Negotiations, Why I Love American Grocery Stores

Negotiations, Why I Love American Grocery Stores

When people complain about grocery stores in the States, I can’t help but think I love grocery stores here because I don’t have to negotiate with anyone.

In India, one of the essences of daily life is negotiating. By the time I’ve gone to the store and back to pick up vegetables, I’ve negotiated at least 10 times. The time vs. mental acuity vs. cash equation becomes obfuscated.

2 times with rickshaw drivers.
4 times with different vendors at the market.
1 time with my mother arguing that great egg curry doesn’t require onions which I forgot to pick up. This isn’t a negotiation, more of a surrender requiring a repeat trip.

If You’re a Founder, Negotiate.

In the USA, I always negotiate with providers to get the best deals that aren’t published on pricing pages. I’ve done this several times to bootstrap LinkTexting and LeanBelts.

75% of the time I’ll get the discount I ask for. And on occasion, the founders love the chutzpah so much that they’ll take a meeting with me.

The source code of a great negotiation is knowing the cost structure and or knowing how to calculate the difference between cost, revenue, and profit for each specific deal on the table.

Great Negotiation Requires a Body of Evidence.

There are some people who believe great negotiation is had by dogged determination, silence, and toughness. I prefer having a body of evidence around the deal as negotiation fodder.

Sometimes, collecting, digesting, and internalizing the body of evidence is non-trivial, but worth it. I remember negotiating for carbon fiber parts on a motorcycle and realizing that the amount of knowledge required for negotiating is thermodynamics, delay times, lamination, inorganic chemistry, and basic mateiral science. Simply put, negotiating well requires the ability to learn the deal really well.

Key lesson, if you’re a founder, push for the deal and negotiate.

If the provider is still smiling at the end of the meeting, you’ve lost and left money on the table.

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