SALES with ASLAN Ep. 143 – 2 Pro Tips for Effective Negotiation in Sales

Welcome to SALES with ASLAN, a weekly podcast hosted by ASLAN Co-founders Tom Stanfill and Tab Norris, geared at helping sales professionals and sales leaders eliminate the hard sell. At the end of the day, we believe that selling is serving. ASLAN helps sellers make the shift from a ‘typical’ sales approach, to one that makes us more influential because we embrace the truth that the customer’s receptivity is more important than your value prop or message.

The goal of these interviews is to spotlight various experts in the world of sales and sales leadership – sharing informational stories, techniques, and expert interviews on the sales topics you care about.

 

The following are notes from Ep. 143 – 2 Pro Tips for Effective Negotiation in Sales

In this episode, Tom and Tab discuss the difficulty and importance of negotiating in sales, especially when it comes to defending the value of your solution. They highlight two of the most surprising things about negotiation (that most sellers miss!), as well as a strategy that can help you change the emotional temperature of the buyer/seller relationship, moving it from an adversarial dynamic to a partnership where both parties ultimately benefit.

 

Listen to the conversation here:

 

Or check out the transcript:

00:13

Tom Stanfill

Welcome to one more episode of SALES with ASLAN, not the last episode. Just another episode. Yeah… 

 

00:20

Tab Norris

Phew. Scared me a little bit. One more. That sounds like this is it. We’ve got one more. We’re shutting down the house.

 

00:27

Tom Stanfill

This is it. And this is it. One more. This is it. No, this is just the next episode and Tab today, I want to talk about something that I think, or on a lot of sellers minds, I’ve been hit humans’ minds because of what’s happening all around us. It’s it seems like prices are going up. Gas prices are going up. Rates are going up. It seems like everybody is having to negotiate. We’ve been in process of negotiating several long-term contracts with customers. It just, it seems like we’re maybe, I don’t know if the challenge has gotten worse, but it’s certainly a topic that most people are talking about. I want to, I’m excited to dive into some of the things that we’ve learned over the years related to negotiation. I know it’s nothing. It’s not a problem for you. You.

 

01:20

Tab Norris

No, no. I just instantly price. Tell them, sorry.

 

01:24

Tom Stanfill

Then your price. You are just what you want. I have to, I struggle.

 

01:28

Tab Norris

Yeah, no, like a lot of things in my selling career now that I’m getting gray hair, I learned from you and you have been, I mean, think about it for all these years, Tom. Think of all I know. We’re, we’re all dealing with it a lot right now, but you’ve done this your entire career. I’ve watched you, you have been the key negotiator for Azlan on lots of the big global multi-million dollar deals.

 

01:57

Tom Stanfill

And a lot of competition. In a lot of times we start with 10 companies and it goes down to three.

 

02:04

Tab Norris

Yep. You know that, like you said, I mean, I’ve seen the exact same thing. A lot of we’re seeing a lot of searches out there. W w what are salespeople looking for? What do they want help on? We’re seeing negotiations, price, negotiations, prices tough. What do I do? I was thinking, there’s nobody better than you buddy, Tom Stan, till to kind of share some little nuggets of wisdom.

 

02:32

Tom Stanfill

Well, I have learned a lot over the years and it started in my first job in sales. I was a mortgage originator. That’s a hard thing to do is to defend your rate when somebody else has a lower rate. When I was in the mortgage business rates were 8%. Actually it started at 13%. By the time I left the business, it was eight and a half percent. Something like that. That is crazy to think about that. Although we’re kind of headed back,

 

03:03

Tab Norris

We’ll be there soon.

 

03:05

Tom Stanfill

I hope not, but that was it. It was very difficult for me when I start a career, so says, well, I have a, you have eight and a half. The other company has eight and a quarter, and that’s going to cost me $50,000. What are you gonna do about it? I’m like, I’m a really nice guy. I’m a nice guy. I, I learned how to have that conversation. Obviously you we’ve been in this business for now over 25 years, learned a lot from not only from my experience and your experience and all the ASLAN nights experience, but also, and working with hundreds and hundreds of reps and watching what works for them, that we’ve learned a lot. Today I wanted to talk about, I think the two most surprising things about negotiation that most people miss,

 

03:56

Tab Norris

I’m intrigued.

 

03:59

Tom Stanfill

I’m going to talk, I’m going to share something that I think is going to blow some people’s minds of something that I’ve done. Probably maybe close to 20 times that have worked a hundred percent of the time. It’s a scary tactic. I hate to use the word tactics as a scary strategy, but it, it, I don’t want to even use the word it works, but it’s a, it’s something that changes the temperature of the relationship and moves from an adversarial relationship to a partnership where ultimately a fair price, a contract is created, where both parties feel great. You can defend what you, the value of your solution, and also helps you win, right? It helps you win in the face of competition. I want to dive into those two things.

