REAL-WORLD INSIGHTS

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Published: Oct 10 , 2013
Author: Mike Freedman

Before working with a powerful FMCG company in Europe I asked of the thousands of points of sale they have how many client relationships they lose every year to competing companies. The company proudly announced that last year they lost less than 1% annually to competition. I dared to suggest that 1% is probably not enough and that they need to lose more business. This did not deter them from working with us and here’s why...

Published: Sep 28 , 2012
Author: Robin Copland

There is more and more emphasis on the bottom line. Negotiators are getting ever more ruthless in their search for a “better deal” and sometimes the old “win-win” mantra is lost in the stampede. One of the tactics we see most often used by – and sometimes against – clients is the late introduction of a procurement specialist to a negotiation. In many cases, this person is introduced rather shamefacedly by the regular negotiator; the excuse is given that they are just there to cast a paternal eye over proceedings and check that the deal is watertight....

Published: Jun 01 , 2012
Author: Stephen White

My 93 year old mum-in-law came to live with us recently, and this meant that we needed to install a stair lift to get her to and from her bedroom on the upper floor of our home. It is now installed and working, much to her satisfaction. Doing the deal gave me food for thought. I did my research online – it looked like we were going to be in for about £2000 given the specification and size of the staircase. We selected three companies to come and quote; one which advertises nationally and is a household name, one selected from the internet, and one recommended by our local mobility store...

Published: Apr 06 , 2012
Author: Stephen White

The recently released movie Margin Call tells the story of a seminal moment in the general financial collapse of 2008. A fictional investment bank, probably a thinly disguised Lehman Brothers, discovers that its huge holdings of subprime mortgage bonds are worthless. If they are liquidated, even at virtually any price, the damage caused to the bank’s reputation by doing so will be irreparable. If the bank do nothing they will be bankrupt in days. The Board of the bank convene, in the dead of night, to decide a course of action for the following trading day...

Published: Mar 02 , 2012
Author: Robin Copland

A recurring theme when you read about Ryanair’s negotiations – be they with aircraft manufacturers or airport operators – are the words “breakdown of negotiations”. The confrontational style that the airline seems to employ should not necessarily be knocked. It continues to buck the trend and return excellent operating results, but, as it is discovering, its negotiating partners seem less keen than hitherto to bow down and accept the tough proposals that the airline puts forward...

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The Power of Adjournments

Anjana – a sales leader with an IT firm – is busy preparing for negotiations with a large bank on renewing her firm’s contract with them. Given it is a decent sized deal, Anjana has been preparing for these negotiations over the last several days by interlocking with the account delivery teams, getting buy-ins from the senior leadership & CFO on commercials, getting a handle on the likely strategies from the competition etc. It is no surprise, given the rigour of her preparation, that Anjana was feeling confident about her meeting with the Client CIO.

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