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Episode 203  |  30:40 min

Motivation, Leverage, and Power

Episode 203  |  30:40 min  |  03.15.2021

Motivation, Leverage, and Power

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This is a podcast episode titled, Motivation, Leverage, and Power. The summary for this episode is: <p>If you don’t know how to negotiate, you won’t make a profit, right? You’ll just be giving things away. If you don’t negotiate well, you’re essentially giving away your paycheck and company profit. But because the western world is so unaccustomed to negotiating every single day, they struggle to close. In this special episode swap, Paul Watts has a conversation with Jeb Blount about crafting a powerful negotiation strategy. This episode is packed with information you can use to become a better negotiator—don’t miss it!</p><p>Paul Watts is a sales performance coach with over 20 years of sales experience. He also runs a podcast called&nbsp;<a href="https://salesreinvented.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);"><em>Sales Reinvented</em></a>. His mission is to change the negative perception of salespeople with a vision to create a world where selling is a profession to be proud of.&nbsp;</p><p>Jeb Blount is the CEO of Sales Gravy and a Sales Acceleration Specialist. He’s a best-selling author and most recently penned:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/INKED-Ultimate-Powerful-Closing-Negotiation/dp/1119540518" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">INKED: The Ultimate Guide to Powerful Closing and Sales Negotiation Tactics that Unlock YES and Seal the Deal</a>. Jeb is a world-renowned keynote speaker and the host of the&nbsp;<a href="https://salesgravy.com/podcasts/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">Sales Gravy Podcast.</a>&nbsp;</p><h2>Outline of This Episode</h2><ul><li>[0:33] Episode swap with Sales Reinvented</li><li>[1:43] Who is Jeb Blount?</li><li>[2:26] Jeb’s definition of negotiation</li><li>[3:27] Negotiation = the precursor to profit</li><li>[4:35] Why salespeople find negotiation uncomfortable</li><li>[6:44] How Jeb prepares for a high-stakes negotiation</li><li>[11:23] Emotional discipline is paramount to success</li><li>[14:40] The MLP Strategy (motivation, leverage, and power)</li><li>[18:38] Important negotiation dos and don’ts</li><li>[21:55] Jeb’s eye-opening negotiation story</li></ul><h2>Resources &amp; People Mentioned</h2><ul><li><a href="https://salesgravy.com/podcasts/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">The Sales Gravy Podcast</a></li><li>Jeb’s Book:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/INKED-Ultimate-Powerful-Closing-Negotiation/dp/1119540518" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">INKED</a></li></ul><h2>Connect with Paul Watts</h2><ul><li>Connect on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/sales-reinvented/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">LinkedIn</a></li><li>Follow on&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/salesreinvented" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">Twitter</a></li><li><a href="https://salesreinvented.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">The Sales Reinvented Podcast</a></li></ul><h2>Connect with Jeb Blount</h2><ul><li>Jeb’s&nbsp;<a href="https://jebblount.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">Website</a></li><li>Connect on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jebblount/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">LinkedIn</a></li><li>Follow on&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/SalesGravy" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">Twitter</a></li><li>Watch on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUVoyyL3KRtiXFXdcWwN8bA" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">YouTube</a></li></ul><h2>Connect With Mark</h2><ul><li>Follow Negotiations Ninja on Twitter:&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/NegotiationPod" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">@NegotiationPod</a></li><li>Connect with Mark&nbsp;<a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/markraffan/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">on LinkedIn</a></li><li>Follow Negotiations Ninja&nbsp;<a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/negotiations-ninja-podcast" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">on LinkedIn</a></li><li>Connect on Instagram:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.instagram.com/negotiationpod/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">@NegotiationPod</a></li></ul><p><a href="https://plinkhq.com/i/1300435924" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);"><strong>Subscribe to Negotiations Ninja</strong></a></p>
Takeaway 1 | 00:25 MIN
Who is Jeb Blount?
Takeaway 2 | 01:02 MIN
Jeb’s definition of negotiation
Takeaway 3 | 01:06 MIN
Negotiation = the precursor to profit
Takeaway 4 | 02:08 MIN
Why salespeople find negotiation uncomfortable
Takeaway 5 | 04:40 MIN
How Jeb prepares for a high-stakes negotiation
Takeaway 6 | 03:15 MIN
Emotional discipline is paramount to success
Takeaway 7 | 03:57 MIN
The MLP Strategy (motivation, leverage, and power)
Takeaway 8 | 03:16 MIN
Important negotiation dos and don’ts
Takeaway 9 | 07:07 MIN
Jeb’s eye-opening negotiation story