 

04:49

Tab Norris

Yeah. Which Tom, I know. I know because I know that’s the big thing with a lot of folks is you just don’t want to just drop your price. You know what I mean? Just go, oh, okay. It’s like, we’re not trying to crush somebody. I’m trying to crush them. We just want a win for both sides. We want something that’s fair. Both parties feel good about, so totally looking forward to seeing your truths here.

 

05:13

Tom Stanfill

All right. The number one thing, tab, everybody got a pen, everybody. Number one thing, negotiation begins or starts in the first meeting. Most people, when you look at a sales process, most people have negotiation towards the end. I’m thinking about what’s going to happen in the end. In my first meeting, it’s critical. What happened the first game? Let me, let me just kind of give a little setup, little background, professional negotiators, like people like purchasing agents who go to negotiation camp and learn how to negotiate or people that are just really good at it. Their biggest leverage point is the dark, right? They keep you in the dark. You don’t know who you’re negotiating with. You don’t know what other prices they offer. You don’t know what they value. They love to keep you in the dark. When you’re in the dark, you’re scared. You’re you care, want around, what to do.

 

06:08

Tom Stanfill

I was in this situation a couple of years ago, where, I’ve been working with a company, the large 500 fortune 500 company, and we’ve been working with them for quite a while, working for how, what’s the solution gonna look like? What’s it, what’s it cost and what do they need? All of a sudden, I went to purchasing and all of a sudden everything went dark. I couldn’t talk to anybody. And it’s like, what’s your best price. They would come back and get, could you do this? They were trying to keep me in the dark. Fortunately, because of understanding this concept of the negotiation starts at the first meeting we had been on site multiple times, met with multiple people, knew everything about the organization. Negotiations started, I wasn’t in the dark because I found out all the information I needed to know in the light similar situation is on a personal side, there was a co a renovation company.

 

07:04

Tom Stanfill

We were thinking about renovating our house versus selling. They met with us initially and learn, and what you typically do when you first meet, when you’re in sales and you first meet with a customer, you kind of think about, well, what do they need? I’d say I need to renovate my house and I want to do the whole thing. I know you work with a friend of ours and that’s what I want. So they go, great. Let me quote it. Well, then I went dark because I wasn’t sure I wanted to renovate my house. I was thinking about selling it. I had a lot of other options. I was taught. I went dark. They, all they knew is what I said. I want to renovate. They came up with a cost and they propose that. And that’s it. They didn’t know. They didn’t have a lot of information.

 

07:48

Tom Stanfill

I went dark, they didn’t know what to do. The first meeting, the first couple of meetings is key. I want to talk about what you need to know and what you need to do. That’s good. No, no. Okay. So what do you need to know? You need to know what are all the customers’ options, not just what they’re talking to you about, but what are all of their options? Like in the case of this fortune 500 company that I met with tab, and you probably know this because you were there. One of the things I didn’t know, I could, I didn’t, it was, they had a relationship with a competitor. The other division. I know that. Yeah. They had a relay. I did not know I missed that, but I need to know what are all their options? Who are they working with? What are the possibilities of everything that they potentially could do?

 

08:42

Tom Stanfill

What is the value of each one of those options to them? How do they value those? How do they think, what do they think about what are what’s important to them? How could those options affect what they do? Because if I know that tab, then I can respond effectively later when it gets into, okay, you’re, you’re too expensive,

 

09:07

Tab Norris

Right?

 

09:09

Tom Stanfill

Or we’re talking to somebody else, or we’re thinking about something, you already know what they’ve already said about that.

 

09:16

Tab Norris

Yes. I just had this literally the exact same situation, because it basically came back in the end. When things are getting ready to go to procurement skin, it’s like, oh gosh, I’m getting all this pushback. We’re going to have up. Like, we need to cut this in half. He’s telling me this needs to be half the price and all this. Well, I knew exactly what his other option was. You know? I mean, it was like, he already told me earlier, he’d said, I know what they’re thinking. They’re going to do this. It’s in a different country and it’s really cheap labor, and they’re going to make stuff up and it’s going to be complete crap. I knew that was the other option.

 

09:59

Tom Stanfill

Right.

 

10:00

Tab Norris

It totally changes the way you think about. I’m like, I know they know the value in what we’re doing and what we’re going to do. I’m not going to just go drop the price, but you’re right. If I didn’t know that it’s very scary. You could be like, well, shoot, that could be my competition in there. I got to, what am I gonna, how am I gonna work this? So.

