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Re-Sharpen The Forgotten Sales Skill The Brexit Way; Negotiation

Back in the Sixties, a week was famously considered a long time in British politics. The seven days following the Remain/Leave Referendum, suggests this adage needs a rapid 2.0 reboot.

As today’s current favourite (only today’s) for next PM states “brexit means brexit”, there’s the small matter of the looming negotiations with the sovietocracy that is the EU.

The stakes for all could hardly have ever been higher. Yet both sides flap around like a clueless recently released Blue (penguin, that is, back into the wild after rescue care).

At some stage, the fabled Article 50 must be triggered. The formal procedure by which brexit would commence.

Incredibly, as if to provide the British voter resounding vindication, the (unelected) EU head (Juncker) demanded it must be done immediately. What an idiot. Thankfully, the UK powers ignored such petulant call.

Imagine going into a negotiation with zero preparation.

Suicide, right?

Yet this is precisely what the majority of salespeople handling their own closing talks do. Every single day. The world over.

The last time I encountered this in the field, one person had the gall to try and embarrass me in front of a crowd by saying ‘don’t worry, no sweat, we go back a long way…’ The result? Deal lost. #obvs.

We learn that the EU has 596 trade negotiators. The UK, none. Hopefully a handful of the Brussels mob are British, but still, what a potentially fatal disadvantage before a ball is even bowled.

In our realms we may have access to such resource. Typically of legal persuasion. With little or no dedicated commercial outlook. *shudder*

Then perhaps there’s this most revealing of views. From an Oxford University unit, no less, specialising in the field;

As a rule of thumb, 80% of a trade negotiation is preparation, 20% execution.

That is so far removed from solution selling on the ground it is scary.

No wonder the Westminster noises are about creating a new ministry and team to specifically and solely to get ready. Article 50-minus-1. How are you measuring up on this scale?

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