Bargaining with Giants

LEVERAGE That Works!


Have you ever felt intimidated or disadvantaged when bargaining with a large IT vendor? If so, now is the time to consider taking ICN’s “Bargaining with Giants – LEVERAGE That Works” seminar and become empowered. Whether the topic is software, hardware or cloud services, you can win when you’re at the bargaining table with even the biggest IT vendors.

     Through case studies and interactive exercises, you will learn and practice successful bargaining tactics, including how to

  • know stakeholder wants and needs better than the vendor does
  • build trust with your stakeholders
  • purchase according to customer requirements, not generic vendor demos
  • ensure multiple products, services or vendor sources are evaluated for each procurement
  • always get input from your executives and decision makers
  • use your templates for the greatest bargaining success

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Benefit Takeaways

  • Identify leverage points used by larger vendors
  • Recognize the selling processes and ploys used by major vendors
  • Understand which misperceptions that lead you to lose bargaining leverage
  • Discern your potential leverage during pre-signing, post-signing management and “renewal” phases
  • Use specific tactics to increase your bargaining leverage against industry giants

Workshop Outline

Workshop Length: 2 Days

Bargaining with Giants – LEVERAGE That Works!

15 TACTICS to get better deals from bigger vendors


  • Customers’ misperceptions
  • What sales reps really want
  • What vendors really want
  • Wednesday express
  • Vendor account control process


Tactic I: Know stakeholder wants and needs better than vendor

  • Stakeholders needs and wants
  • How and where customer is impacted
  • Confirm decision makers
  • Scope potential vendors
  • Vendor sales activity
  • Introduce principle of “salivate and worry”

Tactic II: Build stakeholder trust

  • Document and share successes
  • Internal expense accounts
  • VRM database
  • White papers and FAQs

Tactic III: Collect Requirements from demos and sales presentations

  • Demos and sales presentations and documentations from vendors
  • Review of requirements offered by vendor
  • Objectives applicable to customer

Tactic IV: Collect Requirements from stakeholder team (missed Sales Presentations)

  • Objectives specific to customer’s business (missed by Sales Presentations)
  • Complete list of all requirements for customer

Tactic V: Create a Complete list of objectives

  • Stakeholder input plus vendor input
  • Results-based
  • RFP-ready
  • Technical, operational, contract, financial
  • Product and service descriptions
  • Remedies

Tactic VI: Ensure Customer evaluates multiple solutions

  • Multiple potential vendors before signing
  • Multiple potential vendors after signing
  • DIY solutions
  • Defer action for present

Tactic VII: Involve key decision makers

  • Inoculate VITO and champions
  • Control the flow

Tactic VIII: Use customer templates

  • Contracting philosophy
  • Customer templates
  • Light vs. standard templates
  • Fallback playbook

Tactic IX: Use WIIFM principle

  • Perception of the deal
  • End of quarter and year

Tactic X: Use ZOC

  • Mandate Vendor senior executive participates in bargaining
  • Return the free trial
  • POCs in multiples
  • Unreasonable number of reasonable things
  • Before and not after signing
  • Silence is golden

Tactic XI: Control and limit communications during implementation

  • Information leaks
  • Influence peddling
  • New sales
  • iSpoc (implementation-specific points of contact)
  • Implementation-period monitoring by PM, CM, VMO

Tactic XII: Evaluate and recommend on implementation data

  • Collect and document implementation report card from stakeholders
  • Performance postmortem by customer ONLY
  • Changes need needed to continue with vendor

Tactic XIII: Use post-signing competition

  • Performance
  • Pricing
  • Remedies

Tactic XIV: Ensure every post-signing change order is bargained for and documented

  • Multiple suppliers AFTER signing
  • Scope creep
  • Trigger points
  • Phase 2
  • Documented and signed by customer executive(s)

Tactic XV: Renegotiate; never renew

  • Rebid incumbent periodically
  • Gather and document performance problems
  • Renegotiate deal (terms, price, etc.); never renew