This is a pretty fundamental concept in any software negotiation, so this is something you have to master. One of the big guns (William Ury) from the Program on Negotiations at Harvard (which is in my opinion the best negotiation program out there), wrote a book on how to say ‘No.’ If you did not realize it, ‘No’ is actually the most used word in the English language (which kinda makes sense) so how to use it in software or SaaS negotiation is worth learning about.
- In saying ‘No’ to something, in essence means you are saying ‘Yes’ to something (I know that seems weird at first, but there is always a reason for saying ‘No,’ which is what you are actually saying ‘Yes’ to).
- Express your ‘Yes’ and then deploy your ‘No.’
- Propose a ‘Yes.’
Ok that was probably confusing, so let’s go through an example using the three steps (in the software or SaaS negotiations world).
- “Your company is not making a real long term commitment to our technology” (that was your internal ‘Yes’ (ie. the reason you have to say ‘No’)).
- “So we cannot give you the discount you asked for” (that was your ‘No’).
- “However, if we can work on a long term commitment then I definitely think we can get there on the discount you are looking for. What is more important to your company?” (This is the proposed ‘Yes’).
Think about using this when you negotiate your next software or SaaS agreement, as Accommodating (saying ‘Yes’ when you should be saying ‘No’), Attacking (saying ‘No’ in an ineffective way), and Avoiding (not saying anything), are not good ways of dealing with issues. Oh yea, don’t forget to actually read the book, as to make the change in your negotiation style, you need to read this book.
IBM Training Material presentation on this topic (yep, IBM is into how to say ‘No’ and trains their employees on it).
Disclaimer: This post is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not legal advice. You should hire an attorney if you need legal advice, which should be provided only after review of all relevant facts and applicable law.