If you don’t know how to negotiate, you won’t make a profit, right? You’ll just be giving things away. If you don’t negotiate well, you’re essentially giving away your paycheck and company profit. But because the western world is so unaccustomed to negotiating every single day, they struggle to close. In this special episode swap, Paul Watts has a conversation with Jeb Blount about crafting a powerful negotiation strategy. This episode is packed with information you can use to become a better negotiator—don’t miss it!

Paul Watts is a sales performance coach with over 20 years of sales experience. He also runs a podcast called Sales Reinvented. His mission is to change the negative perception of salespeople with a vision to create a world where selling is a profession to be proud of. 

Jeb Blount is the CEO of Sales Gravy and a Sales Acceleration Specialist. He’s a best-selling author and most recently penned: INKED: The Ultimate Guide to Powerful Closing and Sales Negotiation Tactics that Unlock YES and Seal the Deal. Jeb is a world-renowned keynote speaker and the host of the Sales Gravy Podcast. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:33] Episode swap with Sales Reinvented
  • [1:43] Who is Jeb Blount?
  • [2:26] Jeb’s definition of negotiation
  • [3:27] Negotiation = the precursor to profit
  • [4:35] Why salespeople find negotiation uncomfortable
  • [6:44] How Jeb prepares for a high-stakes negotiation
  • [11:23] Emotional discipline is paramount to success
  • [14:40] The MLP Strategy (motivation, leverage, and power)
  • [18:38] Important negotiation dos and don’ts
  • [21:55] Jeb’s eye-opening negotiation story

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Paul Watts

Connect with Jeb Blount

Connect With Mark

Subscribe to Negotiations Ninja

Guest Thumbnail
Paul Watts
Sales Performance Coach + Podcast HostSales Reinvented
Guest Thumbnail
Jeb Blount
CEO of Sales Gravy + Podcast HostSalesGravy

Mark: Welcome to the Negotiations Ninja podcast, where we develop and deliver the most engaging negotiation content and training in the world. We host negotiation experts, business people and entrepreneurs and discuss what works, what doesn't work and how we can improve our negotiation skills. Listeners, welcome to the Negotiations Ninja podcast. You've got Mark here. Something a little bit different today. We are doing an episode swap with a friend of ours named Paul Watts. Paul is an amazing sales trainer. He runs a company called Base Over Apex and has a really good sales podcast called Sales Reinvented and we're swapping an episode. So you will hear us on his show and you will hear him on our show. I highly encourage you to check out his show. It's called Sales Reinvented. You can download it wherever you get podcasts and we've swapped an episode and today we're going to be talking or he's going to be talking to Jeb Blount on our show. Jeb is the author of many great sales books and negotiation books. I think you're really going to love this and plus it gives you someone else to listen to other than just me pontificating about negotiation. So enjoy this amazing episode with Paul Watts and Jeb Blount.

Paul Watts: Joining me on today's show is Jeb Blount. Jeb is an author, a speaker and a sales acceleration specialist. Jeb has written a number of bestselling sales books, including notably, INKED: The Ultimate Guide to Powerful Closing and Sales Negotiation Tactics that Unlock YES and Seal the Deal. Jeb is also the host of the Sales Gravy podcast. Jeb, welcome back to the show.

Jeb Blount: Thanks for having me on Paul. It's nice to be back. I feel honored that I get to come back.

