Editor’s Note: This is the Third in a six part series on how to succeed in the purchasing profession. Part One explores the overall view. Part Two explains the legal requirements. Part Three (link) focuses on negotiation, communication, and interpersonal skills. Part Four plumbs the general business knowledge needed to excel, lead, and advance into executive management. Part Five (link) and Part Six (link)
The single most important skill in business, let alone purchasing and sales, is negotiation. In over two decades of training involving many thousands of supply chain pros, it is far and away the greatest skill demanded. In late late 1990s, I undertook authoring the first book on negotiation ever written by a purchasing pro. It took another five years to get it to print. Until that time, every other negotiation book had been written by lawyers, sales pros, or academics – little of which was of applicable value to the practicing procurement professional.You’re the Buyer – You Negotiate first published in 2004 was the first to address negotiation from the buyer’s perspective. Ironically, sellers who are interested in learning about buyer behavior, constitute a great part of the readership. In more recent years, the online version has become a far greater seller. the online alternative affords the work-a-day purchasing pros the convenience of their own schedule and a more economical choice compared to live instructor led seminars.Communication is the stage upon which the negotiation drama is played out so mastery of communication skills is a co-requisite of negotiation skills excellence. Study by online courses or live seminars is mandatory.
Your supporting cast of skills must include personal integrity, basic morality, sound character, and basic interpersonal communication and behavior abilities. Your suppliers will contribute in greater measure to mutual negotiation success is they find you trustworthy and reliable. Honesty is a big part of trust so purge any temptation to deceive. In the long run, it is the surest path to failure.
Helpful blog posts on negotiation:
There is so much to say about negotiation skills. Due to its importance, negotiation is the leading topic on my blog. Here are some but feel free to search on many topics – you are bound to find it addressed here!