Successful negotiation of a new buyer/vendor relationship requires thorough preparation and an excellent presentation. Before you can present, you must be certain you have your negotiating partner’s undivided attention. Offering coffee or soft drinks sets a relaxed and attentive stage; negotiating over lunch can be destructive and counterproductive – however much we might like the idea of the three-martini lunch.
During the presentation itself, avoid unrelated conversation. Organize your presentation in eight steps:
1). What you are offering?
2). What do you need from your partner?
3). Why is this mutually beneficial?
4). What benefits are they receiving other than what may be obvious?
5). What would you like in return?
6). Why is this arrangement in their best interests, short and long term?
7). What facts or assumptions support your proposal?
8). What statement can you make that reinforces your past, present, and continuing relationship or suggests how a positive beginning will create the foundation for an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship?
• Maximum eight pages
• Each page with no more than four bullets
• Each bullet includes eight words
• Include a graph or photo page
• Don’t read from your slides but use it as a guideline for your discussion
Here are a few other important factors to keep in mind while making your presentation.
A) Are your tone and posture appropriate?
B) Are your expectations realistic?
C) Is there another supplier that could be your competition, and are they aware of this?
D) How assertive do you need to be at this stage? (Recall past situations if there have been any.)
While you are presenting, make some careful observations:
A) Are your negotiating partners attentive?
B) What can you tell from their expressions and body language?
C) Are notes being taken? On what points?
D) Have you captured their interest?
E) Do they appear excited about the offer?
F) What verbal responses are you receiving?
You may not receive, nor should you expect, a final decision on the first presentation. There are factors which they may need to research such as those magic words again: availability, revenue yield, yield management, room allocations, deposit requirements, and perhaps, competitive proposals.
If a decision is not being rendered, you should make the move to schedule a follow-up visit or conversation at a specific time and date. Maintaining some control over the closing is as important as setting the proper mood and posture at the opening.