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Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Negotiating Deal-Driven Growth

Wealth Management & Deal-Making

Peter Nesvold is a lawyer, CFA and CPA by background. He’s also a multi-disciplinary finance executive with 20+ years of Wall Street experience. Now, Peter is the Founder and Managing Partner of Nesvold Capital Partners (NCP). This merchant bank that specializes in the asset and wealth management industries.

He’s come a long way from his early start on the farm! Listen in to our full interview here.

Getting Started

Early in his life, Peter remembers being on a date with a girl who asked what he wanted to be when he grew up. At the time, he said he wanted to be an accountant, a stock broker, or a lawyer. Although he didn’t fully know what those professions were, or what people did, he knew that was the direction he was headed.

Later, Peter got his start in the industry as a sell-side equity research analyst. Eventually, he rose to Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns, a fete he accomplished in less than six years. Over the course of his sell-side career, Peter covered more than 50 companies and ranked in StarMine’s “Best Analysts” poll across three industries. This versatility carried over to Peter’s role as a portfolio manager/analyst at Lazard Asset Management, where he was one of three managers of the firm’s SMid-cap product. During his tenure, the team grew AUM more than ten-fold and earned Morningstar’s coveted “five-star” rating.

The first deal of significance that he remembers making was between WorldCom and NCI Communications. It was his first day of his career as an attorney, and he was starting out in a mergers and acquisitions group. As he was getting dressed in the morning, he saw a newsflash about WorldCom offering a hostile bid regarding taking over NCI. When he got to work, the partner in charge of the British telecom account came bursting in. He had just gotten a whiff of the hostile bid, and Peter was able to offer valuable information in the moment. (Listen in to hear how that bit of intel got him on board with his first big deal, and what he learned about international deals.)

A Developing Career

In 2013, Peter became Managing Director and COO of Silver Lane Advisors. This premier investment banking boutique specialized in the asset and wealth management industries. In this role, Peter managed business development and institutionalized the firm’s business practices. This was all to support its exponential growth (i.e., revenues grew six-fold in seven years, firm was ranked #1 by deal volume in its vertical). In April 2019, Raymond James acquired Silver Lane. This move allowed Peter to become COO of Financial Services Investment Banking, where he helped to manage approximately 56 investment bankers in seven cities across four subverticals. That includes: banks, insurance, specialty finance and asset/wealth management. He departed in May 2020 to launch NCP.

Something Peter noticed while directing at Silver Lane was the pressure to increasingly go upmarket. They got to a point where the minimum deal side was at $750,000 in terms of fees. The ROI’s needing most assistance seemed to be hovering between two million and five hundred million in assets. That just wasn’t exactly who Peter most wanted to work with. Selling to Raymond James allowed him to return to focusing on owner/operators and entrepreneurs, along with other smaller entities he was more passionate about serving.

Now, Peter looks for firms that are trying to go through institutional change. Although their practice may be successful, they are often struggling to leverage it into being a real business. Although he has a huge amount of respect for the street-fighting mentality it takes to start a business, Peter has also seen how that can become a hindrance in terms of building the institution that enables you to scale into the higher millions and billions. 

Taking It To the Next Level

His own entrepreneurial cycle, from startup to exit to starting a new business all over again, enables Peter to come alongside these business owners with a great deal of experience and understanding.

This jump is a huge hurdle to navigate! That’s why there are so many books, podcasts, and other resources designed to speak to this change. From transitioning from organic growth only, to building infrastructure, creating systems, and generating deals: growth comes with major changes.

Peter notes that firms moving from the 750,000 mark to that next level of income generation are deeply impacted by two factors. These are the people and the culture. Want to make major shifts? The people on your team and the culture you’ve created in your business are determining factors in how far you can go.

The amount of time you are able to personally leverage is directly connected to the talent and culture you’ve attracted into your business. Problems on either of those levels require large amounts of time and energy that could otherwise be going into building your business.

Listen in to learn more about how Peter views this, along with issues of recruiting and growth.

Reinvesting for Growth

In a small practice, it’s important (and common) to focus on recruiting nimble people who can wear many hats. After all, you need your team to be able to take on many challenges. However, as the business grows, you need to start compartmentalizing some of these responsibilities and needs.

This is expensive.

You can’t hire “half” a marketing person, or any other speciality. As you start to unbundle the roles you had enmeshed in the beginning, expenses begin to increase. This is challenging, and requires a commitment to investing back into your business.

