Mastering Negotiations: A CIO's Guide

By Ross MacDonald  |  Posted 03-01-2004

CIOs may be ace technologists and darn good numbers people too, but negotiating with vendors often isn't their kettle of fish. Vendors can be such tough and clever adversaries, what with their wily salesmen, well-practiced pitches, mind-numbing RFP responses and exhaustive contracts, that it's easy to become preoccupied and forget that you and your colleagues can be your own worst enemies.

How many times have you selected a product before negotiating? Or tried to negotiate prices without knowing all the implementation or long-term costs? Or fumed helplessly when a vendor got cozy with your boss? No wonder so many contract negotiations are just exercises in creative begging and exasperation.

This whiteboard, written by attorney David Weidenfeld (with illustrations by Ross Macdonald) will help you tilt the playing field to your side. Weidenfeld, a corporate attorney who specializes in negotiating technology contracts, has spent 19 years bargaining with IT vendors for his employer, McDonald's Corp.

When selecting a product or service, Weidenfeld says, the aim isn't to eliminate vendors but rather to keep multiple vendors competing for your signature, and then to effectively communicate acceptable offers to the ultimate decision makers on your side. Pull out the poster, apply Weidenfeld's techniques and never go begging again.

Click here for the Web Extra: "How to Create Useful Stoplight Charts"

Click here for the Web Extra: "Build Your Own Term Sheet"

To view Whiteboard, click here. To download a printable version of the Whiteboard,click here.