Paul Watts: Oh, you are welcome any time. I think as you know, I was just showing you, I've got a stack of your books on my shelf. So anybody that can write that many great sales books is welcome on our show any day of the week.

Jeb Blount: Well, thank you so much. You are very kind.

Paul Watts: So Jeb, as you know, today we're going to be talking about negotiation and I wanted to start by asking you what is negotiation?

Jeb Blount: Well, all negotiation is, two parties coming to an agreement on something. That's it. And we negotiate all the time with our spouses, with our kids, with our bosses, with people that we sell to, people we buy from. And that's it. That's really all it is. It's just a process of gaining agreement. Now, what's important though, is that it's sort of like controlled conflict. So negotiation, even though it's two people coming together and trying to come to an agreement on something, it is inherently conflict. Which it makes it really hard on a lot of people, especially in the Western economies, where negotiation isn't nearly as normal as it is in some of the other economies. Especially in some of the Eastern world like India, for example, would be everything is negotiated, for example, there.

Paul Watts: What a great answer. And I like the idea of negotiation being a healthy conflict. Yeah, that's a great way to describe it. Why is negotiation so important in business, Jeb?

Jeb Blount: Well, the thing about negotiating in business is that if you don't know how to negotiate, like for example, if you give everything away, you're not going to make a profit. So with negotiation in business, especially in sales and the book INKED, which we're talking about, I wrote as a sales negotiation book, right now, if you just think about a business. Across the globe, there are 100s of 1000s of salespeople making deals. And those 100s of 1000s of deals, although on their own, relatively small and insignificant, aggregated together, it's a lot of money. And those salespeople are giving away their paychecks and giving away the company's profits if they don't negotiate well. So from a business standpoint, negotiating well helps you maintain your profits but it also, from a terms and conditions standpoint, allows you to maintain the terms and conditions that allow you to serve your customers that keep them customers. So if you negotiate poorly and all the profit's taken out of the deal and your hands are tied behind your back because of the contractual obligations you have, it gets really difficult for you long- term, to serve your customers and keep them customers.

Paul Watts: Wow! What a great answer. So Jeb, it's widely accepted that salespeople don't like to negotiate. Why do you think that is?

Jeb Blount: Well, let's just go back to the conflict. So if you look at negotiating, negotiating is uncomfortable. It's uncomfortable emotionally. It's hard for us because in a lot of cases, it feels like rejection. And at the same time, if you're a highly competitive person, negotiation is tough because you don't want to lose. So in a negotiation, it becomes a zero sum game. And if you're a salesperson, the easiest path to a commission check is just to give it all away. So tell your customer you can have it all. So a lot of salespeople take that path and then if we just drop culture on it. If you're in the U. K. or you're in the U. S., you're in Canada, if you walk into a store, you don't negotiate everything, you just pay the price that's on the can of soup. Or if you go to a furniture store, you just buy the furniture there. I mean, there's some people that might negotiate that but most people don't. So we don't normally negotiate as a rule for everything. So we're not really that good at it and we don't really like it that much and there's a lot of stigma put on that. So if you walk to a place and you're negotiating, people might make you feel bad for being a negotiator. They don't like you when you do that. So for all of those reasons, salespeople find it very, very hard to negotiate. And then if you add to that the fact that in most cases, a salesperson walks to the door, they're in a weaker position than the buyer. The buyer is usually in a stronger power position because the buyer has more alternatives. The buyer can do nothing. The buyer can do it on their own, or the buyer can do it with any of your competitors, whereas you may be in a situation where you have a weak pipeline and you really need the deal, so you show up and you've got to make the deal. So suddenly it's uncomfortable for you because the buyer basically is in control of the situation. And buyers are typically better trained or more professionally trained to negotiate. Whereas salespeople almost get zero training on negotiating and when they do get training on negotiating, they're getting trained by a company that teaches negotiation to lawyers and buyers and all kinds of people, but have absolutely no idea how to teach salespeople, how to negotiate in the unique situation that salespeople often find themselves.

