In The News

David Sables, CEO, and the Sentinel Team appear regularly on and in various media, commentating and giving insight on industry issues. David is a regular columnist within ‘the Grocer’ magazine, as well as being a contributor to Forbes.

For press enquiries, please contact our UK office. call: +44 (0) 1753 867979 or email

Selling Is All About What The Buyer Wants, Not What You Want

By David Sables / June 16, 2012

In the UK we hate salespeople, but lawyers have always had our unconditional respect. Bizarrely,in the US it's the other way round: there is a huge stigma to being a lawyer while sales is a profession of choice. The ambulance chasers of the US ruined it for the lawyers while the loudmouthed, fast-talking door-to-door American types ruin it for salespeople here. Selling is a tarnished word in need of a... Read More

Be Specific About What It Is You Are Selling Before You Start To Sell

By David Sables / March 24, 2012

I ask account managers: "Which page do you write first when putting together a customer presentation?" They answer: "Page one, of course". And there you have it. The result is a meandering deck of fabulous information misfiring in all directions.  The fact that sales folk call their presentation a 'deck' at all should ring alarm bells - 52 slides and you don't have to look far to find a joker.... Read More

Play Hard Nosed Buyers At Their Own Game

By David Sables / March 17, 2012

Many were appalled by the recent stories of Waitrose imposing £60 fines for deliveries made 45 minutes late. But in truth, this is just Waitrose catching up on the more aggressive side of the procurement job. Imposing supply fines is just one of the hundreds of tactical squeezes that can be placed on suppliers by buyers. The transactional flow doesn't help the supplier much here and many are lost on... Read More

What Do Buyers Need? To Be Concise And Ask "Route One" Questions

By David Sables / January 28, 2012

So the UK furniture salesman was always a bit embarrassed that he was selling bigger chairs designed for the American market. One day a major buyer visited his stand at the NEC, "This chair looks bigger than normal," she said, inquisitively. "Not especially," replied the salesman. "Shame," she said, walking away. "I was looking for a range of big chairs." Knowing how to sell means knowing not just the key... Read More

Farmers Need The Skills To Fight Back

By David Sables / November 05, 2011

Last month the government responded to proposed amendments on the Groceries Code Adjudicator bill and financial penalties were rejected.  You should read publications on this stuff! Apart from the comedy of MPs defining what an indirect supplier is, you’ll see the focus appears to be ‘fairness’ to the retailer. Have they have forgotten the Bill’s purpose? If you were being bludgeoned by a thug, they wouldn’t give you a shield... Read More

Suppliers Must Learn To Look After Themselves

By David Sables / October 14, 2010

At Sentinel we advise suppliers in their dealings with supermarkets. With our team of ex-buyers and suppliers we specialise in overcoming the supermarkets' much-publicised tactics and pressure to help even the tables. Since the introduction of GSCOP in April, we have monitored these behaviours to see what difference the code of practice has made. Unfortunately, the answer is: not much. GSCOP is a snare and a delusion. It still boils... Read More