As you’ve grown and become more profitable, you eventually reach a plateau that almost requires you to take a “hit’. You might see a temporary decrease in terms of profitability and profit margins. This is necessary so that you can prepare for that next level of growth. Sometimes there is a lag here before growth accelerates; however, if you didn’t do it right, it can also signal even larger problems.

Peter calls this the “valley of death”. It can be stressful. However, he notes that passing through this and coming out on the other side is where you find the true rewards.

Listen in to the full show to hear more about Peter’s thoughts on growth, profit, and deal-making!

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

 

Categories
Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership Deal-Driven Growth

Coaches, Deal-Making, and Buyouts

Remy Blumenfeld is one of the world’s leading business coaches and advisors. He’s contributed more than 50 articles to Forbes. Remy was also listed by an independent newspaper as one of the Top 20 Most Influential LGBTQ People in the United Kingdom. He’s been featured in Forbes, Inc., The New York Times, and more!

Listen to our full interview here.

Getting His Start

Remy shares that, as a kid, he knew he wanted to be in the communication business. He had a little cassette recorder, and he would go around interviewing his friends. (He even found the old tapes from it recently!) His first real job was actually as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal television show in New York City. He didn’t stick with it for his full career, but it was an enjoyable start!

His first deal-making experience was at a school fundraiser. There were all sorts of little booths, and people were selling things to raise money for the school. Remy spent 5 pounds and purchased a set of prints that had been connected to a puppet show theatre. He then resold them for a few hundred! Ebay wasn’t in existence yet, but he was still flipping goods.

Remy and I also discussed the difference between looking 4 years into the future versus a hundred or more years into the future — you can listen in to hear about that!

Later, Remy transitioned into what he’s known for now: coaching and advising. While running multiple businesses, he had found that he was naturally fulfilling a sort of coaching relationship with his employees. (The only difference, he joked, was that he had no coaching training and they hadn’t actually hired him for his input!) 

Now, however, Remy coaches leaders, primarily in the creation sectors. He finds they are usually looking for a combination of coaching and business advice. As a result, he provides a hybrid model based on their needs. 

Early Deal-Making Experiences

Some of Remy’s largest deals include the businesses he’s sold. He started his first production company out of his bedroom in Brixton because he was out of a job. Remy decided he wanted to sell ideas to broadcasters. However, he realized that he couldn’t get companies to invest money into him as an individual person. As a result, he rebranded as a company and kept on trying. Looking back, he notes he was doing many things he now advises his clients to do. At the time, though, he was doing it by accident. In essence, he was making programs about where he lived and what he knew best. At the time, Remy was living in a rough area as a young, gay Jewish man. The shows he was making were often about the edges of society. (Those edges have since become the middle in many ways).

The production company that started in his bedroom made the first Black music show on Terrestrial TV in the UK, the first Asian pop culture show on the BBC, the first gay dating show, and more. He notes they did quite well by doing what they knew best. They understood it, they loved it, and they did it the best.

That lesson holds true in any sort of business and sales endeavor: you’ll do best by doing what you know best. It truly helps to be an expert in whatever you’re doing, as the buyer realizes that you are truly the best choice for them.

Years later, Remy sold his bedroom-started company for a high-multiple figure to a larger production company. Later, they became the company that produced Big Brother!

Leaning Into the End Game

Remy notes that, at a certain point, he understood that the production company had a saleable value that he hadn’t initially recognized. When he had started it, there wasn’t really a true market in the field. 

About 6-7 years into running things, however, independent production companies became something that investors were interested in. Big companies started buying up smaller companies, and he realized he was ready to sell. This required facing many realities about the business that their team had never really thought about before. For instance, Remy and his team realized that if you don’t have processes in place, big companies aren’t interested in buying you. Strangely run companies with weird or lacking systems get overlooked in buyout opportunities. Remy suggests running your small company as if it’s a big company in terms of utilizing systems, procedures, and watching the bottom line. (Watch your growth line!)

Now, Remy always advises people to imagine, from day one, that they are going to sell. He notes that you should be attempting to create a story with numbers — a story of growth, consistency, and profitability.

Remy now works with founders to implement checklists early on so they can create something others would actually want to buy from the beginning. (Rather than trying to “dress the bride on the way to the altar”!)

I noted that it’s possible to get deals done with a last minute scramble, but it’s surely not ideal. Preparing in advance is the best!

