IACCM Contract Management Forum

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NetApp UK Ltd
2015-07-27 04:28:29

Collaborative Negotiating

We're hearing more and more that a collaborative approach to negotiations is a good way to manage the risk in contracts - but it's not always easy to create the buy-in of the other party to adopt a collaborative approach. I wonder if anyone can share their own experiences of trying to encourage collaborative negotiating? What has worked and what hasn't?
 •  World Commerce & Contracting  •   2015-07-29 00:25:34
It certainly is difficult for suppliers to drive this, much easier for buyers. A couple of thoughts:
1) it will be a struggle to achieve progress if being done in the context of a specific bid or transaction. You need to drive this conversation as part of a relationship strategy.
2) your success will be greater if you have a model agreement that makes the approach clear. Some IACCM members are working with us on contract design assessments which not only create more balanced terms, but also simplify language and design. This increases buyer appeal and reduces the 'threat' associated with change.
 •  TechnipFMC  •   2015-07-29 00:31:07
I've found a collaborative approach works best where the parties have established a relationship - built over time. This is particularly best suited when dealing with smaller groups or ideally a single key negotiator.

Most recently I was engaged with a single negotiator who had recently joined the buying organisation. I was able to help him build his credibility with simple things like ensuring our technical teams followed up immediately with phone calls, emails etc. This allowed him to develop a reputation as a 'go to' guy.

Further, albeit riskier, in a one on one phone call I outlined that if there was ever any issue that was critical to his organisation or him personally make it clear to me. I would do the same likewise - thereafter other non critical issues became easier to negotiate. This helped us open the right space for healthy dialogue where we were both able to explain the core reasons for needing x,y or z.
 •  Sysintellects LLC  •   2015-07-29 15:55:02
Hi Simon,

I am business relationship manager at Sysintellects. I understand that your business involves various vendors, suppliers & other third parties to call for a business. This product will help you to manage your contract with multiple vendors through a simple process & keeps a note about renewal or expiry of the contracts with your sellers or buyers. I assure that this would lower your risk or business & bring down your cost of operation. We offer this solution for simplifying your business. The business grows and this in turn calls for up gradation of technology for a change.

We believe that Contract Management Software should help businesses like yours to reduce operations risk and provide seamless and transparent collaborations with third parties and at the same time should make life of the Contract Managers easier.

It would be great to have a discussion with you demonstrating the product benefits and how it fits your business, let us know your availability for a discussion and demonstration of the product.

Email us : h.rashid@sysintellects.com | www.sysintellects.com|
 •  ABB  •   2015-07-30 11:33:01
From my point of view collaborative approach to negotiations should be the Approach. It should avoid conflict, future claims and litigation by defining a well balanced and fair contract.
But sometimes, when you are on supplier side, you will have to manage aggressive client who tries to achieve the best not balanced contract possible.
My question is: what can a supplier do when the client is aggressive and no room for collaboration?
 •  World Commerce & Contracting  •   2015-08-01 05:57:20
With regard to Christian's question (which reflects frequent reality), there are of course some well documented negotiating tactics to address this challenge. But if you face an unempowered negotiator who is simply seeking to enforce a standard template, rational discussion may prove to be ineffective. In those circumstances, your only real choice is to seek to escalate to higher levels. But to do this, you must have a solid business case as to why a different approach will benefit the customer; and you have to accept that escalation may be risky. It may create enemies and it may cause delays. Certainly your account team will often resist such a move and pressure you just to accept the client's terms. So you may even have an internal escalation on your hands!

Ultimately, your best hope of avoiding these situations is to be engaged early, ideally before the tender is released, so that you influence the customer terms before they become entrenched. Otherwise, at least seek to be involved much earlier in the sales process and ensure ts&cs are not left until late in the process. The earlier discussions begin, the more chance you can influence the outcome.
 •  NetApp  •   2015-08-11 02:57:23
Currently I'm reading a book, where the mantra of win-win is questioned and where the initial and provocative reaction to a requirement, were we usually react with the willingness to negotiate, is simply NO. The authors theory is to get away from the buyer/ bidder relationship and more to a how can WE TOGETHER find a way to do it and come to the collaborative approach you are talking about Simon.

The book is called " Start with NO" The Negotiating Tool The Pros Don#t Want You To Know. From Jim Camp.
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