Preparation & Trust - Advancing Strategic Partnerships
Dealing with the Emotional Negotiator
Building Trust and Preparation aren’t rocket science but they are hard work. They’ve been the foundation of great partnerships forever but far too often not enough emphasis is placed on either.
You can’t always control how others come to the table but you can control the following:
- Always seek to be the person that people want to work with by spending the necessary time to build greater trust
- Always protect time and put in the necessary time to fully prepare
Retailers & Suppliers: A Time for Cooperative Engagement
We understood they had a strong need to grow sales in a flat market and we had a strong need to lower costs to help drive those sales. We explained how a new program would almost triple sales over the next two years and we wanted them to be part of that program. We even offered to commit to a three-year deal – if we could get the needed reduction in cost to make it work.
In response to our request, the supplier became very emotional, lashing out at us for requesting the cost decrease and questioning the value of our partnership. He became very heated and used some unfortunate words. We understood that if we responded in the wrong way, it could either lower the value of the deal or kill it completely.
Engaging Vendor & Supplier Partners: Key Negotiation Principles
Market forces, including ecommerce and private label growth, store consolidation and an overall slowing of sales, are putting significant pressure on Retailers to continually cut prices to remain viable. They are in turn demanding their suppliers fund these cuts, take on new expenses and keep them margin whole. Naturally, this is causing significant tension in relationships. However, instead of working together to ease tensions, address market forces and bring stability to the downward spiral of price-cutting, they are engaging each other as adversaries, using competitive tactics and power plays to beat the other. Eventually both will lose.
In Negotiations, Information is Power
To create more value, drive savings and gain additional investments from your vendor or supplier partners, use collaborative negotiation principles as you engage. Here are several we recently employed with a Fortune 500 retailer with a new growth strategy that was seeking to lower costs, drive innovation and attract marketing investments from its vendors.
Coalition of Uncommon Allies can unite to solve Pressing Societal Issues
My negotiations students often hear me say “information is power”. The more information you have, the more likely you will get the outcome you desire. This is why successful negotiators spend so much time preparing for and asking questions in negotiations. There are three categories of information that are crucial.
Building Successful Coalitions for Greater Social Impact
Without vibrant, living oceans, we are not likely to survive. Even though oceans cover 71% of the planet, provide over 50% of our oxygen, heat the planet to sustain life and moderate our weather from extremes, their wellbeing gets relatively little attention. We are letting our oceans die – quickly – and we’re not even putting up our best fight.
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety was formed in July 2013 to raise safety levels in the ready-made garment industry. In that time it has inspected over 600 factories and trained over a million workers with measurable outcomes. It closed unsafe factories and is leading remediation of many more. It is collaborating with partners to increase government capacity and has provided access to tested and approved safety equipment, while lowering costs to owners. This success can be attributed to forming the Alliance under several key principles for success that should be applied to any initiative designed for collective impact.