Small Business Trends Radio

Big Boy Negotiation Tips For Little Players

David Wanetick on How Small Companies Can Negotiate with Big Players

There are literally dozens of traps associated with small business owners entering into negotiations with “big players.” But let’s face it, these days there are many small business owners and entrepreneurs being approached by large companies. So how can you know when to decline entering into negotiations? How can you defeat the common negotiating strategies used by big players to win concessions from small business owners?

David Wanetick, Managing Director of IncreMental Advantage, is our featured guest in this Episode of The Small Business Trends Radio. David will share tips and tactics to defeat the strategies used by the “big boys” against small companies to seduce them and he will explain how to successfully enter into negotiations with them.

Here’s a sampling from the show:

  • Common negotiating tactics — such as good cop, bad cop, limited authority and exploding offers will be used. One representative is agreeable while another is aggressive, the representative claims to not have the authority to make final decisions or the company begins to force tight deadline decisions to be made which is a sign of a large company in need – and also in a weak position.
  • Three reasons why entrepreneurs — do not make good negotiators are 1.) they are emotionally attached to their business and easily seduced 2.) they are not available to enter into lengthy negotiations that will monopolize all of their time 3.) they have full authority and do not have the benefit of input or foresight from others. Many are also likely to entertain each and every approach by a large company while sharing confidential, valuable information which can be damaging. You must safeguard your proprietary information against competitors and big boy “fishing expeditions” for information.
  • Seemingly off-hand remarks — during breaks can undermine your negotiating position or nix a deal. Such as stating that you were not able to bring necessary documentation because there was a recent incident with a roof leak.
  • Put your first offer — out on the table so as to maximize getting the price you want by making the initial opening offer and using the psychological tactic of “anchoring.” The higher the number initially spoken, the closer to it the closing price will be.

Think you’re ready to run with the “big dogs?” Ever heard of the Pygmalion effect? You can use it. Learn how by listening to David’s full interview by clicking the red and yellow player below.

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4 Responses to “Big Boy Negotiation Tips For Little Players”

  1. Paula Says:

    Interesting point to watch how much info you give out during negotiations. It’s not hard to believe that a big company would just be fishing for info on your business and are not really interested at all. I like David’s tips for dealing with these issues.

  2. Chris Says:

    This was quite an interesting show. Mainly because it really sheds light on just how far the big boys are willing to go and the tactics that they use to win. As he was explaining each tactic and working down through them, I could just see it all playing out in front of my face in a conference room. A very intimidating situation for an entrepreneur to go up against. Shows like this and the tips offered within it are of much use to business owners, especially now with many entrepreneurs being approached by large companies for their innovative ideas. This kinda stuff is good to know . . .

  3. marc richet Says:

    I am negotiating a contract with a huge company many times my size.
    I sell a product. They searched me out to sell that product for them.
    I offered terms and a secondary source of funds. They responded that they
    were more inclined to “partner” with me because they were going to use some
    of their customers and therefore avoid or reduce my risk of succeeding plus they wanted a larger secondary source of revenue. There is limited additional
    revenue that can become available under certain conditions.

    There is an approaching event on their side that would make the difference
    between hitting the road running versus a complete uphill start.

    The dilemma is that between their various personal delays and the sluggishness of a huge corporation to make decisions, the definition of ‘partnering’ is still an unknown concept. The implications of the definition is all important.

    I do not see any way of advancing these negotiations nor can I do anything about their asking for more than I afford to give except draw a line in the sand. They are aware that some risk remains with me. I am looking for something to do or say besides walking away if they ask for too much and refuse to accept less.

    Please send your responses to me at
    marc3marc3marc3@yahoo.com

  4. Martin Lindeskog Says:

    Marc Richet,

    I am an experienced purchaser and interested in supply chain management. Please contact me and we could discuss your negotiation.

    I will listen to show.

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