Allen Eskelin

Fire the Lawyers

A lawyer’s job in a negotiation is to advise on risk and the law. Lawyers are not typically the decision-makers in a negotiation. The worst-case scenario for a lawyer is More…

Relationship Investment or a Bribe?

Some buyers say it’s unethical to allow a vendor to pay for a meal as it may be construed as buying favor (a bribe). I think taking a hard line on this limits the opportunity to build relationships with prospective vendors. More…

Street Negotiating in China

It’s 6am and we’re checking out of our hotel in Xi’an, China. My friend Nathan, who speaks Chinese, asks the hotel clerk how much it should cost for a cab to the airport. She says 120CNY. Outside, there’s only one cab available. Here’s the exchange More…

Dealing with Vendor Bias

One of the primary goals in managing a vendor selection is to objectify what is ultimately a subjective decision on which vendor is best for your business and situation. Often, your decision-makers already have a bias towards one of the vendors. How can you address this? More…

Objectifying a Vendor Selection Decision

Your job in leading a vendor selection is to objectify the decision as much as possible. How do you objectify what is ultimately a subjective decision in the end? More…