Negotiating Tip #54:
Negotiating in the Current Era
Through much of the twentieth century, the US economy was organized around standardized products for a generalized market- place. But no longer. To survive the global meatgrinder in the information economy, sellers have customized to the nth degree. Distinctive products and services build greater loyalty among end users— begetting tighter requirements on the buyer’s side, and a narrower supply base.
Deals are more complex and executed over longer periods. They’re more likely to include issues that can’t be fully factored into the initial terms. A negotiation over a design-build construction project or a byzantine outsourcing arrangement has more moving parts than an order for x grosses of felt tip pens.
It’s no longer enough to solicit three bids and pick the lowest price. Now purchasers are on the hook to develop strategic sourcing initiatives to boost quality and simultaneously drive down costs. New-era buyers begin by hunting for reliable suppliers with a track record of continuous improvement. Companies often enter negotiations flying blind.
The software that seemed ideal may in fact be suboptimal. An alternate version with extra features just might catapult your business to a whole new level—but only if you ask the right question. Deal making is no long linear. It’s less about setting rigid criteria and more about exploring the realm of unknown possibilities.
What we at Mobus Creative Negotiating can help you structure that exploration, thinking about what questions to ask and making deals with the flexibility needed today.