 

10:16

Tom Stanfill

What is, what is their view of value? What are they, like for example, if they say, well, we could do it internally. Like the back to the renovation company I work with, if they would have said, okay, well, let’s talk about, so Tom you’re thinking about renovating your house and that’s what we do. We take the whole thing over. We manage it. We guarantee it. We do excellent work and we’d just turn Keith, blah, blah. Well, I said, what are your other options? There’s a lot of other options. I say, well, I was thinking about being the GC myself. Okay, well, let’s talk about that. Do you have time to do that?

 

10:51

Tab Norris

Right?

 

10:53

Tom Stanfill

I would say absolutely not. I don’t have time to do anything.

 

10:59

Tab Norris

I know. All of a sudden the value just went way up.

 

11:04

Tom Stanfill

Well, his budget, a challenge for you, Mr. Stanfill, is there a budget, a challenge if you were high end company, because people come to us, they want to do it right? Is that a problem? No, that’s not a problem. Those are things I easily reveal when I’m not negotiating, ? Well who’s, who else are you talking to? I can kind of compare how, what we do to them. Are you talking? Well, I am talking to, Bob has got a truck. Well, that’s great. Bob, if you work with Bob before, no, I have no clue who he is. Right. All those things are where you start, you think about selling your home. Yeah. I am thinking about you’re selling your home. Okay. Well, if you do sell your home, what does that mean? Well, I probably won’t do a full renovation. Well, let’s talk about, so all of those things, that’s an easy conversation.

 

11:52

Tom Stanfill

I’m coming home from, I’m hitting them in the driveway. It’s easy to, I’m just telling, I don’t know. I’m just talking. I don’t know who they are now. Once I’m interested, if I didn’t know any of that and I go, Hey, well, you’re a little expensive. They’d go. No, we’re not. Or yes we are. I don’t know. They don’t know what to say. They’re like, well, so again, the first couple of meetings are key. The other thing you need to know is you need to know who the players are.

 

12:14

Tab Norris

Yeah. Well, that’s huge.

 

12:16

Tom Stanfill

It’s who the players are, because if you knew, know who the players are, you can determine, what they care about. It’s really difficult if you don’t know who the players are and you don’t meet with those players, it’s very difficult to sell through somebody to deliver the value of your solution. If you’re not talking to the person who determines what will happen, you don’t ever want somebody else to say, well, you should use this other company and a guy, the guy, or the woman says why? Well, I really like them and I haven’t worked there. I’ve only met with him a couple of times. Well, let me do the best I can to represent them to you. They’re not, it’s going to be tough.

 

13:00

Tab Norris

Yeah. Yeah. They have to be all in. They have to understand the value that you have to have that kind of relationship built or you’re going to be at risk.

 

13:10

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. You gotta know all their options, not just the options that are related to your solution. You need to know how they value in the possibility of those options. Being a good fit. Because like there was a company that I work with about met with about a year ago. I looked at some of their options where we’re going to build something internally and that’s actually what they needed to do. They, they just, they, they didn’t need to use a company like us who already had the content. They wanted to build it. They wanted to build a digital training program specifically around their content. They, and I kept, I communicated, if you want to move beyond that, you’re going to need to work with a company that can do something more than just develop it for you. You need to be able to work with a company that can provide the content.

 

14:03

Tom Stanfill

They’re like, we’re not there right now. And I said, that’s great. I don’t waste time, even though they wanted to know more about my solution and what the options are, but I like to know what their options are. I knew ultimately by having some of these early conversations, what was best for them. I didn’t spend time with them unnecessarily,

 

14:24

Tab Norris

But.

 

14:24

Tom Stanfill

If it is a fit and identify the players, now I got to do something. I got to invest in a relationship with all the players and the key here’s the key tab is you’ve got to build it into your process.

 

14:41

Tab Norris

Next. Tell me more about that. What do you mean?

 

14:43

Tom Stanfill

Well, so I’ll give you the simple explanation of the renovation company. They said, here’s our process. We’re going to come out to your house. We’re going to go through everything that you need. We’re going to meet with you and your spouse. Here’s why, because you, both of you have a desires and we want to make sure we understand firsthand what their desires are. We’re going to do this work, and we’re going to put together a proposal for you. We’re going to do a sketch for you. I think they call it an elevation plan. We want both you and your wife to be there,

 

15:14

Tab Norris

Right?

 

15:15

Tom Stanfill

Or we’re we really, you’re just not interested in doing this work. Cause we’re going to spend a lot of time and effort we need to. They built a process that included both me and my wife. Now, they don’t know who really is the driver, but here’s the thing. I was ultimately the driver in this situation. Here’s the thing by including Claire, my wife, in the process, they had access to Claire players. Claire will tell them anything.

 

15:45

Tab Norris

Yeah. Claire, be quiet. You’re not allowed.

 

15:48

Tom Stanfill

To talk.