Paul Watts: Great answer, Jeb. I love that. Now most salespeople would agree that negotiation is an important aspect of the sales process. Would you please describe to us your negotiation process? How do you prepare for a high stakes negotiation, Jeb?

Jeb Blount: Well, the first thing is for me, is rule number one, is that you don't negotiate until you've already won the deal. And this is a difficult concept for people to get. But essentially, until you have been selected as the vendor of choice, you are negotiating with yourself. So number one thing for me is I am not negotiating a high stake deal until they've made a decision to do business with me. Otherwise I'm just giving it away and I have no power. So that's number one. Number two is, especially in high stakes deals, when you're talking about high stake, you're talking about big, and you're talking about complex. So I leverage a negotiating triangle. And all that is, is I always make sure that I have a great relationship with my stakeholder group, in particular, an executive sponsor. Because if you're in a high stake deal in sales, and that means big, you're typically going to be dealing with a procurement group or a lawyer or someone who is negotiating, that is not the stakeholder group. So the stakeholder group selected you as the vendor of choice, and then they shoved you off into procurement. And the first thing procurement does is say," We want you to lower your prices." So you can't negotiate in that space because the procurement doesn't even care. They don't care if you get the deal or they don't get the deal. Their job is to win for their company. And that's the only thing that they care about. So if I have a relationship with the stakeholder group and I have a good relationship with an executive sponsor, I'm able to tell procurement in a nice way, go pound sand, and then leverage that relationship to have them stop. The next thing that I do is I make sure that I have a give take playlist. And what I mean by that is in every negotiation, you're going to have to give something and you're going to take something. And I never give if I don't take. So what I want to be able to do is, when I'm negotiating, is I want to be able to give things to the buyer that are low value to me, but high value to the buyer, while I take things away from the buyer that are high value to them. And the idea is the more I take away that is a value to them, the more painful it becomes to keep negotiating and my goal is to compel them to stop negotiating and align on the deal. So my plan from the very get go is... And I do the scenario planning. So I'll walk through multiple scenarios of where I might go, is I just create a playlist. So for example, if they say," We need you to drop your prices 10% on this." Then I say," Well, I can drop my prices 10%, but I'm not going to be able to provide the upfront training for you for free. I'll have to add that in at a cost per person." So if upfront training was really important to them, they're going to balk at that. One big strategy with really high stakes deals, is if you've done the sales process correctly and I think more than anything, Paul, we have to recognize that you cannot separate sales negotiation from the sales process. It's not a separate thing, which is why a lot of negotiation training fails for salespeople because the people that are teaching, you don't know how to sell, so they separate negotiating from the sales process. But if you've done your job for the sales process, you've done discovery, you've built a business case, you've done a proposal and a presentation and along the way, you were working with the stakeholder group to get consensus on what they wanted in the deal, in order for you to help them achieve measurable business outcomes. What I start doing is I understand what they put in, I'll start taking those things out. So if someone's negotiating with me, I just take out the things that the stakeholder group said they wanted in the deal. That makes it really painful for them because those are the things they said they wanted. So if they say," Well, we need you to do this." I say," That's not a problem at all. We can do that, except that I'm not going to be able to deliver in three weeks if we go down that road." And so as I start pulling things out, they start moving back toward me. And then finally, Paul, I do the math upfront. So I want to know the metrics that matter. So when I build a business case and I'm creating a bridge, a value bridge from my business case to my price, here's my proposal for how we're going to business each other, I need to know the metrics that matter for them. So for example, if they said," Well, this is too expensive," I need to be able to be able to get my calculator out and show them the difference between expensive, which is a price issue and total cost of ownership, which is a global, this is how much it's going to cost to run the program or own this, et cetera. And there's all kinds of ways that you can demonstrate that but I want to know that. So in essence, I want to make sure I'm selected as the vendor. I want to make sure that I have a give take playlist. I want to make sure that I've got consensus on what the stakeholders want in the deal, so that if I need to, I can pull those things out and I want to be able to use my calculator to show them the value of the price that I'm offering.

