More and more retail buyers are having to conduct business across multiple time zones and having to do it electronically via email. As a result, many buyers have asked us if they should negotiate using email. The answer is ‘Yes…but not for all of it.’
Seasoned retail negotiators have told us that starting a conversation, outlining needs, summarizing agreements or disagreements can all be done via email. The challenge is on closing the final details of a deal. That they say should be done ideally on the phone in person. If you’re negotiating with a factory in China or supplier in Brazil you can use email to set the stage and move a negotiation along. Remembering that negotiating means you both want to do business but you both need to figure out in what way, at what cost, and at what value.
Using email to close the gap in negotiating by challenging assumptions and clarifying specific actions and impact is an effective tool. When you’re at the point where the majority of details have been agreed to is a good time to pick up the phone and finish the deal. Of course you can always email to set a convenient time for that call.
What are some of the other challenges and solutions to negotiating over multiple timezones? Tweet us @mohrretail and let us know.