Business Negotiation March 14, 2013

Partnerships Will Change Selling Part Two

These seller-customer partnerships reached prominence in Japan in the past four decades. Now they are on the rise in the United States. This trend toward partnerships continues to accelerate and is profoundly affecting American business.

The time of “high-stakes shoot-outs” has arrived. In their search to be competitive in the world market, giant corporations strive to cut costs on everything they buy. For example, instead of each corporation division purchasing its own packaging products, the corporation with thirty divisions now prefers to buy packaging from one or two suppliers rather than thirty.

Each of these thirty suppliers once bid on million dollar orders from their local division customers. Now, world class packaging companies bid on $100 million contracts. They bid to satisfy the needs of all a corporation’s divisions in the United States as a single contract. Procurement contracts are not for one year as most used to be. Now they bind the parties for three to five years.

Negotiations in the world of partnering are different. They are concerned not only with price and service but also with the ability of the seller to do research, finance factories with special needs, design a wide variety of packaging, and reduce costs, improve quality, and enhance appearance over the contract period.

The result is predictable. Only five to ten firms are large enough to participate in this high-stakes, winner-take-all game. Local and regional firms cannot break in. To survive they must downsize to service small market niches or sell out to large corporations.

The “high-stakes shoot-out” is probably the most difficult selling problem now facing local and regional suppliers still in the marketplace. The cost of making a winning proposal has risen dramatically. The ability to meet the customer’s stringent partnership and volume needs has narrowed the field. Once an order is lost it will be lost for five years, perhaps forever.

Partnerships are changing the way sellers must sell. They are also changing the individual job description of the salesperson and the corporate buyer to whom they sell. Both will suddenly find themselves far more involved in the world of contract management and in the administration of continuous contract changes. Both will need to learn new and difficult skills.

Yet, with all its difficulties, partnering is worth the effort. When it is well done the payoff to seller and buyer is enormous.

THE PROGRAM WAS GREAT! MY SEMINAR LEADER AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE KEPT ME CONSTANTLY STIMULATED. I NOW AM BETTER PREPARED TO GO INTO AN IMPORTANT NEGOTIATION MEETING AND STAY IN CONTROL, WHILE FINISHING THE MEETING SATISFIED.

Deanna D.
CASE MANAGER at THE JACKSON LABORATORY

IF YOU HAVE THE TRAINING BUDGET AND TWO DAYS TO SPARE, YOU'LL STRUGGLE TO FIND A PROGRAM MORE FAR-REACHING, ON-POINT, AND INSTANTLY IMPLEMENTABLE.

Jeff G.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

EXCELLENT COURSE, BRINGS MORE CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE. I THINK THIS COURSE IS A MUST FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHO DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS.

John S.
CHIEF ENGINEERING MANAGER at EXXONMOBIL

THIS WAS VERY EFFECTIVE WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON BOTH-WIN NEGOTIATING.

Kathleen L.
SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

THE KARRASS CLASS WAS THE SINGLE BEST TRAINING CLASS/SEMINAR I HAVE EVER ATTENDED. EVERY TIME WE DID AN EXERCISE IT TAUGHT YOU WHAT TO DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME. THANKS.

Kim C.
PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

THIS PROGRAM HAS GREATLY INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR MYSELF AS WELL AS MY COMPANY.

LaDonna E.
SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

THE NEGOTIATING CLASS WAS VERY INFORMATIVE. THE INSTRUCTOR PROVIDED AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO EVERYDAY LIFE.

Mary S.
INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

WE NEGOTIATE EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY. THIS COURSE DEFINES THE PROCESS AND PROVIDES TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL RESULTS.

Phillip H.
VICE PRESIDENT at GE

PRIOR TO THIS CLASS I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS GETTING EATEN ALIVE BY INTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH SALES REPS. NOW I FEEL PREPARED TO CHALLENGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING AND BET TO THEIR REAL NEEDS.

Steve Q.
PLANNER at HONEYWELL

MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO NEGOTIATE A WIN/WIN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES. THIS CLASS IS AN EYE OPENER TO THIS DYNAMIC..

Stuart B.
CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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