“‘Ish’ in commercial terms now makes me feel squeam’ish’. This is as a direct result of Paul Allen’s work with our company. He has taught me to feel appropriately sick when we analyse lost profit margin opportunities. I remain grateful for all of Paul’s insights.”
CEO & Founder of The International Spine Centre
“Since the early 1990s, Australians have witnessed a progressive revolution in customer service ethos across B2C, B2B, and Government-to-C channels. We’ve moved away from the old-world customer indifference model to a new found enthusiasm for the customer experience; with more and more organisations wearing their Net Promoter Scores as a badge of honour in the customer service stakes.
While this is arguably a good thing, over the years, the margin pendulum has swung a little too far in the direction of the customer. Take Back Your Margin! is a timely wake-up call to anyone in business. After reading Paul’s book, you will be emboldened and empowered to pursue fair value for your products and services in a way that engenders respect and trust.”
“I am pleased to write this reference for Paul Allen, who has made significant contributions to The Executive Connection (TEC) forums since early 2021.
In this time, he has conducted 23 workshops, demonstrating an exceptional understanding of our members’ needs and professional interests.
Paul’s association with TEC is highlighted by the consistently high ratings he receives from our members. From 158 surveys, his sessions have consistently scored above 80%, a clear indication of the value and impact of his presentations.
A notable aspect of Paul’s engagement with TEC is his exceptional preparation and professionalism. His approach to each workshop is thorough and thoughtful, ensuring content relevance and engaging delivery. This is echoed in the feedback we receive, where his style is often described as both professional and engaging, greatly appreciated by our members.
The key reason TEC chairs frequently request Paul as a speaker is his extensive knowledge in enhancing profitability, a subject of great interest to our members. His insights in this area have been instrumental in providing actionable strategies and knowledge.
To illustrate the impact of Paul’s contributions, I’d like to share a quote from one of our TEC Chairs:
“Paul’s topic selection is spot on for both B2B and B2C members. His universal message, excellent delivery, and effective use of breakout groups enhance member engagement significantly. Paul’s inclusion of a member for case studies adds immense relevance. His professional presentation style and great delivery make him a highly sought-after speaker in our community.”
Paul’s role in TEC has been invaluable, not only in delivering content but also in actively engaging and adding value to our community. It is with great confidence that I recommend him as a speaker, confident in his ability to contribute significantly to forums which match his area of expertise.”
Head of Learning, The Executive Connection
“Through the diagnostic process that Paul ran, we discovered more than we realised. We knew we had leakage in the business, but we didn’t know the extent until Paul systematically commenced his analytical, but practical approach. Peeling the layers, one by one, his techniques and ability to bring out and showcase the areas where we thought we’re fine, but only through working these areas, did we finally see that changes, even minor, could lead to increasing margins which results to a dramatic effect to your bottom line.
We have gained some valuable techniques, some of which we will use with our core clients to gain a deeper understanding as to what’s important to them. This will be invaluable.
Paul is a master of his craft, tactful, knowledgeable, honest and personable.
Thanks Paul, I’m sure we will be asking you to return and do further work with our senior managers.”
Managing Director, DPM Consulting Group
“Paul’s expertise, and driven teaching style positively impacted the commercial contract and negotiation skills for many employees. A valuable resource for anyone looking to enhance skills in this area.”
Group Human Resources Manager, B&R Enclosures
“Paul led a session with my TEC group of CEOs and business owners. His practical and engaging style led to frank discussions about the true margin of key customers. The group took away specific actions and are already having brave conversations with customers to unlock the margin they are rightfully owed for the service and product they provide.”
Chair, The Executive Connection (TEC)
“Paul has now spoken to all three of my TEC groups – that’s some 30 CEOs of midsized businesses and 15 Senior Executives. Every member in all groups had a concrete take-away they felt they could action. Paul brought home all the aspects of margin improvement that were NOT in the financials but in the hidden cost of doing business. Eye opening stuff.”
“TEC 3 was fortunate to have Paul Allen from Margin Partners present his Client-Profit Workshop to the group. Great presentation with lots of valuable insights on minimising waste and maximising the value in both supplier and customer relationships to ensure nothing ‘left on the table’.
Paul’s down to earth and engaging delivery style combined with the use of real and relevant member case studies made for a worthwhile session for all.
Member comments including “excellent delivery, amazing content”, “I didn’t realise how much value I was missing out on”, “probably most valuable speaker session we’ve had”, “rich in real case studies” and “really given me something to take back to the team” indicate the value the members received from Paul’s presentation.
Will be recommending to my network.”
Chair, The Executive Connection (TEC)
“I recently started a B2B business after 7+ years in corporate. I had a number of different strategies to acquire customers and no clear framework for how to do it.
The value Paul was able to provide in our 1/2 day session was amazing. I now have an extremely clear framework for customer profiling, engagement and conversion.
Paul gave me so much detail to work with, all the way down to role play in different scenarios and the type of phrasing I should use. I would highly recommend Paul to any size business.”
Director, Concentric Clothing
“I just wanted to send you through a quick email to say ‘thanks’.
I was reading through your notes in response to our Supplier negotiation and was quite proud of myself to have already written down most of your notes myself. I was going to call you today to discuss my thoughts to see if I was on the right path, turns out I was, which is great!
My reason for emailing you to say thanks is that going back 2 years ago, these aren’t things I would have noticed or even pushed on. I’ve never been the easiest person to teach, but I feel as though over the last couple of years you have given me some excellent tools and knowledge to continue growing myself within and outside of my role in Beechworth Bakery.
So yeah, thanks!”
