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Innhold levert av Dale Carnegie Training Japan and Dr. Greg Story. Alt podcastinnhold, inkludert episoder, grafikk og podcastbeskrivelser, lastes opp og leveres direkte av Dale Carnegie Training Japan and Dr. Greg Story eller deres podcastplattformpartner. Hvis du tror at noen bruker det opphavsrettsbeskyttede verket ditt uten din tillatelse, kan du følge prosessen skissert her https://no.player.fm/legal.
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308 Eradicate That Japan Sales Buyer "Existing Supplier" Nonsense

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Manage episode 407249891 series 3559139
Innhold levert av Dale Carnegie Training Japan and Dr. Greg Story. Alt podcastinnhold, inkludert episoder, grafikk og podcastbeskrivelser, lastes opp og leveres direkte av Dale Carnegie Training Japan and Dr. Greg Story eller deres podcastplattformpartner. Hvis du tror at noen bruker det opphavsrettsbeskyttede verket ditt uten din tillatelse, kan du følge prosessen skissert her https://no.player.fm/legal.

Japan loves the Devil they know over the Angel they don’t know. Change here is hard to achieve in any field, because of the inbuilt fear of mistakes and failure. This country takes risk aversion to the highest heights in business. There are no rewards for salaried employees to take risk. There are massive career downsides though, if things go wrong, due to an initiative they introduced. Personal accountability is not very popular here.

The decision-making system here is also a nightmare in this regard. Who is the decision-maker? Probably no single person. The meeting we attend may have one to three people present in the room, but they are the tip of the iceberg. An iceberg we will never fully get to meet by the way. Behind the walls of the office, sit their other colleagues who will have to sign off and agree on the change.

The checks and balances of Japanese organisations guarantee a few things. One is it makes for good communication internally. No one faces an unpleasant surprise. I have found most Japanese, as individuals, are not good at dealing with the unexpected. The sudden emergence of something that had not been previously factored in, has these staff rushing for emergency exits in fear.

The other thing this system supplies is the opportunity for all the vested interests to have their say. Fast action is not viewed as a plus. Reaching a consensus is very important in Japan and people expect to have input into any new arrangements. The ringisho piece of paper suggesting the change physically moves around the section head’s desks and each one applies their hanko or stamp to the document, indicating they are okay with the change. Nothing will happen until all of those stamps are there.

Turning up as a salesperson and finding the buying team are already quite happy with their current supplier, means a lot of work has to be done internally by the people we are meeting, to make a change away from the known and established order. Who wants more work? No one in Japan, that is for sure. When you are dealing with small to middle size firms the supplier arrangements can be even trickier. They often have a strong CEO owner running the show – the famous One Man Shacho . They make a lot of the key decisions and then everyone else does the execution of the decision. You may not get to meet with the supreme dictator directly.

In many cases, the current supplier company was supplying their grandfather who started the business. Many a good time was had on the golf course, being entertained in the Ginza by geisha and visiting expensive cabaret clubs together in the good old days. Gifts flowed thick and fast as well, over decades, to cement the relationship. The current generation of the heads of the respective businesses may have been at school together, have marriage links between their two families or belong to special clubs as members. I see these connections at my very exclusive Rotary Club here in Tokyo. These are successful families who move in the same circles. The third generation of family business heads have deep links together built up over the last generations. Why would they change their trusted supplier to you, a stranger, a Johnny Come Lately?

Be it a big corporate or a smaller concern, there are a lot of barriers to change in supplier relationships in Japan. Frankly, we have few levers at our disposal as a result. The one thing that companies fear in common though is getting left behind by their competitors. The globalisation of business has meant these harmonious relationships between supplier and buyer are getting shaken up.

Just explaining the details, benefits, quality and pricing advantage of the solution you provide are not enough. We need to lob some dynamite into their current cozy little supplier arrangements, by bringing up their exposure to being blindsided by a competitor. We need to remind them that the best solution will win in the market or at least reduce their market share. We need to point out that in a competitive industry, no one cares about the depth of the existing relationships, because they are fully focused on their survival. Rivals will make key supplier changes and these will trigger changes across the industry, as everyone else has to adjust accordingly. By getting ahead of the curve, they can win time to adjust and win market share for themselves, vis-à-vis their rivals.

Price and quality differentials only become meaningful in this light in the current market. Just talking about price or quality in isolation won’t move the buyers to make any changes. Being 30% cheaper sounds good, except the dislocation required to change suppliers is counted as much more expensive than the savings to be gained. The effort to make new or change supplier arrangements needs a strong reason in Japan or else everyone just defaults to a “do nothing” stance.

This requires we come armed with examples of where a change in supplier arrangements wiped certain companies out. The best option is relating changes in their industry, but even if we don’t have that, we need to show evidence of how dangerous it can be to avoid change. The drivers of change are plain to see: globalisation changing supply options, Japan’s declining population driving companies to take desperate measures to stay afloat, technical advances challenging existing business relationships, currency movements impacting pricing, etc. As an example, the DoCoMo i-Mode was a world leading phone app until Steve Jobs turned up with the iPhone and the i-Mode is no more.

We say fear and greed drive behaviour. Well in Japan, the fear factor is certainly more pronounced than the greed factor, so lead with the downside of non-action rather than the upside of a new initiative. Paint a picture of how the advantages of your solution could become dangerous in the wrong hands, that is to say, their competitors. Advise them to not give an unfair advantage to their rivals by not making the change today. Express the importance of urgency, the time factor exigency to take action right now.

