A storyboard depicting different types of negotiating power used during a negotiation.
Fabricorp opens by using their negotiator's personal power to augment their constructive and obstructive power. She wants to narrowly frame the negotiation as a compromise over raw numbers.
As the contract is up for renewal, we're proposing a modest, 8% increase in the rate. We can sign the paperwork now, leaving everything else exactly the same. Your day-to-day operations won't change at all.
NextWidget knows that they could be pressured into an unfavorable deal if they try to haggle about price. They switch the focus of the negotiation, relying on normative power.
Mega Manufacturing's rates are significantly lower than that though. We simply can't justify a large departure from the industry average.
Our margins are thin enough to begin with. You know we're good customers, maybe there is a something we can work out.
However, Fabricorp responds with their own normative argument.
Remember that shipment debacle last April? Fixing those sorts of problems is what you're buying with a very modest rate increase.
We both know only Fabricorp can give you the reliability and customer care that you enjoy right now.
I understand your situation, but we have the same pressures on our side. The increase isn't arbitrary, it reflects higher costs, some of which we have to pass along.
NextWidget demonstrates both their normative and walking power when mentioning Fabricorp's competitor. This effectively neutralizes most of Fabricorp's obstructive power, while acknowledging some remains.
Frankly, I don't like the idea of the paperwork that would involve, but they might be our best option.
Hear me out. I think I have a plan that can protect us both against rising costs, and an opportunity to increase profits in the long term.
In response, Fabricorp once again narrows the discussion to a single issue, but this time centered around constructive power.
That's true. I have another idea though...
NextWidget prepares to present a package deal that benefits both sides. This uses a different sort of personal power, a capability for creative collaboration, to augment constructive power.