Bargaining, auction or long time partnership? Basically you can reduce all to this question when it is about to consider the value of your business relationship.

Bargaining or auctions to get the best possible prices are not necessarily negative negotiation tactics. But the way you do it may harm the business relationship. So instead of thinking of “if to do it” maybe re-think on “how to do it”.

In a long time partnership with a supplier, bargaining for the prices might not be the best approach as a true partnership will bring you on a long run more value added than one time extra margin or extra sale volume. What you may gain via an aggressive price or commercial terms improvement you may loose on the other essentials aspects of the business.

In order to avoid subjectivism, just put yourself the below questions:

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The way to make the preparation process easy, intuitive and less monotonous is to split it in 3 clear defined steps. After you do that a few times and you include this in your negotiation routine, it will take (in the often case of a supplier you already work with) an unimportant amount of your time, sometimes up to 20 minutes.

However, as a general rule, take enough time to plan. This may be the most productive part of your negotiation actually. There is no pressure. If you are not negotiating alone, but in a team, prepare/delegate/split the preparation work with your team. If there is a new supplier, then the amount of work involved is obviously bigger. In case of your usual partners, you already know the information, just put it in writing. Don’t hurry, think in deep. This gives you the warranty that you leave at the hand of probability only very few variables.

When you have a new vendor in sight, the number of variables being much higher, documentation work takes a bit more time (also, the strategy and tactics adopted for the first meeting are specific).

Back to our 3 steps:

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