Negotiation skills

Negotiation skills

November Active Based Learning Focus – Negotiation 

Our Action Based Learning topic for November is all about the thorny topic of Negotiation.

How key is being able to negotiate?
We all negotiate in both our business and personal lives (thinking with the other half / our children!). This is a life skill. The better we are at negotiating, the better outcomes we achieve in life.

Negotiation is NOT about beating the other person into submission – it IS about achieving a result that works for both parties. Win Win. 

This month’s focus will begin by teaching you a skill that will stay with you forever. I say begin, as it will give you some of the key tactics that you can have at your disposal. However, for these skills to become a habit, you need to practise, practice, practice.

A wider definition of negotiation
Most of us have this idea of negotiation being bartering in a sales environment. Yes, this is the most common application of negotiation skills. However the skills are transferable into use in other areas that you maybe you had not thought about. 

Having those difficult conversations
Negotiation skills help with  hiring people, establishing partnerships where agreements need to be met. More importantly, having these skills will help you have those difficult conversations with employees, partners, customers. 

Dealing with clients
These skills will equip you with techniques that you can use when having the ‘scope creep’ conversations with customers, or when you need to charge extra for some work. This is not normally seen as negotiation skills however the tactics and skills are the same. 

Emotional side of Negotiation
Often the only thing getting in the way of successful negotiation is …. ourselves.

We don’t have the confidence in our ability, the belief in ourselves. A large part of successful negotiation is how we handle the situation emotionally. This is the focus of the book of the month – Collywobbles: how to negotiate when negotiation makes you nervous by Mushe Cohen. 

I urge you to read this book and keep it with you as a constant reference or a manual to refer back to. 

Our Guest Experts

We are honoured to have Phil Brown with us this month. His background is procurement of marketing services(!) and he is a skilled negotiator. He now runs The Negotiation Club. Phil will be running the Inspiration Circle Negotiation Club. See what to expect.

We also have with us Moshe Cohen – the author of ‘Collywobbles – how to negotiate when Negotiation gets in the way ‘- which is our book of the month.

BookClub – Author in attendance!

Synopsis of the book.
Negotiations are challenging and sometimes scary. You prepare and know what you want, but then things go terribly wrong. Your emotions get in the way. Sometimes you don’t even try, or lose your way and fail to achieve your objectives. This book helps you get out of your own way, manage your emotions, and negotiate effectively.

I am delighted that the Author, Moshe Cohen will be joining us at the bookclub this month. This will be a great opportunity to ask questions on his book, explore some of his ideas in more details and get some really valuable insights into negotiation that maybe you had not thought about. 

NB: Special Offer
Moshe has agreed to provide any member that buys the book a 30 min 121 session. How valuable would that be?

Summary of Activity
All the learning videos are available in the Member portal  – these focus on negotiation tactics – there are 5 videos focusing oin different tactics

The Inspiration Circle will be a Negotiation Club – hosted by Phil Brown. Thursday 10th Nov @9.30am

The Inspiration Clinic at the end of the month is where we come together to discover what we learnt and celebrate the successes. Friday 25th @9.30am

The Bookclub is an audience with Moshe Cohen – not to be missed. Tuesday 29th @3pm 

Please register for this months events – links below.

Inspiration Circle: Register Here | Add to Calendar 
Inspiration Clinic: Register Here | Add to Calendar

Happy Negotiating! 

Glassophobia and how to conquer it

Glassophobia and how to conquer it

As an agency owner or freelancer, presenting and presenting well is a necessary part of the job.

The fear of public speaking is the most common phobia ahead of death, spiders, or heights. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that public speaking anxiety, or glossophobia, affects about 73% of the population. The underlying fear is judgment or negative evaluation by others.* 

If you are one of these people then to be successful in your job as an agency leader you really need to learn to overcome this fear. 

If you feel comfortable speaking then there are ways you probably can improve.

Why is presenting so important?

Well, it is because as an agency leader you have to be able to communicate well in a variety of  different situations.

Networking / Selling

The onus on sales often falls on the agency owner. Whether that be in a networking scenario where you have to communicate an elevator pitch a short amount of time (either 121 or publicly); or you are in front of a customer explaining what you can do for them, describing your services and the value that they will receive.

Presenting is all around delivering your messages in a concise, clear and understandable way.

Internal communication

If your an agency with a team (or a single person business with external suppliers) You will need to be able to communicate effectively to these audiences.  This includes:

  • Making sure that they understand the vision for the business; 
  • communicating your messages within team meetings; 
  • articulating in 121 discussions and reviews 


This is the one area that is the most discussed within the agency world. Pitching is part of the sales process, a vital part. It is the difference between winning business and losing business.

Being able to pitch effectively is probably the single most important presentations that you will do as an agency owner.

