Why Turkey Rejected UK’s Global Combat Ship
10 Jun 2012 3 Comments
Well, marketing is not selling. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the contractor BAE paid a high price to learn this elementary lesson in selling.
Actually they did a good marketing campaign to gain favor among Turkish decision makers. BAE attended every important defence related exhibition in 2011. During these events the representatives of BAE tried to spread the scope of the project as much as possible and they took time to talk to bloggers like yours truly in order to make their message heard.
The UK government invited the representatives of large Turkish companies and high ranking defence bureaucrats to UK to discuss potential business opportunities.
When the Turkish president was visiting UK, he was given a tour on board of the new RN Type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless to show the results of British shipbuilding industry.
Yet all these – and probably other – efforts failed to convince Turkey to join the Type 26 / Global Combat Ship project. Why?
I think, the UK side failed to deliver the positive change Turkey would gain by joining this project in clear and precise terms.
In this case the Type 26 / GSC project was already in an advanced stage when Turkey was asked to join. As it was late to join, the Turkish participation would have increased the cost. Or Turkey would have had to review its requirements in accordance existing plans prepared by BAE for the British Navy. But the requirements and the traditions of Turkish Navy is very different from the requirements and the traditions of the RN so that a compromise is not feasible.
In sales, every successful sales happens because the buyer comes to believe the product or service will make a positive impact. And the buyer needs to see that the value of the product or service he wishes to buy outweighs its price. It seems that the Brits missed this single important point of a successful sales effort.