The Psychology of Buying a Company

Beyond the numbers, Remy thinks psychology is the most important aspect of the sale of a business. (In fact, he notes that ego tends to get in the way of the best and truest job quite often!)

In the creative sector, Remy notes that people often want to show they’ve done the best possible job tapping into every possible revenue stream and protecting their rights. You won’t feel very proud of yourself if you’ve just “forgotten” to access a revenue stream or market. There is a level of pride involved that can make owners want to emphasize that they’ve done everything.

However, a buyer wants to feel there is room for growth and improvement. If everything has been done that can be done, and growth can’t occur, it will be less attractive to them. A buyer wants to believe they can run the company better than you, or at least that there is room for them to do something bigger and better!

Remy does note, however, that sometimes in show business people forget the business and run the show! In a business deal, it’s key to be able to show that the business elements have been well handled so they can be moved through.

(Listen in to learn more about Remy’s thoughts on how the buyers will be approaching your business just like a home they recently purchased; there will be changes!)

The Power of Coaches & Coaching

I noted that I’ve worked with coaches myself, and asked Remy to share a bit more about the power of coaching. 

Remy noted that one of the things he finds to be most powerful is helping people commit to their own goals and standards, independent of anybody else. It’s key to be able to hold these apart from your partner, parents, clients, or anyone else in your life. As a coach, Remy also finds it useful that he’s not involved in his client’s lives or goals in a personal way. He’s able to provide feedback and accountability that is received differently than that of a friend or colleague would be.

I see that as the deal clients and coaches make between one another, in terms of how they will hold one another accountable and show up.

Listen to our full interview here.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal-Ready Assessment today!

 

Categories
Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership Authentic Negotiating Deal-Driven Growth

Deal-Making is About Relationships

Here we are at the end of 2020. What a year! Today, I’m offering up a solo-cast that leads back to the most basic truth about deals: deal-making is about relationships. As I share often, almost every business deal is either the start of a relationship, or the continuation of an existing relationship. There’s just no way around it, and it’s a key part of how I teach about the deal-making process.

Also, we just celebrated our 100th episode with guest Joe Apfelbaum! It was an incredible interview, and Joe shared awesome insights about his deal-making prowess and partnership experiences. 

Relationships are a Key Deal-Making Ingredient

Whether you’re in an acquisition or merger, or you’re creating deals with partners, vendors, or suppliers, relationships are a key element. You name the deal, there’s likely going to be a relationship being established, built, or leveraged. 

The journey towards a deal is usually paved by relationships as well. Your broker, your agent, your banker, your partner, your friend — these are the relationships that position us to know who we need to know, get people to the deal-making table, and start the deal-making process.

That’s what makes relationships such an important part of both business and deals, not to mention our day-to-day lives!

2020 Highlighted How Essential Relationships Are

In 2020, relationships played a key role in my life for even more reasons than usual. 

The support, guidance, connection, and opportunities that came from relationships during this hard, long year were key for me. Not just for growth, but for peace, strength, and stability. Now, more than ever, I know that connection with others fuels me, fuels my personal growth, and fuels my business.

I know that many of you have had to make major pivots this year, and I’ve seen again and again how relationships can truly pave the way to make those successful. Even as things have been hard, relationships with family, friends, and industry professionals often provided a key element that allowed us to turn things around, make the best of the options available to us, or otherwise find a way to navigate this year.

If you’ve been part of my relationship network this year as a client, a friend, a podcast listener or guest, a DealDen member, or otherwise: thank you. I truly appreciate you, and I hope to continue together with you into the new year!

Know, Like, Trust: Business Relationships Pave the Way for Deals

People want to do business with people they like. It’s just the truth! 

When it comes to deal-making, nothing much changes. When you’ve built that know, like, trust factor via real relationships, you’ll find opportunities seem to naturally appear. Why? Because when someone is thinking about who to offer a partnership to, who to strategize with, who to make a deal with, they feel best if they’re doing it with someone they know, like, and trust. 

Being in a relationship with someone builds confidence.

Worried that you’re not well positioned when it comes to relationships? Well, there is no magic pill that will develop them overnight! In fact, it can take a long time to build relationships. As the old Chinese proverb says, however:

The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.

Another note: Just because deals are technically transactions doesn’t mean that your relationships should be described that way! People sense when you’re only interested in them because you want or need something. If you only set about to build relationships because you’re trying to get something, it won’t work the way you hope.

Instead, practice nurturing your current network. Add value. Seek to serve. Find a way to genuinely support someone else. Connect with people you’ve possibly just “not seen” in the past. If 2020 taught you anything, let it be that relationships matter and are always worth investing in.