 

15:49

Tab Norris

You’re gonna kill her to go.

 

15:51

Tom Stanfill

What’d she likes you. She will tell you anything. You need somebody inside who will say, who will answer the question? What happens? If.

 

16:02

Tab Norris

Yeah. Well, I’ve seen you do that as you helped me through some negotiations times where you’ve kind of been in my biggest challenge and maybe a lot of our listeners at this spot too, you get you’re feeling really good. All of a sudden, they go, well, you’re going to have to work with procurement. Right. That’s like this superhero, I want to crush you on price, negotiate.

 

16:28

Tom Stanfill

The based on how much they knock off the contract, that’s how their comp.

 

16:31

Tab Norris

Yeah. I have like a little sheep being led to slaughter. Tom had for years went Okie dokie. I just go there thinking, well, this is all good. I get crushed and they come in and they there, they just chew me up and spit me out. I’ve learned just through you basically is. We’re not gonna, we’re gonna, and it’s, I think it’s what you’re talking about. You’re going to change the process. We’re not just going to go there. Hey, definitely get it. No, I need to go there. In order for that to not get really ugly and just not be very productive since I kind of know that this is the direction, it sounds like you want to go, can we first meet? Let me show you some things and then, and then you can really give me some insights. I go to that buying group that I will have more leverage and I can be more confident and I can really position some things.

 

17:27

Tab Norris

Would that be okay? I’ve seen you do that. That has radically changed the way that I negotiate. I think that’s exactly what you’re talking about.

 

17:35

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. Well, and if you, people are dealing with procurement, here’s the problem. Procurement has procurement loves the dark. They like, you don’t have a clue what’s going on. If they don’t give me the best price, you’re going to lose this deal. Right. That’s what’s happening in the housing market right now. Everybody’s in the dark. They throw out their best offer, any modes that they put escalation they’re like, cause they don’t know. They don’t know. And they’re afraid. So the Pyrmont loves to operate. They’re going to try to get you and their cop by getting the lowest price. If they’re like, if they, if your price was 10 and I can get you to eight, they get a comp based on the two points difference. Here’s what they don’t want to do is they don’t want to screw up the deal. So they know who they’re representing.

 

18:13

Tom Stanfill

They’re representing the people who want to buy this solution. If they don’t get the right solution, they’re in trouble, right? They’re managing this tension between getting the lowest price, but not upsetting their quote unquote customer. If what their customer wants, you have you do you have power because you’re like, yeah, you can do that. You can go work the other firm and then it’s not going to what they want. They’re not going to be happy with that. And I know what they want.

 

18:42

Tab Norris

That’s a really good point because you don’t want to.

 

18:44

Tom Stanfill

Go what you want.

 

18:46

Tab Norris

Cause I, what I’ve gotten busted on that Tom is I’m working with a lower level person and they, I mean, they are part of the decision-making team, but they’re not the ultimate driver. They’re like, oh yeah, let’s just get you to program me. That procurement person doesn’t care about them. They don’t care about their opinion because that’s not really the person that they’re ultimately responsible for too. So yeah,

 

19:07

Tom Stanfill

The key is to slow down the process. And, and if you can build a process, whatever your process looks like, so that it includes the key players in that process. Or again, this is early and like what I talk about the first couple of meetings, like this is our process. We, and here’s why this is our process. It’s what’s best for you. That process gets me engaged with the right people. There’s a reason why they should bring the right people in the room. Now I’m building a relationship with those people and I’m finding out what’s important to them and I’m in the light and I’m, and I have more information than whoever else I might negotiate with. That’s the best thing that you can do. And here’s the thing. We gotta remember emotions drive. Decision-making like, I’m in the process of selling my house and the story that one of the couples told about buying our house.

 

20:00

Tom Stanfill

I’m like, I want them to buy it. Like I want them to get it. It’s like, well, yeah, but this other offers higher. Yeah. I want that couple to have people make emotional decisions. If they like you and there’s a relationship there and there’s a connection they’re going to help you win. Even if they’re at a big company and it, the process goes to procurement and they can’t even talk to you or they’ll get the, they potentially could get fired. If you have the information from the right people and they kind of lean and say, here’s what you need to know. We’re currently working with your competitor, that’s existing, but we’re not happy with them. We, and we really like what you’re offering, but we also have a limited funds and it CA it’s gotta be within this or it’s not going to work. You just want them to tell you the truth.

 

20:53

Tab Norris

We’re empty to, just to clarify, we’re not trying to, we’re trying to land on a reasonable win-win for both parties and you’re getting all this information. So that’s what you do. That’s what your,

 

21:06

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. And, and it we’ll talk about that next. I mean, that’s really my next point tab. That’s a great segue. Great transition is don’t negotiate.

