Using Your “Incumbency” to Create Positive Leverage in Negotiation

Some concepts are better expressed using an example. Our client was at a crucial juncture with their customer — a European bank. In just three months, the time frame was expiring on an agreement to provision identity access management. That project had been running for three years, and had progressed substantially as forecasted. So a renewal to continue with the work was being discussed, plus, our client wanted to extend the scope of services for 24/7 identity and access management, which they believed the customer could use.

This project was extremely complex, and it was incumbent on our client to express the value delivered to that point. This is extremely important: Nobody owes you recognition of your value. You have to make the case!

Being successful in this situation meant Read more

Fighting for Your Value: The Negotiation Wisdom of Bernard Hopkins

On the eve of his November meeting with feared Russian light heavyweight Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, the New York Times took a fascinating, in-depth look at the 49-year-old who was about to step in the ring against Kovalev: Philadelphia’s Bernard Hopkins.

It was a chance to learn about the hard-won wisdom and discipline that had made him not just an expert boxer who could seemingly defy time, but an expert businessman. Boxing is often called the “cruelest sport” for the punishment that boxers absorb in the ring. It’s also financially unforgiving. The destinies of top fighters are managed by a handful of powerful and (sometimes) corrupt promoters. Even seemingly handsome six-figure paydays get gobbled up by managers, trainers and promoters. Only a few rise to wealth and fame, and many of these stars still see their massive fortunes vanish. Read more

Defining Value in Negotiations: K&R’s ViO™

“We’re giving you $100K of value for only $60K. This is a good deal!” How often have you heard that sales pitch?

Of course, this has nothing to do with business value. Value is derived from outcomes, and a statement like the one above derives from price. Yet defining value is one of the most critical negotiation steps. The strength of your value argument is what ultimately decides your ability to establish a uniquely defensible position and command your own price. Our negotiator training stresses that without a compelling value argument, you’re vulnerable to continued discount requests from a potential customer and price cutting wars with your competitors.

As a basic exercise in defining sales value, use this simple equation as a test:

BENEFIT – COST = VALUE

If you fail to calculate the benefit, then the buyer will look exclusively at the cost. Read more

Negotiation in Sales: Presenting the Value Argument that Wins in Highly Competitive Conditions

With pressure to meet earnings and revenue targets, expand new markets and make the most of every resource, today’s global sales force is the difference between success and failure. Communication and online information are leveling the playing field, creating an extremely competitive environment and shrinking margins.

Even the best products are one development cycle away from being leapfrogged in the marketplace. Competing on price is the path to becoming commoditized and to being robbed of the ability to present a unique value proposition. Ultimately, it’s your sales people—and their skills and experience—that will help you differentiate yourself, your solutions or your company in a highly competitive selling environment. Read more

Value Articulation

At K&R, we urge our clients to utilize Six Principles of Negotiation™. One of the most important principles is: “Concessions Easily Given Appear of Little Value.”™ This is why we constantly advocate making principled concessions and this is also why we recommend that, prior to the start of the negotiation, you plan for future potential concessions. So how exactly is value expressed to the other party in a negotiation? Here are five important ways of expressing value:

Money. Very little explanation is necessary when the value is expressed as currency. For example, a statement such as “You will receive $2,500” is a simple money-based value statement. Money is a universally accepted denominator so its value is instantly understood by both parties to the negotiation. Read more