Negotiating for the future at Nespresso
Symmetry of attention, reciprocity, “coopetition”, empathy… the language used to describe the negotiating process at Nespresso is a world away from traditional power-based tactics. Julien Morel, sales director for Nespresso France, explains all.
[highlight_box title=”Biography” text=”Julien Morel began his career in supply chains and purchasing, an area he has been working in for the last 10 years – first at Masterfoods France, followed by the biscuit manufacturer Lu (known as Danone at the time) and then Hill’s Petfood (part of the Colgate Palmolive group). He joined Nespresso in 2009 to set up the operations department, bringing supply chain, purchasing and customer relations under one roof. In September 2014 Julien took over sales management for business customers (companies, cafes, hotels and restaurants) and specialized distribution for Nespresso France.” img=”https://business-digest.eu:443/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/BD286Morel.jpg”]
Supply chain expert and sales director Julien Morel has always been closely involved with negotiating processes. “Before joining Nespresso, my negotiating experiences had been frustrating, to say the least,” says the man who was voted 2016 sales manager of the year by the Trophées Actions Co. “In the world that I was operating in, negotiating was an ultra-competitive affair, with winners and losers – but many more losers than winners. Relations between customers and suppliers were so aggressive that negotiations tended to bring little value to anyone.”
Symmetry of attention and relationships between equals
When Morel enlisted with the Nestlé subsidiary in 2009, he discovered a very different world. Nespresso has been riding the wave of a unique business model for 20 years, with the focus firmly on monitoring not just the entire value chain but also the human and personal relationships of its Club members. “It is based largely on the idea that how you look after your employees shapes how they look after your customers. We’re convinced that offering our customers the best possible experience depends on offering the same to our employees, partners and suppliers.” When this concept is applied to negotiating, it translates into a dynamic of equality and mutual feedback. “Unlike the practices I had been used to in my ‘old world’, at Nespresso we don’t negotiate just to make the short-term win, at all costs. The priority is that, when the negotiation is over, both sides want to work and move forward together!
The art of finding common ground
One of the first negotiations led by Morel at Nespresso illustrates the appraoch perfectly. “It’s probably the negotiation I am most proud of,” explains Morel. “Our customers had set us a challenge: they wanted to be able to choose appointment slots for their coffee deliveries.
Excerpt from Business Digest N°286, May 2018