. What ever happened to Covey's 7 Habits? If Covey had written that quote down as part of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he might never had written another book or impacted millions of people on the art of compromise. What did he do? He sought for a win-win, that's what he did.
Today we see this quote play out in our nation's capital and daily in the headlines about one group pitted against the other. People can agree with someone on 97% of the issues, but Heaven forbid that person steps out of line once. It is over in an instant. When did the world lose tolerance for differing opinions or goals? When did it not become okay?
What does this have to do with business?
You will never agree 100% with the person you are negotiating with. Ever. So how do you proceed if you can't get everything you want? What's as important, if you are already in business with this company, how do you service them tomorrow if the you are the sole winner in these negotiations.
Today we have a serious supply chain issue around the world. Commodities that have been readily available are no longer plentiful. Lead times are stretched due to logistics issues, but also because of manpower reductions. Suppliers have a serious amount of leverage for the first time in a long-time. What will you do with this leverage?
The first inclination from COO's and CEO's is to raise prices to the fullest extent. Take back some of the profits that have been ceded to the OEM's for quite some time now. Correct the previously uncorrectable, eliminate parts that no longer make money, fatten up the bottom line - you get the picture. That is the message being pushed out to the sales teams around the world. This is the same team management expects to be building long-term mutually beneficial relationships for the future.
Be careful in what you ask of the sales teams. You must have a plan, and clearly define what the priorities are. For some businesses it becomes a question of survival. If this is the case, are you clearly explaining that to your customers? Being transparent has major advantages in negotiations. I'm not an advocate of detailing 100% of everything, but being honest and open about where you stand is important.
For other businesses that are looking to improve their situation, or as Winston Churchill is quoted "never let a crisis go to waste". You can still take advantage of the situation, but do you want to use John Dutton or Stephen Covey's way of working.
I've kept the pocket 7 Habits in my wallet for decades now. You can still get what you want, if you help the other side get what they want. Prioritize your asks. What are your walk-aways? What are your throw-aways? Not only do you need to know that, but so does your sales team. They can't be expected to get 100% of everything you want, and they need to know exactly where your line in the sand is drawn.
As you can see by the Copywrite, I have had this in my wallet for over 20 years. Even though it's memorized, it is reviewed each and every time I know I am walking into a tough negotiation or discussion. Why do I look at it? Its #1 on the list, isn't it? Be Proactive. Start your research early, so you can answer objections or help define the parameters of the discussion.
You can read the rest and apply your own logic, stories, or behaviors to them. The only thing I recommend is that you keep all of these in mind when you ask your team, or you yourself has to go head-to-head with someone.
When I think of sales, I also think of leadership. As John Maxwell says, "Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less". Sales is the same. You can influence people quite a few ways, which will you choose? Maxwell has identified several ways you can influence, which will you choose? Which way do you like to be lead?
If you are looking at the top part of this list as your favorite methods, maybe you should rethink your methods.
Looking for ways to better influence your team? Kole Performance Group is here to help; train, mentor, advise, or develop you and your team. Contact us to see how you can best use the leverage you have.