 

21:16

Tab Norris

So, so negotiation starts at the first meeting, but then now step two is don’t negotiate. Good. No rocket scientist.

 

21:26

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. I like to think of it as don’t negotiate, collaborate, move from negotiation to collaboration. It’s like this isn’t a negotiation has a negative connotation. It’s a winner or loser. It’s like somebody wins, somebody loses and it’s just like, that’s how it feels. It’s like, you’re going to do the best you can to get the best price. I’m going to do the best I can to get the lowest price. I’m gonna do the best I can to get the highest price. It’s just sort of chess match. It’s like, it just feels so I like to do the best I can not negotiate.

 

22:02

Tab Norris

Love it.

 

22:03

Tom Stanfill

Here’s, I wanted to kind of break up what I recommend in two categories. One is when the relationship is really strong. You have a strong relationship with the right people, and this is key. Okay. When you have a strong relationship with the right people and you can’t do this all the time, and we’ll talk about that in a minute, but I, I I’ve done this. This is what I said at the beginning of the pockets. I’ve probably done this 20 times and it’s always been, it ended in a great relationship and a great win-win is the, is I call it again? I just completely dropped the rope. I just, what I mean, there’s three steps to it. One is I say, this is what, this is why we’re charging this price. I restate why my price is what my price is, ? Yes. You’re, you’re asking for a volume discount and we’ve done that for years.

 

22:55

Tom Stanfill

If there’s a volume discount and it’s this price, and here’s what all these companies are paying for it. And here’s what they’re getting for it. What’s it cost and what are they getting? And this is what market is. So that’s the price. I say this, and this is really critical. And I have to mean this. I trust you. You know what we offer. Of course, I’m assuming that they do because I’ve followed step one, what we offer, what your organization has the possibility of investing and what it’s going to require to get this approved, because they know things about their organization that you won’t know, you just don’t, you just will not have that information a lot of times. This is obviously that won’t be true if you’re dealing with an individual. I left the last step, which is scary. Scary is I go, you decide what’s fair.

 

23:43

Tab Norris

Yeah. I’ve seen you do it.

 

23:46

Tom Stanfill

Completely dropped from you. You tell me, you tell me what’s fair and I trust you to do that. Today, everybody that I’ve done that I’ve gotten more money than I expected.

 

24:02

Tab Norris

Okay. So I’m.

 

24:02

Tom Stanfill

Back with Morgan.

 

24:04

Tab Norris

Okay. You have you, they know the value. Do you typically know kind of there with like what they’re negotiating on the lower end is that, do you typically know that.

 

24:16

Tom Stanfill

I do. Sometimes it’s, I’ve done it situations where usually that’s occurring where they’re stuck. Like they can’t quite get approval or there’s,

 

24:29

Tab Norris

Can you give me, they can’t fill the gap. They know we’re here and they’re kind of getting pushed to go here. Right. You’re trying to negotiate something in between that.

 

24:41

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. And they really are. It, I feel like they’re honestly struggling. Like I want to do this. I’m struggling, maybe they’re in a big corporation and they can’t get through all the layers of the corporation. Like we were negotiating a contract, a three-year contract with a really large company and it had to go to the CEO and it was like, their budget ended by the end of the year. And it was December. Literally the president wouldn’t see, I was the president of this big fortune 500 company had to sign this. And so I don’t have access. They’re like, we have to spend this money by the end of the year. What you’re asking for we think is fair, but it’s more than what our budget is. More money that I have to spend. So I’ve got to get approval. I don’t know what their, what approval they’re going to get when they show up to the president’s store two days before Christmas.

 

25:28

Tom Stanfill

I mean, literally it was like that kind of thing. And I’m like, look, I trust you. You know what this is worth. What you can get done between now and Christmas,

 

25:37

Tab Norris

You choose, you tell us, and we’re good. We’ll, we’ll do it.

 

25:41

Tom Stanfill

They, every time I’ve done that, they come back and give me more than I expected.

 

25:45

Tab Norris

Well, you said something I think is really important for our listeners. That is number one, you had a great relationship with them. You, you knew that they wanted to work with you and it was not, you knew they wanted to make that happen. And they were stuck. And I think that’s really important. When you get to that point, it seems a little scary, but what do you have to lose?

 

26:08

Tom Stanfill

Well, and what happens is they move from this stance of, I have to figure out what’s, get the lowest price or make this happen to you removing yourself out. Like, what do you think’s right. When it’s like, you’re putting the burden on them to do, what do you think is fair? I will let you decide now, not everybody’s going to have that option, but you can at least like in the situation that you told me about the other day with your, with a kind of mentee, who’s looking for a job, at least you can give the other person the option to say, what do you think is fair? They may say, I can’t make that call. Or they may say no. Or they may say, this is our price, but what if you give them the option to say, listen, I’m just going to throw, this is what I, this is what the markets, this is what I’ve learned about what we offer.

