Negotiation as a trading process

11th October 2023 |   Warren G Langley

How to dodge three avoidable mistakes when closing a deal.

Negotiation as a
trading process

It is as if it were yesterday. I can still see their faces: stern, unbending, implacable. The setting was innocuous enough: a small meeting room in the hotel for which I was sales director. On one side of the table, I sat with the general manager, and on the other were two senior managers of a large computer company whose main European plant was situated 20 miles down the road.

“Free wine for the top table,” one of them said. “It’s not a lot to ask given the size of the conference.” And, in truth, he was right. It was for 50 delegates; five nights over a winter weekend, when otherwise the hotel would be empty; good spend over the bars from a team of salespeople intent on renewing old acquaintances and having a good time. This was an important piece of business for a city centre hotel that had difficulty filling its bedrooms over a weekend, so we were keen to win it.