We have all heard the term, anyone who has ever read anything about negotiation will have it burned into their brains, but what does it really mean in this age of digital collaboration?.

The rules have changed, the old days when you saw an opportunity as a potential benefit, without much consideration of the outcome for the other party are over. As a retailer once said to me in the middle of a very difficult negotiation, when I asked where was the win win in his proposal  “we will win today, and we will win again tomorrow”! Not a comment that could build any sort of sense that it was worth my being there.

Recently coaching a client going into a negotiation with a potential customer who had arrived via the website, and so had an idea of the value we could bring to him, we defined the  optimum outcome of the first face-to-face meeting not as a sale, but as the creation of trust as a precursor to building a relationship that may involve the specific product on the table at that time, but not necessarily. There were plenty of other opportunities we could see, and assumed there were many we could not. Our objective was to present ourselves as a potential long term partner who could bring far more than just a good product range, customer service, and competitive pricing to the table.

Worked a treat, and will prove to be a real winner all round!