Get ANYONE To AGREE With You (In A Negotiation)

Gavin Presman is an experienced media sales, leadership and organisational development trainer with an impressive background in radio, TV, and magazine advertising sales.

In this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Gavin explains how we can craft agreements where everyone agrees and wins without resulting in the “Donald Trump approach”.

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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Gavin Presman
Sales, Influence, and Leadership Coach

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Coming up on today’s episode of The Salesman podcast …

 

Gavin Pressman:

Yes, there are some people who are naturally incredibly charismatic and are incredibly connected, incredibly intuitive and those people will often do really well at sales for a short period of time, as you’ve noted, and also be quite good instinctively if they’ve got the right heart at negotiation. However, that said, there are structures which improve everybody’s likelihood of getting better results.

 

Will Barron:

Hello, Sales Nation. I’m Will Barron, host of The Salesman podcast, the world’s most listened to B2B sales show. If you haven’t already, make sure to click subscribe and let’s meet today’s guest.

 

Gavin Pressman:

Hello, my name’s Gavin Pressman. I’m a sales trainer and sales leadership coach. I’ve written a couple of books on negotiation, which you’ll find on Amazon and I look forward to speak to you.

 

Will Barron:

On this episode with Gavin we’re diving into a bunch of topics on the negotiation front that we’ve never really covered before. They gap the separation between selling and negotiation, which must be the five-step process to working towards a negotiation where everyone wins and not in a cheesy way, a way of essentially not haggling, not just giving away value for nothing but negotiating and going back and forth with value so that everyone is happy, everyone wants to continue the relationship and everyone wants to move forward at the end of the day, which is what we’re after, right? And with that, let’s jump right in.

 

Do Negotiations Have To Be Tense, All or Nothing Situations? · [01:25] 

 

Will Barron:

Do negotiations have to be Donald Trump-esque? Do we have to go in there with firm handshakes, trying to power play each other and trying to fight to the death and battle to the death to get just what we want out of them?

 

“If you happen to work for a business where you don’t really need to have any repeat customers, where you don’t need to have relationships with your customers, where you don’t need to perhaps meet that person in another business context, then yeah, go in and negotiate like an asshole. Go in and try and win.” – Gavin Pressman · [02:15] 

 

Gavin Pressman:

Well, in a word, no. But I probably … You deserve a bit of a deeper answer than that. Interestingly, my most happy moment after the release of my book was the week that we launched. I was third in the business charts and I was one above Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal. So it only happened for a week. It was a little bit before the presidential campaign and he is still … At the moment, he’s outselling me, but the interesting thing is, and I say this to people, if you happen to work for a business where you don’t really need to have any repeat customers, where you don’t need to have relationships with your customers, where you don’t need to perhaps meet that person in another business context, then yeah, go in and negotiate like an asshole. Go in and try and win.

 

Gavin Pressman:

But if you work in a business, see most of the people I train and coach, primarily they’re in media, they’re in technology businesses and in those businesses, their customers are customers for life and the people that are selling, the salespeople, the sales directors, it’s not just that they’re going to be doing business with this person in this role but the next role and the next role. They’re likely to take that book of contacts with them and the interesting thing is, in the old days, people said, well, if you were selling used cars, perhaps you could do the kind of win/lose type negotiation but the interesting thing is, having spoken to some used car dealers recently, they tell me, no, absolutely not. There’s no way I’d want to sell a car to someone and not give them as best a deal as I can because they’re my customer in the future.

 

“If you create deals that are win/lose or lose/win, and therefore, the power ends up unequal at the end of the negotiation, the fact is, you’re very unlikely to be motivated to do business with that person again.” – Gavin Pressman · [03:31] 

 

Gavin Pressman:

And so when you start thinking about negotiation as actually an extension of a relationship, when you’re negotiating with somebody, you are creating a deal and the question is, do you want that deal really to work and the interesting thing is that if you create deals that are win/lose or even lose/win, that’s another interesting bit but if you create deals that are win/lose or lose/win, and therefore, the power ends up unequal at the end of the negotiation, the fact is, you’re very unlikely to be motivated to do business with that person again and that’s the essence really of what I tend to train people when it comes to negotiation.

 

Will Barron:

So, I want to get into whether there is a structure for this, which clearly I think there is here, versus people assume that they’re good negotiators. There are a lot of people getting to sales because they have “the gift of the gab,” right? They’re good with people and so they instinctively [inaudible 00:04:29] their way through the first two or three years worth of sales and business and then perhaps hit a wall or can’t get over a certain point of revenue or whatever it is, can’t smash the targets as the targets go up and increase over time.

 

Breaking Down the Art of Negotiation · [04:42] 

 

Will Barron:

So, with that said, is negotiation something that is logical, is structured, there are starts, there are finishes, there are things we need to collaborate on or is it something that someone goes in there who’s incredibly quick witted and perhaps they’re looking for that win/win and they’re not looking for lose/lose or lose/win, which we’ll touch on in a second, but do we structure all of this or is this something that some people are naturally just incredibly gifted and charismatic at?

 

“If you prepare really well for a negotiation, you’ll get better results.” – Gavin Pressman · [05:56] 

 

Gavin Pressman:

Well, a little bit like selling, yes, there are some people who are naturally incredibly charismatic, incredibly connected, incredibly intuitive and those people will often do really well at sales for a short period of time as you’ve noted and also be quite good instinctively if they’ve got the right heart at negotiation. However, that said, there are structures which improve everybody’s likelihood of getting better results. So, the interesting thing is that the structure that we put in the book is seven stages. Actually, it’s five stages. There are five stages of negotiation, we just … Because we realised that actually, when I do a workshop, when I work one-on-one with people, we tend to spend most of the time thinking about preparation because if you prepare really well for a negotiation, you get better results. So we broke the first three stages into … The first stage, the preparation stage, into three for the book.