Paul Watts: Wow. What a great answer, Jeb. I really, really like that. So building on that last question, what would you say are the attributes that make a great sales negotiator?

Jeb Blount: Well, number one is emotional discipline. And if you look at negotiating, the heart of negotiating is emotional discipline. So if you pull it all apart, you've got to execute the sales process. You just have to do that. So if you don't execute the sales process, nothing else matter. But in the middle of negotiating, if you just really think about in this situation, where we have controlled conflict. You asked me earlier, why salespeople are uncomfortable in negotiating. It's all emotional. I'm afraid I'm going to get rejected. I want to win. It's uncomfortable to me. I don't want to look bad. All those things true. So you have to control your emotions and the way that you can control your emotions as a salesperson in negotiating is not necessarily an attribute. It's managing the process so that you do. Number one, am I the vendor of choice? Have you selected me? Now that that can be an implicit selection or an explicit selection. Implicit would mean that all of the cards are in your favor. You can see that the stakeholder group is moving forward. You can tell that they're eliminating your competitor. Everything seems to be in your favor. Or explicit when they say something like," Paul, I really want to do business with you, but we got to work out these deals first." I mean, that's an explicit vendor of choice. So if I know I'm the vendor of choice, it's a lot easier for me to negotiate because I'm not worried about losing the deal unless we do something stupid. I mean, negotiating is them saying I want to do business with you. We just have to work these things out. There may be some things that you can't negotiate. That may happen. But there's always something that you can work out some place. Number two is you need to have a full pipeline. So if you have an empty pipeline going back to fanatical prospecting, then you're desperate. If you're desperate and you really need the deal, you'll give things away. And the universal law of need, I need the deal, says that the more you need the deal, the more you will give away in order to get the deal and the less likely you are to close the deal anyway. So you're going to give a bunch of stuff away, including your self esteem and they're still not going to do business with you when you're desperate. So if you fill up the pipeline and you run the sales process correctly... So you built a good business case you can be comfortable with and you are waiting until you've been selected as the vendor of choice, either explicitly or implicitly, that gives you a great deal of confidence, so that you can sit at the negotiating table, which is either going to be a real negotiating table, or it could be an email or phone or a virtual call, or what have you. But you're going to have that confidence. And so it's up to you to put yourself in an emotional position where you can win. Now, there's just one warning on this. Don't negotiate when you're hungry. Don't negotiate when you're tired. Don't negotiate when you're worn out. Because when you're in those positions, you're more likely to give things away that you don't have to, or leave things on the table that you don't have to, just because when you're worn out, there's just a limit to your willpower, with your emotional control and discipline. So best to, if you try to get pulled into a negotiation, and you don't feel your best, or you feel your most confident, defer, save it to another day, push it off, do what you can. But you need impulse control at that moment to keep yourself from getting into a situation where you're giving away the upper hand to the buyer, simply because you just emotionally aren't at your peak.

Paul Watts: I like that answer, Jeb. It actually takes me back to a previous interview where somebody said HATS. Hungry, angry, tired, or stressed. 6.

Jeb Blount: Yes.

Paul Watts: Yeah. I love that. What a great answer. So Jeb, let me ask you this question. Are there any negotiation tools or tactics or strategies that you'd like to share with our listeners?

