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Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Conversations About Difference Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership Authentic Negotiating Deal-Driven Growth

Finding Valuable Deals that are Worth Pursuing

I am so excited to share this DealQuest episode with you! Stephanie Scheller is the founder of Grow Disrupt, a San Antonio-based training organization for small businesses, and an accomplished speaker who has been behind-the-scenes with more than 2500 companies in the past five years to analyze & address their sales, marketing & systems! Her wealth of knowledge is especially useful when it comes to finding valuable deals that are worth pursuing!

Stephanie is a TEDx speaker, a Forbes 30 under 30 nominee, a 2019 New York Life Woman of the year Nominee, a two-time best-selling author, an entrepreneur, a coach and a trainer and dedicated to teaching the same skills that allowed her to build her business from scratch and walk away from her corporate job in less than five months. It is abundantly clear why I’m so excited to have her as a guest!

Grow Disrupt: Decreasing Overwhelm with Connections

Stephanie notes that when it comes to business, there are so many experts and self-proclaimed “gurus” out there. It’s very challenging to find people who actually give good information that is currently working.

A lot of small businesses get stuck. They get bad information, and then they get so overwhelmed with trying to either use that information, or find a new person with better information, that eventually they just kind of give up on follow through. We all know that doesn’t work if you’re going to run a business. You’ve got to have business skills as well as technical skills and you know like

So my goal was to be a gatekeeper so people could come to me and get connected with solid industry leaders that could really provide the guidance they needed. Eventually, Grow Disrupt turned to events as their medium of choice; they would bring in the people who not only know what they’re doing, but also know how to break it down in a way that makes sense. It’s vital that these guests can provide strategies and information that will work inside multiple businesses; global application is key!

Finding Valuable Deals

This may not seem like the ideal time to be knee-deep in the events industry! Stephanie shares that Grow Disrupt adapts as needed.

Right now, for example, they’re doing a lot of events online. Because they’ve positioned themselves as a brand that people can connect with, they’ve been able to make the pivot and continue serving their ideal clientele. This has been made simpler because Stephanie is a connector; she isn’t just signing contracts and creating growth for herself. Instead, she’s making deals that are based on trust and that grow from relationships.

As a connector myself, I know what a great skill this is when it comes to making deals. Before a transaction can occur, a relationship has to be made!

(Speaking of the event industry, you can go all the way back to episode three of the DealQuest Podcast to hear my interview with Ramon Ray if you want more information about deals and events!)

When Stephanie creates events and brings in experts, she tends to focus first and foremost on what her audience needs. They’re looking to accelerate their growth, shorten the learning curve, and uncover problems they don’t even know they have. By connecting with the experts that Stephanie brings them into contact with, they are able to identify what they most need to work on next. Often, these are problems that they have been unable to identify themselves, which means they’ve often put time and resources into trying to fix the wrong things!

Stephanie shares a great example she recently discovered in a violin lesson (I’d invite you to listen in to the full episode to hear about that real life example of fixing all the wrong things!)

Desperate Deals

Stephanie shares that one of the keys to deal-making is that you can’t be negotiating from a place of desperation.

When you’re just trying to get sales going,you tend to be desperate for the deal to go through. But here’s the thing: this deal is not going to save your business.

When you’re making deals from a desperate place, what you’re going to end up getting is a deal that’s not in your best interest. Stabilizing your sales funnel and using marketing to drive leads into that funnel will allow you the space you need to really negotiate and make deals from a place of power.

I love that Stephanie talked about this; something I talk about in my negotiating book is that if you’re in a place of scarcity, desperation, or fear, you’re going to be making wrong decisions. Great deals don’t come from a bad place!

Stephanie also mentioned some big ideas about taking a paycheck and getting a profit distribution from your business.

That ties in so well with last week’s episode, where Mike Michalowicz shared about his work with Profit First and Fix This Next.