 

Gavin Pressman:

And what’s interesting is, the five stages I use for negotiation were originally developed by ACAS, and on the radio this morning, they were talking about a deal with the Hermes Group, I don’t know if you’ve heard it on …

 

Will Barron:

Yup.

 

“The five-stage process for negotiation is interesting because it works everywhere. It works with hostage situations. It works with international conflict. Those five stages are: prepare, discuss, propose, bargain, agree. If you don’t prepare, you’re in trouble, clearly. But if you prepare and then jump into propose, you’re also in trouble. So you’ve got to think about preparing separately, discussing separately and only then proposing and that leads to good bargaining, and good agreement.” – Gavin Pressman · [06:38] 

 

Gavin Pressman:

But that was ACAS and what do ACAS do? They help organisations create better relationships with their employees and they negotiate and they developed, in the 70s, this five-stage process for negotiation and interesting, it works everywhere. It works with hostage situations. It works with international conflict. Those five stages you’re probably going to ask me, so I’ll tell you. They’re prepare, discuss, propose, bargain, agree, and if you … So, these ear plugs are going to work for us … If you don’t prepare, you’re in trouble clearly, but if you prepare and then jump into propose, you’re also in trouble. So you’ve got to think about preparing separately, discussing separately and only then proposing and that leads to good bargaining, good agreement.

 

Gavin Pressman:

But the interesting thing is it’s not just the fact that there is a structure like that. There are plenty of tools that everybody can use to make sure they’re better prepared and that when they go into a discussion or when they go into the bargaining part of a negotiation, they’re really well-equipped to do the trading better.

 

Is Negotiation an Innate Part of Being a Human Being? · [07:31] 

 

Will Barron:

When you outlined this, Gavin, as something that was … Or this particular structure is put together in the 70s. If we go back further than that, if we go back hundreds of years, perhaps even thousands of years, I don’t know, I know the Egyptians are kind of documenting their negotiation tactics on the sides of pyramids but is there something innately human about negotiating? Is this something that has been done forever and so very likely will stay very similar over the kind of next decade or seven that we’re going to be working, everyone, myself and the audience included?

 

Gavin Pressman:

I mean absolutely. I don’t … Did you read Homo Sapien?

 

Will Barron:

No, I’ve got it but I’ve not read it yet.

 

Gavin Pressman:

Yeah, he talks about part of the development of human civilization was our capacity to trade with each other. The ability to start … Money, the invention of money was partly something that we needed to do in order to trade on a wider level and as soon as we started having money, we were able to trade with a wider group of people, we were able to effectively develop more civilizations. So that’s not just about having chilies or having saffron but it is partly about having chilies and saffron and so we have money, so we have the capacity to do that kind of deal. We weren’t able to develop ourselves, so yes, it’s definitely innate.

 

Gavin Pressman:

I mean I love the quote from Chester Karrass which is, “Negotiation is as old as the hills. When we’re infants, we trade tears for attention.” And it’s so true. When a baby cries, what are they actually saying? Well, it’s simple. They’re saying to you, if you pick me up, then I will shut up and somehow they’ve been programmed with that incredible insight that parents don’t like kids crying. Now, the truth is, we know you can reprogram a child. You leave a child long enough, it will stop crying for attention but there is an innate programming in human beings to connect. There’s an innate sense in humans that we want to try and help others and cooperate.

 

Gavin Pressman:

Interestingly, you can programme that out of people, and there are a lot of sales environments where because … I mean I don’t know what the deep reason, probably because the sales director’s an ass or the sales director’s had abandonment problems or whatever it is but they’ve created environments where it really looks like win/lose is the best outcome and okay, look, if you’re selling … I don’t know, if you’re selling stocks that aren’t worth anything to people who don’t need them, then yeah, maybe you want to go for win/lose, but I would say, if anyone here feels, anyone listening to this feels when I’m working in an environment where actually it doesn’t matter my relationship with the person, get out of that job, mate. Get out of it.

 

“There’s no point in wasting your resources selling shit to people when you can use the talent you’ve got to make a difference.” – Gavin Pressman · [11:01] 

 

Gavin Pressman:

Because the reality is, it does matter. It does matter what you do with your life. Of course, it matters. It matters whether you’re creating value in the world. So if you think you’re doing it just for yourself, get out, fight, because actually, every business needs sales people. Every business that actually produces value needs to expand its market, so professional salespeople are absolutely critical to the economy of this country, the economy of the world. So don’t leave yourself stuck in a job. There’s no point in … I’m sort of getting passionate, you can hear, but there’s no point in wasting your resources selling shit to people when you can use the talent you’ve got to make a difference.

 

Will Barron:

And it’s your only non-renewable resource, right? It’s the only thing you can’t get back no matter kind of how you frame it up and whether you do it from a moral standpoint, ethical standpoint. If you’re just flogging shit to random people that you don’t care about, they don’t really care about, and you’re never going to deal with them again and then I feel like this all goes another level. We’ve touched on this in other shows. We have LinkedIn. We’re becoming hyper-connected over the next decade or so which people will not be able to avoid whether you are not on Facebook now, you’ll be on some kind of business network in the future because you’ll have to to work in sales.