We need to do this to drive the imperative of all those characters sitting behind the wall of the office, to get their hanko out and stamp the recommendation, showing their support for it. The people we are meeting are not the final decision-makers, so we need to arm them with the required nuclear harpoon to break through all the inertia and resistance to change, that is the hallmark of business in Japan.

  continue reading

336 episoder

Artwork
iconDel
 
Manage episode 407249891 series 3559139
Innhold levert av Dale Carnegie Training Japan and Dr. Greg Story. Alt podcastinnhold, inkludert episoder, grafikk og podcastbeskrivelser, lastes opp og leveres direkte av Dale Carnegie Training Japan and Dr. Greg Story eller deres podcastplattformpartner. Hvis du tror at noen bruker det opphavsrettsbeskyttede verket ditt uten din tillatelse, kan du følge prosessen skissert her https://no.player.fm/legal.

Japan loves the Devil they know over the Angel they don’t know. Change here is hard to achieve in any field, because of the inbuilt fear of mistakes and failure. This country takes risk aversion to the highest heights in business. There are no rewards for salaried employees to take risk. There are massive career downsides though, if things go wrong, due to an initiative they introduced. Personal accountability is not very popular here.

The decision-making system here is also a nightmare in this regard. Who is the decision-maker? Probably no single person. The meeting we attend may have one to three people present in the room, but they are the tip of the iceberg. An iceberg we will never fully get to meet by the way. Behind the walls of the office, sit their other colleagues who will have to sign off and agree on the change.

The checks and balances of Japanese organisations guarantee a few things. One is it makes for good communication internally. No one faces an unpleasant surprise. I have found most Japanese, as individuals, are not good at dealing with the unexpected. The sudden emergence of something that had not been previously factored in, has these staff rushing for emergency exits in fear.

The other thing this system supplies is the opportunity for all the vested interests to have their say. Fast action is not viewed as a plus. Reaching a consensus is very important in Japan and people expect to have input into any new arrangements. The ringisho piece of paper suggesting the change physically moves around the section head’s desks and each one applies their hanko or stamp to the document, indicating they are okay with the change. Nothing will happen until all of those stamps are there.

Turning up as a salesperson and finding the buying team are already quite happy with their current supplier, means a lot of work has to be done internally by the people we are meeting, to make a change away from the known and established order. Who wants more work? No one in Japan, that is for sure. When you are dealing with small to middle size firms the supplier arrangements can be even trickier. They often have a strong CEO owner running the show – the famous One Man Shacho . They make a lot of the key decisions and then everyone else does the execution of the decision. You may not get to meet with the supreme dictator directly.

In many cases, the current supplier company was supplying their grandfather who started the business. Many a good time was had on the golf course, being entertained in the Ginza by geisha and visiting expensive cabaret clubs together in the good old days. Gifts flowed thick and fast as well, over decades, to cement the relationship. The current generation of the heads of the respective businesses may have been at school together, have marriage links between their two families or belong to special clubs as members. I see these connections at my very exclusive Rotary Club here in Tokyo. These are successful families who move in the same circles. The third generation of family business heads have deep links together built up over the last generations. Why would they change their trusted supplier to you, a stranger, a Johnny Come Lately?

Be it a big corporate or a smaller concern, there are a lot of barriers to change in supplier relationships in Japan. Frankly, we have few levers at our disposal as a result. The one thing that companies fear in common though is getting left behind by their competitors. The globalisation of business has meant these harmonious relationships between supplier and buyer are getting shaken up.

Just explaining the details, benefits, quality and pricing advantage of the solution you provide are not enough. We need to lob some dynamite into their current cozy little supplier arrangements, by bringing up their exposure to being blindsided by a competitor. We need to remind them that the best solution will win in the market or at least reduce their market share. We need to point out that in a competitive industry, no one cares about the depth of the existing relationships, because they are fully focused on their survival. Rivals will make key supplier changes and these will trigger changes across the industry, as everyone else has to adjust accordingly. By getting ahead of the curve, they can win time to adjust and win market share for themselves, vis-à-vis their rivals.

Price and quality differentials only become meaningful in this light in the current market. Just talking about price or quality in isolation won’t move the buyers to make any changes. Being 30% cheaper sounds good, except the dislocation required to change suppliers is counted as much more expensive than the savings to be gained. The effort to make new or change supplier arrangements needs a strong reason in Japan or else everyone just defaults to a “do nothing” stance.

This requires we come armed with examples of where a change in supplier arrangements wiped certain companies out. The best option is relating changes in their industry, but even if we don’t have that, we need to show evidence of how dangerous it can be to avoid change. The drivers of change are plain to see: globalisation changing supply options, Japan’s declining population driving companies to take desperate measures to stay afloat, technical advances challenging existing business relationships, currency movements impacting pricing, etc. As an example, the DoCoMo i-Mode was a world leading phone app until Steve Jobs turned up with the iPhone and the i-Mode is no more.

We say fear and greed drive behaviour. Well in Japan, the fear factor is certainly more pronounced than the greed factor, so lead with the downside of non-action rather than the upside of a new initiative. Paint a picture of how the advantages of your solution could become dangerous in the wrong hands, that is to say, their competitors. Advise them to not give an unfair advantage to their rivals by not making the change today. Express the importance of urgency, the time factor exigency to take action right now.

We need to do this to drive the imperative of all those characters sitting behind the wall of the office, to get their hanko out and stamp the recommendation, showing their support for it. The people we are meeting are not the final decision-makers, so we need to arm them with the required nuclear harpoon to break through all the inertia and resistance to change, that is the hallmark of business in Japan.

  continue reading

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