Some of you know that I post quite a bit about working with procurement. There are a couple reasons. First, it’s mostly a painful and dreaded experience for those of us who sell. Second, because we’ve been consulting for over 20 years to both buying and selling teams, this practice has provided deep insight into the nature of that relationship.Read More
B2B Street Fighting Blog
I am confident that most of you reading this have had the “opportunity” to buy a car from a traditional dealership? I needed a gently used 2017 truck. My favorite car to buy is usually less than one year old and has about 5,000 miles on it. Essentially, I am looking for a new car where someone else ate the depreciation.
When I started my search a couple weeks ago, I went to both the local Ford and Dodge dealerships to look at trucks. At both dealerships, I had nearly the exact same experience.Read More
My friend and former colleague, Max Bazerman, negotiation professor at the Harvard Business School, once reported to me that:
“Opening offers have more impact on outcomes of a negotiation than all counter-offers combined!”
I couldn't agree more, however, I believe to really understand the weight of the impact, it is important to understand the complexity inside that statement. (It is more than you might initially detect!)
For starters, think about these questions:Read More
Discovery has long been among, if not the most important selling skill. Gaining access to stakeholders and uncovering needs is key to presenting your value.
However, most discovery looks like this:
" What Keeps You Awake at Night?"
This approach makes it difficult to gain access to execute discovery and makes it harder to uncover areas to add value and differentiate. What is the value to an executive of meeting with you only to tell you what they already know? How are we going to add value when customers, who are more digitally informed than ever, are diagnosing their own needs and prescribing their own solution (many times sub-optimally)? More importantly, it has us following vs. leading.Read More
Our own Carrie Welles is presenting an enlightening webinar on Thursday, March 22, 2018 in association with the Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA). This 11am ET session will provide empirical research, and street level examples, for how best to package and present your value. Find out more and register by clicking on link below.Read More
Senior executives know that, beyond mergers and acquisitions, a company’s growth is driven one deal at a time by the way salespeople sell and negotiate. That’s why American companies spend $7.2 billion every year(1) on sales and negotiation methodologies. But beyond proprietary (and perhaps biased) consulting reports and high level-level academic papers on change, there’s little information available on whether those investing are actually achieving a return on their investment.Read More
Over ten years ago, after having spent more than 20 years a salesperson, VP sales and sales consultant, we secured our first contract to provide negotiation training for the procurement arm of a major US airline. I felt like the proverbial fox in the hen house!
As I was executing research to get ready for the assignment, I stumbled on an article stating that this organization had just won:
A client asks us for a proposal. That’s a good thing, right? We do as they ask and provide a proposal. What’s next? We all know the first offer is likely not going to be the last. In fact, what many of us have done with that response is to give the client a price for products and services. The very natural inclination is for the customer to then begin the negotiations at this phase. We have DNA going back 1000 years saying that the buyer should never accept the first offer. We know what the conversation is going to be and where it’s headed, so how do we change that conversation and take control?Read More
After 22 years consulting on over 25,000 business negotiations in over 46 countries, we’ve heard a lot of negotiation tactics. All are attempts at commoditization and driving more concessions from the seller; some are more difficult than others.
A recent client was negotiating with their largest customer, a $60b Fortune 50 firm in the manufacturing business. Our client produces bleeding edge tools and software for manufacturing. In fact, they very often have tools that increase yield and reduce defects ahead of the market. This position gives them real power in negotiation. However, during the negotiation, their buyer, in a very angry and aggressive manner ended the negotiation proclaiming:
“If you don't give us what we want, we will fund a start-up competitor to you!”Read More
Think! named to Inc. list of
America's fastest growing private companies
America's fastest growing private companies