Forget Your Negotiation Books
Don’t rely on the advice of the negotiation books. If you are negotiating for the release of hostages, then a quick resolution of conflict is important. But more important for soft drink negotiation is making sure that your supplier is not comfortable with the status quo.
For soft drink negotiations, the “status quo” is the enemy of results.
If your soft drink supplier is confident that you are not entertaining a move to competition, you have already lost the negotiation. Likewise, if maintaining a harmonious relationship with your supplier is key to your success criteria, then you should not enter a negotiation with your soft drink supplier until you change that measure.
When negotiating a soft drink contract, the absence of conflict is the absence of results.
Executive leadership should hold relationships, not supply chain professionals. Supply chain professionals should concentrate on continuous improvement. Continuous improvement requires the identification or even the creation of conflict.
If you are not creating, managing, or identifying conflict in a soft drink contract negotiation, you are leaving a lot of money on the table.