Yakima County Development Association - KARRASS: Getting to Good Deals

Jean Brown

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Jean Brown

Jean publishes a blog called the Enterprise Corner.  It features articles on entrepreneurship, local industry trends, manufacturing news and periodic ‘toolbox’ articles showcasing assistance, incentives and other resources for local businesses.

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KARRASS:  Getting to Good Deals

KARRASS: Getting to Good Deals

July 24, 2014

It's always worthwhile to share best practices from KARRASS.  This company runs seminars across the country on effective negotiation.  Designed for managers, purchasing agents, owners and others in charge of procurement, KARRASS training hones skills and helps companies get the best deal possible. 

We offered KARRASS training in Yakima and found the fast paced, interactive course introduced a new approach to the way we enter into negotiations. The goal was clearly stated by facilitator David Starr “to create opportunities for both parties that neither could have ever anticipated”.   Starr did an exceptional job leading us through what seemed at first like a very simple purchasing negotiation.  Each of us read the scenarios provided and worked through a series of negotiations to get to our desired outcome.   Our first negotiation lead to interesting and revealing statistics, so we dove into learning new techniques and suddenly the full depth of the goal began to unfold. Throughout the day participants listened and practiced the themes, tactics, and strategies of the KARRASS negotiating method. 

The “Both Win Negotiating” method structures your efforts so that you focus on taking all the money off the table to get everything the other party can and will offer.  It cements the theory that aggressive negotiating builds long term relationships. KARRASS is a national leader in negotiation seminars. The company, founded by Dr. Chester Karrass, has been offering its classes for over 40 years and most of the Fortune 500 corporations currently license the company’s programs. Dr. Karrass is the author of five books on negotiation, including ‘The Negotiating Game’, ‘Give and Take’ and ‘In Business as in Life –You Don’t Get What You Deserve You Get What You Negotiate’, and ‘Negotiating Effectively Within Your Own Organization – Gain Acceptance for Your Ideas, Connect With Others and Resolve Differences Creatively‘.

It was emphasized that each negotiation be structured around goal setting, and the process of discovery.  David Starr described the planning stage as the key to understanding both your needs and the needs of the other party.  We were challenged to set high goals and look at the full picture, to step back from the details and look for the “both win” opportunities.  Preparation is the key to success.  Each negotiation should begin by defining your goals, priorities, pressures, issues and options.   Next develop questions that will analyze and answer every issue you must know about the other party and their circumstance.  He showed how to develop your negotiation team,by involving members throughout your company for this preparation and planning stage.  Again, negotiations are expected to develop long term relationships. 

The biggest mistake Starr described is attempting “big and fast negotiations”.  We don’t do ourselves, or our companies, any favors by submitting to this mistake.  That was made very clear as attendees practiced the KARRASS techniques and developed negotiating strategies that delivered amazing results.  The workshop delivered a brand new tool box that empowered local businesses to create stronger more effective deals.

The Karrass seminar also demonstrated the value of our Business and Industry roundtable. The ideas for the seminar came from one our our regular company participants and through the Roundtable we were able to identify and recruit other companies interested in the seminar. By working together we were able to save companies time and travel expenses by bringing this seminar to Yakima. Our office is confident the workshop gave local employees and their companies new tools to improve purchasing practices in ways that benefit the bottom line. For more information about training opportunities like this please contact us at 575-1140 or email jean@ycda.com.


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