Negotiating Tip #56:
Disruption is the Norm, So Prepare For It
Back in 2007, Walmart changed its slogan from “Always low prices” to “Save Money. Live Better.” In 2017, it moved to retire its fabled price match program. Against rising competition from Amazon and eBay, Walmart realized it was no longer enough to refuse to be undersold—for a brick- and-mortar behemoth, it probably wasn’t even possible.
The company turned on a dime to enlist manufacturers for help in stocking higher-value products, the better to meet customer needs. To nourish those alliances, a somewhat kinder, gentler Walmart was forced to change the way they negotiated. (When you’re beating the stuffing out of your suppliers, they’re generally less inclined to collaborate.)
It is not just Walmart which has had to change its basic business model. In the modern economy, disruption is the rule, not the exception. Companies worry less these days about a known rival underpricing them and more about the next existential threat from out of nowhere. A Chinese firm may emerge with a similar product at half the price. A new technology may render your keystone product obsolete. Kodak never saw the smartphone coming.
The most successful businesses are constantly looking—not only behind them, at established competitors, but also ahead, to where the trailblazers are charging. Creative negotiators carve out uncontested market space with a blue ocean strategy. They leapfrog the competition with transformative deals.
Mobus Creative Negotiating teaches you how to use negotiations to stretch your mind, to see possibilities you did not know existed – both opportunities and threats. We provide lessons in how to build creativity into your negotiating strategy.