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08.25.2020

Outcomes Based Negotiation

By Tim Harms

Enliven Beverage Deal Podcast Episode #8

What can an FBI-trained agent teach us about negotiation? Are you framing your entire negotiation in the wrong way? What makes negotiating with billion-dollar brands different?

In this episode, Dan Kelly, Founder and Senior Partner at The Negotiator Guru, sits down to share some practical tips on how to set up your negotiation for the best chance of success.

 

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Related Resources:

The Key to Improving Any Beverage Deal

How Beverage Deals Help Small Businesses

Five Things Your Soft Drink Representative Doesn’t Want You to Know

 

Transcript:

Tim Harms:

Welcome to the Enliven Beverage Deal Podcast, where we’re all about saving and making you money by taking both the guesswork and the legwork out of your beverage partnership, and by leveling the playing field when it comes to negotiating your beverage contracts. I’m your host, Tim Harms. We’ve got a great show for you today. Stay tuned.

Tim Harms:

Well, everyone. I’m excited for this show today. We have Dan Kelly on for a conversation about negotiation. Dan has just a fascinating background. I won’t get into it too much. I’ll let him share. He started his career in the FBI, and now he helps companies worldwide, I believe, negotiate with huge IT companies. So really excited to have Dan on. Dan, welcome.

Dan Kelly:

Hi, Tim, thank you very much.

Tim Harms:

I started your resume and sharing your story a little bit, but maybe you can fill in the gaps and help us understand what you do.

Dan Kelly:

Sure. I’m talking to you actually from my home office in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was born and raised a Midwest kid, if you will. But then parents became snowbirds, figured out I hated the winters here, went to college in Denver, got recruited out of college into the FBI. That’s how it all started. I always had an interest in the criminal justice field, but never quite knew what I wanted to do with it. I was plucked out of college early. I had to take a year off, go through some training and some travel there. Then I spent about five years in the FBI, but I explain it to people this way. I loved the FBI. I hated working for the government. That’s two very distinct statements intended to be distinct. I loved the bureau, I love all the friends that I made. I’m still in very close contact with them today for many reasons. But this whole concept of a time and grade versus a performance-based compensation structure, it was just like, what the hell is this? This is like this GS schedule. Like, no way. No, thank you. I’m out.

Dan Kelly:

So then I hopped into the private sector, and worked for really large companies like Cargill. Not many people have heard of Cargill, but it’s the largest privately held company in the world if you took out the Saudi oil companies. It’s actually based here in Minnesota. And hopped into different industries, specialized really in the strategic sourcing space. I got some good guidance once I realized that I wasn’t going to be a lifelong government employee from people that have left prior to me that the procurement field was very good for what I was doing based on my specialty in IT and negotiating complex situations. So I hopped into that and private sector, and then Tim, honestly, what I figured out is I just didn’t like being an employee.

Dan Kelly:

So I was like, maybe I should try this consulting thing. I just didn’t like this concept of a boss, and it’s probably a multifaceted problem. Probably starts with me. But then I started becoming a consultant, and long story short, again, I started this company called The Negotiator Guru. I learned through some feedback and some experience that I was personally a very good individual contributor to this whole negotiation process. Then quite frankly, we’ve developed a business around that, and now we have a team of about 36 people spread around the globe. We’re the worldwide leader in negotiating in Salesforce deals is how the market knows us. We do more than just that, but that’s how we’ve tripled down over the years.

Tim Harms:

Wow. So my theory is you’re still working for the FBI. You’re an undercover agent, and this is just your cover. Is that right?

Dan Kelly:

I have no comment on the matter.

Tim Harms:

So you’re helping companies of all shapes and sizes, from what I understand, correct, negotiate these huge IT contracts. That’s what you’re doing right now?

Dan Kelly:

Yeah, yeah. Our typical client size is essentially $5 billion annual revenue and higher. It’s just economies of scale. Generally speaking, these companies will be spending a million dollars plus per year in that. So we leverage multiple different techniques and strategies. One of the primary foundational tenants of everything that we do is this concept of outcomes-based negotiation.

Tim Harms:

Yeah, I love that. I see that on your website, your resources, you write books about it and have a lot of articles for free. What is outcomes-based negotiation, just for our listeners?

Dan Kelly:

It is a progressive strategic sourcing strategy, if you will. What it means is, when you have a party that is a supplier to your organization, and you have a team of employees and suppliers, et cetera, it’s aiming towards a common vision and a common goal. This is generally pretty simple when you have a team of 15, 20 employees, et cetera. Everyone understands what the North Star looks like. It’s very different when you’re dealing with multinational enterprises of 10,000-plus employees, with dealing with suppliers in which they’re negotiating with, in our case it’s IT suppliers, that also has 10,000-plus employees. The bottom line is what is the objective you’re trying to achieve holistically? How do you align your resources, not just in a KPI format, the old school procurement, let’s call it, old school negotiation? I want a rate reduction of a 100 to 90 and that’s it. We don’t really care about how you do it or where we’re trying to go. It’s simply, I just want cost.

Dan Kelly:

Outcomes-based negotiation is all about focusing on what the intended outcome is for both organizations. One of the primary reasons why there’s tension between the supplier and the client is there is a lack of understanding on both parties of where each other’s trying to go. There’s lack of common goals. If you want to get really, really in the weeds and really tactical about how you can truly make a strategic supplier relationship, you can have a thing called open-book costing where you literally just share your margins with each other and say, what are you doing? How do we help each other grow? That’s the most extreme. You don’t need to go that extreme in most supplier relationships. But the whole objective is instead of just focusing on taking costs out of a supplier relationship, and also without trying to simply just rate your suppliers based on this KPI performance matrix, instead focus on what good looks like for your company, the client, and share that with your suppliers at the beginning of every negotiation so that that acts as the foundation and the bedrock in which you are negotiating from.

Dan Kelly:

It automatically neutralizes this conversation of price, conversation of people, and product. It all of a sudden will focus it on what are you actually trying to achieve as a company, and what supplier’s going to bring me to that intended outcome in the fastest possible way? When you, the client, present that question to your prospective suppliers, or maybe even your current suppliers, when you’re trying to renegotiate a deal, it totally neutralizes this fear factor of I’ve got our client just going to ask me for another 20% cost reduction. How do I weasel my way out of that one?

