AAPA Seaports Advisory

Business Development Workshop Recap

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Biuisiness Development Workshop Stresses Relationship-Building

Participants in AAPA’s April 3 Business Development Workshop in Houston learned one thing above all … that business is personal! From interacting with those from different cultures and negotiating prices and contracts, to data sharing and effective delivery techniques, those who weave their unique personalities and personal stories into their business dealings are best able set the stage to close the deal.

Graciously hosted by Port Houston in their Executive Building board room, the workshop began with a primer by diplomacy expert Deanea LeFlore on the do’s and don’ts of greeting overseas business guests – with an emphasis on the value of doing advance research on cultural differences to avoid offending or embarrassing. Dr. Melissa Baldo, an instructor in the College of Business at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX, followed up with a two-part negotiation skills training program that concluded with an exercise that indicated each participant’s conflict “style” to make that style work for, rather than against, them. First among Dr. Baldo’s “Top 10 To Win” list of recommendations is to “Prepare, prepare, prepare, and repeat.”

The afternoon sessions focused on data sharing and message delivery. Presenting data sharing and blockchain case studies from their own experiences were Antwerp Port Authority’s Filip Vandenbussche, Port Houston’s John Moseley, and GE Transportation’s Brian Hill, who represented the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In the final session, Port Miami’s Eric Olafson (the port’s Global Trade and Business Development director), P97 Network’s Kelsey Ruger (senior director of product experience for the Houston-based communications agency) and Tampa-based SME Solutions Group’s Chris Moyer (president & CEO) discussed how to persuasively package and deliver data and product messages to generate new business.


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