REAL-WORLD INSIGHTS

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Published: Mar 28 , 2013
Author: The Scotwork Team

Over the weekend there were reports in the UK media that the multinational retailer Laura Ashley had written to its suppliers requesting an immediate 10% cost price reduction on all orders already agreed and contracted. The demand was accompanied by a statement that this would save Laura Ashley the need to review its supplier base – in other words, failure to agree would prompt such a review, and some suppliers would inevitably be delisted as a result...

Published: Mar 14 , 2013
Author: Mark Simpson

Nervous negotiators may often be tempted to partake in a drop of “Dutch Courage” before entering what they anticipate will be difficult negotiations. Our advice is DON’T and it seems the United Nations now agree with us...

Published: Jan 03 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

When I was younger, so much younger than today - I would occasionally find myself in situations which I really struggled to handle. Let me give you an example. There was this particular chap, whom we will call Ian Sharples for the purpose of the story; he was 2 years older than me, considerably bigger, and to be honest, a bit rough-looking. Even his mother struggled to love him.

Published: Nov 22 , 2012
Author: Yannis Dimarakis

The Hellenic government has been struggling over the last 6 months to finalize an austerity package demanded by its 3 creditors (i.e. the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission – know as the “troika”). The package’s aim is to ensure that the deficit will be checked and that public spending will be reduced to sustainable levels. These measures are never popular as they usually entail steep salary and pension cuts, reductions in social benefits, decrease in the quality of health and education etc. None the less, this package, worth 11.5 bn € (a very heavy figure given the scale of the Hellenic economy), was a sine qua non for the release by the creditors of the next installment of funds to the government in Athens. So the pressure was on to wrap this up as soon as possible...

Published: Nov 08 , 2012
Author: Alan Smith

My friend’s wife found out that her dog (a Schnauzer) could hardly hear, so she took it to the veterinarian. The vet found that the problem was excessive hair in the dog's ears. He cleaned both ears, and the dog could then hear fine. The vet then proceeded to tell the lady that, if she wanted to keep this from recurring, she should go to the store and get some "Nair" hair remover and rub it in the dog's ears once a month...

Published: Oct 12 , 2012
Author: Alan Smith

I read a fascinating report that suggested that for many consumers adding more features to products actually has the opposite effect that the producer intended. It actually devalues the product. A piece of research published in the Journal Of Consumer Research, suggests that consumers adopt an averaging approach when validating the value of a product or service...

Published: Jun 22 , 2012
Author: Noel Penrose

This weeks BLOG is provided by one of the many Scotwork Alumni, Noel Penrose. If you would like to submit a BLOG for consideration please send it to info@scotwork.com. Thanks Noel. I bought a house a while ago. It involved the usual mix of practical and emotional decision-making, hand-wringing, uncertainty and hope that major purchases like this bring on. It took three months from start to finish, which seems like a reasonable timeframe. What made it a very interesting experience was the way the negotiation was conducted....

Published: May 25 , 2012
Author: Alan Smith

The psychological profile has been a weapon of war, espionage, diplomacy and negotiation since time began. Can we get inside the other side’s head and use that information to defeat him. Sun Tzu, the Chinese military strategist, believed that a firm understanding of the other side’s mental make up was a prerequisite for victory: “If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles”...

Published: Feb 17 , 2012
Author: Alan Smith

A sales director was playing a game of golf with the procurement director from his largest and most prestigious client. During the round the course ran adjacent to a small road. As the pair drove off on the 8th a hearse started to slowly make its way along the lane and would eventually pass the men...

Published: Sep 30 , 2011
Author: Mike Freedman

I watched Manchester City’s Manager Roberto Mancini’s outburst straight after the Champions’ League game in which Carlos Tevez reportedly refused to go on to the pitch. Mancini clearly said that Carlo Tevez would not play for him again. In fact at one point prior to this outburst he had claimed that it wasn’t his decision. It just seems that later as he appeared to gain encouragement from the supportive comments of the BBC’s man holding the microphone, he went the whole way and declared his position on his Argentinean ex-captain. There are a few points of interest in the events both within and surrounding that interview...

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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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