Tim Harms:

Do you find when you lay the goal in front of the suppliers, at the end of the process you’re in the business of helping companies cut costs and become more efficient and get outcomes, but you find you actually get to that point of cutting costs, even if you don’t start there and that’s not the focus of the organization. I’m assuming that’s true, and if that’s true, why does it end there?

Dan Kelly:

There’s a couple of key reasons for it. One is, whenever you’re dealing with a sales person, and whenever you’re dealing with a procurement person, or I’m just going to call it procurement in general, it could be a business person that owns the budget, someone basically that’s trying to get the lowest cost possible, and someone was trying to get the highest cost possible, automatically you’re at ends. You’re coming at it in completely different viewpoints. Honestly, the IT software business, which is where we focus, has made this problem amplified times a thousand. It’s made it even worse. So the point being is, both parties automatically are skeptical of each other, and they automatically don’t trust each other before they even introduce themselves as their first name. That is a psychological human reaction that cannot be changed purely based on how we interact as humans on each side of the table.

Dan Kelly:

This whole concept of which side of the table you’re on, that in itself is a problem, because it’s basically this barrier between the two parties and we’re going to fight each other until we figure out who’s the most bloody and who wins. Well, this whole concept of win-lose negotiation, everyone’s had negotiation training. Everyone understands this concept of win-win. Point being is, outcomes negotiation is quite frankly the progressive idea of this win-win. Automatically when you change the subject at the beginning of the conversation from price to outcome, you, the lead negotiator, already have the upper hand, because you’ve taken, I’m just going to speak on behalf of the client for now. You’ve taken the wind out of the sails, quite frankly, out of the sales playbook, because what less than 1% of their conversations are about outcomes. It’s all usually about price. So not only do you now control the conversation, but even more importantly, you’re actually empowering your salesperson to think differently. It’s actually refreshing for the salespeople to think that way, versus simply just having a price conversation, which most good salespeople, that’s honestly the last thing they want to talk about.

Tim Harms:

Well, it’s interesting, because you’re reframing the conversation at the beginning, as you put it, if I understand you correctly. You’re in control, but you’re also setting the grounds of the discussion on the features, the outcomes, that their product is supposed to solve. So it’s supposed to be their sweet spot. So I assume by framing it this way, you’re automatically placing them in a place where they feel like, “Oh gosh, I got to deliver. This is what I’m saying my product is supposed to be doing in the marketplace.”

Dan Kelly:

Ironically, you figure out very quickly whether or not they even know what the hell their product does. Oftentimes, in the software space is that necessarily the case.

Tim Harms:

You talk about Oracle, Salesforce, Microsoft as big IT firms. Our clients, obviously, negotiate with Coke, Dr. Pepper, PepsiCo, billion dollar companies. What makes negotiating with these big billion dollar companies different than your average run of the mill negotiation with maybe smaller vendors or your office supplies vendors? What makes these different, and how do you help your clients navigate that negotiation process?

Dan Kelly:

It’s a great question. I’m just going to speak on behalf of the business. So on behalf of the business, AKA the client that’s purchasing the product from Pepsi or Coke, et cetera, most people have heard this statement, and I have to say it again, because it needs to be repeated, because people still get this wrong every single time. Even advanced business people with, let’s call it, a lot of negotiation experience, whatever that might look like. 80% of negotiation is purely preparations. The reason I bring that up is you are automatically doing yourself a disservice if you’re allowing a supplier to learn more about your organization, your organization’s needs than you know yourself. When you’re dealing with the big boys, we call it, they empower and pay an employee many levels of individuals that are all under the guise of an account management team or a customer success team and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. They are intended to be intelligence agents, quite frankly, to gain as much knowledge about your company as possible, and that’s not always in a malicious way. I don’t want to say that. It’s intended, quite frankly, to embed themselves so deeply in your business that the change cost of getting out is extreme, and that’s by design. Again, not always in a malicious way, but that’s the facts.

Dan Kelly:

So what your listeners should remember is they likely have an army of three to five people, maybe 15 people, depending on what type of client we’re talking about here, already in your company that are literally paid and compensated to find additional opportunities to grow their business inside yours. So before you even talk to the team, the supplier, please at least circle the wagons internally and create what we call a roadmap of how you view that relationship looking in the next three to five years. Do that at the bare minimum. This is going to look a little different depending on what context we’re talking about. But specifically in the beverage deals, figure out your volume consumption over the next three to five years before they do, because all of a sudden, if you don’t, you’re going to be walking into that first meeting and they’re going to tell you what, and you’re just going to be playing catch up. Now, all of a sudden they’re in control of the narrative. So again, this is not even negotiation tactics. A lot of this is just common sense. Figure out what you need before they do, or at the same time as they do, so you guys at least start working on the same information. Does that make sense?

Tim Harms:

Absolutely. So you’re just talking about getting everyone on your organization that’s going to be involved in the process either directly or indirectly and getting on the same page, understanding what your outcomes are, understanding what the data is, and what your goal is for the relationship. What you’re saying is exactly right. The beverage companies are trained to have one conversation with the CEO, one with the CFO, one with the marketing person, and one with the Ops person at the restaurant. It’s a divide and conquer strategy. So you’re saying before that even begins, make sure everyone’s reading from the same playbook.

Dan Kelly:

That’s right. Develop your own playbook first, and then be prepared to speak from one voice, if you will.

Tim Harms:

Do you find it it’s beneficial to have a single point of negotiation contact with your clients?

Dan Kelly:

Yes.

Tim Harms:

It is? Why is that?

Dan Kelly:

Are you speaking on behalf of us as a advisor, or you mean between a supplier and a business?

Tim Harms:

Between a supplier and a business, from the supplier standpoint. Sorry, from the business’s standpoint.

Dan Kelly:

From the business, yeah, it still is. It still is, because you can have a coordinated approach to your communication strategy inside and out. It always is more efficient when you’re dealing with a single point of contact inside of a company. The reason for that is, is that person acts as a quarterback. It can be nothing more than an orchestrator, but they act as a quarterback. In your large organizations, generally speaking, that’s someone in a procurement type of role.

Tim Harms:

How do you best use the executive that the sales person is trained to go after? How do you best use the CEO or the chief marketing officer? I don’t know what it would be in your business, the CIO.

Dan Kelly:

We use CIOs a lot, yeah.

Tim Harms:

How do you bring that in? What’s the best role that they can play in a negotiation process typically?

Dan Kelly:

You know what? I made a mistake early on in my career when I entered into the private sector, and I made it multiple times. Let me share with you what it was, and I’m the first to admit it. I used to tell the C-suite to shut up, to not say anything. Keep your mouth shut.

