Do They Have the Power to Say Yes?

January 26, 2015

Want to make a deal?

Sure you do. Perhaps it’s the renewal of an exclusive contract. Perhaps it’s an extension of your office lease. Perhaps it’s a rate increase in a payor agreement.

So you call the hospital COO or the building property manager or the payor’s representative and begin to negotiate the deal.

But do those people have the power to say “yes” or can they simply say “no.” Are they just the gatekeeper, no different from the car salesman who needs the sales manager’s approval to actually do the deal? Even when they mouth “yes,” it means, at best, “maybe.”

If you negotiate with a gatekeeper, you lose leverage — you unmask deal points and give concessions — in exchange for nothing of substance, a “maybe,” or a “we’ll see,” or a “I have to check with so-and-so,” none of which is an agreement to terms.

Make certain that you are negotiating with someone who has the power to say “yes” and not just “no.”

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