Thursday 22 October 2015

When the buyer wants even more – an opportunity for a partnership re-cast?

As you know, with Walmart and most probably Asda wanting extra help from suppliers to cover rising, but surely not unanticipated business costs, it is possible but unwise to simply say 'No’.

Better to treat this as an opportunity to go back to fundamentals on each side of the table. This is a bit like when a buyer makes a new demand immediately following the conclusion of a deal, such as ‘…and you will deliver to each branch’, a very old trick – so old, we used to call it the ‘quivering quill’ or sign-off demand – that destabilises the balance of a fair-share deal just negotiated.

The key here is to assume exaggerated shock or anger – if you have not anticipated the move and are really shocked/angered, your negotiation technique may need more fundamental remedials – and even go so far as to act as if you are about to terminate the interview - such as screwing up the draft plan. Apologise for having assumed a deal had been reached, and take the discussion back to the buyer’s ideal world requirements of a partnership with you and your company.

These are obviously extremely high-stakes moves, so you will obviously have placed the entire relationship in context, calculated the cost and value of each element, and will be acutely conscious of the fact that losing the Asda business means a factory closes…

The benefits of pre-interview planning means you do not have to prepare and respond to these moves ‘on the go’.

The key is to prepare right things… 

Full analysis and action in October issue of NamNews

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