Truth 40. When negotiations shift from relational to highly transactional

One of my clients, Sam, came to me recently for advice. Sam is the CEO of a small, profitable company that makes highly specialized parts. His key customer is a very large company—which I will call Big Company. For over a decade, Sam has been the supplier for Big Company and enjoyed what he described as a highly personal relationship with the company’s key representatives. Sam was stunned when his long-term customer announced that all future business contracts would be put up for online competitive bid. Sam learned that Big Company had its own website on which wanna-be suppliers would submit bids. Big Company essentially uses this site to get bidders to compete with one ...

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