Listen in to hear my full thoughts on the connection between deal-making and relationships!

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast..

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal-Ready Assessment today!

Categories
Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Deal-Making Deal-Driven Growth

Business Partnerships Deals

Today we’re diving into business partnerships! Many businesses have more than one owner; you can spread the risk, add expertise, double your network, and share necessary tasks. It makes sense!  Adding a partner, however, isn’t as easy as just signing someone new on. From business issues to legal structuring, we’ll talk about the important things you need to know!

Fundamental Business Partnership Considerations

Business partnerships often arise when a new company starts. They might also arise when a new partner joins an existing business owner within their company, or when multiple businesses comes together.

However your partnership starts out, there are a few fundamental “buckets” you’ll want to consider.

Bucket #1 – Decision Making & Control

Who makes the decisions on what kind of things? Who has voting rights?

There are various levels of decisions that occur in any business. There will be distinctions within the partnership for who is in charge of what. For day to day decisions, there is often minimal documentation. Partners usually have tacit agreements about areas of oversight in order to keep things moving.

Once we branch into larger areas, however, clarity becomes key. Imagine one partner is a ⅔ owner and is a ⅓ owner. Does the larger majority holder automatically control all decisions? Do they have the final say? If no agreement has otherwise been made, this will be the default setting. (Possibly with a couple of exceptions under state law.) Alternatively, you may have a supermajority or unanimity requirement. That would impede a majority owner from making decisions without a minority owner’s approval.

Questions of selling equity, hiring/firing key employees, incurring debt or acquiring other companies?

You need to be aware if one partner has more decision making power than the other. All parties within the business partnership should have clarity around the level of decision making control they have.

I provide my clients with a list of extraordinary transactions for the business partners to review as they consider business partnerships. These transactions include large decisions like bringing on new partners, spending a certain amount of money, or otherwise making larger decisions. It’s crucial for business partners to get clarity on these matters from the get go!

Additionally, you’ll want to consider equity. Will everyone in the entity have the same class of equity? It’s not uncommon to create an A Class for founders, and a B Class for others buying in later. However, there are so many equity and capital structure variations that they need to be tailored to your specific needs and desires. Keep in mind that this is something that must be decided and created, not something that automatically happens.

Bucket #2 – Economics & Cash Flow

Who holds the purse strings? How does the money flow?

Just because someone holds a certain percentage of a business does not mean they are entitled to that percentage of the split. (If three people own a company, it is not a given that compensation must be split into even thirds.)

For instance, within a business partnership there may be a consideration given for services or contributions in addition to ownership. Whether this is paid as a salary, as a guaranteed payment, or as an additional distribution, it is important to understand how each member of a business partnership will be compensated for their role in the company.

Will the compensation element be directly tied to ownership elements? Or are there other factors that may be just as important, if not more so?

It’s much better to gain cash flow and economic understandings from the outset, rather than assume that others are in agreement and find out later that there are resentments and confusion.

Bucket #3 – What ifs?

What if someone dies or becomes permanently disabled? If someone retires? What if someone wants to leave the business? 

One important decision you should make within your business partnership is what will happen if a partner passes during their time as an owner.

If a partner dies and there is no written agreement, their share of the company will pass to their next beneficiary from their will. This could be a spouse, child, or relative. In an instant, your business could have a new business partner who, very likely, knows nothing about the business. For this reason, buy/sell provisions should be included in the operating or shareholders’ agreement for the business partnership protect the other living partner/partners from being forced into a business partnership in which they did not intend to be.

A buy/sell gives partners the right and ability to retain equity by purchasing it from the deceased’s estate. This is a powerful form of protection that can prevent a company from moving into the hands of an unintended party. It’s also a gift to the family, who is able to monetize their ownership and be compensated for their family member’s role. Ideally the estate or family receives fair compensation, and it’s a win/win for both parties.

In terms of being able to buy those shares back, we most often recommend a term life insurance policy that has been set up as a cross purchase. As a funding vehicle it won’t hurt the company’s cash flow, and allows partners to quickly compensate the family and retain shares via a buyback.

To hear more about how disability insurance can come into play, listen to the full episode.

Additionally, you’ll want to consider retirement expectations. Along with retirement criteria, you should discuss potential non-compete/non-solicit agreements. These would come into play if a partner leaves without retiring.

