Print the page
Increase font size

Posted September 02, 2021

Sean Ring

By Sean Ring

This Skill is More Important Than Ever

Happy Friday!

Were here, and its glorious. And its a 3-day weekend to boot!

I wont be writing on Monday, as Im finally getting a day off - my first since I began. But Ill be right back on Tuesday.

Lets get into it, as there have been more disturbances in the force.

Develop This Skill at All Costs

There are many different skills that any person - especially a businessperson - must develop. Presentation, writing, and networking skills, among others, are all crucial to the development of both the self and the business.

Imagine this: your prospective customer and you are discussing a potential business deal.

Youre able to navigate the conversation without any theatrics effortlessly. The dialogue feels like a sharp, rewarding tennis rally. It goes back and forth between the two of you for a time.

Then, the conversation concludes with a deal.

This deal gets you paid and gets the client everything they want, as well. You both not only benefit but realize a vastly increased scope to your agreement.

Whats more, theres even more potential to expand your business dealings in the future.

Dreamworld scenario? Sometimes, sure.

But more often than not, this is the outcome of a conversation where you display excellent negotiation skills.

What They Really Mean by Dont Give Up!

Roger Fisher and William Ury penned a classic text on negotiation skills called Getting to Yes.

Reading this book is the surest way to have your head handed to you in a negotiation.

I never understood the psychological mumbo-jumbo that getting someone to say yes to something would get them to say yes to everything. Its garbage.

Worrying about ZOPAs (Zone of Potential Agreement) and BATNAs (Best Alternative To No Agreement) is not where your head should be when youre talking to someone.

The truth of the matter is that people often say, No. All the time, really.

How you deal with that is far more important than getting someone to say a yes they may not even mean.

Are you going to give up after the first No?

Many do, especially the Ivy League/Oxbridge types, who are positively insulted when someone declines their perfect deal. Dont they know who theyre talking to?

The ability to use a no as a signpost or a boundary is critical when speaking to customers. Youll hear them often. You may as well use them as guiding lights to get a solid deal done.

Whos the Best to Listen to?

Im a big Ben Settle fan. Right now, Ben is perhaps the most renowned email marketer on the planet.

One day, Ben was talking about one of his heroes, Jim Camp.

My ears immediately pricked up.

What Ben relayed about Jim immediately resonated with me. This was a man who not only trained FBI negotiators but seemed no-nonsense about it all.

Suddenly, negotiation wasnt an exercise in psychology or hypnosis but a method of finding common ground.

Camp defines negotiation as the effort to bring about an agreement between two or more parties, with all parties having the right to veto.

Its amazing what happens when you give someone the breathing room to say no. Its a complete contrast to the take it or leave it boneheads bandying their method about.

To be sure, at the end of a negotiation, you need to know if youre getting married or not. But thats much farther down the road.

Whenever I submit a proposal, I always write at the conclusion of the email, Please let me know if youd like to add/delete/amend anything.

That sentence gives my client the guilt-free wiggle room they need to alter things they dont like.

Keep your ego out of it. Shipping business and stacking paper are what matters. Not bullet points on a proposal.

Let the market tell you what it wants. Its easier that way!

The Adults Magic Word

Micah, whats the magic word?

May I have some chocolate, puhleese?

Every child is ingrained with that lesson. Please is the magic word. And always say thank you.

Theyre great lessons every child must learn to function in polite and impolite society.

Although Im enjoying my four-year-old immensely, I cant wait until the day I can say, Micah, you know how I always told you the magic word was please? Well, heres your new lesson. Youre at the age where the new magic word is No!

I dont know about you, but I used to be one of those dopes who used to say yes to everything. I like making people happy, so I need to remind myself of the magic word.

No, thank you. No, thats not for me. No, I think you should find someone better suited for that job. No, that price doesnt work for me.

Practice if you must. You wont believe the results youll start getting. And whats better, youll have cleared the way to say an enthusiastic Yes! to the right projects and deals!

Camp gives three pieces of advice concerning no:

    • Embrace no at every opportunity in a negotiation.
    • Dont fear the wordinvite it. You do not take it as a personal rejection because you are not needy.
    • Every no is reversible.

Camp continues, The moment you really internalize this principle, the moment you understand the honesty and the power of no, you will have taken a long stride away from emotion-based negotiating toward decision-based negotiating.

Maybe is the worst answer you can hear. It gives you nothing.

Wanna go out with me?


Not great, is it?

How about this:

Shall we do lunch?

Yes! Have your people call my people.

Is that a real yes? Maybe its something they said to shut you up. You wont know until later.

Thats why no is the golden word. You know exactly where a boundary is.

Theres so much more to write about this topic, but let me just touch on one more thing.

Want is OK, Need is Not

You stink of fear! Mr. Hyde screamed at Tom Sawyer in the 2003 film League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Your customers smell this a mile away, as well.

From now on, train yourself to want things from your clients. But from this point forward, you never need anything from them.

You dont need this deal. You want this deal.

You dont need to do this. You want to do this.

You dont need to close. You want to close. Badly.

In fact, removing the word need from your vocabulary insofar as its reasonable to do so will do wonders for your body chemistry.

Need produces stress. Stress causes cortisol levels to rise. It constricts your breathing. It raises your heart rate. Worst of all, it clouds your judgmentall bad stuff.

Wants and desires dont have that deleterious effect.

But what if my client rejects me?

They cant reject you if you dont need anything from them.

Wrap Up

I love Jim Camps books. Start with No: The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don't Want You to Know and No: The Only Negotiating System You Need for Work and Home are classics.

I prefer the audiobook versions. Listen to them 10x each to ingrain the message.

It may be a big change for you, but its worth it.

Have a wonderful weekend!

All the best,



Running a Home Business

Posted November 22, 2022

By Sean Ring

Look over my shoulder as you read this…

DIS Should’ve Fired Feige and Kennedy, Too!

Posted November 21, 2022

Chapek out; Iger back in at the failing House of Mouse.

No, We’re Not Crazy

Posted November 18, 2022

By Sean Ring

Yes, this is another Sucker’s Rally.

This Week in Nonsense

Posted November 17, 2022

By Sean Ring

It’s only Thursday, but we’re knee-deep in bullshit already.

The Last Rosy Picture Show

Posted November 16, 2022

By Sean Ring

Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report 2022 ends in 2021, when the picture was different.

Credit Suisse Hwangs Itself; UBS Loses High Ground, Suffers $774m Loss

Posted November 15, 2022

By Sean Ring

From the 2021 archives: Bill Hwang’s Archegos fund blowup has cost Credit Suisse $5.5 billion (yes, with a “b”).