Last April, Catherine Ivari, the Berkeley Club of France's VP Entrepreneurs and Start Up organized and hosted our very first start up event at WeWork in Paris. 13 alumni joined the start up workshop on sales and negotiations and engaged in the discussions in a beautiful room with refreshments and hot beverages for everyone.
The workshop was divided in two separate parts, one focusing on sales and the other on negotiations. The first part consisted of a 30-minute case study where each participant had to play the role of a new director of sales in a startup. They had to, first of all, identify the weaknesses in the current sales strategy and then advise on a sales strategy. Catherine Ivari takes the opportunity to explain the evolution of sales since the rise of the Internet and to describe in detail the steps of the inbound sales methodology: identify the target client ; attract them with useful information ; establish contact ; explore their needs ; advise them.
The second part of the workshop was a mock negotiation involving the sale of a startup to a large corporation between two teams of two members. Conveniently, the first case study offered hints to identify the leverages at play for each team. Lastly, Catherine Ivari debriefed with the participants and explained the basics of negotiation including notions of "BATNA" (best alternative to a negotiated agreement), "ZOPA" (zone of possible agreements), "reservation value" (the least favorable point at which one will accept an agreement) or "value creation" (ways to increase the size of the pie before dividing it).
Although these fundamentals of sales and negotiations are well explained in many books, there surely is nothing like learning by doing (or rather simulating) a sale and a negotiation amongst UC Berkeley alumni.