If a partner were to leave, what would happen with their clients? Is there a way to divide the business if members want to dissolve the partnership at some point? Are there buyout provisions in place?

The truth is, there are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to business partnerships. There are too many nuances to just pull a pre-formatted agreement off the internet. You can’t just use the one your friend used for their company. Like with the old Fram oil filter commercial: you can pay your attorney and other professionals now, or you can pay them much more later. That’s what happens when things weren’t done right the first time around. You end up having to clean them up or deal with a dispute.

Listen to the full episode on business partnerships here!

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

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Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Conversations About Difference Authentic Leadership Authentic Negotiating

A Different View of Deals & Negotiations

My guest today is Zoltan Istvan, who is a world leader in the field of Transhumanism. He’s also a vice presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party in 2020. I’m excited to have Zoltan on. He brings a different view of deals and negotiations, and how that plays out in the political realm.

More About Transhumanism

Transhumanism is a social movement. It contains many millions of people around the world that want to use science and technology to radically modify humans and the human experience. This can include anything from exoskeleton suits that will allow elderly or disabled people who have lost mobility to walk again, or chips implanted in either your brain or in your hand.

It can also include things like genetic editing, where we try to eliminate cancer through radical types of genetic therapies. Transhumanism is about applying radical science to human beings and our lives.

In 2016, Zoltan was nominated to run for as a Transhumansim presidential candidate. Zoltan believes that America actually received a science-based candidate really well. Although he acknowledges that the party never had a chance to win, they did get their message out, with over 100 million views of their content, 6th best of all candidates.

Deals & Negotiating in Politics & Journalism

Zoltan shares that he has several businesses and has been an entrepreneur for years. However, politics takes the cake in terms of deal-making. There are constant divisions, factions, and differences in opinion. If you want to be nominated as a candidate, you have to be able to combine factions, make deals, and bring people together.

The complexity of political deal-making in today’s divisive social atmosphere is intense. Zoltan noted that political deals often differ from business deals in that they tend to be less directly about money. Instead, they are about positioning and leverage.

The person who best masters compromise often ends up the winner.

Zoltan’s work in journalism required similar negotiation skills. When a journalist wants to create a story based on a certain person or group, it’s necessary to find ways to help people feel safe in revealing their truest selves. It really comes down to trust, and your ability to build trust with the other person as part of creating a deal together.

Building Trust as Part of Deal-Making

Because deals always involve people at some level, the power of trust cannot be overstated. No matter how amazing a deal might seem, it’s incredibly hard to get someone to put their signature on something if they don’t trust you.

In journalism, you have to be able to show someone that opening up to you and sharing their story is going to be better for them and their lives in the long run. And that can be a hard sell if trust has not been established.

So, politics and business share the same truth: Without some level of trust, it’s really hard to get a deal done.

Zoltan’s background includes reporting in a lot of war zones. As a result, he’s seen that generals and military commanders are very hesitant to speak with reporters. He had to prove that he would report the facts and create stories that were accurate. The modern, “click-bait” style reports that are common on social sites today do the exact opposite. They may be entertaining and compelling — but they do not build the sort of trust necessary to get to a deeper, bigger story.

Existential Risk & Transhumansim

Zoltan shares that transhumanism focuses quite strongly on the reality of existential risks in the world. There are plagues, health problems, and nuclear threats. He believes that reallocating government money into researching and addressing these existential threats is vital. In addition, it would be a foundational role for transhumanist political leaders in the future. This would clearly require a great deal of political deal-making. This would also involve the boundary-pushing science transhumanism is known for. Because of this, there are likely going to be conflicts with more conservative or traditional religious leaders.

For example, artificial wombs are reaching a place of viability that means they will be an option in the upcoming years. The Catholic Church has long held a position against abortion. Their perspective here will be interesting. What if they could see artificial wombs as an abortion alternative that allows a woman to opt-out of pregnancy while also protecting the babies life and making it possible for the child to be born full term and adopted?

Zoltan points out that innovations in science and technology almost always signal new deals on the horizon. From what will be accepted, to how something will be funded, produced, marketed, and used: deals are a necessity.

Building trust will continue to be a key element of allowing various sectors and factions to come together. This is necessary in order to create the best world for us all.

Listen in to the full episode here!

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Categories
Authentic Deal-Making

Referable Brands Help Grow Deals

This week’s guest, Michael Roderick, shares so much valuable information about the power of creating a referable brand. When you can get people talking about you when you’re not in the room, more folks will come your way. Some of you may think this only relates to growing organically, but that’s not true. People who have brand value beyond just sales are that much more attractive as acquisition targets. They’re also set up better for possible joint ventures, strategic alliances, and more. Referable brands and deals were made for each other!