Jeb Blount: Well, I think that the main strategy that we teach in INKED is of the MLP strategy, motivation, leverage, and power. and this really is the heart of sales negotiation. Just going back to my statement earlier, you cannot separate sales process from the sales negotiation. It's not like you're going to a flea market and you're negotiating over a piece of furniture and you're never going to see that person again. This is an entire process. You're building relationship. You, by the way, have to protect those relationships over time. So the negotiation, even though it's conflict, you can't walk out and each hate each other in the process, or you're not going to have a relationship for the long term. So the key strategy is motivation, leverage and power. So all motivation is, is getting the stakeholder group motivated to want to do business with you. So they trust you, they believe you. They think that you're the only person that can solve their problems. And one thing that we know about selling is that our experience that the buying group or the stakeholder group has working with you, is the most consistent predictor of outcome of any other variable. Now, motivation is at the individual level. So an individual stakeholder may be more or less motivated to do business with you. But motivation is the inverse of power. So if you have a highly motivated stakeholder group, they will have less power. Power is derived from alternatives. So the more alternatives that the stakeholder group perceives they have, the more power they have at the negotiating table. So if they think that there's 10 other places, they can buy your product and they can do it at the same price, they're just going to tell you," There's some other place I can buy your product. If you're not willing to lower your price, I'm just going to go over there." That's the ultimate alternatives. So your imperative from the very beginning, like from prospecting, is that your imperative is to increase the motivation the stakeholder group has to do business with you, while decreasing the perception that they have alternatives. So neutralizing those alternatives. And you're going to do that through selling skills, your business case. This is basically at the enterprise level, which is power. The stakeholder group array has all of these alternatives, not the individual. What the individual feels a motivation to do business with you. Now, the problem that you face, and this is where really the chess board of sales, is that in almost all cases as a salesperson, you walk into the deal in a weaker power position than the person that you're negotiating with. So in that situation, what you must use as leverage in order to bend the buying process back to your sales process. Remember the sales process cannot be separated from the negotiating process, so that you can work the sales process step- by- step- by- step. If you can do that, you are basically engineering motivation by building relationships with people over time, step- by- step- by- step and walking people through micro- commitments doing discovery, having an opportunity to build a business case, learning more about them, so that when you present your business case and you walk them through the metrics that matter in the calculation, you're able to reduce the perception that they have alternatives, which increases the probability they're going to do business with you. And increases your power position, which makes it more likely that at the negotiating table, that you're going to have an opportunity to win for your team, which by the way is your job. And that strategy and that's really where, as a sales professional, if you're looking for this magic strategy, this thing that you're going to say, that suddenly going to make everything be okay, it doesn't work that way. There aren't a set of words that you're going to be able to use or some trick that you can use. That doesn't work. There's no Jedi mind trick. You've got to work the sales process all the way through, get selected as a vendor of choice and then you are in a position where you can negotiate effectively.

Paul Watts: Wow. What a fantastic answer, Jeb. You've no idea how many notes I was taking down as you were giving that answer. Fantastic. Jeb, this is my favorite part of the show. This is our audience's favorite part of the show and this is where we're going to ask you to share with our listeners, your top three negotiation do's and your top three negotiation don'ts.

Jeb Blount: So here's a couple of dos. When you sit down and negotiate do listen. Here's a don't. Don't talk. Here's what I mean by that. When you sit down with someone and you begin the process of negotiating... So you've been selected as the vendor of choice and they want to do a back and forth. And that's what you're doing. You're aligning on a deal. What's natural for salespeople is to start pitching why the person should work with them or why that person should come to their side, for example. So you're basically start arguing your point. Do listen, ask questions, get all of their issues on the table before you begin presenting your case for why they should do business with you. So if you get everything on the table, then you can say," Oh, you said this, this and this. Let me explain this to you. Let me walk you through that process." So that would be number one. Number two is, forget about win- win. So my number one do is, do win for your team. Your job is to win for your team. Your job is to do the best deal for your company possible. And don't walk into every deal thinking I'm going to get a win- win. This is not sales Kumbaya because that's that win- win place is where your commission check curls up to die. Now, when I talk about win- win, what I'm not talking about is walk in and be a complete jerk. I'm not talking about being arrogant, and I'm not talking about winning for the sake of your customer. What I'm saying is that you have to win and protect the relationship long- term. You have to think about the long- term consequences. In some cases, you're going to give things away because the opportunity down the road is going to be bigger for you. That's okay. But when you walk in with a win- win attitude, what happens to salespeople is they equate winning, the win- win happening, if their customer wins, if their customer's happy. But the customer is not walking into a deal thinking that they need to have a win- win for you. They're thinking I need to win for my team. You need to do the same thing. And at the same time, sometimes you have to be the adult in the room to make sure that you're protecting the relationship. And then number three is, we'll go back to the give take playlist, is that you need to do scenario planning. So before you walk into any negotiating or negotiation, go through the different scenarios. So just think about if the buyer were to ask me to give up this, how would I handle that? If the buyer were to ask me to give up this, how would I handle that? And in the process of that start thinking about where your limits would be and where there is funny money. Funny money is non- monetary things that you can give away, that are valuable to the buyer, that would cause them to want to work with you, that don't really cost you anything. So start building out that playlist of how you're going to progress the deal. But most importantly, just go through all the different scenarios, think through what you might do. And the one thing that's good about that is when you go through the scenarios, it's always easier when you're in the negotiation than when you were planning for it. And then my final don't is don't wing it because winging it, is just stupid.

