In the procurement profession, in the capitalist community where we conduct business every day, the general idea is to be continuously profitable. This mindset often leads to cut-throat deals, harsh contracts, and, potentially, taking advantage of others in business or our customers, which is the public’s view of corporate America.
Is this, however, the belief of many working in procurement negotiation?
On a recent episode of Negotiations Ninja podcast, I spoke with James Orsini. James has been CEO, COO, and CFO of many significant companies, and is currently president of The Sasha Group, a company under the prestigious VaynerX umbrella. James’s most significant piece of advice to offer those working as procurement professionals is, “Doing the right thing is always the right thing.”
In negotiation, when working with and for people, there is always room for a mutually beneficial outcome. There is no need to go zero-sum, according to James.
In the service sector, as a consultant, it’s always best practice to have your client’s best interest in mind. The goal is still to make a profit, but doing so by helping your client, is ideal.
Outside the service sector, you can apply this idea to negotiation by creating a win-win scenario. Make a profit but attempt to maintain the best interest of your counterpart in doing so. It might not always be possible, but remember, there are more ways to add value to someone’s interests than with money.
“I want people to feel good about paying me the bonus, not feel like I’m ripping them off because we’ve now met the hurdles. So, negotiation, where both sides can be winners, is what should be sought,” says James.
Adding value is where negotiation becomes an art. Be creative. Think outside the box. Find the solution that works for both parties. Make the profit you need but also help the person or company you are working with and don’t take advantage.
Upholding this mindset will help you build trust, which is the key to enduring business relationships and less work in maintaining them.