Other Side of the Table Founder Sam Trattles

Sam Trattles: Female Leader Conversations Ebook

Female Leader Conversations Ebook feature, Other Side of the Table Director, Sam Trattles said,

“Negotiating isn’t a fight. You’re simply engaging in a conversation.
Your aim is to reach a fair and reasonable exchange of value.”


  • Known for her strategic approach on either side of the negotiating table
  • Has negotiated and leveraged over $450 million worth of deals, across sport, music, the arts and for purpose
  • Believes everyone can become a good negotiator
  • Works on both sides of deals to help keep perspective for brands as well as rights holders and NFPs
  • Favourite deal: saving Tropfest with CGU Insurance and securing its future
  • 20 years of corporate experience in strategic Sponsorship and Brand roles
  • Has negotiated deals for Telstra, PwC, Tropfest, Steadfast Insurance, Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute, Credit Suisse and Opera Australia, to name a few
  • Is the Author of I Love Negotiating: Change  your  thinking and learn how to get  what you want

Sam Trattles founded Other Side of the Table to help organisations extract maximum value and return on investment from their deals. With a formidable toolkit of integrated marketing skills, Sam believes perspective can help solve any business problem. Her resume includes having negotiated and leveraged some of the biggest deals in Australia’s recent history in sport, the arts, music, community and industry-specific programs. If you’re facing a game changing business negotiation, she’s the strategic partner you’ll want in your corner.


What advice can you share?

  1. It isn’t a fight. You are simply engaging in a conversation. Your aim is to reach a fair and reasonable exchange of value. If you can’t then you just say, thanks but no thanks; if you can, then shake on it.
  2. Prepare. If you do your research and consider the who, how, what, why, when and how much of the situation, prior to stepping into it, you will feel in control. Then create a cheat sheet for when you’re in the negotiation, so you stay on track (and calm).
  3. Emotions mean it matters. It is normal to feel nervous and some stress, but you need to keep your emotions in check. Remember it’s not personal. When you find your temperature rising (red cheeks, curt responses) take a ‘time out’. Request a break or excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, take five long, slow breaths to regain your perspective.


How do you help companies maximise their sponsorships?

Sponsorships can do amazing things for your brand, however, if they:

  • feel like an excuse (for the CEO) to look at your logo;
  • are only vaguely aligned to your marketing strategy;
  • can’t deliver a return or create revenue; or,
  • aren’t driving the rest of the marketing mix e.g. creating content for your digital team; stories for your advertising; or incentives for your staff and customers…

then they are typically just a drain on your budget and resources.

On average, 80% of sponsorships are based on what leaders are interested in, rather than what will encourage potential customers to listen up and drive returns.

The work I do with organisations can transform this channel from a burden to a much loved (and profitable) part of their marketing mix. By reviewing the value in what deals they have, deciding to evolve or exit them, then building a strategic approach to a portfolio that can really deliver!


What motivated you to write I Love Negotiating?

I was saddened by so many of my intelligent, highly skilled friends telling me they hate negotiating, so I decided to take what I’ve learnt from commercial deals and translate those skills to help people feel more confident in negotiating every day situations. Unfortunately, we don’t learn this skill in school, so my aim was to make it easy. I explain why people typically hate it and why now is the time for change.

We identify your negotiator profile, then to help build your confidence the workbook is filled with guided activities for you to practice and improve on over time. And I give you a framework for Good Negotiations Every Time, APEC: Accept; Prepare; Engage; Close.

You may never love negotiating, like me, but the aim is to help build your confidence so you don’t hate it. If you’d like to know your profile type take the quiz, grab the book from Amazon, or chat with Sam about bespoke training programs.


What helped you to succeed in your  career?

Investing in relationships. Your career runs for a long time and you never know where the person who sat next to you at your first job will pop up. Stay in touch, grab a coffee from time to time, ask about people’s lives outside of ‘what they do’, take time out from just doing.

When the opportunity presents itself make the effort to connect good people to other good people just because you can. Also, invest in yourself by building a group of advisors, mentor and mentee relationships, people you can go to, to give and get advice from.

Finally, I take a step back to remind myself how much I love what I do and how lucky I am to be able to do it!


Female Leader Conversations Sam Trattles The Other Side of the Table cover

Posted by Alanna Bastin-Byrne - Femeconomy Director

CEO of the house, community builder and a globetrotting nomad. Background in Marketing and Communications leadership in the UK and Australia.