Tim Harms:

That’s why you were unemployable, right?

Dan Kelly:

That’s right, you got it. Now you’re getting it. Yeah. I learned, honestly, very quickly that that is not very easy for most C-level people. That’s not what they’re trained to do. They’re trained to talk through things, mitigate risks. Make clients happy, blah, blah, blah. The point being is, how do you use them? It’s a great question. You use them to your advantage. Most C-level people want to be part of the negotiation. They want to help. They want to be involved, and depending on the personality type, they want to be more involved than others. You need to reserve that executive access until you have something to talk about that’s worthwhile between the business and the supplier. Speaking it a little differently, don’t allow access to executives immediately day one of any negotiation.

Dan Kelly:

This can even be important for strategic negotiations, strategic suppliers, that there is already an executive to an executive contact between business and supplier. It’s important to cut those off just temporarily and to allow the project teams to hash through about 80% of the nonsense before the executives get in. That does two things. One, it actually makes your executives happy, because they realize that they’re not getting involved in the minutia, which obviously they feel a degree of self-worth at a human level, which a lot of the C-suite individuals, dare I say, are a little bored, quite honestly. They actually miss the action that happens. So honestly, a lot of them are thirsty to get back into it, and they’re just looking for a little bit of an excuse. So you’ve got to leverage that to your ability. Leverage it, but don’t let them get involved day one, because that means, one, you’re diminishing the authority of your project team. Two, you’re diminishing the authority of the executive and how decisions are made. Three, you’re going to actually prolong your timeline by bringing in executives to early versus at the end. The intent of an executive to get something over the finish line at the end of the day, and that allows everybody to be happy because you’ve escalated accordingly in both companies.

Tim Harms:

Yeah. Well, we started this conversation just talking about outcomes-based negotiation, reframing the dialogue from the very beginning. Can you maybe paint a picture for a person listening what that actually translates to in real life at the end of the day? What are some of the terms? What are some of the resulting agreements that are able to be brokered? I know these will change in every instance, but just so we can get a visual? What does that mean?

Dan Kelly:

After you get your roadmap created internally, after you circle the wagons internally, figure out what you’re trying to do as a business versus wasting the supplier’s time before you even know what the hell you’re trying to do. Assuming that’s been done, what you need to do is bring your team with the supplier team and have a co-creation session. Almost think of it as a design thinking type workshop. Design thinking is the whole concept of creating lots of different ideas and iterating on those ideas, creating prototypes very quickly, all with the intent of what is the North Star? What’s the mission statement that we’re trying to achieve? So basically, immediately when you’re talking to a supplier to stop with the pricing discussion, stop all that, stop it. Just stop. Write on a whiteboard, virtual or physical, usually virtual our days now. Write on a white board, what are we trying to achieve here? What does good look like for both parties?

Dan Kelly:

What I say is tactically, what that is, is actually have both parties. So you as the client, and the supplier, literally together write out your interests, and literally just be transparent as possible. Price can be one of your interests. That’s fine. But the point being is it’s not all of them. It’s not the whole interest. Write out your interests, get it out of the table, and I’ll tell you what, the minute you do that, both parties do that, you will literally notice a shift, and there all of a sudden will be a team dynamic between business and supplier. It automatically creates a culture from two parties that were at odds with each other, because they both want to talk about price to now talking about the focus.

Tim Harms:

Do you ever actually tie those outcomes that come on the board into the final contract, and so pricing, or rebates, or whatever mechanism you want, but that’s actually tied to an agreed upon outcome metric?

Dan Kelly:

You know what? It’s easy. It’s easy once you get to the contracting phase, because you know why? You’ve done all the work beforehand. So often these things get, we get involved with clients all the time with this happens and it’s good intentions. But so often people get the 19th hour and they start throwing contracts around to each other. They’re just as like, “Well, I didn’t agree to this. This doesn’t look right,” blah, blah, blah. You’ve got this six months of scope creep, which is great for the run of the mill big four consulting firms that want to charge by the hour. But it’s not great for when you actually want to be productive. So the point being is, yes, you identify specifically.

Dan Kelly:

The easiest thing for me to probably talk about with your audiences milestones. Again, one of the oldest contracting techniques in the book, but attaching outcomes to milestones. So it could be either an efficiency gain. It could be a sales gain. It could be operational, anything of your focus. The bottom line is it has to naturally incentivize the supplier to perform their best. If that’s the case, they’re going to be compensated accordingly, and compensation doesn’t just come in the form of money. It comes in the form of PR as well. So, yeah. Let me just, if you don’t mind, let me finish my thought on that, because one of our secret sauce elements here is the development of what we call a white paper, a joint white paper. I don’t care if you’re a small business or if you’re an enterprise organization, like a Microsoft, which you’ve seen some stuff in the news lately about how Microsoft is now coming out of this idea. You have to identify what your objectives are. After you identify the objectives, then figure out how the milestones can enable those objectives and incentivize supplier.

Dan Kelly:

In addition to the cash, this whole concept of a white paper is wonderful because if those objectives are met for both parties, by the way, it’s not just a supplier servicing the business, it’s actually the business servicing the supplier as well. The business has to do their part to enable a good relationship. But the white paper concept is all about external credibility to a business relationship that was outcomes-based. A company like Coke could use it with one of their clients and say, “Listen to the relationship that we started with, the journey we’ve been on, and where we ended up, and how it’s benefited both companies.” Honestly, that’s good for both companies. It’s not just good for the supplier, Coke. That’s good for the client too, because all of a sudden you, the client, can use this white paper and say, “Hey, look, other supplier. Look what we’ve done with this. We want to be the client of choice for you.”

Tim Harms:

There’s a million ways to apply this to our business that I’m thinking about. Restaurants, of course they want a lower price on their soda, their syrup. But what they really want is more customers in the door purchasing more beverages to grow attachment, or incidents rate, whatever term you want to use, up. That benefits the beverage supplier and it benefits the restaurant. Whereas an airport may want to improve the passenger’s journey and to create these really exciting, engaging, clean spaces at the airport. If that’s identified at the beginning as the outcome, and Pepsi or Coke, or dr. Pepper are able to have a vision in their head of a story, a commercial, a white paper, a social media campaign around something that they’re jointly able to create together, there is value there. It’s not just about beating up the vendor for price. It’s about creating value that wasn’t there before. I love it. I love it.

