The British, and certainly the English, are not famed for their negotiation skills – which is probably reflected in the fact that so few people have attended negotiations skills training. But things are changing, the current climate has turned traditional meek English acceptance of commercial offers to derisory reactions and demands to ‘negotiate’.
This doesn’t come easily to many people, particularly those who are not at the forefront of commercial wheelings and dealings that traders, dealers, and those who relish the cut and thrust of deal making are on a daily basis.
It has always been the domain of company directors, buyers and sales specialists to ‘negotiate’ hard, but as organisations get slimmer and flatter, administrative staff and others in what have been traditionally viewed as ‘softer’ roles are tasked with buying products, services and contracts. And it is amongst those that there is a significant proportion who would squirm in their shoes and blush to the roots if they were asked to ‘negotiate’ better terms with a supplier.
The wife of a friend of mine told me how she walks out of shops when husband is about to ‘negotiate’- (beat down) the price of whatever he is about to buy. Yet she periodically is tasked with procuring services and making purchases in her job. I wonder, does her employer know what cost savings or deal enhancements are being missed because she shies away from taking a hard-nosed business approach to each deal?
And this comes down to an understanding and confidence to approach a potential supplier in a reasonable, rational and persuasive way that is encapsulated in ‘negotiating skills’ to achieve the best deal possible. And for those who are yet to appreciate that ‘negotiating’ is not simply about ‘aggressively beating the price down’ should take a look at the RightTrack negotiation style questionnaire. It may well set them on the path to discover negotiation skills training that will give them confidence and skills to seal hard bargains without so much of a second thought.