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Ask The Negotiator

John Baker

Ask the Negotiator is designed to afford our readers with the opportunity to ask questions about any aspect of negotiations and provide them with answers from experienced negotiators in future editions of the magazine. Please direct your questions to John Baker at [email protected]. We will only publish your first name or the nom de plume you suggest along with your country when your question is published. Your question will be answered either by John Baker or by a member of The Negotiator Magazine’s growing list of outside negotiation resources.

John Baker has well over thirty years of active negotiating experience in educational, (USA) Fortune 100 corporations and small business companies. He has negotiated collective bargaining agreements both for unions and for management. Dr. Baker’s experience includes agreements across a broad range of negotiation areas, including marketing alliances, purchase and sales contracts, acquisitions, joint ventures, non-profit and government services agreements and even the peaceful conclusion of student protest sit-ins on more than one occasion. He holds a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University (USA).

And now, this month’s letter…

Face to Face Negotiations — Essential Major Account Expenses?

From: GM (USA)

Dear Negotiator:

I am the General Manager of Sales at a company that has a name you would recognize immediately. We are counting beans again and the sales travel budget is on the line. This is an every quarter event and getting more serious. I have made every argument I can imagine that regular face to face contact with major customers is essential to retaining our account base and growing our market share and that telephone calls are not the same as visits to the customer. I know the difference and so do our competitors. What would you say on the subject of managing customer relationships and negotiating new agreements by phone versus in person?

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