Dan Kelly:

Like with airports, it’s end-user experience. I’ve been very closely tied to the Minneapolis airport. Sit on one of the committees, part of the board, and we talk about end-user experience all the time. Because most people, the thing with airports, and I know we don’t want to get into it, but most people want to get the hell out of an airport, you know what I mean? So how do you make the journey enjoyable when a lot of people just want to get the hell out? It’s all about shifting the paradigm of actually making it actually quite a cool experience before and after a flight.

Tim Harms:

What role in your negotiations, obviously every time, well I assume for a lot of your projects, there are multiple competitors in this space, in the solution space. What role do you see in pitting different suppliers against each other? Do you, as you’re going through these visioning sessions with suppliers, do you let them know what other conversations have been? Do you keep that siloed? How do you bring that fear element into the negotiation in a way that’s productive?

Dan Kelly:

You do it immediately, is the answer. You don’t want to play games, smoke and mirrors, if you will. The reason for that is, is because you automatically set a tone of, quite frankly, disrespect and dishonesty if you’ve not been clear with all the parties of what’s actually happening. However, what you should do is say that everyone’s marching to the same drummer. You’ve got the same objectives between perspective A and perspective B, and we’re trying to figure out how we create the best journey to the same outcome, and whoever creates the best journey wins. Period.

Tim Harms:

That’s great. That’s great. More of a philosophical question. When you teach people how to negotiate, are you primarily focusing on the people skills, the soft skills? Or are you really honing in on more of the hard skills, the technical aspects of the service that they’re negotiating? Earlier you said negotiation is 80% preparation. What should people be focusing on? Is it the people skills or is it really the nitty gritty aspect of the service that they’re trying to negotiate for? Or is it both?

Dan Kelly:

I hate the cop out answer. It’s both. But the priority is on the emotional intelligence skills to answer your question directly. So the priority is really on the people skills first. If you don’t have that down, what’s the point of talking about the tactics. That’s especially difficult in certain industries. I’ll give you an example. The manufacturing industry, honestly, really struggles with this. We have a lot of manufacturing clients. We’ve had several bring me in for training over the years. Honestly, they really struggle with this because they’re such a numbers-driven culture. They don’t actually give a damn oftentimes about having a relationship with anyone. If you can’t do it, I got six other suppliers that can. So if you’d make your time or don’t. There is a different way to attack it. It takes some change management on both sides with certain industries. But our key focus is identifying and leveraging and developing emotional intelligence skills, which I always say is a fancy way of saying negotiation skills, honestly.

Tim Harms:

I assume you’re of the mindset that those can be learned over time, and it’s not just something you’re born with.

Dan Kelly:

They can be learned, absolutely. Yeah, that’s exactly right. These same skills are learned in multiple different industries as well. If I reflect on my personal experience real quick, I was not planning to do this. This was not the plan. Turns out that I found something I love and that’s great. I think most people share that same story. If you talk about things like from a law enforcement background, to an intelligence community, to a public service, to a private sector, negotiating beverage deals, the same elements are applied, no matter whether you’re talking about a hostage negotiation, to that of a negotiating a beverage deal. The topic is very different, but the overall behavior and approach and journey that you need to take a human through is quite frankly almost identical.

Tim Harms:

That’s so well said. We’re all human and we want to be treated like humans. There’s something that happens. I love that idea of sitting shoulder to shoulder with someone staring at a big problem. How do we solve this problem together, and not just face-to-face, trying to fight to see who can win a battle. I love the way that you frame that. Well, this has been a fantastic conversation. Thanks for sharing so much knowledge with our listeners and with me. I’ve learned a lot in this. Just, can you take a minute to give a plug for The Negotiator Guru and what you do for, in particular, into the IT space?

Dan Kelly:

Sure. Yeah. Thanks, I appreciate the opportunity. I’m the founder and a senior partner at The Negotiator Guru. We specialize in negotiating IT contracts for large enterprise companies. Our top four are Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle, and Workday. We have some of our secret sauce, we call it, is this thing called rightsizing and right pricing. So not only do we audit to validate you are paying for products that you actually need, but you’re paying the right price for those products in accordance to your industry and your annual contract value and a few other levers. So we’re really good at it. We only accept clients that we know we can drive an impact. It’s the reason we actually turn away more clients than we accept. Typically, we save clients between 20-50% in cash that can be reinvested in other areas of the business.

Tim Harms:

20-50% in Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle, and Workday products. Just to be clear, if someone’s listening, they know they’re a Salesforce customer, do they have to switch away from Salesforce?

Dan Kelly:

No, it’s an excellent question. You do not need to switch suppliers. What we do is we ensure that you’re not over-licensed so you don’t actually pay for licenses you’re not using. So AKA, in IT speak, capability you’re not using. So you don’t lose any business functionality in both the platform you use, as well as the supplier. You don’t change suppliers either. So essentially we do an internal audit, and then the right pricing is what a lot of people come to us for. It’s purely price benchmarking that’s localized to you. It’s not what a gardener would tell you is the best class price. Best-in-class price. That’s all nonsense because that stuff is shut down immediately by your salespeople, because they’re taught how to shoot that stuff down. It doesn’t apply to you for XYZ. So that’s my answer. No, you don’t need to change suppliers. Only, probably one out of 30 clients we have changes suppliers at any given time.

Tim Harms:

Awesome. So if you’re listening, Dan is the expert in this space. Give them a call. How can they find you?

Dan Kelly:

They can send me a direct email, and either myself or the team will pick it up. My email is [email protected] So G-U-R-U. Or you can go to thenegotiator.guru on the web and contact us there. So yeah, it’s been a great conversation, Tim. Thank you.

Tim Harms:

Yeah, absolutely. Thanks, Dan.

Tim Harms:

Thanks everyone for listening in. Hope you found that informative. If you have a burning question about your beverage negotiation or partnership, we’d love to hear from you and answer it on this podcast. Reach out to us by emailing [email protected] Hey, before we sign off, I want to remind you that you can take both the guesswork and the legwork out of your beverage partnership. You can level the playing field in your beverage negotiations, and you can save or make your company millions through a new or an improved beverage agreement. The first step is a free beverage opportunity analysis, which will tell you just how much you can save, or you can make. Sign up for your free beverage opportunity analysis at enlivenpartnership.com and by cooking Free Savings Estimate. On behalf of everyone here at Enliven, thanks for listening in.

