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Published: Mar 20 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith

What price is cost control? There is a natural tendency for us all to be looking to drive down the cost of what we buy. We all do it. Even those of us who sell stuff, services or products for a living will need to buy, and the same is true for those who buy; they often have to sell, even if it just themselves to the man. But the problem of focusing exclusively on cost as an issue was brought home to me again when I glanced at the ingredients on my recently consumed, Bakewell Tart...

Published: Feb 02 , 2015
Author: Keith Stacey

The most powerful word in the English language is ‘free’. People love a bargain and if it’s free - then bargain it must be. ‘Free’ triggers a range of emotional responses that seduce us into suspending our critical judgments...Over the years many of us have experienced the truism that “there is no such thing as a free lunch”. We are hard-wired to practice reciprocal altruism and accepting a “free lunch” can place us in a vulnerable position when we are later asked for something in return.

Published: Oct 21 , 2014
Author: Keith Stacey

Many Scotwork participants who sell confront the dilemma of meeting the market when a rival offers cheaper prices for apparently equivalent products. Holding the line on margins is a discipline that few sales teams possess. The line, “Cheap, good and fast-choose one,” is particularly relevant...

Published: Mar 13 , 2014
Author: David Bannister

This holiday, one of the books I read was ‘A Street Cat named Bob’. It’s an uplifting and sometimes challenging book about a recovering drug addict – James Bowen, the author, and his cat, Bob whom he finds in the lobby of his building and whom he helps to recover from neglect and befriends. Having Bob gives James a reason for overcoming his heroin habit and he manages to get a job selling the ‘Big Issue’ in London...

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Often, I’d Prefer Not to Negotiate

Often, I’d prefer not to negotiate... this may seem a strange choice for a blog title written by a negotiation consultant who works for a negotiation training and advisory company. So why then would I suggest that negotiation isn’t always the answer? Not everything is a negotiation! As a professional negotiator, I do of course practice what we preach at Scotwork – good negotiation preparation, asking questions, listening to the other party and understanding what is of value to them, looking for areas of flexibility, etc... All very important skills. However another important skill for any negotiator is the ability to recognise when to negotiate and when there may be a more suitable alternative to conflict.

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