Leverage Organic Growth With Deals

If you’re doing it right, you have organic growth from your sales and marketing as the base. And then you leverage that growth with deals. You’re able to use your organic success to enhance your negotiating position, which enables you to release the desperation of “needing” the deal.

Making deals from a place of strength also makes it more likely that you’ll be able to create ongoing relationships. The best way to do this is to start with a continuation of each relationship in mind. This requires honesty. Ideally you’re entering into deals that further your business without threatening to overwhelm it. Ideally, you don’t want a single deal to comprise more than 25% of your business, because you have to recognize that there are hundreds of reasons that that deal could end. Things change, clients’ needs change, the economy changes, your connection leaves the company. Too many companies become complacent and overly reliant upon one or two really large clients. Then if you lose them, you risk losing your business.

I completely agree with Stephanie’s thinking here. I’ve been in business for 35 years, and I feel like we do great work for people. We rarely have any issues with clients. However, we still lose clients for other reasons; by reducing our reliance on a small handful of clients, we strengthen our overall business and approach.

Stephanie shared about a contact that was making $250,000 a year from three clients. With no warning, she lost two of them overnight. It wasn’t anything she did “wrong”; they were bringing it in house because they got acquired by a larger company. Her business had relied on three contracts; they were good deals, but she could have lost everything by over relying on them and ignoring organic sales and marketing that would have enabled her to have more diversity within her business.

To learn more about leveraging deals while organically growing your business, listen in to the whole episode here! You can also learn more about Stephanie over on her site, www.growdisrupt.com.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 30 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 if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz today!

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Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Negotiating

Publishing Deals and Finding Your Calling

Navigating a Publishing Deal

Move the Crowd is an entrepreneurial training company that focuses on helping people stay true, get paid, and do good. As the CEO, Rha Goddess works with purpose-driven entrepreneurs who are very clear about their intentions to make a difference in the world. More specifically, they are entrepreneurs who are interested in shifting culture. This can be related to young girls in STEM, female parity in the corporate C-suite, or even racial justice and inequity in our society—everyone Move the Crowd serves is interested in moving the needle to make the world a better place. Rha’s latest book release elaborates on the principle of shifting culture, and have it impact the most people, she chose to do a deal with a major publisher.

Doing Deals with a Publisher

Despite the drastic increase in platforms for people to consume content, the print industry is still highly competitive and difficult to break into. So, if you are not familiar with this industry, you might be surprised by the barriers to entry. For instance, to do a deal with a major publisher, generally, you can’t just go directly to the publisher; you have to work through an agent. However, in Rha’s case, she was able to garner the attention of multiple publishers, who approached her, giving her leverage. Since she already had a deal in motion, Rha had her choice of top agent representation to represent her on her book deal.

Leveraging Thought Leadership to Move Books

One of the main reasons Rha was able to approach the deal this way is because of a shift within the publishing industry itself. The new generation of publishers is seeking powerful voices; and what better way to establish yourself as a powerful voice than to become a known expert in your field? Over decades of work behind the scenes and the huge impact she had, Rha became a thought leader known to highly successful entrepreneurs, change-makers and best-selling authors by getting in the trenches and helping them do the same. She built a reputation and a following simultaneously that caused publishers to seek her out. Rha’s work has yielded countless relationships that are extremely valuable in the publishers’ eyes. And just like any other deal, the publisher must assess the potential for return before they make an investment. If you want to learn more details about what Rha did to prepare herself for a book deal and take it across the finish line, listen to her episode, “Publishing Deals and Your Calling, with Rha Goddess.”

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz today!

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Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Negotiating

How to Be a Great Negotiator

If you listened to my last solocast, you already know the primary reasons why negotiations fail. In this episode, we are going to take it a step further and discuss the top five ways to be a great negotiator.

Create and stay connected to a powerful context: Who are you when you walk into that deal? What is your energy? People can read your tone, body language, and micro-expressions, so focus less on ‘doing’ and more on ‘being.’