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08.25.2020

Outcomes Based Negotiation

By Tim Harms

Enliven Beverage Deal Podcast Episode #8

What can an FBI-trained agent teach us about negotiation? Are you framing your entire negotiation in the wrong way? What makes negotiating with billion-dollar brands different?

In this episode, Dan Kelly, Founder and Senior Partner at The Negotiator Guru, sits down to share some practical tips on how to set up your negotiation for the best chance of success.

 

Listen on Your Favorite Podcast Player:

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Google Podcasts

Listen on

 

Related Resources:

The Key to Improving Any Beverage Deal

How Beverage Deals Help Small Businesses

Five Things Your Soft Drink Representative Doesn’t Want You to Know

 

Transcript:

Tim Harms:

Welcome to the Enliven Beverage Deal Podcast, where we’re all about saving and making you money by taking both the guesswork and the legwork out of your beverage partnership, and by leveling the playing field when it comes to negotiating your beverage contracts. I’m your host, Tim Harms. We’ve got a great show for you today. Stay tuned.

Tim Harms:

Well, everyone. I’m excited for this show today. We have Dan Kelly on for a conversation about negotiation. Dan has just a fascinating background. I won’t get into it too much. I’ll let him share. He started his career in the FBI, and now he helps companies worldwide, I believe, negotiate with huge IT companies. So really excited to have Dan on. Dan, welcome.

Dan Kelly:

Hi, Tim, thank you very much.

Tim Harms:

I started your resume and sharing your story a little bit, but maybe you can fill in the gaps and help us understand what you do.

Dan Kelly:

Sure. I’m talking to you actually from my home office in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was born and raised a Midwest kid, if you will. But then parents became snowbirds, figured out I hated the winters here, went to college in Denver, got recruited out of college into the FBI. That’s how it all started. I always had an interest in the criminal justice field, but never quite knew what I wanted to do with it. I was plucked out of college early. I had to take a year off, go through some training and some travel there. Then I spent about five years in the FBI, but I explain it to people this way. I loved the FBI. I hated working for the government. That’s two very distinct statements intended to be distinct. I loved the bureau, I love all the friends that I made. I’m still in very close contact with them today for many reasons. But this whole concept of a time and grade versus a performance-based compensation structure, it was just like, what the hell is this? This is like this GS schedule. Like, no way. No, thank you. I’m out.

Dan Kelly:

So then I hopped into the private sector, and worked for really large companies like Cargill. Not many people have heard of Cargill, but it’s the largest privately held company in the world if you took out the Saudi oil companies. It’s actually based here in Minnesota. And hopped into different industries, specialized really in the strategic sourcing space. I got some good guidance once I realized that I wasn’t going to be a lifelong government employee from people that have left prior to me that the procurement field was very good for what I was doing based on my specialty in IT and negotiating complex situations. So I hopped into that and private sector, and then Tim, honestly, what I figured out is I just didn’t like being an employee.

Dan Kelly:

So I was like, maybe I should try this consulting thing. I just didn’t like this concept of a boss, and it’s probably a multifaceted problem. Probably starts with me. But then I started becoming a consultant, and long story short, again, I started this company called The Negotiator Guru. I learned through some feedback and some experience that I was personally a very good individual contributor to this whole negotiation process. Then quite frankly, we’ve developed a business around that, and now we have a team of about 36 people spread around the globe. We’re the worldwide leader in negotiating in Salesforce deals is how the market knows us. We do more than just that, but that’s how we’ve tripled down over the years.

Tim Harms:

Wow. So my theory is you’re still working for the FBI. You’re an undercover agent, and this is just your cover. Is that right?

Dan Kelly:

I have no comment on the matter.

Tim Harms:

So you’re helping companies of all shapes and sizes, from what I understand, correct, negotiate these huge IT contracts. That’s what you’re doing right now?

Dan Kelly:

Yeah, yeah. Our typical client size is essentially $5 billion annual revenue and higher. It’s just economies of scale. Generally speaking, these companies will be spending a million dollars plus per year in that. So we leverage multiple different techniques and strategies. One of the primary foundational tenants of everything that we do is this concept of outcomes-based negotiation.

Tim Harms:

Yeah, I love that. I see that on your website, your resources, you write books about it and have a lot of articles for free. What is outcomes-based negotiation, just for our listeners?

Dan Kelly:

It is a progressive strategic sourcing strategy, if you will. What it means is, when you have a party that is a supplier to your organization, and you have a team of employees and suppliers, et cetera, it’s aiming towards a common vision and a common goal. This is generally pretty simple when you have a team of 15, 20 employees, et cetera. Everyone understands what the North Star looks like. It’s very different when you’re dealing with multinational enterprises of 10,000-plus employees, with dealing with suppliers in which they’re negotiating with, in our case it’s IT suppliers, that also has 10,000-plus employees. The bottom line is what is the objective you’re trying to achieve holistically? How do you align your resources, not just in a KPI format, the old school procurement, let’s call it, old school negotiation? I want a rate reduction of a 100 to 90 and that’s it. We don’t really care about how you do it or where we’re trying to go. It’s simply, I just want cost.

Dan Kelly:

Outcomes-based negotiation is all about focusing on what the intended outcome is for both organizations. One of the primary reasons why there’s tension between the supplier and the client is there is a lack of understanding on both parties of where each other’s trying to go. There’s lack of common goals. If you want to get really, really in the weeds and really tactical about how you can truly make a strategic supplier relationship, you can have a thing called open-book costing where you literally just share your margins with each other and say, what are you doing? How do we help each other grow? That’s the most extreme. You don’t need to go that extreme in most supplier relationships. But the whole objective is instead of just focusing on taking costs out of a supplier relationship, and also without trying to simply just rate your suppliers based on this KPI performance matrix, instead focus on what good looks like for your company, the client, and share that with your suppliers at the beginning of every negotiation so that that acts as the foundation and the bedrock in which you are negotiating from.

Dan Kelly:

It automatically neutralizes this conversation of price, conversation of people, and product. It all of a sudden will focus it on what are you actually trying to achieve as a company, and what supplier’s going to bring me to that intended outcome in the fastest possible way? When you, the client, present that question to your prospective suppliers, or maybe even your current suppliers, when you’re trying to renegotiate a deal, it totally neutralizes this fear factor of I’ve got our client just going to ask me for another 20% cost reduction. How do I weasel my way out of that one?