 

How to Prepare for a Negotiation · [12:19] 

 

Will Barron:

When all that starts to come back around and people track well, you screwed me over in 2018 or 2020 and you’re trying to deal with that person when they’re now a senior manager, they’re a C-level director, whatever it is and they don’t have to remember your face, your name or your organisation but your history of transactions is probably still in their inbox and they say, “Oh, I’ll double check this person.” It’s all going to come back around to bite us, right? So, with that, Gavin, is the best way to start prepping for negotiation to suss out what we want the end result to be or do we need to do preparation before we can do preparation to understand what the end result is if that makes sense?

 

Gavin Pressman:

Yeah, I think we do need to do prep. I mean there’s a couple of stages, and I think there’s working out what you want definitely. So, we’re looking for win/win. We’re not just looking for them to win, so we do need to work out as an organisation, as an individual, what do I need from this negotiation. The steps that I use you’ll be aware of, different ones but I use top, middle and bottom line, which is weird: What do I want? What do I intend? What do I need? So, it’s like a top, middle and a bottom line. And as soon as you start thinking like that, as soon as you start thinking there are different needs that I’ve got. There is something I really want. There’s something that’s in the middle and there’s a bottom line, there’s a walkaway point.

 

“If you don’t have a way of walking away, if you don’t have a thought of what you’re going to do if you don’t get a deal, then you’re in trouble.” – Gavin Pressman · [13:22] 

 

Gavin Pressman:

And as they say at Harvard business world, they say, if you don’t have a best alternative to a negotiated agreement, what they call a BATNA, if you don’t have a way of walking away, if you don’t have a thought of what you’re going to do if you don’t get a deal, then you’re in trouble really. So my suggestion is you’ve got to think about top, middle and bottom line. You’ve got to think about what happens if I don’t get a deal, what would I do instead? Because then you’ve got real strength. But more importantly than that, you’ve got to think about the other person and you’ve got to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and think well, what would they be thinking right now?

 

Defining the “Deep Trance Identification” from a Negotiation Standpoint · [14:01]

 

Gavin Pressman:

And one of the exercises I found very powerful … So, I’ve studied a lot of different things, one of the things I studied is NLP. And one of the most powerful exercises I found was called deep trance identification. Have you ever come across deep trance identification?

 

Will Barron:

Nope, enlighten us.

 

Gavin Pressman:

So, deep trance identification … And I’m not suggesting you always do this, by the way, every time you negotiate but deep trance identification is where you take yourself or you’re taken in by another hypnotist into a very deep trance and you step into … You imagine a person in front of you and you step into their shoes and become that person.

 

Will Barron:

Hold on a second, Gavin. Are we going to continue this and am I going to wake up dressed as a chicken or something in a second? 

 

Gavin Pressman:

No, no, no, it’s not going to happen that way. It’s not going to happen that way but you could if you want to but I’m unlikely to want to hypnotise you in the course of this but yeah, so you can … I mean, now, the thing about deep trance identification is it’s a process by Richard Bandler worked out. I mean actually, it’s what lots of people do naturally. So, I often used to naturally say, I wonder what my dad would do in this situation? Somebody I deeply respected. I would step into his kind of perspective and see it from his point of view and lots of people have been doing this for years.

 

Gavin Pressman:

[inaudible 00:15:03] talked about doing it from some of his mentors, so it’s not a usual thing to do but in the context of negotiation, think about … And that’s what I recommend people do, imagine yourself, you don’t have to put yourself into a deep trance but imagine you’re the guy you’re negotiating with or the girl you’re negotiating with and you’re in their shoes and this is the history they had and this is what they like and what they don’t like and there’s some other tools there. Well, from their perspective, what would they want? What would they intend? What would they need?

 

Gavin Pressman:

And I remember I was actually taught this model of preparing from the other person’s perspective by an amazing woman called Sandra [Proctor 00:15:43] and she taught us this top, middle and bottom line and I worked at Capital Radio at the time, so I was selling radio advertising. And then you had to think about the other person’s top, middle and bottom line. And I remember just going back to the office and she just said, okay, write this stuff out and I remember going back to the office and I had a big negotiation and I did it.

 

Gavin Pressman:

And I did all top, middle and bottom line based on what the company wanted, based on what we need our walkaway rates were. Then I did theirs thinking about their history and there was … An interesting thing just immediately occurred to me, my god, there’s very little middle ground. My god, if I was them, bearing in mind what they’re paying on other packages, bear in mind what they paid before, bearing in mind what they’re trying to do with this campaign, I would want … So, suddenly I had to go … Instead of going into the negotiation blind with my top, middle and bottom, I actually had to go back to my manager and say, “Wait a minute. Think about it from their perspective. How are we going to make it so that we get this?”

 

Gavin Pressman:

And so to make it that we got our top, middle and bottom, we had to think about what extra value, what other things we could offer that were low-cost to us but high value to them that would make the deal more attractive and interestingly, it was quite easy but it was that preparation, it was that thinking about what do they want to get out of it that made it possible.

 

The Key to Negotiating with All Types of Personalities · [17:09] 

 

Will Barron:

Do you share any of this when you go into a meeting? Because it seems that could go two ways. One, you go in, you align what you think are the kind of top, middle and bottom on both sides, everyone agrees and then you’ve got a real logical negotiation then, which hopefully is relatively seamless and takes all the emotion out of the equation. The other side of it is, and maybe this is me thinking back to the old school example of Donald Trump is that if you do that, perhaps you’ve lost some of the leverage, especially if they’re coming at it from another angle of they want to pound you into the ground, right?

