Don't lose the fee negotiation when you've won the pitch

Having spent many weeks (and weekends) plus a ton of cash on a winning pitch, it can be daunting to face a complex fee negotiation. This is especially true if it’s with a different cast of characters than those you just spent many hours building a relationship with.

You may well have to start again from cold with Procurement – who don’t think like marketing people.

What you need now is to approach the planning and management of the negotiation the way Procurement do. To predict their objectives, to anticipate their strategy, and to know that no matter what they hit you with, you will know what your answer will be.

Jonathan O’Brien has spent over 35 years as a purchasing professional, the last 15 training senior procurement heads how to be better negotiators. So when it comes to negotiating you could say he wrote the book (actually, he has written four best selling procurement and negotiation books).

Jonathan created the Red Sheet negotiation system to provide a structured process that evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of your position and those of your opposition. This then provides a template for a step-by-step road map to plan and manage the negotiation, using or evading all the tactics (and tricks) used by purchasing professionals.

For the first time, Jonathan’s Red Sheet negotiation system is now available outside the procurement industry.

Nigel Howlett, ex President of OgilvyOne London, now Managing Director, International at Epsilon sent his senior team on the 3-day Red Sheet training course in 2018 and said:

“Having identified the need to elevate the negotiation skills of my senior team and conducted a thorough review of potential training partners, we selected Red Sheet as the most relevant solution for our industry. This combines world-class training with a set of ‘everyday’ tools that embed superior negotiation practices in the business

The feedback from the team has been very positive and early results indicate that it was an excellent investment”.


Red Sheet® is a step-by-step negotiation planning tool, available as a physical Red Sheet or a web-based application, that provides a road map to navigate you through even the most complex negotiation. It allows you to consider the likely goals of the client, together with the strengths and characters in their team. It guides you through the creation of your concession strategy based on relative value and business priority.

In short, the process examines every aspect of the negotiation and ensures you have a solution for any scenario, so you don’t give too much away or leave any money on the table. Red Sheet even provides you with a detailed record of your negotiation plan so you can review it after the event, distill the key learnings and be more successful at the next fee negotiation!




The first 6 courses for agencies will be delivered by Jonathan O’Brien in person and, to deliver relevance, Jonathan with be assisted by Marcus Evans, who has run agencies for Ogilvy, BBDO and TBWA.

Full documentation is provided and, post training, delegates are supported by our digital negotiation platform, Ruby with Learning, which features a full range of tools, tactics, templates and elearning modules to secure winning outcomes from every deal.

Take the first step in improving the outcome of your next fee negotiation by contacting us today

Call Jonathan now to get a better outcome from your next fee negotiation!

Jonathan O’Brien

CEO of Red Sheet Negotiation