Position Paper: NEGOTIATION. Lost art or core competency?

Negotiation is a valuable skill for procurement professionals and is a standard method of contracting in federal, state, and local government procurement. In procurement, negotiating is mainly used to help buyers and sellers arrive at a settlement, and it takes the form of binding contracts. Knowing how to effectively negotiate can help procurement professionals make sure their contracts bring the most value to their organization. Beyond that, procurement professionals should also understand how to negotiate in a way that still satisfies the other party. Procurement professionals need to prepare and plan for negotiations in order to achieve win-win solutions. Negotiation can improve the overall combination of quality, service and other elements required for successfully meeting the organization’s requirements. As a core competency, negotiation requires training and practice through professional development. This paper explores how negotiation is perceived in the world of public procurement and explores whether it is understood as a lost art or a core competency among agencies. It offers suggestions for how procurement professionals can improve their negotiating skills.