 

“I like to separate the idea of selling and negotiating with the sale ends when somebody says yes but the negotiation starts when they’ve said yes.” – Gavin Pressman · [18:08] 

 

Gavin Pressman:

Yeah, so look, if you’re negotiating with a complete ass, then you’re going to have to change the strategies that you use. My suggestion though, if you’re negotiating with a complete ass, you want to stop him being an ass before you negotiate with him because that’s a challenge. It’s always going to be a challenge. If someone’s going in for a win/lose and you’re going in for a win/win, it’s not likely to be that effective. So, in the sales process, you want to get somebody on your side. See, I like to separate the idea of selling and negotiating. The sale ends when somebody says yes. When someone says yes … The negotiation stops when they’ve said yes.

 

Gavin Pressman:

What often happens … So, I can remember, I’ll give you an example of this. So I remember buying a motorbike. I was desperate, I was so excited about buying my first ever brand new motorbike and I was going to buy it in Park Lane where all … There’s a BMW dealership and I always wanted to buy one. I really wanted to buy Porsche but it was a motorbike and I was very excited I was going to buy a new motorbike and I went in there and I had my book. And I recommend everybody … Not exactly a book like this but everybody should carry a book around with them at all times, particularly to plan negotiations. So, you’re writing stuff out and you’ve got something in front of you and it’s clear. 

 

Gavin Pressman:

So, I had my book with me. It wasn’t as nice as that one, I had my book with me, I went into Park Lane and I started speaking to the guy and I was … Because I’ve been in negotiation [inaudible 00:19:04], I was playing a little bit with him. So I was saying, “Well, there’s a couple of models I was thinking about and BMW is one of them.” So I was kind of doing that I’m not really committed and had loads of information about where there were bikes, because it was a brand new model, when they were coming into the country. My dealer, who was outside of London, had given me a lot of this information.

 

Gavin Pressman:

And the guy could kind of sense that something was going on. So he looked at me and he said, “Mr. Pressman, are you convinced this is the bike that you want to have on your drive this summer?” And I said, “Well, no, not really, because there’re other options.” And he said, “Well, Mr. Pressman, have you test rode the bike?” And I said, “Well, no, but I’ve got one that’s similar. I’ve read the reviews.” He said, “No.” He was like this, “No, I’ve got a fully loaded version downstairs. I’m not prepared to talk to you about this bike until you’re convinced it’s the one you want. So I’m going to get it out to front, you’re going to have a ride in Park Lane.”

 

“You only negotiate with equals. If you don’t feel equal, it’s not a negotiation.” – Gavin Pressman · [20:13] 

 

Gavin Pressman:

Now, why is he doing that? Well, he didn’t want to go into the negotiation until the sale had ended. He wanted to make sure that we … And one of the things I say about that, you only negotiate with equals. If you don’t feel equal, it’s not a negotiation. So the example I like to use is in the first Iraq war and I love … So, the first Iraq war, we had circled Baghdad and on the BBC News, they said there was a negotiation this evening between the Iraqi generals and the Ally generals and the Ally generals handed the list of demands and asked them to be [inaudible 00:20:37]. That’s not a negotiation. That’s not a negotiation because the two aren’t equal.

 

Gavin Pressman:

Now, a lot of times I experienced this. I experienced this just recently doing some coaching and someone talked to me about a negotiation they had and the person was not yet committed, so they were using price and package to try and gain commitment. Well, that’s not negotiation. That’s selling. If somebody’s not committed, that’s selling. When they say yes, then you can say, well, how are you going to get this thing? But do you want it? Yes, yes, you want it. Well, now, let’s see whether you’ve got the right money that can make this work for both of us.

 

The Value a B2B Professional Can Add to a Deal to Ensure the Negotiation Runs as Smooth as Possible · [21:20] 

 

Will Barron:

So, let’s just stop here for a second and let’s pull this into the B2B context of … Because I’m interested in this point, and maybe on a bit of a sliding scale or it’s a definite point and we change gears at that point but in the B2B world, perhaps even to just get the conversation going to do the selling, we’ve agreed on a budget or whatever it is. If we’ve agreed on the budget, what goes into the negotiation, what could knacker the deal, in which case we need to add a bit more value and what value can and I know the answer is it could be anything but what typically can a B2B sales professional add to the deal to make the negotiation kind of smooth if that makes sense?

 

“Most people, when they’re thinking of preparing for a negotiation, is what can I add to the deal that will make it more attractive rather than what can I take away from the deal that will make it more relevant to the person?” – Gavin Pressman · [22:05] 

 

Gavin Pressman:

Well, the interesting thing is, most people think, when they’re thinking of preparing for a negotiation, what can I add to the deal that will make it more attractive rather than also what can I take away from the deal that will make it more relevant to the person? So, the first thing to think about is what can you take away. So what’s in the package that they maybe don’t really need that you can take away? But the other thing to think about is because what you realise is actually you create value by exchanging variables, by exchanging things which are non-tangible because in most B2B situation, there’s something that’s fixed and constant. You are going to get a piece of software. The question is how is that software going to be installed, when is it going to be installed, how many people are going to be there to do the installation, who’s going to do the support, how much support are they going to give us to that process?

