Now and then, when I see a business deal in progress, I get an impression very early on, that one side is doing all the work, while the other side is just waiting for more.
It is so obvious some times when one side is to eager to get a deal, that they are throwing everything they got on the issues at hand, in hope that it will make the deal happen.
In other cases you can see a reluctance to move or budge from either side, where both sides are waiting for the other side to make a first move.
Sometimes, you can also see cases where both sides are so close to a deal, and then suddenly everything derails for some minor issues, that really are not important for the outcome.
One thing we try to show people, is to see and understand where you are in accordance to your plan, and how far away or close you are to your predetermined goals.
Another thing we focus on is to make you understand and recognize value instead of price, for yourself and for your clients, and what the actual cost is for doing a deal or not.
The scariest business deals I have seen are the ones where you see them improvising their way forward, without actually having any form of structure or control.
Prestige and being aggressive towards your opponent are the most common issues why people don’t close a deal, competitive attitude and price focus are the other two.
A question you as a manager can ask over and over again to any business in progress is “how far away are we from making a deal?
Another question to ask is; What do we need to do to close the gap and what can our client do for us to close the gap?
If you focus more on what is needed to finalize your deal rather than just asking for a low price or slowly surrendering to a lower price, then you are on the right track.
Many companies are struggling every time they are trying to close a deal and are not qualifying their proposals by asking the proper questions to address the issues.
In many cases the gap, between two businesses trying to make a deal, is not identified by either party, nor are they asking themselves what is needed to close the gap between them.
If you are spending more than 70% of your time arguing about price, then you have some major issues that you need to address in your business model.
Most companies are mostly focusing on price or at least mostly price and then other issues, if you really want to understand your needs and restrains you need to do a proper survey.
You can even compare your company to other companies within your field of expertise and industry, you also need to be aware that your business model has to be looked over again.
The best outcome you can get is by training your managers and your employees to collaborate within your company towards your common goals.
Expecting that one person should be able to settle complex solutions alone while they are doing business with multiple partners and clients is in many cases a bit naïve if you ask me.
Especially if they are alone in meeting a opponent that is just waiting for you to give in on price or worse expecting you to just comply to some rigged RFP.
Once you realize how much more you can improve your scope and profits, by building a business model focusing on more values than just price, the sooner the better.
I know it can be difficult for some companies to hear that they are not up to their tasks and they need to train or retrain new and bad behaviors to become more competitive.
If you don’t want to prove me right, you can always try someone else, but what’s the point of paying twice for something we can do for you correct the first time?
If you feel there is a gap between us and I am the one to close it, let’s meet and see what we can do to make it work, I am sure I can find value enough to make it worthwhile for you.
After all, closing the gap is what it is all about, isn’t it?
Christopher Bell Blomquist.
Lead Negotiator Consultant