Organic Growth & Unique Selling Propositions

As a deal maker, Michael differentiated himself with a unique selling proposition. He appealed to the people with whom he was dealing. He points out that every industry has vulnerabilities. If there’s a normal doorway that everyone is trying to use to get into the space, where are the windows? What other model can you use? How can you be different?

As humans, we are wired to look for contrast. And when you take an approach that is high-contrast to what others around you are doing, you’ll draw attention naturally.

People will talk about what you’re doing, and they’ll remember that you were different.

In Michael’s case, he combined his creative and business interests in the realm of Broadway. Rather than taking the fundraising approach that he saw everyone around him taking – rasing money in exchange for a producer credit, he looked for the proverbial “window”. In his industry, that looked like initially raising money without asking for any credit. This gave him access to more shows. He could then present a portfolio of potential shows to investors and setting up events for theatre companies and actors as a way to raise money.

In the course of putting these events together, Michael started meeting people and getting known. From off-Broadway producers to Broadway producers, he built a reputation that served as the basis for his growth.

And as he grew, he got questions —

People wanted to know how he was meeting these big names, how he was hosting these events, and how he was raising money so effectively. Part of his answer revolved around understanding who was on the other side of the table.

The Benefit Doesn’t Have to Be Financial

Broadway isn’t usually about investing to make money, which means the selling point isn’t going to focus on financial gains. Even though a large part of his role was based on financials and raising capital, Michael understood that what mattered to the people he was making deals with wasn’t just dollars and cents.

On Broadway, there’s an old saying:

You can’t make a living, but you can make a killing.
By its nature, Broadway is high risk, high reward. And the reward people most wanted wasn’t about the money. Rather than try to force a financial focus that wasn’t there, he had the awareness to consider what mattered most to the people who were doing the investing.

In this case, it was often experiential. Often Broadway investors have theatre backgrounds, and their investment exchange is attached to outcomes. They’re interested in learning more of the process, connecting with producers or actors, or otherwise gaining enjoyable experiences in the theatre community.

Michael shared that he often felt out how exciting a project opportunity may seem to a potential client. If they didn’t have an intrinsic desire for a certain project, he never pushed it on them.

Most investing scenarios are similar. You can share the value behind a deal. You can also share why you think it makes sense, but you shouldn’t want to force it. The right person will see the value in what you’re offering, and they’ll step up to the plate.

Negotiating with the “Halo Effect”

Using simulated networking experience, Michael was able to identify common behavior patterns that cropped up during social and networking interactions. He was also able to build a framework to help people do better.

He recognized that many of us don’t consider how to package ourselves in order to get others to talk about us. But when other people DO share about us with their friends and acquaintances, we can start to harvest the power of a referrable brand.

When your name is frequently getting dropped in positive, powerful ways, you walk into the room, the conversation, or the negotiation with the “halo effect”. The positive regard and social clout you’ve garnered pave the way for any sort of deal or interaction you may encounter. It also brings you into contact with more people and connections, which means collaboration opportunities abound.

This packaging of ourselves is something we have to be intentional about. All of us have unconscious competence; things we do that we are good at, but that we hardly recognize. You may find it worthwhile to work with someone who has a bigger picture view of who you are and what you’re doing, because it’s quite likely that you’re missing some of your own points of genius!

(You can go all the way back to an earlier episode to listen in to how Ramon Ray garners affiliate deals using this type of approach as well!)

To learn more about income ceilings, re-positioning, deal-driven strategies, and more, listen in to the full episode!

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Categories
Authentic Conversations About Difference Authentic Leadership

How to Keep Your Business Going During a Family Emergency

In the month of April, I had the opportunity to travel quite a bit for work and for pleasure. If you have been reading my articles for long, you know that I am a big advocate of living an integrated life. As a business owner, I have a certain level of control in the day-to-day work that I do, but it is not always easy.

The best laid plans can fall away when a family emergency rises to the top of the list of priorities. The day I returned from a business mastermind trip in Europe, I learned my mother had fallen ill with abdominal issues. As I was back in town, I was able to support my mother in-person, take her to the hospital and spend much of last week with her.

As I write this, I am on Day 8 of being there to provide encouragement to my mother as the doctors try to figure out how best to help her. With my attention on her, it is a relief to know that my business – which is fortunately extremely busy right now – is carrying on without my having to monitor every aspect.

How can your business keep going during a family emergency? It actually came together for me while I was watching the way the hospital operates and being thankful that my business operates much more efficiently and effectively, especially when it comes to client service and satisfaction. (You can watch my video about the connection I drew between business and the hospital operations on LinkedIn or Facebook.)

The key elements your business needs to keep running:

  • Build and empower a great team and then trust them.
  • Systematize your processes.
  • Communicate regularly and transparently with clients, industry partners and other key people.
    Implement and effectively use mobile technology.

You need to have many of these things in place before a family or other emergency comes up. How does your company stack up? Are you ready in case of emergency? If not, take heart and know that you can start to take the necessary steps to improve from where you are starting today.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

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Authentic Negotiating

How to Negotiate Salary with a Potential or Existing Employer

Joining a new company can be a challenging time. Do you accept the first compensation offer or counter to see if there is room for improvement? Last week I wrote about employers having some leverage, but not all, in a salary negotiation.

Do you know how to use your leverage in a salary negotiation? Ideally, you have prepared for the negotiation with a list of quantifiable value that you bring to the position. A list of past accomplishments, along with any additional experience you bring to the team, will help you own your value and contribution.

When preparing to negotiate your worth, plan to set aside some time for quiet reflection. You need to do the inner work necessary to clarify your vision of what you want. For example, why you want a raise? Having clarity is essential to identify what a successful outcome looks like ahead of time. Why do you want a higher salary? Don’t stop your inquiry at “I want more money.” Why do you want more money? For example, “I have kids and I want to be able to pay for them to go to college.” Why do you want to pay for their tuition? “I never had the opportunity to go to college and I want to be able to provide that for them.”

There it is. That’s your purpose, that’s what you’re negotiating for: to send your kids to college and to provide them an opportunity that you never had. You can see how much different that answer is than “I want to make more money,” and now you’ve positioned yourself in a way that your supervisor can connect to; depending upon your supervisor, now the negotiation may not be adversarial but collaborative instead. It will also open up other options that will allow you to achieve your underlying purpose that you may not have thought of had you focused only on making more money. For instance, in the example above, maybe your employer has a college scholarship fund that is outside your department’s budget. Instead of getting a larger raise, you get access to scholarship money or, maybe, your boss has influence over scholarship or grant funds outside the company.

Now that you have a salary number, make sure you have done the same work as to other elements of your compensation package. Maybe you can negotiate more PTO in exchange for less of a raise. Could you negotiate a four-day work week to give you more time to work on a side project, and supplement your income that way? You need to know what other options could be on the table, and which of them you are willing to accept.

Develop your negotiating skills even further by following the steps I detail in my book Authentic Negotiating: Clarity, Detachment & Equilibrium – The Three Key to True Negotiating Success & How to Achieve Them and go to www.coreykupfer.com to take a 5-minute Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz to see where you stand and get immediate feedback.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

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Authentic Conversations About Difference

How to Negotiate with a Potential Employee

Unemployment rates are still at 4.1% from the latest Department of Labor findings and employees expect competitive salary and benefits. As a decision maker in the hiring process, you have leverage but, in a tight job market, you do not have all of it.

Before you have selected a candidate for the open position, you will want to go through the deep work necessary to find the clarity on who you want for this position. As a master negotiator, I teach my clients to use my CDE method—Clarity, Detachment, and Equilibrium.

The inner work that brings clarity is not something you can do on a whim. You will want to allow enough time and energy to really dive into the motivations of the company and the team to create the most authentic offer.

Detachment comes when you remove your emotion and biases from the outcome. It is especially helpful to consider the negotiation not from a one-sided – or even a win-win – perspective but rather from a place of meeting each party’s needs. Once we bring in the concept of winning, it is easy for the ego to get engaged and for us to lose the clarity and detachment we need.. If you are able to maintain clarity and detachment, it leaves the negotiation open to mutually beneficial options for the employer and the employee.

Creativity in the offer and listening to how the potential employee responds to the offer will guide you in the next steps. For example, if the salary offered is base plus commission, it is possible that the base could be higher with a lower percentage going forward for the commission. Also consider flexibility in schedule if it serves the company as well as the employee.

With the next steps also comes the need for equilibrium. As the decision maker for the company, you will want to know the parameters available. Equilibrium, or balance, will inform your actions and help you make the best decision for your team and prevent you from getting thrown off or triggered during a negotiation. Maybe something a candidate says triggers you in some way. That could be a good indicator that you shouldn’t hire that employee but it also could be that you got triggered due to some past experience or personal issue that should have nothing to do with evaluation the candidates qualifications.

So, do whatever it is that gets you centered and clear – for some it is meditation or prayer, for others its exercise or calling a mentor or friend or practicing in the mirror or, maybe, doing something unrelated that you enjoy and will put you in a good state of mind. You can also use anchoring right before you go into the room – think about a time when you felt confident, strong, on your game – envision that experience in full color and with all your senses. Then take a deep breath and bring that energy with you into the room.

If you found this helpful and want to hear more, join me May 16th in New York City for my Authentic Negotiating Workshop at SHRM’s Speaker Select Series. The series is open to HR professionals and those in Talent Acquisition, Employee Engagement, Internal Communications, Talent Management and/or Learning and Development. Online registration is available until May 15th.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

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Authentic Conversations About Difference

The Pygmalion Effect: Part Two

In Part One, I shared the story of Nancy, a former client who was letting her expectations impede what was otherwise shaping up to be a fair and beneficial acquisition deal for both sides.

Nancy was holding expectations of the deal and of her counterparts that were preventing her from making progress on the deal. She was at the table for a reason—at one point, this buyer was a good fit to acquire her company. But when the time came, skepticism got the better of her. In fact, the more she pushed back, the more she was threatening to compromise her objectives.

I had to get real with Nancy. I told her, “We did a good job getting clear on your objectives, and you’ve been composed, but if you’re thinking that these terms aren’t being offered in good faith, that’s on you, not them.”

I explained to her the Pygmalion Effect. It’s a proven phenomenon that states when we hold higher expectations; we actually manifest increased performance and more positive results. Conversely, and this is what Nancy was exposing herself to, the Golem Effect posits that when we hold low expectations, performance sees a downtick and we see more negative outcomes. Both are self-fulfilling prophecies.

What could Nancy have known about the Pygmalion Effect that could have helped her?

The energy we hold within ourselves matters. I thought we were on solid ground. Nancy had warmed to my authentic negotiating approach with relative ease, but only she knew her truth. The positive work we’d done to prepare for negotiations was being undermined by the negative energy Nancy was carrying, and inevitably putting out into the world. If she’d understood that her inner being has power to impact the outside world, she could have identified her low expectations and negative feelings as a problem early on, then she and I could have addressed them and come to the table with the high expectations that we should have been holding the whole time.

Those low expectations probably already rubbed off on her team. The Pygmalion Effect isn’t limited to our personal pursuits and outcomes. Studies have shown that our expectations of others effect how they perform and the attitudes they carry. In our specific example, the acquiring company was growing tense and weary of Nancy’s mistrust. Her low expectations of them were in turn affecting their mood and their willingness to negotiate. What Nancy might not have known is exactly how long she’d be carrying this negativity. If it was well in advance of the deal, it’s likely her team noticed and started to grow concerned, lowering morale. It’s a huge precept of leadership – the perceptions and expectations leaders hold of their followers are going to greatly influence how those followers think, behave, and perform. By holding low expectations of this acquisition, Nancy was putting a previously positive and productive team at risk.

She had no reason to carry low expectations. Nancy was onboard with clarity, detachment, and equilibrium. Nancy knew what she wanted and never got triggered. She didn’t understand that by doing the inner work that we did in preparation for this deal, high expectations were implicit. Low expectations are a nonstarter because in choosing to embrace authentic negotiating, Nancy was putting herself in complete control of the outcome – whether it was this deal or another, making the exact right one for her business was always going to be in her control.

Eventually, Nancy and I got on the same page and she understood that with our approach, there was nothing to worry about. But, her story shows how not embracing the Pygmalion Effect can creep in and shake even the sturdiest foundations. What’s more, it points to the fact that to be an authentic negotiator and make CDE work for you, you have to be all in. You have to believe and embrace it as a way of being. In fact, it wasn’t until after the first deal didn’t go through and she saw herself repeating the pattern with a second potential buyer that Nancy was able to see how she was sabotaging her objectives. Only then did Nancy go all in and we were able to close the perfect acquisition deal for her and her team.

The Pygmalion Effect is a concept that’s shaped much of my life and thinking. For a deeper dive into some of my other influences, check out the thinkers who’ve impacted me: https://www.coreykupfer.com/resources/

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!