Mark Gordon

Partner, Sales & Account Management Practice Leader
Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is a founding partner of Vantage Partners, and leads the Sales and Account Management practice area.  For many years, he had been the Senior Advisor to the Harvard Negotiation Project at Harvard Law School. As an expert in negotiation and relationship management, he has worked with leading companies across a range of industries including financial services, energy, media and entertainment, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, information technology, manufacturing, and telecommunications. He works with clients to help develop and implement strategies for maximizing the value from both intra-organizational collaboration and relationships with customers, alliance partners, and suppliers.

Mark has worked on every continent except for Antarctica (where he has yet to find a paying client), and much of his work focuses on helping clients establish, manage, and grow strategic customer relationships. Having worked across all Vantage practice areas, his work has ranged from advising clients on significant strategic negotiations to helping clients systematize negotiation and relationship management as key business processes, create key account management strategies, structure and launch new alliances, and transform their approaches to managing key suppliers as business partners rather than simply as vendors. 

In addition to his work at Vantage Partners, Mark was a co-founder and former Chairman of Conflict Management Group, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on disputes of international public concern. In 2004, CMG was merged into Mercy Corps, a worldwide humanitarian development and relief organization where Mark serves on the Board of Directors. In his more than twenty years of experience in the public sector, Mark has worked with President Ortega of Nicaragua on negotiations between the Sandinistas and Contras, President Duarte of El Salvador on negotiations between the Government and the FMLN, and the PLO negotiation support group reporting to Yasser Arafat and then to Abu Masin. In addition, he has worked with the ANC in South Africa on the constitutional negotiations led by Cyril Rhamaphosa and Roelf Meyer, taught at the NATO Defense College in Rome, and conducted training for numerous foreign ministries around the world.

Prior to founding Vantage Partners, Mark practiced law as a corporate attorney with the firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York, worked for the U. S. State Department’s Arms Control and Disarmament Agency on U.S.-Soviet strategic arms reduction negotiations, the Democratic National Committee, Senator Hubert Humphrey, and Ralph Nader, and taught at the University of Stockholm. 

Mark is the co-author of Vantage cross-industry studies on the Value of Pricing Discipline, on Negotiating and Managing Key Supplier Relationships, and on Customer-Supplier Negotiations. He is a frequent speaker on negotiation, alliance strategy, and relationship management, and has written for a variety of publications, including the Harvard Business Review and Harvard Communication Update. Mark has also appeared as a negotiation expert on MSNBC, and co-authored a book on negotiation, The Point of the Deal, published by Harvard Business School Publishing, which received the Outstanding Book of the Year Award from the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution. 

Mark has a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. 

Mark can be reached at mgordon@vantagepartners.com.

Research & Publications

Challenging the Incumbent

Successfully challenging an incumbent requires a thorough understanding of the customer's underlying needs and concerns - which in turn requires persistence, patience, and open inquiry. In this article, we discuss three ways to help grow your market share by challenging a potential customer's existing provider/solution. 

Random Image