I was interested to read a recent article – Mini-Power Play – in this month’s issue of Canadian Business.
Having heard some of the horror stories from members of negotiating with the big guys, it’s good to know that “negotiating with giants doesn’t have to be one-sided.”
While the author, Andy Holloway, acknowledges that the small company will understandably feel intimidated when dealing with the larger company, he offers some sound advice to protect the industry titans from stealing your ideas and secrets during pre-contract talks.
Never reveal more than you’re comfortable losing, he recommends, illustrating this point with a story of a Canadian farmer selling flavoured sunflower seeds who politely refused to reveal the secret ingredients. This strategy let him hike up his prices because the retailer couldn’t source his product elsewhere.
The key is provide enough information to spark the “giant’s” interest, without giving them anything that could be used to undermine you. Instead, he recommends you build a business case and provide enough evidence to convince the company that your product is worth the investment.