Like many people, I had too many sweets and treats over the holiday. It's a new year and I shouldn't even be thinking about cookies. However, I just finished making a batch of oatmeal chocolate cookies for a party tomorrow. Nothing like fresh cookies out of the oven!
Many times my children would want more than the two cookies I was offering. I would offer two , they would want three or four. After a few times back and forth, I would change my offer to ZERO cookies. Then all of a sudden they felt that two cookies was a great option!
In procurement, we are sometimes in situations where we want more cookies than are being offered. Or we want to include cold milk at the same time but that is not available at the price point we are interested in.
I found this blog interesting on the 4C's of Negotiation by Next Level Purchasing.
The article discusses four steps, and challenges you to consider whether you are skipping to the next one with a lesser offer too soon. In doing so, perhaps you are not getting the best deal you could.
Compelling: In my cookie example, my children could have just accepted the two cookies or pushed for the four. We did have several back and forth discussions before we moved onto a different offer.
Collaborating: Do you work with your suppliers to get to a creative alternative solution if they continue to insist on your the original offer? Maybe the cookie offer could have included fewer cookies but more milk or a later bedtime?
Compromising: Another option is to meet somewhere in the middle. I could allow 3 cookies instead of 2 and they would have to move from the request for 4 and settle for 3.
Caving: You can always accept their offer.
The caution in the article is to say don't jump from one stage to another too soon. Give each step fair due dilligence.
Have you had any situations where these steps have been beneficial to you? Do you utilize one of these more often than another? Did it help you with both the milk and the cookies? Did you get ice cream thrown in as well?
Share your thoughts by commenting below or tweeting us @buyersmeetpoint.