Be willing to do whatever it takes to get to your truth: It is a lot easier to put on a fake sense of bravado than to acknowledge you’re coming from a place of fear or scarcity. Do everything in your power to get the most out of your internal preparation so you can achieve a state of connection to truth and authenticity.

Identify and fully own your value: When you discuss pricing in a negotiation, you will have much greater success if you truly believe you are worth the number you are asking for.

Always be in integrity: Always make sure you are aligned with your inner truth. Great negotiators listen to their instincts and can tune into them on demand.

Have high expectations: If you go into a negotiation with high expectations, it may or may not work out, but your chances are a lot better. Holding high expectations directly affects your energy and context and is scientifically proven to improve results, so make sure to set the bar high.

Mastering the fundamental principles of dealmaking will turn you into a stellar negotiator; learning tactics and counter-tactics will not. Pragmatic methods and technical skills will help, but they are only supplementary. You need to become a deal maker at your core and negotiate from a place of clarity, detachment, and equilibrium. Following these five steps will help you get there.

If you are interested in learning more about why negotiations fail and want to hear examples, listen to my podcast episode, The Top 5 Practices of a Great Negotiator.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz today!

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Authentic Deal-Making

The Common Pitfalls of Negotiation

Unfortunately, there isn’t a set of magical tactics and countertactics that will make you a legendary dealmaker. Negotiators don’t fail because of a lack of special knowledge regarding tactics and countertactic. They failed for 6 deeper reasons: lack of preparation; ego; fear; rigidity; losing your objectivity, and lack of integrity.

1. Lack of preparation: Eternal preparation: Do you know who is on the other side of the table? Have you researched the company, industry, current market and recent deals? Have you accounted for cultural differences? Internal preparation: Have you done the deep inner work to get clear on why you are doing the deal, what your objectives are and exactly what is acceptable and unacceptable on each material deal-term?

2. Ego: Check your pride at the door, forfeit your need for approval and own your value. Your goal in a negotiation is to meet your objectives; it should never be to win.

3. Fear: Fear creates nervous energy. It causes you to talk too much, listen too little, and concede to terms from a position of weakness. Determine where your fear is coming from and work through your fear before you go into the negotiation.

4. Rigidity: You are at a major disadvantage entering a negotiation with a rigid mentality about price, pace, and timing. Eliminate your preconceived notions and open yourself to new, creative ideas.
Lack of objectivity: You can’t let your emotions control the negotiation. The only time they will serve you is by signalling if something is off. Otherwise your emotions will prevent you from negotiating with a sense of clarity

4. Lack of integrity: If you enter a deal that does not align with your inner truth and moral values, it should be a signal that something is wrong. It doesn’t mean you should walk right away, but you might need time for deliberation or clarification. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t move forward.
If you listened to my last solocast, it is important to note that the top 6 reasons negotiations fail are closely tied to the fundamental framework of negotiation. If you are entering a negotiation with a sense of clarity, detachment, and equilibrium, it will be easier to avoid these pitfalls and meet your objectives. If you are interested in learning more about why negotiations fail and want to hear examples, listen to my podcast episode, The Top 6 Reasons Negotiations Fail, with Corey Kupfer.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz today!

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Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Negotiating

Leverage Your Intellectual Property

It might be hard to believe, but there was a time when people had to source knowledge without the help of Google and Wikipedia. There was a market for almost every kind of niche information, but there were not enough publishers to meet the demand. Bill Cates stumbled upon an opportunity where he could fill that need and he found himself in the publishing industry almost overnight.

Deals in the Publishing Industry

Bill’s publishing companies produced highly-specified cookbooks and humor books, and he encountered many types of deals while distributing them. Licensing was a major part of Bill’s revenue. He licensed content to cookware manufacturers that wanted marketing collateral for their products. He also paid for branding rights and created product-specific content for the masses. Very few authors take advantage of those types of deals, but it is important to acknowledge that you need to get creative with licensing to reap the benefits.