Tim Harms:

Do you find when you lay the goal in front of the suppliers, at the end of the process you’re in the business of helping companies cut costs and become more efficient and get outcomes, but you find you actually get to that point of cutting costs, even if you don’t start there and that’s not the focus of the organization. I’m assuming that’s true, and if that’s true, why does it end there?

Dan Kelly:

There’s a couple of key reasons for it. One is, whenever you’re dealing with a sales person, and whenever you’re dealing with a procurement person, or I’m just going to call it procurement in general, it could be a business person that owns the budget, someone basically that’s trying to get the lowest cost possible, and someone was trying to get the highest cost possible, automatically you’re at ends. You’re coming at it in completely different viewpoints. Honestly, the IT software business, which is where we focus, has made this problem amplified times a thousand. It’s made it even worse. So the point being is, both parties automatically are skeptical of each other, and they automatically don’t trust each other before they even introduce themselves as their first name. That is a psychological human reaction that cannot be changed purely based on how we interact as humans on each side of the table.

Dan Kelly:

This whole concept of which side of the table you’re on, that in itself is a problem, because it’s basically this barrier between the two parties and we’re going to fight each other until we figure out who’s the most bloody and who wins. Well, this whole concept of win-lose negotiation, everyone’s had negotiation training. Everyone understands this concept of win-win. Point being is, outcomes negotiation is quite frankly the progressive idea of this win-win. Automatically when you change the subject at the beginning of the conversation from price to outcome, you, the lead negotiator, already have the upper hand, because you’ve taken, I’m just going to speak on behalf of the client for now. You’ve taken the wind out of the sails, quite frankly, out of the sales playbook, because what less than 1% of their conversations are about outcomes. It’s all usually about price. So not only do you now control the conversation, but even more importantly, you’re actually empowering your salesperson to think differently. It’s actually refreshing for the salespeople to think that way, versus simply just having a price conversation, which most good salespeople, that’s honestly the last thing they want to talk about.

Tim Harms:

Well, it’s interesting, because you’re reframing the conversation at the beginning, as you put it, if I understand you correctly. You’re in control, but you’re also setting the grounds of the discussion on the features, the outcomes, that their product is supposed to solve. So it’s supposed to be their sweet spot. So I assume by framing it this way, you’re automatically placing them in a place where they feel like, “Oh gosh, I got to deliver. This is what I’m saying my product is supposed to be doing in the marketplace.”

Dan Kelly:

Ironically, you figure out very quickly whether or not they even know what the hell their product does. Oftentimes, in the software space is that necessarily the case.

Tim Harms:

You talk about Oracle, Salesforce, Microsoft as big IT firms. Our clients, obviously, negotiate with Coke, Dr. Pepper, PepsiCo, billion dollar companies. What makes negotiating with these big billion dollar companies different than your average run of the mill negotiation with maybe smaller vendors or your office supplies vendors? What makes these different, and how do you help your clients navigate that negotiation process?

Dan Kelly:

It’s a great question. I’m just going to speak on behalf of the business. So on behalf of the business, AKA the client that’s purchasing the product from Pepsi or Coke, et cetera, most people have heard this statement, and I have to say it again, because it needs to be repeated, because people still get this wrong every single time. Even advanced business people with, let’s call it, a lot of negotiation experience, whatever that might look like. 80% of negotiation is purely preparations. The reason I bring that up is you are automatically doing yourself a disservice if you’re allowing a supplier to learn more about your organization, your organization’s needs than you know yourself. When you’re dealing with the big boys, we call it, they empower and pay an employee many levels of individuals that are all under the guise of an account management team or a customer success team and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. They are intended to be intelligence agents, quite frankly, to gain as much knowledge about your company as possible, and that’s not always in a malicious way. I don’t want to say that. It’s intended, quite frankly, to embed themselves so deeply in your business that the change cost of getting out is extreme, and that’s by design. Again, not always in a malicious way, but that’s the facts.

Dan Kelly:

So what your listeners should remember is they likely have an army of three to five people, maybe 15 people, depending on what type of client we’re talking about here, already in your company that are literally paid and compensated to find additional opportunities to grow their business inside yours. So before you even talk to the team, the supplier, please at least circle the wagons internally and create what we call a roadmap of how you view that relationship looking in the next three to five years. Do that at the bare minimum. This is going to look a little different depending on what context we’re talking about. But specifically in the beverage deals, figure out your volume consumption over the next three to five years before they do, because all of a sudden, if you don’t, you’re going to be walking into that first meeting and they’re going to tell you what, and you’re just going to be playing catch up. Now, all of a sudden they’re in control of the narrative. So again, this is not even negotiation tactics. A lot of this is just common sense. Figure out what you need before they do, or at the same time as they do, so you guys at least start working on the same information. Does that make sense?

Tim Harms:

Absolutely. So you’re just talking about getting everyone on your organization that’s going to be involved in the process either directly or indirectly and getting on the same page, understanding what your outcomes are, understanding what the data is, and what your goal is for the relationship. What you’re saying is exactly right. The beverage companies are trained to have one conversation with the CEO, one with the CFO, one with the marketing person, and one with the Ops person at the restaurant. It’s a divide and conquer strategy. So you’re saying before that even begins, make sure everyone’s reading from the same playbook.

Dan Kelly:

That’s right. Develop your own playbook first, and then be prepared to speak from one voice, if you will.

Tim Harms:

Do you find it it’s beneficial to have a single point of negotiation contact with your clients?

Dan Kelly:

Yes.

Tim Harms:

It is? Why is that?

Dan Kelly:

Are you speaking on behalf of us as a advisor, or you mean between a supplier and a business?

Tim Harms:

Between a supplier and a business, from the supplier standpoint. Sorry, from the business’s standpoint.

Dan Kelly:

From the business, yeah, it still is. It still is, because you can have a coordinated approach to your communication strategy inside and out. It always is more efficient when you’re dealing with a single point of contact inside of a company. The reason for that is, is that person acts as a quarterback. It can be nothing more than an orchestrator, but they act as a quarterback. In your large organizations, generally speaking, that’s someone in a procurement type of role.

Tim Harms:

How do you best use the executive that the sales person is trained to go after? How do you best use the CEO or the chief marketing officer? I don’t know what it would be in your business, the CIO.

Dan Kelly:

We use CIOs a lot, yeah.

Tim Harms:

How do you bring that in? What’s the best role that they can play in a negotiation process typically?

