Positioning yourself to win more business/contracts.
Negotiation skills training has been popular for years as part of the sales cycle, however more recently we are being asked to deliver negotiation skills to help procurement/sales teams to win more contracts and to negotiate better contracts.
Once such case was a building technology and controls solutions company. We worked with their Middle East team running an Advanced Negotiation Skills course in Dubai.
They had several senior staff who deal with multi-million contracts in construction, local government and even the royal family. Whilst the staff were great technically, they need help in the tendering and contract stages.
The clients they were dealing with were too focused on cost (a common problem). Our task was to help them focus on a strong list of variables they could introduce into the various stages to highlight the benefit of using their services.
Moving them away from price we asked them to focus on areas such as:
- Efficiency of product
- Material Quality/ Origin of Products
- Compliance to govt regulations
- Payment terms
- Extra value for the client
- Risk level
Another key area for successful procurement negotiations is the ability to interact with people at different levels and with a different knowledge level. Often an engineer will be meeting with a senior director with little knowledge of the engineering and a common mistake was focusing too much on the technical details. People skills are as vital as technical / product knowledge when negotiating – if not more so.
Looking at your potential competition and completing a SWOT analysis on them helps you be in a much stronger position to focus on your key variables when negotiating.
Another key tool is using a negotiation navigation map looking at what the negotiation is about, who is involved, you best- and worst-case scenario, positional aspects, values and scoring each area will really help you prepare for more successful negotiations.
Influence plays a key role and if you can use the 6 areas of influence along with key negotiation skills, it dramatically increases your chances of success.
We worked with the client to incorporate of all the above along with tailored case studies and skills practice sessions to ensure they could not only apply the new principles and ideas but could do so in their own job role/industry.