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Negotiation Preparation is THE Key to Success with Scott Chepow, Ep #196

Sales Reinvented

Release Date: 06/03/2020

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Negotiation preparation contributes to 90% of the success of a negotiation, according to Scott Chepow, today’s guest on the Sales Reinvented Podcast. The better prepared you are before the negotiation commences, the smoother the process will be, and the likelihood of a successful outcome is far higher. To hear more of Scott’s thoughts on negotiation, listen to the whole episode!

Scott Chepow is the Senior Vice President of Engagement Strategy for The Gap Partnership in North America. He works with some of the world’s largest organizations to help them create incremental value through negotiation. His 20+ years of experience in the industry is a welcome addition to this podcast. Don’t miss his take on the negotiation process!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:46] What is negotiation?
  • [1:35] Why is negotiation important in business?
  • [2:23] Why don’t salespeople like to negotiate
  • [3:30] Scott’s negotiation preparation process 
  • [5:20] The attributes that make a great sales negotiator
  • [6:23] Tools + tactics + strategies Scott implements
  • [9:07] Scott’s top 3 negotiation dos and don’ts
  • [11:46] 8 fundamental types of negotiations
  • [13:48] Scott’s favorite negotiation story

What IS Negotiation?

Negotiation in its simplest form can be described as a buyer wanting to buy and a seller wanting to sell. But Scott points out that it’s far more complex. According to him, negotiation “Orchestrates the creation of value for your organization beyond the sale of your products and services.” 

Every organization has its own priorities—such as capturing more pricing or increasing distribution—that goes beyond the role of price within a construct of a sale. Businesses work diligently to define their drivers and set their priorities. Scott emphasizes that “The ability to negotiate within those drivers to achieve those goals is paramount.”

Negotiation can be uncomfortable

Many salespeople dislike the negotiation process because it’s uncomfortable. So they seek to alleviate that discomfort by rushing through the process. But in reality, the best way to overcome that discomfort is to embrace it: get comfortable being uncomfortable. A negotiation will never go smoothly, so you need to understand the risks that may arise. 

You can mitigate or even prevent those risks with proper negotiation preparation. 90% of the process is strategic preparation for the negotiation. The other 10% is execution and how you behave in the room. To strategically prepare you must understand the people, the nature of the relationships, and the balance of power. Want to hear more? Keep listening!

Negotiation preparation allows you to adapt your skillset

Scott references 14 essential behaviors of a negotiator that you should master. One of them is learning to think clearly and manage discomfort. If you master those skills, you can adapt to any negotiation you walk into. But that takes preparation, research, practice, and learning to understand the variables at play.

What’s important to you? What’s important to your counterparty? What are their pressures and priorities? You have to plan which direction you’ll take when things go wrong. If you have an action plan in place when variables DO arise, you know what to do and are confident that you’re prepared to deal with any realities that arise. 

Model the appropriate behaviors during the negotiation process

As you’re engaging in negotiation preparation, you must understand what type of negotiation you’re walking into and subsequently exhibit the appropriate behaviors. Scott states there are 8 fundamental types of negotiation and uses a clock face to demonstrate: As you work your way from 12-6 on the clock face you’re either bartering, haggling/bidding, hard bargaining, or dealing. 

As you move further around the clock, the relationship deepens as you work through concession trading, finding a win-win, focusing on joint problem-solving, and building a relationship. Different factors dictate where you are on the clock face. 

The level of dependency between the parties, the length and strength of the relationship, the level of trust, and how many variables are at play all move you further around that clock. If you’re in the haggling/bidding phase your behavior tends to be more aggressive, cold-hard, and dismissive. Scott points out that this is likely to be a one-off transaction.

However, if you’re in the “win-win” phase you are looking to be cooperative, collaborative, honest, open, and flexible. This is when you want to deepen the relationship and find a profitable and sustainable deal for both parties. 

To hear more about this process, the importance of negotiation preparation, and Scott’s favorite negotiation story—listen to the whole episode now!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Scott Chepow

  • Connect on LinkedIn
  • Scott on Twitter
  • Call at 802.734.0717
  • Email Scott: scott.chepow(at)thegappartnership.com

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