Friday, May 18, 2012



Introducing Cathleen Lewis: Cathleen Lewis has over 18 years experience in integrated global marketing, branding, sponsorship and activation.  She began a career in 1992 in advertising, where she worked in media and account management for number of large agencies including BBDO, DDB Needham and Ogilvy and Mather handling high profile accounts such as Universal Pictures, AT&T and Kaiser Permanente.  In 1998, she joined Hilton Hotels where between overseeing global partnership strategy, she also successfully negotiated over 20 multi-million dollar deals including a sponsorship deal where Hilton became title sponsor of the largest theatre on Broadway.  High profile enterprise level partnerships were also created with Clear Channel, several airlines, Intel, E*Trade and Coca-Cola.  Based on her success in that Director level position, she was appointed to oversee Hilton Hotels’ Olympic sponsorship strategy through planning for the Beijing Olympics.  In 2007, she joined former Vice President Al Gore and launched Live Earth, the global concert to raise awareness of the environment and global warming as their VP of Marketing and Communications. Since then, she has started her own consulting firm and has worked with several high-profile companies and startups including X PRIZE Foundation, Starbucks, TED Conference, and several venture backed start-ups among others.  Cathleen has a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Oregon.


CEO Cathleen Lewis ofCathleen Lewis Consulting”. Took sometime out of her busy schedule to speak with me on different approach while conducting a negotiation.

Melisa Brown: Cathleen thank you for taking the time to speak with me. My first question to you would be; how do you use objective criteria during your negotiations?

Cathleen Lewis: “I think you should always site sources or examples that are relevant to what you are trying to get across our what your trying to negotiate for. So in the area of sponsorship if they think the price is too high, your going to site an example of someone paying more.”

Melisa Brown: How do you use leverage and power in your negotiation techniques?

Cathleen Lewis: “Its better to use positive leverage because you are giving them something they want. In any negotiation you always want to have that leverage to walk away and that is a position of power that is the optimal position to be in, Its better to make them feel like they need you more than you need them”.

Melisa Brown Counter Question: In the business you run now how have you used leverage and power?

Cathleen Lewis: “One way I tend to use leverage or power is for example if a potential client say my rates are two high, then I tell them that’s my rate and they need to find someone else. Even though you may say oh my god I want the business, you can’t simply lower your rates because you want the business, you have to stand strong and not lower your rates for then you will be lowering your rates for everyone.” You may end up loosing the business but that’s how it is.

Melisa Brown: When conducting a negotiation is Appreciation one of your main focuses?

Cathleen Lewis: Whenever I’m trying to get anyone I use appreciation.  Because I hire third party contractor and when you let them know that they are doing a great job and they do good work they will want to work for you. You also want to tip them (Cathleen Laughs) but when you appreciate them, your work will always be completed on time and never neglected.

Melisa Brown: How do you use Affiliation during your negotiation technique?

Cathleen Lewis: Look for thing that you and the client can relate to and connect with people on. For example I just met with a client from Canada before speaking with you and since I use to live and work most of my life in California and Oregon, I am very familiar with that part of the country, so we could talk about Vancouver and DC and where she’s from. This helps a lot because it shows you know whom they are and were they are coming from. Even if its geography.

Melisa Brown: How do you Deal with negative emotions during negotiations?

Cathleen Lewis: This is a fun one! I love this part. You always want to acknowledge but not agree. And then make sure your speaking in a tone that is calmer and softer, not too much so that you seem condescending. This is the best way to tackle this situation.

Melisa Brown: So you have a client and they are really negative and loud how do you handle that and get them to calm down?

Cathleen Lewis: They will eventually stop talking. You just don’t say anything. In terms of activating sponsorship for big things like live Earth and the Olympics. Their was a lot of emotions involve because there was just not enough time to activate a lot of things, but a lot of money was being spent. You just have to remain calm because they will eventually see that they are acting unprofessional and stop talking. “ You can’t play in the sand box” because it will spiral out of control if you try.

Melisa Brown: Mutual benefit, do you focus on the benefits of both parties? And how do you come to a mutual benefit during negotiation?

Cathleen Lewis: I usually focus on the clients benefits, not necessary mine, because if I’m trying to get them to agree its more important for them to feel that they are getting all the benefits not you are.

Melisa Brown: Why wouldn’t you think of both party benefits?

Cathleen Lewis: I wouldn’t do business with them if I didn’t already know if they hire me what benefits are in store for me. When negotiating I always focus on their benefits not my benefits. In all my discussion it’s what I can bring to the table and what I can do for them. And what I can deliver. I don’t focus on this is a great client that’s going to build my carrier, the cost of my retainer, or a great client to build my roster etc. In this negotiation I am the seller and they are the buyer.

Melisa Brown: Dealing with dirty tricks and/or tricky tactics, how to you handle this situation?

Cathleen Lewis: What goes around comes around! I think that you have to handle yourself in a way you feel good about, you can confront the person, but you know and he knows who said it. But if they deny it you both know who said it and you know 100% and you know they are not going to come clean you just have to move on. When anything happen like that it best to move on. If you mire in those conditions, it is difficult to escape from. You just have to move on.

Melisa Brown: Cathleen thank you once again for your time and conducting this very informative interview. I have learned a lot from our discussion and hope the students of Fullsail University find it as such. To learn more about Cathleen Lewis Consultation visit Http://www.cathleen-Lewis.com

Posted By: Melisa Brown
Interview By: Melisa Brown 

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