Negotiating is a lot like sex. Negotiations involve (at least) two people. The stated goal is for both parties to walk away happy...though it's not uncommon for only one to truly be satisfied. And while negotiating is something we all do at some point in our lives, few of us were ever properly trained. We may have one or two good moves, but that’s about it. We probably aren't as good at it as we think we are. Most importantly, if you ever find yourself about to negotiate with a real pro, it's time to walk away.
Part of my job as a procurement professional is to negotiate. The longer I work in the field, the more often I run into the skilled and seasoned few, and I realize I am no expert. But in this post, I will share some of the lessons I've learned. They may be of some use if you are negotiating a large dollar purchase, such as a car or ongoing services with a supplier; and the concepts can also apply to smaller negotiations as well, such as a phone bill or craigslist purchase.