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How much will this cost me?

Published: May 17 , 2018
Author: Ben Byth

It is not often that people recognise that questions such as ‘how much will this cost me’ are in fact an opportunity to negotiate. To my delight however, a client called me yesterday to tell me they did just that.

 

The client I had been working with is an engineering firm who specialise in automation within factories. They had been approached by a factory who they had never worked with before and were asked how much it would cost for an isolated upgrade of a machine.

 

Usually in this situation, most people might ask a few scoping questions and then provide a price. This engineering firm didn’t. They recognised that because the factory wanted this information, they might be able to get something in return for quoting. It was an opportunity to negotiate.

 

My client quickly went to his wish list and proposed, ‘if you tell me about future plans for scopes of work, I will quote on this isolated machine upgrade’. What he quickly learned was that this upgrade was going to be the first of many across multiple sites. 

 

Don’t be afraid to trade your concessions! If people ask you for something, they are likely to be prepared to trade something for it.

 

Walk in prepared with good questions to ask your counterparty and possible wish/concession list items to trade. It would have been very difficult to do, if my client hadn’t walked into this meeting already thinking that they wanted to identify the total possible scope of this new client.

 


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About the author:

Ben Byth
Ben’s background is in commercial business to business sales. Leveraging studies in organisational psychology, Ben’s previous role was responsible for growing Profiling Online’s bespoke leadership assessment business locally and abroad across industries such as Banking and Finance, Insurance, Travel, Engineering and Professional Services.

Read more about Ben Byth

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Negotiating Lessons from the Banking Royal Commission

The Australian Banking Royal Commission has been quite embarrassing with cover-ups, poor conduct and unethical treatment of customers. But it does bring to light key lessons for negotiators. These lessons are particularly true for those who are perceived to hold the balance of power. In other words, if you are negotiating with someone who is seen to have very little power - there is a high chance your actions will come under public scrutiny at some point. It is highly unlikely the banking industry will be the only one to come under scrutiny. All you need to do to come to this conclusion is read the paper to see similar accusations in industries like retail/grocery buying, leasing, franchising, etc.

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