Formal Presentations (education) 

A key way of increasing the visibility of what you do as a business often involves doing formal presentations. this this is a great way of educating your audience with what you do and the value you provide.

If you are afraid of presenting then this is a key area that you are missing out on.

How do you get over glossophobia?

There are many aspects to being able to deliver effective presentations as there are many ways to overcome the fear.

The biggest fear is brain freeze – the fear that you will completely forget what you are going say – this triggers the ‘what will people think of me’ anxiety and immediately you go into fight of flight mode. 

A big party of this fear can be overcome by learning (and practicing) various presentation techniques.

  • Relaxation techniques 
  • Breathing techniques 
  • Projection techniques
  • Audience engagement techniques 

What we say or how we say it

There are many research studies on the impact of verbal versus non verbal communication. One is upto 93% impact for non verbal communications in giving an effective presentation. 

Whatever the figure the ability to impact an audience by what you don’t say cannot be underestimate and this is a key skill to be able to deliver great presentations. 

Practise makes perfect – In many respects this is absolutely true in the world of presentations. This is a key way to overcome any fear you may have. 

Help is at hand

Over the last few years we have had some wonderful presentations on this subject (that are available for members in the portal) from experts such as: 

Sally Hindmarch at Partners With You ( Those at Agency Local Summer Social this year received a copy of her book in the ‘goody bag’. 

And Andrea Pacini ( from Ideas on Stage 

In August 2022 we have Andrea coming back to talk to us about 3 steps to effective presentations covering:

  • 3 key success factors for effective presentations
  • Powerful techniques for developing a compelling message
  • A simple method for high-impact presentations 

Link to book here (free to Agency Local members) 

Make Presenting a priority 

I recommend that if you want to be a successful leader of your business then you make sure that presenting effectively is a key skill that you have in your armory. This will really help you to be successful in your business life and to take your agency to the next level. 



Member Spotlight – Matterdan Design Studio

Member Spotlight – Matterdan Design Studio

Our newsletter subscribers will be no stranger to our Member Spotlight – shining the light on a different member of the Agency Local community each month. ?

Introducing Craig Townsend, Founder of Matterdam Studios!

Craig Townsend is a talented Design Director who has solved design challenges for some of the world’s best known brands in sport, entertainment, and food and drink. His experience working in London advertising agencies has seen him create innovative, award-winning work for international brands and charities.
 Founded by Craig Townsend, Matterdam Design Studio is here to design for the experience age.

We asked Craig to tell us about a recent project that he is especially proud of:

Matterdam was tasked to design a brand campaign for this amazing not-for-profit We designed a brand campaign that is strikingly against the grain in traditional charity media, to encourage populations to help bring this pandemic to an end. We want to kill COVID with kindness and our ask is simple: if you’ve been fortunate enough to receive a COVID vaccine, donate one to someone who hasn’t in a low income country. We want to donate one vaccine for every person in the UK by Christmas. Some wonderful people in this organisation are trying to make sure vaccines are accessible to all no matter where they live or what they earn. Please donate and share. Visit and to learn more. Matterdam is currently working on some very exciting projects in the drinks sector, watch this space.

As a valued Member of our community, here’s what Craig had to say about Agency Local:

“Agency Local is an essential network for agency owners and has been an incredibly helpful resource for me to grow my practice as a designer. Chris is building an exciting network and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow.”

Craig Townsend, Matterdam Design Studio

To see some of Craig’s work check out his website  

As an active member of the Agency Local community, Craig is also fairly new here. So why not say hello on LinkedIn, or better still, join our growing Slack community full of fabulous people and drop him a message on there too!

For more information on how to benefit from all of the wonderful things our membership and community have to offer take a look at our Membership Page

Launching the Member to Member Marketing event

Launching the Member to Member Marketing event


We have all come across the phrase “barber with the worst haircut” or “cobblers with the worst shoes”.  

This represents a profession that is good at what it does but never does it for itself. Unfortunately, with a few exceptions, this applies wholeheartedly to the marketing and creative sector.

For an industry that is focussed on helping businesses market themselves, communicate their messages, and drive leads and enquiries, why are we so bad at doing this ourselves?

When I ran my agency, it took over 3 years to build version 2 of our website! I vowed that next time I would outsource that activity to somebody else in order to ensure it was delivered well and on time. We always put ourselves at the back of the queue behind our customers or we have expertise in one area but another and so struggle. 

Agency Local – a community for supporting one another

As a community that is built around supporting one another and helping each other, Agency Local members should be able to assist each other with their marketing activity and results. We want to create the opportunity to make this happen. What is better than being able to Showcase your expertise within the community, to demonstrate what is capable and to provide help and guidance to other members to help them improve in certain areas?

We are introducing a new event where members can do exactly this. They can showcase their Marketing expertise to provide valuable information and knowhow to other members. 