 

Gavin Pressman:

So, the other thing is it’s worth thinking not just about what can I give but what can I ask for in return to make the deal truly win/win. So lots of people will experience it, you sell a piece of software or you sell a piece of equipment and then it’s the implementation that makes it either profitable or not profitable for your business. Now, often, when you say well, will you be able to help us? They’ll say, “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.” Well, the question is in the deal, well, how are they going to help you? How many people are going to be in the project scene? At what time are you going to get the specs across? So, if you can get the specs across this week, then I can give you … But if you can only get the specs across two weeks before … So thinking about the resources we’ve got in our business, the resources they’ve got in their business. What resources can most be exchanged to get real value? Does that make sense?

 

How to Start the Negotiation Process After a Person has Said Yes · [24:01] 

 

Will Barron:

This makes total sense. This is fantastic. I’ve never really thought about it like this, Gavin, but does this come then before or after we get the payment? Because most salespeople, myself included, we’re all chasing that payment because … Well, what we’re doing right now, it goes straight into my bank account but as a B2B sales professional, I got commission when that payment was made, not when an invoice was sent. Literally when … I’m working with the NHS. It was a huge pain in the ass to get all that processed but it obviously encouraged me to keep on top of the financial teams when we were doing these deals. My background is medical device sales.

 

Will Barron:

So, does the negotiation or should the negotiation then happen of we’ve agreed on the price, because now we’re talking about the terms of everything. I think most people would typically skip over that, try and get the deal “closed” as in get paid and then half-assed do all, what we’re discussing here, the negotiation after the fact. So, should we shift that forward and does that, I guess, reduce our chances of getting paid because we’re throwing out more variables into a mix than perhaps what were there before but on the flip side of that, does it then perhaps increase the longevity of a potential relationship because everyone knows what’s going on before the final commitment is made?

 

Gavin Pressman:

Well, yes, it’s likely to increase the relationship and increase the likelihood of longterm but the other thing that can often be put into a deal is next year’s money and the year after’s money. So, my suggestion is that the more you’re thinking about all of the terms of conditions before you get a signature and before you take any money, then the more likely you are to create deals that make your sales the year after and your sales the year after that because that’s to gain something that people often say, well, we could be doing this for three years. Well, my question is, well, is that something we can put into the deal then?

 

Gavin Explains Why Everything and Anything is Negotiable as Long as There’s Commitment · [25:54] 

 

Will Barron:

And how does that look? Because this is something that with the podcast, I typically do quarterly deals with brands like Salesforce, [inaudible 00:26:01], LinkedIn, Microsoft, all these huge companies. This year, we’re working with Soapbox and we’re doing a 12-month deal but it didn’t occur to me to say … And is this something that goes into contract or is this something that’s said over an email of if we do everything that we have said we’re going to do for you and you’re excited, we’ll do the same again next year for a similar price or whatever it is? How do we bring that into a conversation if that makes sense? How would I even just practically do that?

 

Gavin Pressman:

Well, practically, I mean if you’re only dealing with an email, you’ve always got a problem but if you’re dealing in email, my system would be to send an email saying can we pick the phone up?

 

Will Barron:

Sure, what I meant was got a commitment in writing on an email versus a-

 

Gavin Pressman:

But that’s what I mean is you see, one of the things Sandra Proctor taught me is anything is negotiable and she used to say everything’s … She was this Scottish woman and she was an incredible woman. She said, “Everything’s negotiable. You can negotiate everywhere.” And we’d be like, “Come on, Sandra. You’re not going to negotiate in a big department store.” She’s like, “You can negotiate anywhere.” Well, one day, it was the Howard’s sale and one of the girls from Capital was in the Howard’s sale downstairs and there was a massive queue and it was a bit of a fuss at the front of the queue and she got to the front of the queue and what was there? Sandra Proctor with piles of dresses going if you do this, then I will …

 

Gavin Pressman:

And my point is that anything is negotiable and what that means is that you can pick the phone up and … Or send a mail and say, “Look, got this deal that you’re putting across for three months. Well, actually, like to do it for six months. If you give us six months commitment, then I will do this extra for you.” And you see, the interesting thing is, these guys that’ll write you three month deals, they think, I’ll come back and write the deal again three months later. That’s double their time. It might help them to do it for six months. 

 

Gavin Pressman:

The point is that in the discussion phase, so you think about well, what do I want, what do they want and then the discussion phase, you start asking the question, well, would it be possible to do a longer term? So the next time we speak to [inaudible 00:28:12], so next time, would it be possible to do a three-year deal? Why would you want to do that? Well, it might save you time and it might save them time. They might be able to lock in your commitment at this price.

 

Gavin Pressman:

I mean I had an interesting one. When we went to go to Audible to get the audio version of the book, I was told by my agent, “This is what they were offering you.” They were offering me … I don’t know what the offer … 500 quid for the Audible rights with no commission whatsoever. So, it’s 500 quid and you don’t get any commission ever. I don’t want that. I don’t want 500 quid. I don’t want 500 quid. And I don’t want to have no commission. So my agent said, “Well, they’re very … It’s Audible and it’s Amazon and they just … They’re the ones that make the demands.” I said, it’s a negotiation [inaudible 00:29:10]. If I can’t negotiate with them, I don’t want to do a deal with them. They’re not going to talk about it, so send them a note and say, “He at least wants to talk about it. Is it okay to talk about it?”

 

Gavin Pressman:

And they said, “Well, what’s he got in mind?” And I asked what … And it was interesting, because this is a three-way negotiation. I asked, well, what is really important? And one of the things they said, well, we don’t know what … They came back with like, “We’re not really sure how well it’s going to sell and there’s an upfront cost for us to record the book.” And then I sort of started thinking about it and thought, well, actually, so what would happen if you didn’t give me any money? Would then you be comfortable about giving me commission and they were like, well, yeah. Because they were worried about the recording costs and blah, blah, blah. So, I said, “Well, what about if you don’t give me any money? What would you offer me then?” And they came out with a much better deal for me.

