Two negotiating elements: avoiding old China’s risks and seizing new China’s opportunities

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We live in a world where the business environment changes rapidly. For example, fewer customers produce a larger share of profits. With fewer customers, losing a major customer is a larger loss of profits. So managing and negotiating with key accounts is now critical to sustaining profits. Not all customers value suppliers’ services the same way. Yet often we service all our customers the same way, missing an opportunity to improve profits by providing unique services. This means that to manage global accounts, you must be able to negotiate in different cultures and gain support for new initiatives, frequently when the world’s turbulence would suggest caution over courage. Customers have become more sophisticated in their buying strategies. Consequently, successful sales and management teams need to become more sophisticated in their key account management strategies. Rethinking and adapting approaches for each key account is imperative.

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first published in Velocity, Vol. 13 Issue 2, 2011.