Licensing offers the greatest payout over time and Bill sees it as a foolproof, sustainable way to protect your nut. Licenses work continually for you, they have zero cost of sale, and they require minimal time. When Bill got out of the publishing industry and became a professional speaker, he put his training video content to work. Today, he is still generating income by licensing that content to different organizations across the country.

Intellectual property is valuable and it is an asset that you don’t want to give away for free. Business models that are built around speakers can fall apart if the speaker is unable to travel or perform. The income Bill sees from content licensing ensures he will live comfortably if anything unfortunate were to happen. It enables him to bring his expertise to clients in a way that is more affordable and accessible. That is why Bill recommends being proactive in leveraging your IP assets.

Summary

No matter what industry or discipline you are in, you have expertise that other people don’t have. There are a lot of ways to get your knowledge out to the masses, but Bill recommends using a combination of strategies that include monetizing your IP. Leveraging what you already have in place is a much more reliable process. It will generate recurring revenue and grow your brand with comparatively minimal effort.

Listen to the Fueling Deals podcast episode featuring Bill Cates’ interview about how to Leverage Your Intellectual Property.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz today!

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Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership

The Echelon Partners Deal and Dealmaker Summit

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Echelon Partners Deal & Deal Makers Summit, which was an invaluable experience as both a speaker and an audience member. Echelon’s summit focuses on doing deals in the RIA space, and it was kicked off by expert sessions with 30+ industry experts, enabling us to provide audience members with a half-hour to pick our brains, get to know us and explore any topic that piqued their interest.

Kickoff and Buyer/Seller Challenges

The expert sessions and the dinner that followed were great opportunities for the conference participants to get acquainted with the experts, speakers and each other and network. The next day opened with “Buyers of the Round Table,” featuring Rush Benton of CAPTRUST, Dave Welling of Mercer Advisors and Kurt Miscinski of Cerity Partners discussing the low cost of money and the growing volume of deals. The panelists talked about the challenges associated with evaluating cultural fit with a focus on getting a collective buy-in from leadership and the rest of the team. One of my favorite quotes from that panel is that “culture cannot be acquired or mandated, it must be embraced,” which highlights the problems many executives face with integration. Check out the podcast episode to find out who said it.

Other areas of focus included buyer and seller challenges. On the seller-side, the panel explored why people sell and how selling to a bigger firm can solve problems with time management, talent acquisition, and growth. On the buyer-side, they talked about whether or not it is a seller’s market, why sellers are leaving money on the table, and the impact of funded buyers with impatient capital who are overpaying for deals. The discussion of whether or not we are in a deal bubble in the RIA market and what is contributing to that capped off a well-rounded discussion.

Keynote Debate

The next session was the keynote debate between Pershing’s Mark Tibergien and Echelon Partners’ Dan Seivert which has been a staple of the conference since its inception. Regardless of whether or not Mark and Dan actually believed the stances they were taking, they conducted a formal debate of seven different topics such as “the ideal way to grow with recruiting vs. acquiring” and “sharing synergy value and how it is split.” After each debate topic, they opened it up for questions and discussed their real views on the same topics which provided a lot of insight into the way they see deals.

Additional Panels and Final Thoughts

Following a short break, the conference transitioned to a panel format with the first discussion being centered on working with private equity investors and included Jeff Dekko of Wealth Enhancement Group, Jim Gold of Steward Partners, and Larry Roth of RLR Strategic Partners. The next panel focused on recruiting and breakaway deals, and it featured Bill Willis of Willis Consulting, Jeff Bischoff of Old Greenwich Consultants, and Robb Baldwin of TradePMR. Last up was an interview format of Manny Roman of Pimco on the people’s side of dealmaking.