 

27:02

Tom Stanfill

This is the value we’ve seen. I, I trust, I know you, I trust you. You’re not gonna try to take advantage of me. What do you think we should do? Like, and I’ve done that with existing customers where there’s been issues with, like fees. We, we typically charge when they cancel a program at the last minute and we have to negotiate that. Like, they’re like, well, should, should they have to pay that fee? I’m like, well, you canceled the day before. That costs our facilitators time and money, ? But you do, what’s fair. If you don’t think that’s fair, you pay what you think is fair. Everybody comes back and does what’s fair. It’s like, I’m like,

 

27:41

Tab Norris

It’s amazing. I just did that the other day on that exact situation, Tom. Yeah, I did. And I did it handle it. Just maybe just instinctively. I’ve been hanging around with you too much, but that’s exactly what happened. And, and they were all thinking, there’s no way we’re paying that. This is blah, blah. I mean, they were not happy and I’m like, I get it. Here’s the reason we do this and I’ll do whatever I said. What I think is fair is for us to split the difference.

 

28:09

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. I.

 

28:10

Tab Norris

Think that’s really fair, but I’m going to let you cheat. I said, if that’s not fair to you, I will pay for the whole thing. I’ll just I’ll cover it because I value our relationship. They, but, and they always say yes, and they’re like, yep, you’re right. Let’s listen to.

 

28:24

Tom Stanfill

Great example of what happens to someone when you position it that way. Again, you cannot be manipulative when you do this. Can not, you have to mean it. I had you remember when Napster was a thing and people could download music for free. My kids were probably over the one I was talking to at the time it was Taylor. My second, he probably was 12. And he was downloading music for friction.

 

28:49

Tab Norris

He’s such a rebel to that. Taylor GOK and see him long air being crazy.

 

28:56

Tom Stanfill

He goes, dad, I think I should be able to, he was, you could tell, he was like, I want to, I’m going to download all this beautiful free. I don’t know how the subject came up. He says, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. He just kinda was talking about it. I think, I think it’s great. I think we should. I think this is awesome. I think, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. I’m like, okay, well, what do you think that I said, I think that’s between you and God. If you think that’s the right thing to do, if you think it’s okay to download that music and you don’t think that hurts the artist or the people that created that movie and you feel good about that, then do it. I meant that I’m like, if that’s between you and God, that it was at that who you are.

 

29:36

Tom Stanfill

If you’d like, you feel good about it, you sleep. What are you go? He goes, I hate when you do that. What he was saying is he goes, now he has to carry the burden of what’s right and wrong. We go back to people that we trust and we have a relationship and say, look, I want you to share this. They’re like, I don’t want us to go into, I don’t want us to negotiate. I want you to decide what’s fair again. If we’ve, if we’ve done the work at the beginning and we have the relationship, we can do that. But that sometimes that’s not the case.

 

30:10

Tab Norris

Yeah. It was really, yeah. That’s exactly right. That’s good. Yeah. This whole, the, this whole drop, the rope piece is so important and we just seen it play out. It reminds me, I don’t know if Tom, if you’ve ever read the book, never split the difference by Chris Voss. Oh my gosh. It’s it’s negotiating as if your life depended on it. This guy was an FBI.

 

30:38

Tom Stanfill

I’ve heard about it.

 

30:40

Tab Norris

And that’s what this reminds me of. It’s like it anyway, we don’t need to get into it, but it reminds me of, and then that’s a whole nother situation, but it’s the truth. Truth is true. Whether you’re negotiating with in a hostage situation or you’re negotiating a big deal, it’s still the principles that apply. And I love that.

 

31:01

Tom Stanfill

Talk to me, tell a story about, you told me the other day about your mentee, who was looking for a job, an internship.

 

31:07

Tab Norris

Oh yeah. That this was great young guy. He said, Hey, Dave, and working with him, just teach him some trues as he’s getting ready to go out into the marketplace. And, and he said, Hey, can you help me apply some of the things that we’ve been learning, you’ve been teaching me as I’m trying to negotiate this contract for my internship. I’m like, that sounds great. Tell me what’s going on? He said, well, yeah, this one company, they, the one I really liked offered me this deal. It’s great. It’s fair. It’s awesome. Well, here’s what happened. I was going to take it well, then this other company came and offered me the same deal, just as good a company. They threw in, like, I don’t remember the number, but let’s call it $5,000 signing bonus. I’m like, okay, well, so what do you want? He goes, well, I want to negotiate $5,000, but I want to take the first job.

