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Negotiating to Win

How do we stop leaving money on the table? Here’s some insights that could help...

Quick Story

Who is the best negotiator I have met?
Someone with half my experience and 9 years younger.
His name was Sam.
Sam came into calls with procurement and execs super prepared.
He had a list called, “Investment Discussion Key Points.”
He had a floor and a ceiling in mind and knew his talk track.
It didn’t matter what procurement or execs threw at him.
He once texted a CEO, “Deal is over then, price is the price” and continued acting like it was another Tuesday happy hour while his $400k deal was hanging by a thread.

That’s a mindset difference.
Anyway, that list had 5 key levers he’d convey to procurement.
One slide.
He’d start in, “The price is the price, occasionally finance can tweak it if there’s some concessions on your side.”
He’d explain each one of the following…
-Volume
-Timing of cash payments
-Length of commitment
-Timing of agreement
-Referenceable customer / case study
Procurement played by his rules as he set the tone early.
Strategic advisors were always part of the negotiation on his side and were fully informed of the opportunity.
His talk track was 3 parts...
-A summary of the GAP his solution solved for.
-The business justification case which tied his solution to one of their strategic initiatives.
-The costs of doing nothing.
A true elite seller.

Procurements Goals

1. Hitting timing goals, spending budget but not pissing off their colleagues.
2. Flexible payment terms matching org goals.
3. How much money are we saving? Can they replace any existing software?
4. How are they actually spending money?

Tricks of Procurement

1. They’ll try to make you uncomfortable.
2. “No more champ.”
3. “Take it or leave it offer”
4. “Every sales rep wants our logo. NEXT!”
5. “We love you. Help us. Come on.”
6. “Don’t embarrass me to my boss”
7. “No budget. Internal miscommunication”
8. “It’s just software, you’re overcharging.”
9. “We sent you our best. Just agree to Terms and Conditions.
10. They’ll go silent near EOQ

Negotiating with Procurement

Relax, you know the deal
2. Get you talk track down
3. Go back to the business case & cost of doing nothing.
4. Prep
5. Leverage Strategic Advisors in your org

Never Split the Difference​ by Chris Voss

Summary Cheat-Sheet
People want to be ​understood ​and ​accepted. ​2 primal urges: ○ Need to feel ​safe & secure Need to feel ​in control
Listen intensely → ​demonstrate ​empathy​ + show a ​sincere desire​ to better understand what the other side is experiencing
Prepare
Goal: reveal ​surprises​ in the negotiation
Hypotheses vs. assumptions: Use negotiation to ​test hypotheses
Uncover as much information as possible (not battle of arguments)
Uncover what counterpart ​actually needs​ (money, emotional, otherwise) → get them ​feeling safe​ to talk more
Sole focus​: the other person and what they have to say
Smile
Slow. It. Down
Three voices:
○ Late-night DJ voice​: Use selectively to make a point. Inflect voice downward. Calm and slow. Creates aura of trustworthiness without triggering defensiveness
○ Positive & playful:​ Default voice. Voice of easygoing & good natured person. Relax & smile while talking
○ Direct / Assertive:​ Used rarely
Mirror
Repeat the last (or critical) 3 words​ of what someone else has said
Insinuates similarity which facilitates bonding
● Connectors because they help your counterpart connect thoughts
Mirror Process
Use Late Night FM DJ Voice
Start sentences with ​I’m sorry...
Mirror
Silence​,
Repeat
Tactical Empathy
● Imagine myself in the counterpart’s situation
● Recognize their perspective and vocalize that recognition
Understand counterpart’s feelings & hear what is behind those feelings
● Bring my attention to the emotional obstacles to getting an agreement done
● Look at ​words​, ​tone​, and ​body language. ​Spot changes and look for incongruence
Labels
It seems like​ ​.
It sounds like​ ​.
It looks like​ ​.
Neutralize the Negative

Accusation Audit
● List the worst things my counterpart can say about me first
● Use labels to reinforce & encourage positive perceptions
● Remove ​I understand​ from your vocabulary. Never use it
Validate someone’s emotion by acknowledging it
Pause​ to let the label sink in. Other party will fill in the silence
● Every 4th verbalization should be a label
● Focus first on ​clearing the barriers​ to an agreement
● Label fears to diffuse their power
Process:
1. Observe without reaction & judgement 2. Label each negative feeling 3. Replace with a positive, compassionate & solution-based thought
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Must have an OTE of $200k+
(Cohort open till September 30th)

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