“Paul has just completed a six-month program working with our Sales, Operations and Finance team with a primary focus of knowing the cost to serve our customers in an effort to improve our margins.
Working with all levels within our business from Field technicians through to Senior management, Paul was able to engage with the entire team to use simple processes and tools for initial assessment and periodic validation throughout the term of a contract.
The process has uncovered significant gaps within our processes which offer opportunity to recover eroded margins and reduce exposure. Additionally, the process and teachings has helped improve team unity, open communication and to give all participants a voice.”
Managing Director, ECOTECH Pty Ltd
“Through his approach and insights, both sides were able to deliver the value that their respective companies demanded. A more connected and better-articulated relationship was built—laying the foundation for a more robust global alliance.
As a highly experienced procurement expert who has worked globally in the FMCG environment, I can recommend Paul’s innovative approach for unlocking sources of untapped value for both sides of the negotiation table. Take Back Your Margin is a must-read for buyers and sellers in any B2B context.”
Global Category Director, SABMiller Procurement
“My company engaged Paul Allen and his company Margin Partners in mid-2019 at a key period of change within one of our business units. The business was working through a very turbulent period of change in terms of competitiveness, personnel, vision and ‘go-to-market strategy’. As a leadership group we were on a journey to take the business from a historically top-line sales focus to a more gross-margin focused approach. In particular we had one major customer that was especially problematic for and we knew there were significant margin improvement opportunities.Paul Allen approached us at a very timely moment and when he presented immediately impressed us with his enthusiasm, practical experience, hands-on style and simplicity of message. Put simply he believed in what he was saying and had the results to back it up. We were intrigued and thought that a different voice in our business could help take the team on the journey.We engaged Paul on the specific customer project, but it really was much more than that in taking a cross-functional team on a shared quest to generally improve business margins. Quite quickly as the project commenced it became very apparent that we had capable people that wanted to make a difference, but were operating in functional silos with little collaboration and cohesiveness which was driving much frustration. Paul’s approach was for the team to collaborate collectively in finding the optimal margin improvement opportunities for the business and then to work efficiently together to deliver them.In summary the project was a great success and Paul’s influence has had a massive cultural effect on our business. The teams can see the tangible results of working collaboratively, it is a happier business and margin is now at the forefront of all of our thinking. Thanks for your help Paul!”
National Sales & Marketing Manager, Oji Fibre Solutions
“Paul’s topic was spot on for members, whether B2B or B2C and NFP. Universal message for any SME or larger organisation. Well delivered, good breakout group work and member engagement. Paul has great style and a very professional presentation. Including the member case study added greatly to the relevance in the minds of members. You are a great addition to our speaker stable and will be in big demand.”
Group Chairman, The Executive Connection
“Over many years I’ve witnessed Paul create value across multiple sectors. He dives deep into organisations to capture the voice and insights of staff operating at the frontline of customer engagement.
Paul’s key strength is his adeptness at distilling the ‘complex’ into focused recommendations and ultimately great outcomes for his clients. He has the ability to develop a unique and compelling ‘cut through’ message.”
Chairman, Aurrum Aged Care & Home Consortium
“Margin erosion continues to be a key challenge for family businesses as they gain scale and engage with large corporate customers.
Take Back Your Margin offers powerful insights for all FBA Members and highlights how they can guard against the costly issue of margin erosion, whilst keeping their client relationships intact.”
CEO, Family Business Australia
“True innovation in efficiency is not gained through the systemisation of innovation. As in all human endeavours, innovation occurs by a meeting of minds. It starts in its simplest form with one person deciding to search for a way to do things differently. They build a coalition to problem solve and then persuade and activate for change. It is a very simple human behaviour that is hard to replicate in a system. At its core are coffee, whiteboards, and communication.
The person who taught me this was Paul Allen. I first met Paul 15 years ago. I remember less about the content of our first meeting and more about his style and energy, as well as his insight and clarity as a communicator. I have been lucky enough to be a spectator to his stellar career, achieving results that for most are unattainable. The volume of work he has done in distilling his experience into easily consumable information that can be readily implemented is testament to both his expertise and insights. His ideas and techniques are real, simple and they work. I implore you to read this book, implement what he suggests and drive better value through your organisation.”
Director, PeopleScape Pty Ltd
“I had the pleasure of engaging Paul for running a workshop with our leadership groups at TEC for CEO’s and C suite executives to identify areas to improve their business by improving the engagement and contract management with key customers. Both groups had some real breakthrough moments on discovery of margin given away that could be reclaimed and new areas of potential up sell. The workshops were highly interactive, fun and practical with real takeaways for participants to improve their bottom and top line immediately. I highly recommend Paul to any business looking to improve margin with their key accounts.”
Director and investment advisor
“Paul’s book “Take Back your Margin” is a call to arms for suppliers across all sectors … his 9 “accelerators framework” will empower business owners to rethink how customer profitability can be proactively managed. I recently witnessed a company’s gross margin erode from 39% to 13.5% over 36 (without the management team being aware of this erosion!) and couldn’t help but think how valuable “Take Back your Margin” would have been to prevent this situation. I highly recommend Paul’s book as a practical guideline for B2B suppliers to regain profit margins. ”
Chief Operating Officer, Circa Group Pty Ltd
“I engaged Paul to help our business improve efficiency, define responsibilities and drive accountabilities across our diverse administration structure. His performance to date is outstanding!
Paul is very driven with a sense of purpose and professionalism. He engages employees quickly and has a clear plan which captures core themes and concerns right away and streamlines their complexity.”
General Manager, Veolia
Director of Industry Affairs, Australia Food & Grocery Council
Plant Manager, Downer EDI