 

Gavin Pressman:

Now, I have no idea if it’s really better for me. Whether I will make the 500 pounds or not. The point was for me was that print [inaudible 00:30:17] … Well, first, I wouldn’t do a deal with somebody who wouldn’t negotiate with me and secondly, I wanted to have some capacity to earn in the future from my work and I wasn’t prepared to give my work to Amazon for the rest of … In perpetuity sort of thing. Now, [inaudible 00:30:35] started but I supposed where we finished with this is if everything’s negotiable, you’ve got to be prepared to ask people, well, what about a longer term deal? What about using resources that you’ve got?

 

Gavin Pressman:

And that’s why there’s a preparation stage, then there’s a discussion phase. Most people, even if they prepare, jump in with a proposal. So you have a preparation stage and then you sit down and you discuss and you use that magic word. The magic word is “if”. You constantly say, “Well, what if this happened? What if this happened? If we were to do this, would you be prepared to …” What about if this … And the more you can use that word “if”, the more you can get people thinking about conditionality, then that’s when negotiations become magic.

 

Why Most People Don’t Know How to Negotiate · [31:20]

 

Will Barron:

Are we just too soft or can we take some of the blame off our shoulders in that perhaps we’re both based in the UK, it’s not usual to go into a shop in the UK to negotiate. The price is usually the price but elsewhere in the world, like when I spent time in Thailand when I was younger, everything is negotiable and they’ll rip you off if you don’t try and negotiate because they’ll see you coming from a mile away. Is this that we’ve just been trained this way and so we find these questions perhaps, if we’re new to this, difficult to ask when really they shouldn’t be difficult to ask?

 

Gavin Pressman:

Yeah. Yes, you’re right. There’s a certain amount of conditioning that you would’ve had about not talking about money and I can remember going into a friend’s house only a few years ago, I was at a friend’s house. I was like, this is a lovely house. How much was this? And then being told later that was a rude question to ask and I thought, well, that’s interesting, but we all talk about the value of our houses. That’s all we talk about but anyway, [inaudible 00:32:20] it was rude, but the point is, yeah, there’s a lot of conditioning around money.

 

Gavin Pressman:

The other thing to point out is that there is a difference between negotiating and haggling. And when you are discussing what goes on in a market in Thailand, you’re actually describing haggling and the reason it’s important to distinguish the difference is because I can remember the first time I learned to haggle, I was eight years old or something, I was a little boy, and I was in Israel actually, and I was in Israel. I was on my family holiday and I learned backgammon from my uncle. My uncle’s a lovely guy, taught me to play backgammon on this beautiful kind of inlaid board, and all I wanted to do was have one of those boards.

 

Gavin Pressman:

So, my uncle had said, well, when you go through Jerusalem, there’s a market that you can buy them there. So all of that holiday, I was there for about three weeks and never bought anything. [inaudible 00:33:12] oh it’s lovely, nevermind. I’m just saving my money to buy this backgammon board. We get to the old market there. We get to the Jaffa Gates. I can see it in my mind so clearly, and the first stall I saw was the stall he was talking about. You wouldn’t believe it. There he was. The guy’s got the backgammon boards. And I’m like, I can’t believe it. I sort of had a religious experience, I mean Jerusalem, look, look what’s happened.

 

Gavin Pressman:

And there’s this backgammon board and there’s a guy and I say to him, “How much is it?” And he says, it was Lira in those days, so it’s 30 liras let’s say. And that’s all the money I’ve got, so I grabbed the money, gave it to him and my sister’s like, “What are you doing?” I’m like, “I’m buying the backgammon board.” She said, “No, you’re not.” I said, “Well, yeah, that’s …” She said, “Well, how much?” I said, “He said it’s 30 liras.” And she looked at this old Palestinian guy and he was like he had been called out and so they started arguing about the price of his backgammon board, and suddenly, he gave me back half the money and gave me the backgammon board and I was really confused. I didn’t understand what was going on.

 

“Haggling is when the price changes and the product remains exactly the same. And in business, you must never haggle. So, if you said to somebody, “it’s 100,000 pounds” and they say, “we’ll only pay 95,000 pounds,” you’ve got to make a reason for giving that 5000 pound discount because if you give it for 95,000 pounds when you said it was worth 100,000 pounds, you might think in the moment, “oh, I did it because I’m a nice guy and he’s a nice guy.” But that makes you a liar. That makes you somebody that’s not trustworthy and a lot of people don’t realise this. Because then the customer walks away going, “Well, I don’t even know if it was worth 95, maybe I should’ve got it for 92.” ” – Gavin Pressman · [34:23] 

 

Gavin Pressman:

Now, of course, you know what was going on but I didn’t at the time. What was happening is they had haggled. Now, haggling is when the price changes and the product remains exactly the same. Now, immediately as that happened, see, I couldn’t trust anyone in that market because I didn’t know that anyone was going to tell the truth and that’s the challenge is the minute that you haggle and this is why you’ve got to make the distinction and in business, you must never haggle. So, if you said to somebody, it’s 100,000 pounds and they say, we’ll only pay 95,000 pounds, you’ve got to make a reason for giving that 5000 pound discount because if you give it for 95,000 pounds when you said it was worth 100,000 pounds, you might think in the moment, oh, I did it because I’m a nice guy and he’s a nice guy, that makes you a liar. That makes you somebody that’s not trustworthy and a lot of people don’t realise this.

