And people think I am hard on them

My business owners tell me on a fairly regular basis, both in words and in their facial expressions, that they believe that I’m pretty tough on their vendors. Sticking to my position isn’t stubbornness – it comes from conviction. I believe that I am correct and I support my belief with factual statements, real-life examples (and analogies where necessary).

Maybe I need to show these folks what some other industries do with their suppliers. [Link courtesy of E-Sourcing Forum]

In the article, it’s suggested by one organization that

“Honesty, fairness and truthfulness …. can lead to you being punished during negotiation … This is where behaviour such as being inconsiderate, selfish and unfair can be required .. During the negotiation you take on a new persona, someone who wants to get the best deals possible, who will not back down, will be aggressive, selfish, even rejecting.”

But they go on to make a point that I’ve been singing about for the last several years regarding my fellow buyers:

“A lot of producers only have themselves to blame because they are prepared simply to kow-tow to the supermarkets. If more people stood up to them, they might think more carefully about how they treat people.”


One thought on “And people think I am hard on them

  1. Marcus Harris

    Jeff, I agree with you that sticking to your position and backing it up with real-life examples and factual statements is key to a successful negotiation.

    In my opinion, stubbornness, being inconsiderate, selfish and unfair are some of the fastest ways to blow a deal. While Vendors have a strong desire to make their numbers and close as many deals within a quarter as possible, they won’t move off certain sticking points (e.g., ownership of the software, IP issues, expanded LOL or IP indemnity obligations). The sticking points are unique to each vendor.

    By blindly seeking to shift all risk to a vendor, the vendor will most likely cut his losses and move on to the next deal. If this happens after your business people have discarded alternative vendors, you have a problem.

    A negotiation by experienced professionals is a collaborative process that seeks an end result that is reasonable for both sides. By trying to pull one over on the other side, you usually set yourself up for a bad relationship over the course of the term of the engagement or software license.


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