Tactics and Ploys


    Hello Fellow Purchasing Professionals!

    In my blog postings, I’m going to focus on negotiation tactics and ploys.  So what the heck are "tactics and ploys!?"  Quite simply, purchasing professionals (you) use "tactics" and the dark side (vendors) uses "ploys."  In other words, tactics are good : ) and ploys are bad : (

    If you’ve ever taken a marketing class, you’ve heard the term “puffery.”  Basically, puffery is legal advertising that extols whatever the vendor is selling using subjective opinions, superlatives, and similar mechanisms that are not based on specific fact.  In other words, a vendor has the legal right to tell you little white lies.  If vendors can do that, then what do buyers get to do?  Well, you’ve probably heard of bluffing, and maybe have even used it in a poker game.  In the context of negotiations, bluffing is a generally accepted business practice where pretense is used to imply that one’s position is stronger, cleverer, or more determined, etc., than one’s position really is.  So there you have it…if vendors can tell little white lies (ploys) and you can use bluffing in poker, then it’s probably OK to use bluffing in negotiations (tactics).

    So, stay tuned to my blog for tactics, ploys, and counter-tactics.  I’d love to hear what tactics you have up your sleeves or what nasty little vendor ploys you’ve experienced, so please comment!