Inarticulate ramblings of a management consultant

the day to day experiences of a consultant operating in weird and wonderful client situations

Tag Archive for ‘selling’

Revenue synergies – the last great hope in the justification of paying too much for too little

The announcement this morning of the acquisition of Baxalta by Shire suggests that the wave of pharmaceutical acquisitions is still ongoing. The current market fluctuation may help others to continue their quest in what is probably the largest sector consolidation we’ve seen in a decade or two. The Shire share price reaction is also interesting…a fall of 8% suggests that investors are increasingly concerned that for this specific deal, and […]

Continue Reading →

Preparing for a mid afternoon 30 minute speaking slot at a conference – the nightmare scenario!

I’ve just been given this task…and what a nightmare it is. Many of you will have hopefully read the book ‘Pitch Anything’ by Oren Klaff. Despite its terrible title (which reminds me of the classic, ‘How to make a million bucks in 24 hours’ type books you find at your nearest international airport!), this is probably the most interesting book around sales that I’ve read for a very long time. Oren […]

Continue Reading →

Buying the right quality at the right price – the challenge for procurement

I’ve had two conversations with clients around procurement in recent times which I wanted to share with you. The first one included a remark from a client which struck me to such a degree that I wrote it down precisely. ‘Our procurement process actively discriminates against smaller firms because of the perception that they offer limited services’ were his precise words. The second was with a procurement professional who told me that his brief was […]

Continue Reading →

The cult of the heroic project manager

I’ve spent a lot of time with a particular client this week and was reminded of the extraordinary nature and power of the heroic project manager species. Let’s define them for a minute…they live and breathe projects, they turn a rather dull programme management reporting task into a real, living document which gives insight. When they engage with a stakeholder, they do an extraordinary thing…they operate at an incredible level […]

Continue Reading →

Prepare or free form?

Two consulting experiences with unexpected consequences: 1) You turn up at a client’s office usually from the back of a taxi with a colleague who’s been busy on something else, and the cab journey is the only preparation time you have for the meeting. Getting to an agreed agenda is almost the best you can expect from the time available and it’s with some trepidation that you walk into the […]

Continue Reading →

Time – an effective way of charging for consultants?

Like many of you reading this, I’m beholden to the clock….from a work perspective, time is the only key performance indicator which has commercial value in a consultants life. Everything else, like creativity, intuition, relationships and network, analytical ability, highly specialised knowledge about certain sectors or subsectors or processes or functions, or specific transformation events like mergers and acquisitions, is merely a precursor to the ultimate target, which is charging […]

Continue Reading →

Selling by asking questions!

I wasn’t born to be a consultant…who is?  If any of you had met me as a child, you probably wouldn’t have noticed! My family background was extremely conservative, the attitude of ‘not speaking unless spoken to’ still prevailed to some extent and there was little opportunity to learn how to speak…you know, practice what worked and what didn’t work in an adult world. Like many kids, I was quiet, […]

Continue Reading →