Negotiating Tip #43:
When Everything is Up for Negotiation, Creativity is Particularly Important
Perhaps the single most important lesson we at Mobus Creative Negotiating teach is: many more things are open to negotiation than you think. Well, the Covid19 crisis has opened up more opportunities for negotiation than have ever existed for U.S. business. Given how life has been up-ended, every aspect of business life is now up for negotiation.
Items which used to be “must pays” – from taxes to utility bills, insurance premiums to mortgages – can now be discussed if not deferred. Unions and employee groups are agreeing to unparalleled flexibility. Companies that would never have considered applying for government soft loans, some with a large grant element, are eagerly doing so.
This is a time to be particularly creative. Think about the most basic issues, like: what are our company’s strengths and how can we use them in this new situation? Perhaps it is time to make an entirely new product, like breweries making hand sanitizer (both involve mixing alcohol-based solutions).
Maybe it is dramatically accelerating a long-planned shift, like making deliveries of groceries ordered on line. Maybe it is completely shifting how products are delivered, like toilet paper companies shipping direct from factory to retailer without going through any warehouses.
And it is no time to be shy. If your company needs something to survive, ask for it, no matter how unprecedented and outrageous the request may seem. The worst that can happen is you get told “no” – no one should be offended if you make such a request at this time where the world is turned upside down.