Dan Kelly:

You know what? I made a mistake early on in my career when I entered into the private sector, and I made it multiple times. Let me share with you what it was, and I’m the first to admit it. I used to tell the C-suite to shut up, to not say anything. Keep your mouth shut.

Tim Harms:

That’s why you were unemployable, right?

Dan Kelly:

That’s right, you got it. Now you’re getting it. Yeah. I learned, honestly, very quickly that that is not very easy for most C-level people. That’s not what they’re trained to do. They’re trained to talk through things, mitigate risks. Make clients happy, blah, blah, blah. The point being is, how do you use them? It’s a great question. You use them to your advantage. Most C-level people want to be part of the negotiation. They want to help. They want to be involved, and depending on the personality type, they want to be more involved than others. You need to reserve that executive access until you have something to talk about that’s worthwhile between the business and the supplier. Speaking it a little differently, don’t allow access to executives immediately day one of any negotiation.

Dan Kelly:

This can even be important for strategic negotiations, strategic suppliers, that there is already an executive to an executive contact between business and supplier. It’s important to cut those off just temporarily and to allow the project teams to hash through about 80% of the nonsense before the executives get in. That does two things. One, it actually makes your executives happy, because they realize that they’re not getting involved in the minutia, which obviously they feel a degree of self-worth at a human level, which a lot of the C-suite individuals, dare I say, are a little bored, quite honestly. They actually miss the action that happens. So honestly, a lot of them are thirsty to get back into it, and they’re just looking for a little bit of an excuse. So you’ve got to leverage that to your ability. Leverage it, but don’t let them get involved day one, because that means, one, you’re diminishing the authority of your project team. Two, you’re diminishing the authority of the executive and how decisions are made. Three, you’re going to actually prolong your timeline by bringing in executives to early versus at the end. The intent of an executive to get something over the finish line at the end of the day, and that allows everybody to be happy because you’ve escalated accordingly in both companies.

Tim Harms:

Yeah. Well, we started this conversation just talking about outcomes-based negotiation, reframing the dialogue from the very beginning. Can you maybe paint a picture for a person listening what that actually translates to in real life at the end of the day? What are some of the terms? What are some of the resulting agreements that are able to be brokered? I know these will change in every instance, but just so we can get a visual? What does that mean?

Dan Kelly:

After you get your roadmap created internally, after you circle the wagons internally, figure out what you’re trying to do as a business versus wasting the supplier’s time before you even know what the hell you’re trying to do. Assuming that’s been done, what you need to do is bring your team with the supplier team and have a co-creation session. Almost think of it as a design thinking type workshop. Design thinking is the whole concept of creating lots of different ideas and iterating on those ideas, creating prototypes very quickly, all with the intent of what is the North Star? What’s the mission statement that we’re trying to achieve? So basically, immediately when you’re talking to a supplier to stop with the pricing discussion, stop all that, stop it. Just stop. Write on a whiteboard, virtual or physical, usually virtual our days now. Write on a white board, what are we trying to achieve here? What does good look like for both parties?

Dan Kelly:

What I say is tactically, what that is, is actually have both parties. So you as the client, and the supplier, literally together write out your interests, and literally just be transparent as possible. Price can be one of your interests. That’s fine. But the point being is it’s not all of them. It’s not the whole interest. Write out your interests, get it out of the table, and I’ll tell you what, the minute you do that, both parties do that, you will literally notice a shift, and there all of a sudden will be a team dynamic between business and supplier. It automatically creates a culture from two parties that were at odds with each other, because they both want to talk about price to now talking about the focus.

Tim Harms:

Do you ever actually tie those outcomes that come on the board into the final contract, and so pricing, or rebates, or whatever mechanism you want, but that’s actually tied to an agreed upon outcome metric?

Dan Kelly:

You know what? It’s easy. It’s easy once you get to the contracting phase, because you know why? You’ve done all the work beforehand. So often these things get, we get involved with clients all the time with this happens and it’s good intentions. But so often people get the 19th hour and they start throwing contracts around to each other. They’re just as like, “Well, I didn’t agree to this. This doesn’t look right,” blah, blah, blah. You’ve got this six months of scope creep, which is great for the run of the mill big four consulting firms that want to charge by the hour. But it’s not great for when you actually want to be productive. So the point being is, yes, you identify specifically.

Dan Kelly:

The easiest thing for me to probably talk about with your audiences milestones. Again, one of the oldest contracting techniques in the book, but attaching outcomes to milestones. So it could be either an efficiency gain. It could be a sales gain. It could be operational, anything of your focus. The bottom line is it has to naturally incentivize the supplier to perform their best. If that’s the case, they’re going to be compensated accordingly, and compensation doesn’t just come in the form of money. It comes in the form of PR as well. So, yeah. Let me just, if you don’t mind, let me finish my thought on that, because one of our secret sauce elements here is the development of what we call a white paper, a joint white paper. I don’t care if you’re a small business or if you’re an enterprise organization, like a Microsoft, which you’ve seen some stuff in the news lately about how Microsoft is now coming out of this idea. You have to identify what your objectives are. After you identify the objectives, then figure out how the milestones can enable those objectives and incentivize supplier.

Dan Kelly:

In addition to the cash, this whole concept of a white paper is wonderful because if those objectives are met for both parties, by the way, it’s not just a supplier servicing the business, it’s actually the business servicing the supplier as well. The business has to do their part to enable a good relationship. But the white paper concept is all about external credibility to a business relationship that was outcomes-based. A company like Coke could use it with one of their clients and say, “Listen to the relationship that we started with, the journey we’ve been on, and where we ended up, and how it’s benefited both companies.” Honestly, that’s good for both companies. It’s not just good for the supplier, Coke. That’s good for the client too, because all of a sudden you, the client, can use this white paper and say, “Hey, look, other supplier. Look what we’ve done with this. We want to be the client of choice for you.”

Tim Harms:

There’s a million ways to apply this to our business that I’m thinking about. Restaurants, of course they want a lower price on their soda, their syrup. But what they really want is more customers in the door purchasing more beverages to grow attachment, or incidents rate, whatever term you want to use, up. That benefits the beverage supplier and it benefits the restaurant. Whereas an airport may want to improve the passenger’s journey and to create these really exciting, engaging, clean spaces at the airport. If that’s identified at the beginning as the outcome, and Pepsi or Coke, or dr. Pepper are able to have a vision in their head of a story, a commercial, a white paper, a social media campaign around something that they’re jointly able to create together, there is value there. It’s not just about beating up the vendor for price. It’s about creating value that wasn’t there before. I love it. I love it.