Next, Dan Seivert took over with a solo session on deal structures, valuation, and transaction trends. Dan discussed the net reduction of advisors each year, the stage where there are peak margins, and what private equity firms are looking for before they invest. We moved back to the panel format in which I was one of the speakers. The topic was the “Battle of the Outside Council,” where Ted Cohen, Chris Frieden, and Dave Mrazik and I conducted a negotiation of a purchase agreement live for the audience. It was a phenomenal experience in which we addressed topics including purchase price adjustment, non-competes, reps and warranties, and employee agreements. Each of us took one buyer-side and one seller-side issue and got into an actual negotiation with real-world scenarios. It was lively, fun, engaging for the audience, and we received great feedback and were told that it was a very highly rated session.

Finally, the last section was on financing options for fueling deals. The panel included Aaron Hasler of SkyView Partners, Ed Swenson of Dynasty Financial Partners, Dustin Mangone of PPC Loans, and Rick Dennen of Oak Street Funding, who talked about capital availability in the market, types of deals they fund and who they focus on.

The event was a tremendous success with great networking opportunities and quality speaker from whom the participants learned a lot. I would highly recommend checking it out next year, and if you haven’t already, tune into the latest episode of my Fueling Deals podcast for a detailed breakdown of valuable takeaways from the conference.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz today!

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Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Negotiating

Nonverbal Communication in Negotiations

In any deal between two parties, negotiation is one of the most important steps. It is the point where everything can go well and all parties walk away satisfied, or where everything can fall apart and no deal is reached. Your skill and understanding of negotiating is crucial to where on that spectrum you end up. But did you know that what you and your deal partner aren’t saying can be as telling as what you are saying?

I recently invited Greg Williams to join me on the Fueling Deals podcast. Greg is known as “The Master Negotiator and Body Language Expert”, a title that he has truly earned over his 30+ year career of negotiating speaking and training. Today, Greg is a seven-time author, speaker, mentor and coach who teaches the vital skills he has picked up over the course of his career. One of these important skills is the ability to look for nonverbal cues and body language in the person you’re dealing with and to be aware of your own cues and body language.

In our episode together, Greg and I discuss some of the many ways in which people can let slip what they’re really thinking. From tone and inflection in their voice to physical cues, to involuntary “micro-expressions” they display, your deal partner is feeding you a constant stream of useful information that you can use to gauge their mindset and get a glimpse into where they are at in negotiations… if you know how to watch for them.

Micro-Expressions, Your Secret Weapon

During our conversation, Greg mentioned watching for “micro-expressions”. These little tells often last only a moment, and they’re triggered when the other party is responding to something that has stimulated them. People often let these glimmers of emotion slip through before they lock down their reactions, and if you know how to look for them you can get a great insight into what they are thinking and feeling.

Imagine the classic image of a prim and proper lady “clutching her pearls” for a moment when she has heard something scandalous. Or someone letting out a little gasp of surprise. People are full of these little tells if you know to watch for them. A person briefly glancing up and to the left is signaling that they’re remembering something. The twitch of a jaw muscle can indicate suppressed annoyance or frustration. Even the tone and inflection of someone’s speech can tell you more about what they are thinking. The key is to watch for these little moments and to know how to interpret them, something Greg is an expert in training business professionals to do.

Playing to Win in the Negotiating Game

For Greg Williams, his love of negotiating comes from a love of playing the game. It’s about controlling his micro-expressions and sometimes even deliberately invoking them to inspire a reaction from the other party. It’s about watching the other person and recognizing and responding to their own tells. All of these nonverbal cues can be just as valid (if not moreso) than the words that are actually spoken.

When playing the negotiation game, it is important to clearly define what “winning” means, for both you and the other party. Once you understand what it will take for everyone to leave the table feeling like they’ve won, you have a much stronger position from which to negotiate. If you can define winning for all parties, you know what concessions the other party will probably be willing to make, and you have a better idea what concessions you’ll need to make yourself to come to an agreement.

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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 with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz 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 with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz 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 with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

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