Friday, December 4, 2009

How not to negotiate

Don't ask "what's your budget?". That's a spectacularly unsubtle way of asking what's the most you can shake someone for your product or service. A potential vendor asked me that a couple of days ago, and after that inauspicious beginning to our correspondence, he doesn't have my business and I don't want to deal with him.

Say what you think your product or service is worth, and justify it. Then we can negotiate and come to a price we both think is fair. It's not just about the money. The amount I'm up on my little anti-gold bet today is probably more than what that vendor was fishing for. There are enough a-holes in the world. You can differentiate yourself by not being one.


Anonymous said...

Your timing on the gold short was perfect, as well, as your timing to dump Destiny. FWIW, Issambress just pumped Destiny on VIC.

DaveinHackensack said...

Thanks, Anon, and thanks for the heads up about Issambress/Edelheit's VIC post. He thinks DSNY is cheap because it's trading at 8x his estimate (5 cents) of 2010 earnings. Last year he thought it was cheap because it was trading at 7x his estimate (~10 cents) of 2009 earnings. He was off by a factor of 10 last year. If I were a VIC member, I'd ask him why he is so confident this year. Maybe I'll ask him on his blog.

DSNY is moving in the right direction, but it's not moving fast enough IMO to justify this price. If it earns a penny in Q2 and is still at this price or lower, I'll reevaluate.

DaveinHackensack said...

In hindsight, I could have handled this vendor using a response I've used in the past when presented with a similar question, "I prefer not to specify a budget ahead of time so as not to prejudice your estimate".