Two weeks ago, I attended the SaaStr 2017 conference in San Francisco. It was a collection of Software- As-A-Service start-up CEOs, CFOs, COOs as well as marketing and sales geniuses. They meet once a year to network, listen to speakers and view/sell the latest products. These attendees, by my limited observations were all 30 to early 40-somethings; all wicked smart and extremely successful. I was clearly one of the dumbest guys in the room.
I remember hearing a few years ago a businessman saying he started moving his business forward much more successfully when he started treating every “maybe” as if it were a “no”.
This rule will make this an even better holiday season for you and everyone your words touch.
Sam Felder (not his real name) had barricaded himself in his home. Suffering from hellacious migraines and post-traumatic stress, he told his wife he could not take it anymore. Sam loaded his handgun and told her to leave. She complied, ran to a neighbor’s house, and called the police. Police attempted to negotiate with Sam for close to 10 hours. It was the end of June and sweltering out. The agency managing the incident elected to cut power to Sam’s home. It was done, I was told, because Sam had been using power tools to barricade himself into the basement of the home with planks and 2x4s. Not sure if it was a move I would have made based on the circumstances but it was done. The managing agency reached out to my team for mutual aid support.
In a Q & A session I did for the internet based forum Quora: I answered the question “What’s the worst mistake you can make in salary negotiations?” with this answer: “Simply saying “yes” or “I accept” to an offer.
Master this way to say "no" that doesn't kill your deals and instead leads to success.
The most dangerous negotiation is the one you don’t know you’re in.
Last June, Taylor Swift wrote one of the most elegant confrontations in the history of individuals confronting multinational corporations. Ever. I was so blown away I had to write about it back then.
Since then, what did her deference, elegance, and empathy achieve in confronting Apple about their unfairness?
James Donovan, played by Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies” goes to Berlin, Germany in 1961 to negotiate an exchange of “spies” between the US and the USSR. He was more successful than anything I ever did as the FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator. He was sent to bring home one American and came back with two, doubling the goal. Never once did he consider the concept of BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement). At the end of this piece, I’ll share what he did in Cuba for an encore after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion (again he far exceeded his original goal).
As soon as someone starts selling, you know their price is soft.