Apple to Apple (Raisin) Comparison

KOJ Interiors Head of Business Development, Daniel Leese, Touches on this Hard Topic of Conversation

Warning: Read with caution “It’s a like for like comparison or an apple to apple”  This is a saying I’ve heard one too many times from clients in my years working in the industry. If I collected a dirham for every time I heard it, I’d be a millionaire by now. Fact #1: THIS IS ALL NONSENSE Fact #2: The current market is full of end users wanting to get the the highest quality for the lowest cost and they’ll do everything in their power to get that. True Story Recently, I was smacked right in the middle of this very situation. A client negotiated my team of 300 professionals with in house joinery, acrylics, upholstery, signage, metal works… Still following? Down to a 15-man competitor which subbed the whole package. When the deal eventually fell through, unfortunately we don’t do BOGOF (buy one, get one free) offer, we had the impression that this was a fair tender. In the end, it turned out to be anything but apple for apple. If you’re reading this and don’t know anything about the construction industry, let me give you a comparison: it’s like test driving a Nissan Micra then going to BMW and asking for an M3 for the same price. Don’t know cars? Remember the Nokia 3310’s? (snake was life!) It’s the same as demanding an Iphone X from Apple for the same price. Let’s put it this way, I won’t be getting into their lifts anytime soon. This is one of many examples that presses a challenge within the industry, and the reason why PMC’s (Project Management Companies) hold great value in today’s market. They are our saving grace from companies who just wants an apple for a raisin. The Light at the End of the Tunnel As with every tough situation, its true purpose is revealed after the facts. However, it is those who find the silver lining in challenging feats who win. And trust me, losing is not in my resume. Leads come and go, but those who make smart decisions, succeed in the long run. Don’t let the high of a potential sale distract you from your goals. I understand this is a dilemma we, in the sales force face — that one deal to close our targets. But again, quality over quantity, always. For the KOJ Interiors team, we see this not a drawback. Instead a propelling force that will put us to the top. Exciting projects are ahead and this experience is merely a chapter in our history books. My Unsolicited Advice As a fully trained chef turned sales professional, I can tell you that an apple is not a raisin (it’s actually a grape for those who don’t know). And if you are faced in this scenario of apples and raisins, stop! Re-evaluate your goal and avoid succumbing to the trap. It’s better to identify a potentially problematic situation early on, than end up trying to get out of an uncompromising situation. So my final words for you: Know your worth, trust your people, maintain your company’s integrity, and give your best without fail. Treat each negotiation with fairness and respect, and work only with those who are on the same wavelength. Once you have this locked down, you’ll be able to separate the apples from the raisins.

Daniel Leese, Head of Business Development, KOJ Interiors Get in touch at

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