 

Gavin Pressman:

They don’t realise that’s why they actually don’t have incredible relationships with their customers because they’re lying to them and their customers are always feeling a bit like well, … [inaudible 00:35:27], then the customer’s got to ask next time for more of a discount. Then the customer walks away going, “Well, I don’t even know if it was worth 95, maybe I should’ve got it for 92.” So there’s a sense of insecurity but the reality is well, look, we could start a discussion about payment terms and you could then say, well, could you pay all this quarter, which might be more benefit for you to get your commission. So, if you could pay all this quarter, then I could do 95. And he thinks, well, I’ve not got a cash flow problem, so this is properly win/win, and that’s the difference.

 

Gavin Pressman:

And so what tends to happen is people, A, don’t like talking about money but B, don’t think creatively enough when someone asks for a discount and they think it’s yes or no and it’s never yes or no.

 

Will Barron:

Love it. That is … I’m going to interject here for a second because I’ve got to do the time governing and there’s something else I wanted to wrap up the show with but that’s a really good way of putting it and I have been caught up by that before. I’ve been rollicked by sales managers for just going, I’ll give you a discount. I’ll do whatever it takes to close a deal. I think I’m doing them a favour by doing that but of course, you’re not. You’re devaluing the product and a way a sales manager put it to me after calling me a weak bastard, which obviously didn’t go down well and so I had that …

 

Price Negotiations and Why Salespeople Should Always Believe in Their Price · [36:40]

 

Will Barron:

You framed it much more sensibly in the minds of the audience in a more empowering way versus well, you were just weak in that deal, which is how I was taught about this but you framed it up kind of on another level of the price is the price because there’re costs that you don’t see of servicing, of research and development. There’s always other things going on behind the scenes that you as a salesperson, hopefully, you understand some of the inner workings of your organisation because it allows you to have a higher level conversation, especially if you’re dealing with someone who’s particularly in finance like a CFO or someone like that but there’s probably other things that are going on that unless you’re the CEO of the company or even just you’ve done multiple heavy roles within the organisation, you’re never going to understand the price inside out. And so believing in the pricing is a powerful thing in its own right.

 

Gavin Pressman:

Yeah, and understanding those variables. Understanding what are the things that go into making it and then thinking about if you want to pay 95,000, well, what other things that are either low value to us and high value to you that we can move around or what other things that, for example, you might have that are high value to us, that are low cost to you? So you might have resources, Mr. Customer, that we could utilise in the installation that would make it actually as profitable for us to deliver for 95,000, for example.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah, and with Soapbox, I’m sure they won’t mind me sharing this, one of the things they wanted wasn’t just an ad in the show, they wanted to be able to share our content on wistia.com and on the Soapbox page because it ties into then their audience, their targeting B2B sales professionals and sales professionals in general and so I could add value by essentially me uploading a bunch of videos, which have already been made, produced. There’s zero cost of my time of just uploading them and they get a tonne of value out of having essentially a showcase of content that they’re collaborating with and hopefully kind of the brands rub off on each other.

 

The Primary Principles of Negotiations · [38:46] 

 

Will Barron:

So, there’re multiple layers to all of this and there’s one thing that I want to kind of wrap up with here, Gavin. This might be you personally as opposed to things that you documented in the past or this might be something that you thought about and documented yourself but it seems like there’re some principles to negotiation. So one thing you said earlier was to never go for lose/win, which is kind of what we’re talking about here of giving up concessions to get a deal done and ruining the potential of a longer term relationship.

 

Will Barron:

Another one was not going in and working with someone who won’t negotiate with you. Only doing deals with people who will negotiate in general. If I’ve screwed either of those up, do elaborate but other than that, are there any other principles of negotiation, rules that we should kind of stand by that are kind of binary?

 

“The more you care about the other person’s long term results, the more likely you are to get long term results. It’s a practical law that when people are getting long term results because of having done good deals with you, then you’ll get more business from them.” – Gavin Pressman · [39:37] 

 

Gavin Pressman:

Yeah, so I mean what are the other principles of negotiation? I think the key principle has got to be the more you care about the other person’s longterm results, the more likely you are to get longterm results. That’s not a spiritual law or that might be a spiritual law, it’s a practical law. It’s a practical law that when people are getting longterm results because of having done good deals with you, then you’ll get more business from them. So that’s the first principle, care more about the other person than you do about yourself.

 

“Don’t care about how you’re feeling. Your feelings aren’t real. Your feelings are the result of your thinking in the moment and they change in the moment as quickly as they come and as quickly as they go. So if you feel nervous or you feel upset, don’t take it seriously. It’s a trick that the mind has produced. So, don’t let your feelings get in the way of making great deals.” – Gavin Pressman · [40:04] 

 

Gavin Pressman:

The second thing is don’t care about how you’re feeling. Your feelings aren’t real. Your feelings are the result of your thinking in the moment and they change in the moment as quickly as they come and as quickly as they go. So if you feel nervous or you feel upset, don’t take it seriously. It’s a trick that the mind has produced. It’s biochemical and I think in one of my originally negotiation programmes, we had this phrase, don’t let the buggers get you down. Yeah, if you’re getting riled and upset in a negotiation and you’re feeling it physiologically in your body, the likelier it is you’re going to stop making clear, rational decisions. So get up, go and have a walk, calm yourself down and bring yourself back to a place where you can think clearly. So, don’t let your feelings get in the way of making great deals.

