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REAL-WORLD INSIGHTS

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Published: Sep 27 , 2021
Author: Brian Buck

Recently, someone called me in a panic about a negotiation they were involved in. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t going well and they needed help, urgently. They had been negotiating with a long-standing client who had become more demanding and wanted deep price concessions. What was once a good relationship had seemed to sour, and it wasn’t getting any better as the negotiation dragged on. They didn’t want to lose the business, but they could cut their price by only so much before the business was unprofitable. The client didn’t care and was just getting more agitated with every proposal that was made. In fact, the client’s response to each proposal was a curt “that’s disappointing — you can do better.” It was a tough situation, for sure.

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Published: Feb 17 , 2020
Author: Richard Waldrop

To be honest, I consider myself only an occasional sailor and fisherman. But I really like being around boats and the water, and I’ve been sailing for over 40 years. In fact, it runs in my family. The Waldrops built a sailboat marina in Jordan Creek, North Carolina back in 1974. And when I say “built,” I mean we physically built it — my father, my brother, and me. We cut the trees, we skinned the trees, we treated the poles, we built the pile driver, and we drove the piles. So, yes, that marina means a great deal to me.

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Published: Aug 05 , 2019
Author: Brian Buck

“There’s no way we can possibly lose this deal!” boasted my head of business development. In fact, he was so confident that the deal was in the bag, he successfully lobbied the executive team to invest in it ahead of the contract. You might be cringing, because you’ve probably already predicted the punch line, but you’d be surprised about the ultimate outcome.

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Published: May 06 , 2019
Author: Brian Buck

When I was a teenager, the one thing I heard most (outside of my name) was, “The world does not revolve around you!” I hated that expression, and I thought it was unwarranted. That is, until I had teenagers of my own. Apparently, being egocentric is part of normal adolescent development. It helps them to separate from their families a bit and assists them in forming their own identities. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. Here’s something else I realized . . .

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Published: May 02 , 2019
Author: Alan Smith

No, this is not some oblique reference to beginning a training plan for next year’s London Marathon (although not a bad start!), nor is it a reminder of the old gag about walking a mile in my shoes and you’ll end up at a bar, and I’ll have no shoes. It’s about really trying to figure out how the other side in any walk of life see things and wondering if that might change or adapt the way we deal with them.

Published: May 25 , 2012
Author: Alan Smith

The psychological profile has been a weapon of war, espionage, diplomacy and negotiation since time began. Can we get inside the other side's head and use that information to defeat him. Sun Tzu, the Chinese military strategist, believed that a firm understanding of the other side's mental make up was a prerequisite for victory: "If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles".

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Trick or Treat?

We’re a Halloween family. Love it! We decorate, we dress up, we get the biggest candy bars to hand out — the whole bit. Halloween is the Buck family’s jam. And every Halloween, kids (and some adults) flock to our front door armed with their canned question: “trick or treat?” Without fail, we respond with candy bars. Everyone smiles, most say, “Thank you,” and off they go into the night. That’s how it’s always gone . . . until last year, when we met an unusual trick-or-treater.

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