Unique Career Opportunity at CMA

Unique Career Opportunity at CMA

Regular readers of our blog will remember hearing from our guest blogger, Simon Dowling, CEO at CMA Learning Group on a previous post.  Some news in from CMA; they are implementing a new strategy internally that will enable them to achieve significant growth over the coming three years.  Forming part of this strategy is the creation of a new position within the company at Director level in Melbourne, requiring a first-class sales and marketing innovator.  Harlow Group has been selected to exclusively manage the recruitment of CMA’s new Director of Sales & Marketing.  Let me tell you a little more about the opportunity.

Over the past 17 years, CMA Learning Group has established themselves as the authority on negotiation and communications skills training & development in Australia.  You’ll be the CEO’s ‘partner’ in the company’s overall strategy development, having the opportunity to leave your mark on this highly respected, thought leading organisation.

       More about CMA

CMA work with some of Australia’s leading companies, government departments and not-for-profits to create meaningful change in the way professionals deal with key stakeholders to achieve their desired outcomes.  They partner with their clients to develop skills and systems that make a real difference – including negotiation, influence, conflict resolution, business writing, feedback and coaching skills.  With strong affiliation with Harvard University, they have been established for over 17 years and have very strong financial backing.  This company is poised for significant growth as they look to appoint a strategy and implementation leader to guide the business through its next phase of expansion.

       The Role

This newly created position is seen as a strategy leader within the organisation, someone who can create strategic initiative in order to guide the business to its targeted growth over the coming three years and beyond.  A strategy development partner to the CEO, you will also report to the chairman on occasion.  You will be empowered to instigate meaningful change across the sales and marketing function.  Responsibilities include:

  • Writing the sales and marketing strategy.
  • Creating systems and measures to support and drive your sales and marketing plan.
  • Developing tactical, day-to-day strategy to support your over-arching plan.
  • Leading from the front, a hands-on sales approach is required to lead a small sales team (small initially).
  • Growing the sales force; recruiting new head count for the sales team.
  • Management and mentoring of a small sales team.
  • Accountability for revenue and profitability targets across the entire business.
  • Innovate on all areas of sales force effectiveness.


This person will be employed to be an ‘innovator’ and will have the strategic thinking and delivery capacity to do just that; ‘innovate’.  As Simon Dowling the CEO put’s it, he is seeking a key strategic partner at the Directors level, someone who he can collaborate with in the development and implementation of the growth strategy.  A hands-on sales approach is required, therefore you will have a proven ability to generate revenue in a new business and relationship driven sales environment.  It’s likely you will have a history of sales management within a ‘knowledge based’ services industry.  So you may not come from the training industry, however you have sold a service that is valued based on the knowledge of the team delivering the service.


The position offers the successful applicant the opportunity to have a significant impact, driving meaningful change across an organisation.  CMA is exceedingly reputable within its niche.  This is driven from the genuine passion that is evident upon meeting any of the company’s staff.  Their genuine enthusiasm and desire for excellence exceeds that of their competitors and sets them apart as the thought leaders within this space in Australia.  Like the rest of the team, you will be proud to tell your friends and family what you do and who you work for.

       Is this you?

Let’s talk.  Happy to discuss dollars upon receiving a phone call.  I can be reached by email at steve.ludlow@harlowgroup.com.au or phone, (03) 9626 2494

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In this weeks post, we’ve invited guest blogger, Simon Dowling, CEO at CMA Learning Group to share some tips on his specialty; Negotiation.     

Simon Dowling - CEO, CMA Learning Group

Simon Dowling - CEO, CMA Learning Group

Simon Says (pun intended, sorry Simon):

When the authors of the classic negotiation text Getting to Yes* penned the advice ‘focus on interests, not positions’, they couldn’t have chosen a simpler way to describe what in practice can often prove challenging.  

The guideline ‘focus on interests, not positions’ serves as a powerful remedy to the tendency for negotiators to focus on justifying the adequacy of their offers or demands.    

Take for example a demand by a customer for a discount: “We’re looking for a much better deal. When we look at your competitors, it seems to us that your pricing is excessive.” Or a demand by a colleague for more resources: “We’re going to need more time – you’ve been lucky that we’ve got this far at all based on what we’ve got to work with.”    

In situations such as these, it’s very easy to get stuck in a debate about whether or not the offer is indeed adequate or justifiable: “I think you’ll find our pricing is pretty reasonable, if you compare apples with apples.”    

Or, “You’re lucky to have had the resources we’ve given you in the first place!” In both cases, these debates descend quickly into argument and stalemate.    

By ‘focusing on interests, not positions’, the negotiator has the power to change the conversation from a debate, into one centred on the parties’ underlying needs, motivators and concerns (the ‘interests’). But this takes self-discipline – to avoid taking the bait of arguing over what’s reasonable and justifiable, and instead to focus on three key strategies:    

     1. Getting behind their demand or offer, and to spend time trying to understand the underlying interests:    

“Help me to understand what’s driving this request for you? Why is this important? What’s your concern? Is this driven by a budget need?”    

     2. Helping them to develop a clear understanding of your own interests – the very things that will shape a “yes” or a “no” from your point of view:    

“Let me help you to understand what’s important to me in this scenario…”    

     3. Using the shared understanding of interests to launch a two-way exploration of different ways in which those interests can be met:    

“Given you’ve indicated that one of your key concerns is to bring this project within your budget constraints, and one of our key interests is to maintain the integrity of our pricing model, let’s spend some time giving some thought to how we might go about addressing both of our needs…”    

With persistence and patience, this kind of dialogue not only breaks down walls between the parties, but provides them with a platform on which to develop the best possible solution between them, rather than getting caught up in a haggling process.    

Author Profile

Simon Dowling - CEO, CMA Learning GroupSimon Dowling

Simon Dowling is the CEO of CMA Learning Group. CMA delivers premium training in negotiation skills and all aspects of influential communication. Drawing on over 30 years of powerful research at Harvard University, they develop skills and systems that make a real difference – including negotiation, influence, conflict resolution, business writing, feedback and coaching skills. Simon and his team also teach units in negotiation and dispute resolution as part of Monash Law School’s undergraduate and postgraduate programs. -view Simon’s posts


* Getting to Yes: How to Negotiate an Agreement without Giving In, by Roger Fisher, William L Ury and Bruce Patton, 1991.    

You can go to the CMA website or touch base with Simon on  Twitter and LinkedIn.    

Thanks for sharing your insights into the fine art of negotiation Simon.  It would be great to get the opinion of our readers on this subject.  Please tell us your thoughts and comment below.

P.S. – For more sales insights, SUBSCRIBE for email updates.

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