 

31:53

Tab Norris

So I said, okay, sounds good. How do you D Y that doesn’t sound hard. He goes, that seems really hard to me. I said, well, why is that hard? He goes, I don’t want them to take away the first offer because I would rather,

 

32:06

Tom Stanfill

Right. If I go back to the first offer and say, Hey, they’re paying me five grand, will you pay me five grand? I’ll say no.

 

32:12

Tab Norris

Now you’re going to have to take.

 

32:13

Tom Stanfill

Negotiation. Was taking a strong stance.

 

32:16

Tab Norris

That’s it that’s was his mind. That’s what negotiating wasn’t it felt awful. And he felt dirty. And he’s like, I just don’t. I said, okay. He goes, here you go. He goes, well, what would you do? I said, I’d tell you, here’s what I would do. I’d go. I would first go, let me think. Like the customer think like they made you an offer. They think you’re amazing. They don’t make these offers to everybody. Okay. And you got it immediately. So I’m feeling pretty good like that. If I go and I figure out a way to ask for the 5,000 here’s three, one of three things happens. This is just what I think just I’ve been around for a while. Number one, they go done match it all day long. Of course. Thank you for telling us too. Huh? That’s interesting. Let me go talk to the other partner and let me see if I could make something like that happen or three, they go, what?

 

33:06

Tab Norris

We just don’t do that. That’s just not, we don’t. I know they do. We don’t. Maybe better if you go work for that organization. If you, if you really like us, you will come that’s, those are your three options. I said, are you good with all those? He’s like, I’m good with all those. And I said, well, then just relax. All you, and so here’s what he did. He basically just went and said, Hey, listen, I know I’m kind of counter to kind of making Mike and my decision. I appreciate the great offer that you guys offered. I just wanted you to know, I have another organization that’s offered the same thing, but thrown in a $5,000 signing bonus that may not be an option for you totally know that. I understand it, but I just wanted you to know that was on the table.

 

33:44

Tab Norris

If you guys would or could do something about that, ,

 

33:48

Tom Stanfill

The blood, you know,

 

33:49

Tab Norris

He just Paul and the person of course will match that. Of course, no problem.

 

33:57

Tom Stanfill

Because his view of negotiation was I’ve got to play hard ball. I’ve got to go to the, I I’ve got okay. He wants, he was, he’s been, he knows he’s supposed to put them in the dark. I’ve got other offers. What’s your best offer.

 

34:11

Tab Norris

Right, right. It’s like, and all of a sudden, you just take that off the table. It’s just like, whatever. I said, so, and if they had said, we really don’t do that. He would’ve gone. Hey, good to know. That’s awesome. Great to know. I just want you to be aware of that, because then that played into my decision.

 

34:27

Tom Stanfill

Great example, too vague that puts us in a comfortable place is, Hey, this is it. I remember, if somebody said to me, when I was about to have a difficult conversation, it was not about money, but it was about something kind of the same feeling where you’re not sure what to do. The guy said, well, I was about to go to the meeting. He goes, why don’t you just tell him the truth, Tell the truth. I went to the meeting like, Hey, this is what I’m grappling with. It’s kind of, that’s what dropped the rope is when you’re guest, you’re like, Hey, this is what I’m grappling with. Like, we offer this and sell this value. And then you’re over here. You’re, you may have limited funds or you may have trouble getting access to those funds, or you may have difficulty. Let’s, I don’t know what to do and help put in.

 

35:19

Tom Stanfill

I don’t want to say this the wrong way, but let them carry that burden of solving that problem. Rather than going, you have to do this. That’s not recharge this. Right. And we’re going for a hard negotiation. It’s possible, I like to completely drop the rope and let them decide. But not, not in every situation. I’ll tell you what it’s really worked for the situation where it was probably it really applied and worked extremely well is when I was working with purchasing from, for, it was a seven figure deal. I, I was in the dark because it, it just like, there’s certain things I just didn’t get. That’s probably some of it was my error. I didn’t follow my first point here of getting information early. I was in the dark and I came back and came. They came back with, I mean, they dropped our price by 50% and we already offered a, a big discount.

 

36:19

Tom Stanfill

They kept coming back and forth. And I said, Hey, listen. I know. I named the two decision makers because I had been onsite and I hadn’t met with them. I knew a lot about the organization. I said, I’ve met with, I’m just going to say Jim and Bob. And I know I trust them. They know the value of what we offer and they know the resources that you guys have to be able to said, I’m gonna let them make the call, whatever price they set. I will accept it. She came back and up their price, $20 a person, which it was all a licensing fee. So, I mean, it went up, I’d say she came back and she came back 20% higher than the, her original offer. More importantly, we won the deal instantly because like, they are like, they just were like, we want to work for this company.

