Here's one of the best testimonials to integrative negotiation that I've seen lately -- Integrative Power and the Sales Negotiation -- from Paul Misner, author of the Smart Archive Blog and the Sr. Federal Civilian Account Manager for Websense.
Integrative power involves both sides working together for a mutual goal. The best outcome for an integrated solution is for both sides to win, the second best outcome is for both sides to suffer equally. Integrated power involves persuasion versus coercion, and because of this, both sides feel as they are on the same page.
I think integrative power is the Nirvana of a sales relationship. Your customers realize that you are in this for their and your mutual benefit, and your customers realize that if they squeeze every bit of profit out of you, you’ll either not stay in business, or resent having their business.
It’s funny, and totally organic, but in the 15 years I’ve been in sales, I’ve found that I’ve pretty much drifted away from all of the customers who have either used force or economic power in negotiations. When I have engineers or managers come from out of town to meet my clients, they often comment on how nice my customers are. Part of that is a by product of my customer base, Federal Civilian Agencies, but also it has been a part of a natural selection process that has driven me to customers who work with me.