Do you stay or walk away?

One of the basic rules of negotiation is to be very clear about what your ‘walk away’ position is. It is rare indeed that you enter a negotiation knowing that there is no alternative but to get the deal done right now at any cost. There is always some flexibility on both sides. And as an IT buyer, you need to be very clear about your alternatives which often include competitor offerings as well as a ‘do nothing’ scenario. Sometimes, when an IT supplier is playing hardball and is not offering a clearly competitive price or demonstrable value for money, then as a buyer you need to have agreed with your IT stakeholders where you draw the line between doing a deal at a reasonable price or walking away if the suppier doesn’t step up to the mark. Some IT negotiators feign ‘walk aways’ to test a suppliers resolve. But canny suppliers have seen this tactic so often and if they’ve done their homework they will know that it is purely a procurement play and not a real issue. Sometimes you do actually need to walk away and stay away. It sends a strong message that you won’t accept unreasonable deals. So always prepare, plan and define your walk away point before engaging with your chosen supplier.

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