Travel Business CPR

Negotiation - Agreement

If you are negotiating a buyer/vendor agreement with a familiar partner, business can still be concluded with a handshake. Most likely, however, a contract or written agreement is the gold standard, because finances, deposits, guarantees, etc. are involved. The path to an agreement requires preparation, a top-notch presentation and discussion of the details.

The other side may request certain revisions and/or concessions. Evaluate the net effect of such changes: What real impact will they have? Are they asking too much? Is the request feasible? All too often we take a dissenting response in negotiations too personally. Depersonalize it. Look at the proposal in a purely objective manner and accept it, re-submit it, or refuse it. Consider your next step, and be prepared to proceed accordingly if you are unable to modify your stance.

The vendor may also totally refuse your proposal or requests. A good negotiating partner with an opposing view should simultaneously offer an alternative, but this does not always happen. Your next step should be somewhat strong, but well prepared. Ask why your request is being denied. If that answer is reasonable, sit down and discuss the process that led to the decision. Look for key elements that you can work with that might open doors to a positive conclusion.

If the response to your "why?" is close-ended, sometimes it is best not to waste any more time on further discussion. If other sources are available, move on. Be sure the other party is made aware that these actions will cause you to reassess your long-term relationship, but be professional and don't dwell on it.

If this happened to be the sole supplier of what you require (which is somewhat rare), and you can't do business on your terms, you may have to do business on their terms. This is usually workable, although not always desirable.

It is possible that the negative decision was made by someone higher in the organization than your negotiating partner. If it has been effective in the past to talk directly with the decision maker in this organization, suggest that diplomatically.

When negotiating for anything, whether you are looking for seats, fares, rooms or override, always remember to keep in mind the needs of the other party. This will show in your presentation and will be acknowledged and appreciated, thus producing a more desirable result. Develop a rapport with your negotiating partner, but never try to leverage a "favor owed."

Do not undersell the value of your service. Offering large scale rebates in preliminary and secondary negotiations can, in fact, reduce the credibility of your offering, raising questions in the prospect's mind about your ability to work on such a small margin. Carefully analyze your financial capabilities. Do not make unrealistic commitments. Negotiate in good faith. Keep mutual goals, mutual successes, and economics in mind both in your written and verbal negotiation presentations. Your ability to negotiate well and fairly should become as developed as the other principles of success that have enabled you to be where you are - and grow where you want to go.

Tharwat Abouraya, CTIE
President
Travel Business CPR - Bring Strategy to Life!
http://www.travelbusinesscpr.com

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