Work Issues

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One important part of my job (earlier profile and current) is saying ‘No’. I deal with retail chains and if you have any experience with them, you know its all about how much money they can squeeze from you – sometimes justified, other times not. I prepare well for such discussions. Its not about saying a direct ‘No’ but getting the point across without actually using the word. My biggest support is data. Nobody can argue with data… I just need to analyze it so it supports me. I learned this trick years back. A guy ‘S’ took me to a meeting with a local retail chain. It is present in one city only but a very important one there. S did not want to pay for spaces given for his products. He created data. He told the chain that research was done in another chain and this is the data shared. It is confidential and he cannot reveal the agency or chain’s name. According to the research, if our products are placed at a particular space in the store the sales can grow by 50%. The chain was very impressed and gave S those spaces for free.
Of course, such tactics are passe now. Faking data is unethical and chains are much smarter with MBA employees.
But it is an everyday battle for me… How do I give as little as possible for a lot in return? In short, how best can I negotiate?


2 thoughts on “Work Issues

  1. Maybe I didn’t understand, but you are being asked to pay for spaces that the retail chain rent out to you, so that you can sell your product, correct? Isn’t this all decided BEFORE they rent the space to you?

  2. Yep, you are right. Everything is decided before.. but chains increase their rents every year. So, we need to negotiate and negotiate hard. Sometimes, we may have to take the decision of not extending the visibility since the business does not justify the money being spent.

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