The role of procurement manager is critical to the productivity and efficiency of a business. Overseeing the purchasing of equipment and resources requires strategic thinking, and strong negotiation skills to ensure that goods and services are of superior quality at an acceptable price, which can have a positive impact on the business’ bottom line.
Being able to negotiate successfully is a powerful skill, which should be carefully practised and perfected over time. An accomplished negotiator is aware of the planning and thinking ahead that goes into a transaction, and has excellent people skills. Seartec has put together a list of some tips and tactics that can help transform a nervous negotiator into one proficient at getting an excellent deal.
- Do the homework
Smart shopping is key to a successful negotiation. Be aware of what is happening in the market and do extensive cost and benefit comparisons. Take the time to do in-depth research – while certain suppliers may appear to offer a more cost-effective deal, there may be hidden costs. Alternatively, some suppliers may have attractive packages and add-ons which will save time and money in the long-term. Being prepared and understanding all the options available also ensures that you are in control of the negotiation and can distinguish between a good deal and a poor one. Finding a supplier, like Seartec, that offers a comprehensive solution could be a far more manageable and cost effective solution.
- Pay attention to context
Establishing rapport by making small talk or trying to put the other person at ease is an established negotiation tactic. However, each situation is different and it is advisable to consider the context of the negotiation. Using a generic approach can feel forced and end up making the other party feel awkward. Instead, look for ways to establish a genuine connection by picking up on shared interests or mutual associations, for example. It is also important not to be inappropriate or over familiar, although this may change with established relationships with long-term suppliers. Additionally, be open to the fact that some people may prefer to skip the small talk and get straight down to business, and respond accordingly.
- Stay confident and calm
There are many issues that can affect emotions during a negotiation – pressure to close a deal, frustration over an impasse, or even simple personality clashes. Showing negative emotion can threaten a negotiation, by shutting down discussions and limiting the ability to work towards a mutually satisfying agreement. Plus, expressing anger or annoyance can be embarrassing and unprofessional. Threats to walk out of a discussion or manipulation tactics can be tempting when a negotiation stalls, but ultimately, a relationship of mutual respect and courtesy can help to broker profitable long-term deals.
- Aim for clarity
Be clear about your needs and preferences from the beginning. Articulating exactly what you wish to gain from the negotiation allows the other party to prepare an appropriate response and cuts down on time-wasting. Once the negotiation is completed, clarify the terms in writing and do not rely on verbal agreements. This prevents future misunderstandings which can create unnecessary or inconvenient delays.
Feel free to contact us for more information