Negotiations 2 – Be Ready to Walk Away

When Negotiating a Big Deal – Be Ready to Walk Away

Here is a negotiations example highlighting the need to be ready to walk away.

Don, a lead sales rep brought Charlie, his VP of sales, to an important meeting with George, the head of procurement at Big Truck. George was a long-time veteran at the company. He had a gruff exterior, military-style haircut, and abrupt communication style.

Don prepared a summary proposal, featuring a strong value proposition, a proven project approach, and an effective phased implementation plan. The proposal was created jointly with Big Truck’s project team, and they had already achieved verbal agreement on all the main points.

After a very quick introduction, Don handed the proposal to George, expecting to walk through the proposal highlights and answer any questions. Don tried to summarize the outstanding benefits this project would deliver, but George would have none of it. To him, one supplier was the same as the next supplier – there was no difference between them in his mind. So George jumped right into attack mode. “What discount did you offer?”

Charlie chimed in and stated calmly, “We offered 25%, which is extremely generous.”

George’s reply was short and to the point: “Tell me about how we get to 50%.”

Charlie laughed and said, “George, that’s pretty funny. I have never authorized that level of discount since I have been with our company.”
George glared at Charlie but said nothing. Charlie was silent and stared right back. As if they were playing a high-stakes game of poker, neither person wanted to give away his hand.
This scene continued, with George making demands, Charlie didn’t take them seriously and demonstrated a lack of interest in directly addressing what George requested. Outwardly, it appeared that Charlie did not care. The tension in the room increased.

I’m DJ Sebastian… Stay tuned to the next briefing and find out how the Big Truck story ends.