B2B Street Fighting Blog

is procurement your secret sales weapon?

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Wed, May 30, 2018 @ 04:39 PM

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.

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Tags: business negotiations, Negotiating with procurement, speaking the language of procurement, business relationships in sales

competing at the speed of change e-book

Posted by Marie Dudek Brown on Tue, May 08, 2018 @ 04:53 PM

We are excited to share with you our 5600blue division e-book:  Competing at The Speed of Change. Your value, competitors value, customer needs and management priorities are all changing. All of this effects the “real – time” knowledge salespeople need to lead customer conversations. It’s time to take back the power we lost due to the buyer B2B digital revolution. One of our clients said recently “a quarter is now equal to a year.” Her point was that annual planning now happens each quarter due to rapid shifts in the market and company strategy. Managing this turbulent environment holds real promise for those who realize that the rules have changed and many legacy sales support solutions are not having impact. 

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Tags: competitive advantage, 5600blue

are salespeople an endangered species?

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Tue, May 01, 2018 @ 07:58 AM

Sales reps need to evolve or they will go extinct; some already have. Don’t believe me? Let me tell you a story. It is a bit long, but I promise the payoff is there.

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.

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Tags: business negotiations, brian dietmeyer, sales and negotiation

opening offers do impact negotiation

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 @ 03:57 PM

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: 

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales, brian dietmeyer, negotiation tips

precision guided discovery

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 @ 07:47 AM

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.

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales, brian dietmeyer, precision guided discovery

webinar: learn a consumable killer technique for sales

Posted by Marie Dudek Brown on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 @ 04:07 PM

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.

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales, webinars, affiliations, Carrie Welles

senior leadership: fertilizer for your growth strategy

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Tue, Mar 13, 2018 @ 03:45 PM

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. 

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Tags: sales enablement, business relationships in sales, growth strategy, enable your growth strategy, sales training initiatives

re-framing procurement negotiations

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Wed, Mar 07, 2018 @ 08:04 AM

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: 

 

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Tags: brian dietmeyer, Negotiating with procurement, speaking the language of procurement

changing the negotiation conversation

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Tue, Feb 27, 2018 @ 08:04 AM

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?

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales, business negotiations, brian dietmeyer

the toughest negotiation tactic ever

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 @ 04:23 PM

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!”
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Tags: business negotiations, negotiation tips, business relationships in sales

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The B2B Street Fighting blog brings you the latest on what's happening in the real world of business negotiation.

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