Paul Watts: What a fantastic list of do's and don'ts Jeb. I'm writing them all down here as well. This is amazing stuff. I know our listeners are going to be getting a lot of value out of this. Jeb, I can't believe we're here already, but we're actually at the last question. So what I'd like you to do please is share with our listeners your favorite negotiation story. And what I want you to do is just share with our listeners a little bit of background to the negotiation, what was the result and most importantly, what lesson did you learn from that negotiation?

Jeb Blount: Well, it was a negotiation we did a few years ago. It was a really, really big deal. And we'd worked with this company several times before, and we'd had a great relationship with them and they had brought us into a deal that was much bigger than what we had worked on before. So suddenly we moved out of, we can use procurement cards for this, to moved into, we got to talk to contracting about this because it was at a size level for that organization, where their buying rules said that the contracting organization had to get involved. So we had spent at least six months going through the process, doing discovery, getting to the final proposal. And the stakeholder group had selected us as their vendor of choice. In fact, they said," We can't imagine doing this with any other company, but you. But we need to get this done and we know you can get it done for us." So then we got sent to procurement. So they said," We're going to send us over to procurement. They're going to be in touch with you pretty soon." So procurement took about four weeks to get back to us. The stakeholder group was in a hurry. So I love it when people are in a hurry, because anytime there's time pressure on the stakeholder group, you're in a better negotiating stance because there's less alternatives. They need to get something done. But the procurement took their sweet time and then they finally got to us. And the very first thing they did was what procurement does these days, they sent us an email and said," Listen, we're really happy to be working with you all again. We really appreciate you but there's a lot of companies out there just like your company, that could do exactly the same thing and they've told us that they'll do it cheaper." That simple, right? So now think about the difference there. The stakeholder group, we can't imagine doing business with anybody but you because you're the only company that can do this. And we were. And the procurement group doing that. Now my salesperson was freaked out. I mean, freaked out." What are we going to do? Oh my God. We need to look at our prices and everything." And I said," Breathe. That is not what we're going to do. Procurement just sent you a stock letter. They send that to everybody." It's just like the other day go. I bought something and before I bought it, I said," Can I get a discount?" And the salesperson said," Yeah," and they gave me a discount. I mean, I saved a few 100 bucks just like that, just by asking. So in this particular case, they were just asking. So I said," We're going to let this sit for 24 hours, because we're not going to be too eager and then we're going to email them back." And we emailed them back. I wrote the email and said," Thank you so much. We're really looking forward to do business with you too. The pricing that we have on this deal, we built so that we could do what your stakeholder group has asked us to do, so there's no really room for us, however, what I suggest is we get the stakeholders back together and we figure out what we can take out of the deal so that we can fit inside your budget." Sent that back to them. My salesperson is losing her mind. Like," We're going to lose this deal." And this is a big deal. And when we're talking about a commission check, this is at the high end of five figures on a commission for her. So we sat there and two weeks went by. They didn't respond for two weeks. And they came back to us and they said," Okay, that sounds pretty good. We'll work with you on that." And so they came back to the table with that. And then they started beating us up on the terms and conditions. So intellectual property terms and conditions, which are big no- nos in my particular business because we own our intellectual property. So they were bringing in contractual things, like they would own the property, that type of thing. And this went on for like three months. And they were playing the game of time pressure. And this is what I mean by desperation. If you're desperate, you're going to give something away. They figured that if they slow- walked it, that we would be more likely to give in because they know how to deal with salespeople because we really wanted to produce the revenue. And of course my salesperson and the consulting team that was going to work on this deal, who also needed to make money off this deal, they were ready to go. And they were putting pressure on me to make this thing go. But for me