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How negotiation can demotivate your team

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Negotiation can drain or charge your team batteries

Whenever you are sales or procurement manager, you have had to mobilize your people to negotiate with internal or external business partners. Many of your  people link negotiation with a stressful situation where obviously conflict of interest will rise. Those two facts: stress and conflict can paralyze people form performing. 

  • How can it impact department objectives, if you are responsible for procurement:

    • buyers may collect three offers and pick up the best one without even an attempt to negotiate conditions
    • people may hide behind screen and e-sourcing software what can demolish relationship with key suppliers, frustrate you stakeholders and open doors to backdoor selling techniques of your suppliers
    • tension and high expectations can demotivate buyers from being creative and seeking for new saving opportunities

  • How can it impact department objectives, if you are responsible for sales:

What else can demotivate your team?

Business environment is getting more and more complex, even beyond industrial sectors like aerospace, equipment & machinery, or automotive. The relationships with suppliers or customers are becoming very much multilayer, multichannel in terms of communication. Your people often have to prepare as a team to the negotiation and to perform team negotiation. It is imperative to make sure that negotiation skills among the team are pretty even. That help them to play as a team, setting up the roles and optimize the time.

Without good teamwork negotiation can look very chaotic and devastating to the morale:

  • negotiators may interrupt each other, what can make it difficult for the other party to understand your team offers
  • preparation to negotiation may take huge amount of time, what may be perceived by high performers as the waste of time
  • high potentials (starts) may want to compete internally, not understanding the great value of roles in the team which do not talk too much

Improve preparation skills to increase motivation to negotiate

The group of prepared amateurs will very likely beat an unprepared professional in the negotiation.

The first place to focus attention at is the way that people prepare themself to the negotiation as a team or as an individual. By human nature as we get more experienced and elder, we run more and more on "automatic pilot", repeating patterns known to our brain. For many buyers or sales it means NO preparation at all! They just go and do the show! using tricks and tips to get to get what they want. But is that truly the optimal result?

Make sure that at least the below steps are taken before your people go to negotiate important contracts:

History of collaboration is analyzed
Negotaiton parameters and objectives are defined
Strengths and weaknesses of both sides are identified to use in Justification-Offer-Silence model
Negotiators' profiles are prepared
BATNA is defined
Tradeoffs are named and weighted

Remember

95% of success is excellent preparation, 5% is the negotiation itself

A good, successful negotiator is a prepared negotiator. That has a great impact on motivation of your people to negotiate. Team preparation and team negotiation help to diffuse the knowledge, the skills but you need a framework to apply, which could be Eveneum Negotiation Compass® method.

  • Rafal Dados

    Rafał Dados

    16 years of experience in project sourcing and strategic procurement. Managing Partner at Eveneum, a company specialized in advisory and competencies development. Focused on sectors where relationship building and trust element between partners is the mission critical factor. Supports customers on early suppliers engagement processes and early procurement engagement into R+D work. He has been delivering projects related to: negotiations on behalf, niche technology suppliers scouting. Keynote speaker at Polish and international conferences. Lecturer at Jagiellonian University  (Procurement Management post graduate studies.

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