Most global B2B companies have realised they need to manage their major customers - who represent most of their future revenue and profit - differently to the rest of their customers. Why? Well if you want to create opportunities to grow with your major customers, and earn the right to keep doing business with them, you need to offer much more than the average supplier. How can you do this?Read More
Your world is changing, and changing fast: characterised by turbulence; shifting regulations, evolving technology, economic uncertainty, and competitor movement and changing customer needs. These fast changes mean that you and your negotiation team needs to be more agile in response to these drivers.
As we continually say in our books and blogs, competitors are becoming more aggressive – favourite weapon of choice price. Customers are becoming more demanding, and shareholders are demanding increasing profits: so companies must either increase revenue or increase productivity. However, increasing revenue and productivity is getting harder.
The success of a negotiation depends on the planning and preparation done beforehand for each of the four distinct phases of the negotiation process:Read More
Analysts feel pain while trying to convince senior audiences with data. There is a great article that states the solution when persuading executives with data is to frame your message using one or more of the following four topics:
- Revenue & market share
- Efficiency & costs
- Customer loyalty
- Talent & capability
You can find lists of competencies for account managers, for example from the Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA). Many of these list the technical knowledge needed. However the most critical skill an account manager needs is persistence.Read More
Innovation is not just about ‘out of the box’, ‘blue-sky’ solutions. Sure, we need to use some right-brain thinking to free our imaginations and find creative answers. But, you need to match this with a left-brain process and hard work. Organisations can do a great job and spend lots of time solving the wrong problem. So, it’s important to take the time to understand the real problem that needs to be solved and to make sure the real problem is well defined.
How do you define your problems?Read More
Typically, when deciding which accounts to manage strategically, companies use revenue as the main criteria. This makes some sense. Managing accounts strategically requires a large investment in time and resources, so receiving adequate revenue to justify this investment is valid.
However Strategic Account Management (SAM) is about managing the accounts in your business strategically. Managing to achieve your company's strategic objectives, there are many other factors that influence whether an account deserves you investing more time and resources.Read More
In B2B settings negotiations are more complex than ever before. Most companies know how to prepare for and negotiate effectively but don't have a strategy or framework when negotiating with their top 10-20 accounts. They negotiate based on who is the 'top gun' negotiator.
Why is this?Read More
You must pitch for some business. Where do you start? Most managers answer this question correctly: with the customer and what they want. However most managers get the answer to the next question wrong: What should you do next?
What is the correct answer?Read More
We ended 2016 with a real wake-up call for everybody in a leadership, executive or management role – the status quo of business was disrupted.
Over the holiday break I would take a book down to the beach to read which inevitably attracted conversation from other beach goers, firstly on me being the only person reading a book with everybody else on some device.
I liked the book because it challenged some of my concepts around leadership and self-motivation and that is always a sign of a great book.Read More
How do you make sure that your pitch is effective? Make your presentations relevant to your customers. Robert Cialdini, persuasion guru has been researching persuasion since 1970. In his 2016 book Pre-suasion, he explains when to use his six universal principles of influence. But how should you apply these during your pitch?Read More
Guest blog by Graham Godbee
I recently attended a business conference in Sydney and was fortunate to attend the session: Negotiate or Perish by Stephen Kozicki. As an experienced practitioner in executive management development programs, I found the session highly motivating and am keen to use some of his practical examples in my business negotiations.Read More
So, you need to persuade a customer you can't afford to lose? Where do you start? If we ask persuasion expert Robert Cialdini how to persuade your customer to act, he would suggest a few ways. Two are scarcity and consistency.
Scarcity is the best known technique, Consistency is not well understood and under-used.Read More
The business environment is constantly changing. These changes in markets, competition and technology are hurting the results of many companies.
The priorities for companies are to create superior customer value, retain high-value customers, be more innovative and be more efficient. However, there is immense pressure to drive down operating costs, compete increasingly on price, and respond to rising customer demands.
Many companies find it impossible to respond to change and simultaneously pursue strategic priorities. So, they end up mainly reacting to change.
How can you use these changes to your advantage and find opportunities for improving your business results?Read More
Donald Trump would probably say: Just tell em!
In the real world it's often not appropriate to just tell em! So, we need to have more sophisticated tools available.
At the end of 2016, Persuasion guru Robert Cialdini published his latest book Pre-suasion. To condense his 300 page book into two sentences he says:
- What do you do before you persuade customers can have a major (hidden) influence on their decisions.
- We and our customers assume that what we are focusing on is especially important.
So, what's so important about Pre-suasion?Read More
Imagine you are in an Australian industry with about 200 competitors, how do you compete and grow? Back in 2001, that's the problem faced by John Casella of Casella wines. He quickly concluded that he needed to be more strategic than his well-resourced competitors.
But how did he do it?Read More