4 Quick Suggestions For Sales & Procurement Specialists

Post-Holiday Negotiation Tips

Vacation season’s over and before we have time to console our post-holiday blues we have to return to our daily work routines.

Though we may be in positive spirits, our southern hemispheric partners have been waiting for us like sharks at dawn; when you’re working sales & procurement, business doesn’t stop.

It’s a critical time, and the only negotiating you have been doing is choosing which hotel to stay in or what restaurant to dine in. You’ve delayed the re-negotiation of your supplier’s contract for far too long. To help ease you back in to you A-Game, here are some pieces of advice to safeguard your transition from holiday mode to work-mode.

1. Play the numbers game

Going into a meeting or negotiation without your winning and losing numbers or stats can show weakness. You want to curate the data that will win arguments, emphasising the value you’re delivering.

2. Know who you are dealing with

Is the background of your counterpart largely based in Sales or Procurement? One of the key differences Thierry Blomet, Senior VP in Global Sourcing and Procurement from Kemira, outlines is that ‘Sales professionals tend to think first about the opportunity, whereas in Procurement, they tend to look first at the risks’ so frame your message accordingly.

‘Sales professionals tend to think first about the opportunity, whereas in Procurement, they tend to look first at the risks’

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3. Accept objections and find an opportunity to counteroffer effectively

In cases where your counterpart disagrees with several offerings, park them, and try to revisit them at a later stage. As the discussion goes on, you might be able to restructure the argument using other leverage points and succeed in ultimately finding a mutually agreeable solution.

4. Find common ground early in proceedings

Break the ice before discussions, whether by email, by phone or in person, actively revisiting or recalling the key events the other party had from before you left to go on holidays can set the tone for the upcoming meeting or negotiation

These four tips will help you bide your time in your quick transition and put you back in your comfort zone.



Giuseppe Conti is the founder of CABL (www.cabl.ch), a firm that offers a range of customized training in the field of negotiation and influencing.

Since 2005, he is an award-winning Professor and Lecturer at leading business schools throughout Europe (Cambridge, EPFL, ESADE, HEC Lausanne, HEC Paris, IESE, IMD, Imperial College, INSEAD, London Business School, Oxford, RSM, SDA Bocconi, UBIS, University of Geneva and University of St Gallen), recognized for his lively and interactive training workshops.

He runs negotiation workshops in four continents. Corporate leaders from multinational corporations and individuals from over 90 different countries have attended his workshops.