Sandler’s Negotiation Matrix is a simple, powerful tool you can use to prepare for and respond effectively to requests for concessions from the other side.
The idea here is to work out, ahead of time and in writing, a private memo to yourself that reminds you of the list of concessions you are willing to give and what the parallel concessions from the other side might look like. Filling in the blanks on the Negotiation Matrix before you engage in any “horse trading” will solidify in your mind the concessions that you are prepared to make in order to move discussions forward. It will also help you establish the comparable dollar values of your concessions so you can discuss them with the other side when the opportunity arises to do so.
Just as important, the Negotiation Matrix helps you clarify, and rank in importance, the concessions you want from the other side, and their approximate value. Of course, you should not grant concessions from your side without a parallel concession offer from your negotiating counterpart.
Notice that, in the sample Negotiation Matrix that appears below, the option of discounting the base quoted price is not listed as one of the five possible options on the left. This is because your goal is always to change the product and service mix instead of discounting the quoted price.
NEGOTIATING MATRIX (sample)
For negotiating with: ABC Inc.
The Sandler Negotiation Matrix solves one of the biggest problems we see among sales teams who don’t yet have a negotiating process in place: a lack of preparation. Use this simple tool to prepare!
For more on developing a powerful, effective negotiation process for your sales team, see my book Negotiating from the Inside Out.