C-19 negotiations – ENGAGE to negotiate part payments

Part 6 Negotiating during C-19 – ENGAGE to negotiate part payments


This is an adapted transcript from a series of videos I created to help people with practical advice to negotiate during the challenging times we’re currently facing due to COVID-19. – The VLOG can be viewed on LinkedIn HERE




The focus of this blog is about how do we have some of those really challenging conversations during C-19, but have shifted in light of some of the Government announcements. We now know that yes, for certain people and certain businesses, there is money coming, but there is definitely a lag from when it’s been announced to when it’s going to come into our bank accounts or offset tax etc – so you may need to go an renegotiate on that basis.

Knowing that money coming really does boy the market, obviously that’s intent, which is a great outcome from our Government. It also opens up an opportunity for us to have some conversations with different suppliers.


The first place is always to know your position.

Having a list of people that you owe money to and people that owe money to you, so that you can determine what is your current position. Where are you able to pay things? And where can’t you pay things?

Then it’s time to find out what’s happening with the people who owe you money? What’s their time frame?

So, sit down and getting that position, if you haven’t already, then make some calls and have some conversations.


These conversations would probably be centered around:

  • “How are you doing?”
  • To get a gauge from the people that you owe money how strongly they are positioned at the moment – in light of workload, in light of everything, and in light of what funds are possibly coming their way as well.
    • If they are a debtor and they are doing positively, then great. That’s an opportunity to open the conversation about how you might be able to come to some sort of compromise together.
    • Perhaps an arrangement where you might pay this off over time, rather than if it’s a bigger invoice, then potentially you could chunk it down and give them a portion of it now, and give them the next portion and the next portion when ‘this payment’ comes in from the Government, or when ‘that supplier’ pays you, or somebody else gives you funds, etc.


Contribute what you can, now

If you can, definitely think about paying parts of things, rather than kicking the can down the road and not paying anything. Kicking the can puts you in a risky position and it also kind of disrespects the other person as well. Everybody is doing it tough right now. So being able to say to them, “Look, I really can only pay you 10% of this right now. Could that work for you?” It opens the door.


You’re being open, raw and honest. It’s very hard to, because we’re so used to having an “everything’s okay” mentality, but nothing’s okay right now. And that’s okay.


It’s about opening the conversation, it’s about not kicking the can down the road. It’s about finding out who’s doing well in your sphere, and then getting a true position. It’s about understanding if the position that you’re all faced with so that we can make things happen in stages.


If you are truly, truly in troubled waters, then you need to seek some serious advice from all the people that are in your advisory group, that are able to support you through this time, particularly your accountants, your key financial advisors, and I’m happy to help where I can, but I certainly think that they’re the first port of call for where your position is. If things are dire for you, then I’m really sad for that, because I do hope that the government stimulus’ can help people pull through.


For everyone else, the fundamental thing here is that pick up the phone, have the conversations, make sure those people know that they are going to get the money that is owed to them. It might have to happen in stages, but at least you’re in the conversation together, solving the problem as a unit. And everyone’s got a clear picture for when things are going to happen.


And you know, really just open your eyes to how a negotiation doesn’t have to be something that you hate.



Collaborating with those who owe you money, or who you owe money to, will give you greater confidence, and help you feel empowered to negotiate a way forward during C-19, and you might learn to love negotiating along the way.

Good luck!


About Sam Trattles – Sam has built a career around negotiation – through marketing, brand, and sponsorship roles over 20 years. She builds capability and confidence in your people by creating strategies that deliver positive business results. Unlocking the value in all your deals. Sam is a straight shooter, she is practical and likes to share her knowledge to help others learn to love negotiating (or to at least, not to hate it). Because it’s worth a great deal.

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