 

Will Barron:

Love it. We’re actually … And I probably shouldn’t say this because it will confuse the audience as to when this episode comes out but I’m recording another episode later on today with … I think he’s from Stanford University, on how to deal with your emotions and emotional intelligence and how to kind of manage it all and they’ve done research on this-

 

Gavin Pressman:

Who is that you’re speaking to?

 

Will Barron:

I’ll tell you after just in case that show doesn’t happen kind of thing.

 

Gavin Pressman:

Okay.

 

Gavin Explains Why Deals Get Done When There are Less Emotions Involved · [41:47] 

 

Will Barron:

I love interviewing these 100% academic science types but they’re the most unreliable people to get on a phone call with. Out of everyone I interview, they’re always … Not this person in particularly, because hopefully it won’t happen, but they are a particular pain in the ass on occasion, and so I’ll drop you an email. We’ll touch on that another time but with that, Gavin, I just wanted to kind of sum it up, there is seemingly data and research on this, right? It isn’t just you and I putting our fingers up in the air and going well, anecdotally, deals get done when there’s less emotion in the room and we’re less fired up. There is some kind of research data on this, isn’t there?

 

Gavin Pressman:

Yeah, no, there’s a really good book I read last year by a guy called Adam Grant.

 

Will Barron:

Yup, I’ve had Adam on.

 

Gavin Pressman:

Yeah, Give and Take, and he’s demonstrated the power of this. The reality is in Cialdini’s Principles of Influence, we know humans are reciprocal animals. We’re reciprocal animals, therefore, we react to what people do to us and we’re not elephants and because we’re not elephants, we do forget … I’m sorry, we don’t forget. So, because we never forget, it’s really important that your relationships trump whatever you’re trying to achieve this week or this month.

 

Gavin’s Advise to His Younger Self on How to Become Better at Selling · [42:48] 

 

Will Barron:

That makes total sense. Well, with that, Gavin, I’ve got one final question, mate. It’s one I ask everyone that comes on the show and that is, if you could go back in time and speak to your younger self, what would be the one piece of advice you’d give him that has nothing to do with negotiations but would help him become better at selling?

 

Gavin Pressman:

When I was younger, I thought selling was about having the gift of the gab. It took me a long time to realise selling was about listening. So I’d tell my younger self to shut up and I [inaudible 00:43:16] probably tell my younger self to not take this week and this month as seriously as … I’d get my younger self to be thinking a little bit more longterm about everything really, because when you’re doing that, you’re building better relationships, you’re building more. That’s got a value, you’re going to get a value from it longterm.

 

Will Barron:

And is that one year? Is that 20 years? Where would be the sweet spot for someone who that just resonated with who’s listening?

 

Gavin Pressman:

Well, I think it’s all of the above but it’s actually thinking well, where do you want to end up right at the end of it all and for me, it’s that very powerful exercise that I sometimes do with people and teams when we’re working at a deep level which is what do you want people to be saying around your gravestone and if you’re not comfortable that people are going to be talking about what you’re doing now, stop doing it.

 

Will Barron:

That makes total sense. That was really … We’ll wrap up with this, Gavin but that was really emphasised for me, the audience will know this, my mom passed away a few years ago with cancer. She was a pharmacy technician. So not CEO or C-suites or she didn’t [inaudible 00:44:32] and she wasn’t doing anything where it should be giving advice or working in crowds of people yet her funeral was the biggest funeral that I’ve ever been to. I think there was over 600 people there. There were people queuing outside, it was mad and my mom was a crazy lady. I like to talk. She would sit down and talk to anyone.

 

Will Barron:

But that was a real kick in the ass moment for me of a realisation of what do I want my … I don’t know if this is morbid or exciting to think about but depends on your outlook on life, I guess, but what do I want my funeral to look like? Who do I want there? Do I want my brothers, my friends, my family, everyone super close? Do I want to have an impact? Do I want to have more of an impact than just the podcast? Do I want to impact the audience so much that they would want to come to a funeral to say goodbye to me or as in like do you want to go wide? Do you want to go deep? And all these kind of weird thoughts came to my head. I saw it as a positive thing but it was a real kick in the ass moment for me and I never really pondered any of this before and yeah, that was … That came to mind as you said that then.

 

Gavin Pressman:

Interesting, interesting. [inaudible 00:45:36].

 

Parting Thoughts · [45:41]

 

Will Barron:

Well, we’ll wrap up with that, Gavin. [inaudible 00:45:39] tell us about the book, because clearly, we’ve only scratched the surface of the book here and where we can find out more about you as well.

 

Gavin Pressman:

So, you can see gavinpressman.com, you can find out about me and my business site is inspire-ing.co.uk or probably dotcom as well. I’ve written two books but I’ve got a warning for you. So, I’ve written a book called Negotiation: How to Craft Agreements that Give Everyone More, which is a great summary of negotiation, which we’ve been talking about today. I’ve always written a book called How to Sell with Complete Confidence. But my publishers recently decided to republish the book, Negotiation and it’s called, Creating Winning Agreements. So don’t buy two different negotiation books by me because they are the same book with different covers on it.

 

Will Barron:

Cool.

 

Gavin Pressman:

So, if you get really inspired, just buy two of them, don’t buy three of them.

 

Will Barron:

Buy 30 of them and pass them around to your team. With that, I’ll link to everything we talked about including the books, some research and other things [inaudible 00:46:35] the episode over at salesman.org and with that, Gavin, I want to thank you for joining us on the show.

 

Gavin Pressman:

Thank you.

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