Dan Kelly:

Like with airports, it’s end-user experience. I’ve been very closely tied to the Minneapolis airport. Sit on one of the committees, part of the board, and we talk about end-user experience all the time. Because most people, the thing with airports, and I know we don’t want to get into it, but most people want to get the hell out of an airport, you know what I mean? So how do you make the journey enjoyable when a lot of people just want to get the hell out? It’s all about shifting the paradigm of actually making it actually quite a cool experience before and after a flight.

Tim Harms:

What role in your negotiations, obviously every time, well I assume for a lot of your projects, there are multiple competitors in this space, in the solution space. What role do you see in pitting different suppliers against each other? Do you, as you’re going through these visioning sessions with suppliers, do you let them know what other conversations have been? Do you keep that siloed? How do you bring that fear element into the negotiation in a way that’s productive?

Dan Kelly:

You do it immediately, is the answer. You don’t want to play games, smoke and mirrors, if you will. The reason for that is, is because you automatically set a tone of, quite frankly, disrespect and dishonesty if you’ve not been clear with all the parties of what’s actually happening. However, what you should do is say that everyone’s marching to the same drummer. You’ve got the same objectives between perspective A and perspective B, and we’re trying to figure out how we create the best journey to the same outcome, and whoever creates the best journey wins. Period.

Tim Harms:

That’s great. That’s great. More of a philosophical question. When you teach people how to negotiate, are you primarily focusing on the people skills, the soft skills? Or are you really honing in on more of the hard skills, the technical aspects of the service that they’re negotiating? Earlier you said negotiation is 80% preparation. What should people be focusing on? Is it the people skills or is it really the nitty gritty aspect of the service that they’re trying to negotiate for? Or is it both?

Dan Kelly:

I hate the cop out answer. It’s both. But the priority is on the emotional intelligence skills to answer your question directly. So the priority is really on the people skills first. If you don’t have that down, what’s the point of talking about the tactics. That’s especially difficult in certain industries. I’ll give you an example. The manufacturing industry, honestly, really struggles with this. We have a lot of manufacturing clients. We’ve had several bring me in for training over the years. Honestly, they really struggle with this because they’re such a numbers-driven culture. They don’t actually give a damn oftentimes about having a relationship with anyone. If you can’t do it, I got six other suppliers that can. So if you’d make your time or don’t. There is a different way to attack it. It takes some change management on both sides with certain industries. But our key focus is identifying and leveraging and developing emotional intelligence skills, which I always say is a fancy way of saying negotiation skills, honestly.

Tim Harms:

I assume you’re of the mindset that those can be learned over time, and it’s not just something you’re born with.

Dan Kelly:

They can be learned, absolutely. Yeah, that’s exactly right. These same skills are learned in multiple different industries as well. If I reflect on my personal experience real quick, I was not planning to do this. This was not the plan. Turns out that I found something I love and that’s great. I think most people share that same story. If you talk about things like from a law enforcement background, to an intelligence community, to a public service, to a private sector, negotiating beverage deals, the same elements are applied, no matter whether you’re talking about a hostage negotiation, to that of a negotiating a beverage deal. The topic is very different, but the overall behavior and approach and journey that you need to take a human through is quite frankly almost identical.

Tim Harms:

That’s so well said. We’re all human and we want to be treated like humans. There’s something that happens. I love that idea of sitting shoulder to shoulder with someone staring at a big problem. How do we solve this problem together, and not just face-to-face, trying to fight to see who can win a battle. I love the way that you frame that. Well, this has been a fantastic conversation. Thanks for sharing so much knowledge with our listeners and with me. I’ve learned a lot in this. Just, can you take a minute to give a plug for The Negotiator Guru and what you do for, in particular, into the IT space?

Dan Kelly:

Sure. Yeah. Thanks, I appreciate the opportunity. I’m the founder and a senior partner at The Negotiator Guru. We specialize in negotiating IT contracts for large enterprise companies. Our top four are Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle, and Workday. We have some of our secret sauce, we call it, is this thing called rightsizing and right pricing. So not only do we audit to validate you are paying for products that you actually need, but you’re paying the right price for those products in accordance to your industry and your annual contract value and a few other levers. So we’re really good at it. We only accept clients that we know we can drive an impact. It’s the reason we actually turn away more clients than we accept. Typically, we save clients between 20-50% in cash that can be reinvested in other areas of the business.

Tim Harms:

20-50% in Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle, and Workday products. Just to be clear, if someone’s listening, they know they’re a Salesforce customer, do they have to switch away from Salesforce?

Dan Kelly:

No, it’s an excellent question. You do not need to switch suppliers. What we do is we ensure that you’re not over-licensed so you don’t actually pay for licenses you’re not using. So AKA, in IT speak, capability you’re not using. So you don’t lose any business functionality in both the platform you use, as well as the supplier. You don’t change suppliers either. So essentially we do an internal audit, and then the right pricing is what a lot of people come to us for. It’s purely price benchmarking that’s localized to you. It’s not what a gardener would tell you is the best class price. Best-in-class price. That’s all nonsense because that stuff is shut down immediately by your salespeople, because they’re taught how to shoot that stuff down. It doesn’t apply to you for XYZ. So that’s my answer. No, you don’t need to change suppliers. Only, probably one out of 30 clients we have changes suppliers at any given time.

Tim Harms:

Awesome. So if you’re listening, Dan is the expert in this space. Give them a call. How can they find you?

Dan Kelly:

They can send me a direct email, and either myself or the team will pick it up. My email is [email protected] So G-U-R-U. Or you can go to thenegotiator.guru on the web and contact us there. So yeah, it’s been a great conversation, Tim. Thank you.

Tim Harms:

Yeah, absolutely. Thanks, Dan.

Tim Harms:

Thanks everyone for listening in. Hope you found that informative. If you have a burning question about your beverage negotiation or partnership, we’d love to hear from you and answer it on this podcast. Reach out to us by emailing [email protected] Hey, before we sign off, I want to remind you that you can take both the guesswork and the legwork out of your beverage partnership. You can level the playing field in your beverage negotiations, and you can save or make your company millions through a new or an improved beverage agreement. The first step is a free beverage opportunity analysis, which will tell you just how much you can save, or you can make. Sign up for your free beverage opportunity analysis at enlivenpartnership.com and by cooking Free Savings Estimate. On behalf of everyone here at Enliven, thanks for listening in.

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