Bill DeMarzo's blog

When Leaving Money on the Table is the Best Strategy

cost savings leaving money on the table

SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate William DeMarzo shares his perspective on the old sourcing cliché “don’t leave money on the table." 

In our SIG University CSP course, we learned the benefits of “leaving money on the table” as this negotiation style builds trust, transparency, and a collaborative relationship with suppliers.  Yet, the concept of leaving money on the table seems to be taboo in today’s business environment. Nine of the top ten hits from a Google search of the phrase are articles about why it’s a bad idea, a sign of weakness, or otherwise poor choice to do so. Perhaps this is more a sign of a zero-sum society than a negotiating strategy, but that’s a topic for another essay.

Let’s be clear that there are many business transactions where it is appropriate to pay the lowest price for a product or service. For example, products that have defined specifications, from a #2 pencil to a powerful server, or a service that has a measurable deliverable, should be sourced at the lowest price in the market. But when is leaving money on the table a good strategy?

William J. DeMarzo, Sr. Director, The Bank of New York Mellon