Archive for April 2013

How do you negotiate in 4 steps? – Part 2

“There is only one way to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.”
-Dale Carnegie-

Charlie took another sip of his hot chocolate. I have never seen a person who loves to drink hot chocolate so much. We were talking about my horrible experience when launching my wedding chocolate boxes experience. Charlie and I were talking about how to negotiate. I already knew I must do it, and now it was time for me to learn how to do it right.

As I said in my last post, many of my learning came from an amazing book called “Getting to Yes”. If you have not done so please read it! In the first part of this post (I really like reading blog posts with part 1 and 2, it makes me think a bit between the posts, come up with good questions, I hope you like it too :-)) I wrote about my first learning and the first step of negotiation. Read more

My insights to a successful meeting preparation

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”
- Alexander Graham Bell –

I am sitting in front of a very old fire place in my cozy London hotel. I love London, I love walking down Oxford Street, but instead of following the crowds, I continue my walk via the little alleys, walking on the cobble stones where the old meets the new, old houses blended with new smells. Old building housing new café places and old names mixed up with new variation of chocolate, cheese and bread.

London is an amazing city. I know my first international expansion will be to London, I know they are ready for some sweetness. And I even have a queen’s name :-).

I am not visiting London just for my own pleasure, I came on a mission. There is a new flavor of cocoa which I would like to introduce to my clients, cocoa from a 300 years old English producer. I came to London to meet Mr. Patrick. My mom joined me on this trip, her company has an accounting office in the city and she thought it would be a good time to visit, say hello and learn a few things about tax laws in the United Kingdom (boring…). Read more

How do you negotiate? – Part 1

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”
-John F. Kennedy-

Liz: “I told you I need white ribbons!”

Delivery Guy: “Well, you never said it needs to be white, you only said you need 1,000 ribbons for a wedding!”

Upset Liz: “You’re kidding right? What’s wrong with you? It is a white wedding, not a funeral. They need white ribbons on the chocolate boxes!”

Upset Delivery Guy: “You are so stubborn, what does it matter white or black, a ribbon is a ribbon, I need to get going, I will charge you the regular fee.”

Furious Liz: “How dare you charge me!? You messed it up, you didn’t deliver, I will never work with you again.”

Furious Delivery Guy: “You are impossible to work with, you are impossible to negotiate with. I do not understand how anyone buys anything from you!”

We all need to negotiate. We all face conflicts. It’s part of life and part of a business owner’s life. Sometimes it’s not fair, sometimes it’s not nice, we don’t like it but we need to do it, and as Charlie said “If we need to do it, why not learn how to do it right”. Read more

Back to Business Basics

“Sometimes the best way to move forward is by returning to where you started”
- AA –

Charlie looked at me with his penetrating look, he shook his head and said “Liz, it is time to go back to your business basics, growth and busyness is no reason to forget these business basics. What do you do when you sign up a new client? What do you do when you just start a new relationship?”

When I started my business I thought of the many clients who would come to my stores, they would share their stories with me, ask for a friendly advice and buy some of my chocolates. I knew I wanted to change the world but my business was basically a chocolate store serving individuals.

Today my business is very different, yes, I still have my store (and on my way to open 2 more), I still enjoy my many clients who come through my store door (love to hear the bell), however, after many discussions with Charlie, my business not only serve clients who come through the door, my business also sell online selected chocolate boxes delivered to many places on the east coast, and about a year ago, I started to service organizations. Read more