personally, and for my executive vice president who was working the deal with me, we were in no hurry at all because we were stuffed. We had so many deals, or so many projects we were working at the same time, that we weren't even sure how we could work this big project in. It was a big old project and we couldn't let them down. So the longer that the procurement group drug it out, the better it was for us, because we were starting to move some of the projects off the board so we could fit it in. Well, this goes on for like three months and back and forth, back and forth and we're not moving and they're insisting. And then the stakeholder group starts getting pressure from their upper leadership to get this project done. They were already under pressure. I mean, we were months behind their original schedule. And they started bugging us and they started like," When can we do this? When can we do this? When can we do this? When can we do this?" And we're being nice. And we were saying," Well, it's in procurement. We're waiting on them." And they were like," Well, can you go ahead and get started?" And we were like," No, we really can't get started until we have a contract in place," because we're talking about big time licensing and intellectual property, a bunch of things that we really need to get worked out." Well, what's going on in procurement?"" Well, we're just waiting for them." And so finally my executive sponsor called me and said," What do we need to do?" And I said," Well, we just need to get procurement to just agree to the terms and conditions that you and I agreed to back five months ago." And the person went away and 24 hours later we get the original contract that we had submitted at the very beginning, back from procurement, no changes with a signature on it. And what had happened is, and this is why, we were talking about the negotiation triangle, my executive sponsor called the senior vice president that was putting pressure on them to get the deal done and said," Procurement is holding this thing up and they're jacking around my vendor and these are good people. Can you get this fixed?" And it turns out when a senior vice president calls up procurement and says back off, they have a tendency to back off because they work in the chain of command. They're not in control. And all their job is, is to make the best deal for their company. So we got the contract signed on our terms. And the lesson, the moral of the story is emotional control. My salesperson would have started negotiating immediately because she wanted the commission check and she was desperate. The consulting team, they wanted to work on the project and they wanted to get started and there's money in their pocket for that too. But for me, it was everything that I teach and that is when the stakeholder group chose us, they chose us. And at that point we were in a position of strength. Now if the procurement group had been negotiating things that didn't really matter, I'd have negotiated with them." We'll give you that." We weren't being hard- asses and saying," We're holding the line on everything." There were things that we were willing to move around, but we did have limits on what we were willing to negotiate and we knew where the line was drawn. And we were not going to cross those lines because those things were going to hurt our business. But if you have emotional control and you have the moral high ground and you have an executive sponsor and you've done your job and you're the vendor of choice, then you're in a position. It's if you can be patient and manage your emotions, that you're almost always going to win.

Paul Watts: Wow! What a fantastic story, Jeb. What a great lesson as well for that young salesperson to take away, about exercising emotional control. Fantastic. Jeb, I'm afraid that is all that we've got time for today. And as you know, our mission at Sales Reinvented, is to change the negative perception of salespeople with a vision of making selling a profession to be proud of. And I am absolutely certain that if our listeners could just take on board some of the amazing insights that you've shared today, that we would go a long way towards realizing that mission and that vision. So thank you so much for coming back onto the show.

Jeb Blount: Thank you, Paul.

Mark: Hey friends, thanks so much for listening to this episode. If you enjoyed it, please share it with friends and colleagues so that they can benefit from it as well. If you find Negotiations Ninja podcast worthy, please go on to iTunes and give us a cool rating with a nice review. We certainly appreciate every single one that we get, because it helps us to understand who is listening, how they're listening and what it is they like. If there's something that you would like me to discuss around negotiation, influence or persuasion, give me a shout. You know how to reach me on social media, or you can get me on my website, which is www. negotiations. ninja.

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