 

37:04

Tom Stanfill

I said, I trust them. You guys call it. You make the call. And so she came back. I mean, she could have said, why didn’t she say well, okay, well, we’re going to go with the original number that we put out there. I wanted you to be at this number and we’ll just take that number. She didn’t, she upset. She, she added 20% to the number that she just asked for a day earlier. Cause.

 

37:27

Speaker 4

She’s like Taylor, she has to live with.

 

37:29

Tom Stanfill

Herself. Well, they, and they set the price, right. I removed myself and I said, if you want to take advantage of me, you can. Yup. People won’t now, again, that’s not going to work in all cases. Here’s what I would recommend when the relationship is weak or you can’t, or option one is not an option. This is what I think is most effective. As you boldly state, who you serve, what they pay and why they make that investment. You basically just say, this is our price. I don’t negotiate. Yep. This is what it costs. I had a back to the company that I talked to a year ago, I boldly stated, this is what we do. We we’ve spent years and years and years researching and developing content that makes selling easy and effective. If you don’t need that content, then you shouldn’t pay for our services.

 

38:23

Tom Stanfill

This is who, these are the people that need it. This is why they need it. And this is what they pay for. This is our price. And he says, I can’t do that. I was like, well, but let you know, if that changes, let me know. I said, if you, if you’re gonna, if you find that this is true and you draw out a program that, can’t do it, doesn’t offer the things that I’m telling you. Let me know. I just got a call last week. It’s not working.

 

38:53

Tab Norris

Right now. I wonder.

 

38:54

Tom Stanfill

Why. Yeah. Yeah. It’s about saying, this is what we, now we can change the scope of what we do and lower your costs, but I don’t lower my price. This is what we offer. And then I dropped the rope again. I say things like, Hey, you may not need what we offer. It may not be worth you investing in a company that does X, Y, Z, you may need to be the GC on this project. You may only, if you’re going to sell your house, you probably don’t need this. It’s like, but we’re a company that does this. And we do it really well. That makes them want to pay more versus, let’s pay less.

 

39:35

Tab Norris

That’s good. Well, Tom, once again, great truths. So, so once you wrap us up, like pull it all together for us, big takeaway,

 

39:46

Tom Stanfill

I think the, the number one thing, well, just say, I’ll say two big takeaways that I think just if we had to wrap it all up and summarize is one that what the information of the people you meet earlier critical, That’s critical. It, it, we need to be thinking about the end when we’re in the beginning, right. Begin with, we need, if we need to be thinking, okay, what are the options? Not just, what are they telling me, but what are all their possible options? Who are they involved and work diligently to get connected by two, to the people that are currently ultimately driving, what, what’s going to happen. Just bring, drop the rope into part of your negotiation. You’re not trying to force anybody to work with you. This is who you serve. If you would like to, if you’re that kind of person, I’d love to serve you, were not negotiating or in a situation where it’s, it is a difficult negotiation.

 

40:40

Tom Stanfill

There is, it’s very complex and it’s impossible to really figure out what’s happening. You give, let them make the call, let them make the op, let them determine what the fair price is. And they will take care of you. By the way, if 50 people take care of you and one takes advantage of it, you still went.

 

41:01

Tab Norris

Yes. That’s a great way to think about it.

 

41:03

Tom Stanfill

One thing I’ll also say tab is there are people who, and we’ve talked about this before, who just liked to win. They’re like negotiation is like, Hey, this is a game I’m going to win. I still don’t negotiate with those people. I just like, this is what we did is like, ? Yeah. And you can carve off again. You can give up something that maybe you don’t care about, but ultimately, it’s, it just, I haven’t had a problem with it when I say here’s what we do. Here’s a, I haven’t had, I really just don’t have to negotiate. It’s it’s when it’s a big complex organization where it’s gets difficult.

 

41:49

Tab Norris

Yeah. Oh, that’s good. Well, listen, I hope everybody got a couple of great takeaways, Tom. Awesome wisdom.

 

41:59

Tom Stanfill

Well guys, give us some feedback. Give us some comments, give us some love or hate. I mean, we can get away. We handle hate. We can…

 

42:07

Tab Norris

Totally handle it. 

 

42:07

Tom Stanfill

Hey, tell us how to get better. Tell us what you’d love to talk about. I love hanging out and sharing what we’ve learned. Help us do a better job of that. Thanks for joining us for another episode of SALES with ASLAN.

ASLAN teaches sellers an easier, better way to gain access & influence unreceptive customers, by eliminating the hard sell.

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About ASLAN

The best way to get to know us is to know what we value. If we teach it we live it, because what we do speaks far more eloquently than what we say. We’ll always choose people over profits, and we’re most fulfilled and effective when we serve. It drives our culture, frames our training programs and transforms the lives of the clients we partner with.