Introducing Member to Member Marketing Showcase

These will be strictly Full Member only events. It is our intention to run these events every two months in the month where we do not have an Insight event. These will be focused around a specific topic that will be led by one of the members with an an element of knowledge sharing as well as interactive Q&A and discussion. 

We could cover all sorts of topics such as marketing strategy, content writing, specific social media e.g. TikTok, photography and the use of images – the list is endless.

For the speakers, not only is this a chance for you to showcase what you do and provide valuable content, it is an opportunity to grow your network and for people to really know what you do and the value you add.

From an attendee perspective, you will gain an insight or new ways of doing things, learn something that will improve your marketing and a chance to upskill or get some quick tips to drive better results. 



Pilot Event 

We will be holding our first Member to Member event on the 21st of October at 9.30. 

Our first Member Expert will be Catherine Storey from Freshbat who will be focusing on why you need a marketing strategy. What a great place to start!

We look forward to welcoming as many members as possible to this event. 



Two things for you to do: 

  1. Put this in your calendar now – 21st October 2021 – 9.30 on Zoom.
  2. If you are interested in presenting at one of the Member to Member events please contact Lisa or Chris.
Add Agency Local’s Event Calendar Today

Add Agency Local’s Event Calendar Today


You asked and we listened!

The feedback we have received has been so helpful in pushing us to plan even further ahead than we usually do. In doing this, we will be helping you secure time slots in your diaries for the all-important dates that you do not want to miss! As an agency ourselves, we know that your time is precious, we also understand that many of our members’ diaries fill up ahead of time, and it is so important to us that we make it as easy as possible for you to attend our events (especially as we have so many exciting things coming up).

As you know, topics and guest speakers will vary, but our event’s schedule is as follows:

  • Insight Event: Bi Monthly, third Thursday of the month, 6:30-8:30pm
  • Ask the Expert events: second Thursday of every month. 9:30-10:30am
  • Huddles: First Friday of every month. 2:00-3:00pm
  • 90 Day Planning Workshops: Bi-Monthly. 9:30am
  • Member to Member Events: Bi-Monthly, third Thursday of the month, 9:30am

We have added a public events calendar to our own calendars and have added the sharable link below:

Add Agency Local Event Schedule To My Calendar

When you open this you should see a ‘+Google Calendar’ option at the bottom right of your screen, click this to add! It’s that simple.

Once this calendar is added, it should show up in your list of ‘other calendars’ for you to view or hide accordingly.

Alternatively, you can click on the individual event’s scheduled in the calendar where you should seethe option to ‘add event to your calendar’:

From here you can add individual events directly to your calendar, as often as you like, for any that especially take your fancy.

These will be mostly save the dates for future planning, we will update the information as early as we can to ensure you have as much as advanced notice of time. As always keep an eye open for more updates via our social channels and our newsletters!

Radical Candor Book Review

Radical Candor by Kim Scott was the Agency Local Bookclub book of the month for September.

Radical Candor – what is it? What does it mean?

Radical Candor by Kim Scott was Agency Local's Book of the Month for September

Yesterday we held our monthly Bookclub (The aim of the Bookclub is to encourage a mindset of continual learning and continual business improvement for marketing agencies ). At each meeting we discuss the book, identify key messages and to highlight our own takeaways as to what we can use in our business.

This was a great book and plenty to share from the discussion. Kim Scott has taken her experiences from managing teams at Google and Apple and come up with an approach that provides the right environment to build and lead effective teams. 

Despite this being based on a corporate scenario, the key principles equally apply to smaller teams and even to one man business working with partners. 

Key takeaways from the discussion were:

Paula Alibone highlighted that it is a great book to help you run teams and manage people – It could easily be a ‘bible’ to team and people management. 

Helen Kirkby said ‘it provides a model to create a valuable culture and a common language where criticism and praise is part of the operating system to foster collaborative working’

Catherine Story observed that the book provides a framework for providing advice (in a Radical Candor way) which is really useful. Giving advice, guidance and feedback can be very difficult and damaging if it is not done correctly.

Good leaders listen understand and adapt.

Other important points from the discussion included that for a leader of a team or a business it always starts with you – you have to lead by being able to allow feedback on yourself. This is sometimes really difficult for some leaders. 

She also outlines a very useful model for ‘Getting Stuff Done’ (GSD) … efficiently 

Key quotes:

“Praise in public, criticise in private”

Magic Question for starting the feedback discussion and improving the way you work with others:

“Is there anything I could do or stop doing that could make it easier to work with me?”

Once you see through the corporate speak there are some really useful ways to manage people – either direct employees or other partners that you work with. Highly recommended.


For more information, updates, our latest titles and to join in on the book club discussion, head to the #book-club channel in Slack

And to find out more for yourself check out the official website: