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Every person has their price


I am not of course insinuating that a person is corrupt and that a brown envelope slipped across the table will persuade them to change their mind or perform a hitherto impossible task for me. Doubtless there are still far too many failed states across the globe where guessing the correct “price” of an official is a hybrid of a national sport and a dark art.

I do of course refer to negotiations.

What I mean is that somewhere there is a magic switch that you need to locate that will cause your counterparty to be more flexible. It need not be a financial consideration and the “price” is not necessarily measured in pounds, shillings and pence.

A poor negotiator displays the trait that it’s all about the money and they will boast about how they screwed a buyer or a seller down to the ground to walk away with deal of the century. Really?

Such people are deluding themselves having forgotten to consider how the other side feels about what they perceive as being bullied or cheated out of their fair share. Their price has been totally ignored by the “winner” so what do you think they will do to get even, to extract their “price”?






The list is virtually endless. You may quickly find out that you have shot yourself in the foot when a change is requested or an urgent order must be delivered by noon the following day. The supplier will finally manage to extract their hitherto missing “price” from you. They will very soon find out your “price” of not bending to their demands. They have you over a barrel.

Imagine that you had left something meaningful on the table for them at the outset. Perhaps not of great value to yourself but either worth something to them or at least a recognition that validates the other party’s concerns, at least on a human level. Your emergency order or design amendment would probably have been more forthcoming for less.

Instead you are stuffed because if you do not pay their new “price” ( literally ) you cannot fulfil an order to your own client and very quickly your business relationships start to fall like dominoes as word gets out that have let somebody down or are unable to show flexibility when it matters.

So next time you enter the room to negotiate remember that you are not the only one with skin in the game.



I’m Norman Younger BA(Hons) FCCA MCIArb and on this blog I’m going to share over 20 years of professional and business experience at the sharp end of small business in the UK, one of the world’s most enterprising nations. As a professionally qualified accountant I have experience advising start up micro enterprises and multi million pound turnover firms. During this time I have owned several business and gained valuable insight into all aspects of the day to day operations covering everything from staffing to marketing. I established and am currently a working trustee of a charity that helps people find sustainable employment and supports entrepreneurs in getting their feet on the business ladder and climbing higher.

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