Persuasion and negotiation attitudes, skills and techniques for marketers

John Moss & Chris Smith, JA Consulting
We negotiate every single day whether we know it or not. Knowing how to navigate these kind of scenarios is an absolute super power, but it’s not something we examine often - even to the point of many folks being actively uncomfortable in these scenarios. This session explores persuasion and negotiation. 

In this session, John and Chris cover:

  • How to approach negotiation when you are the underdog
  • Negotiation with people with inherent biases
  • Why persuasion should be the first port of call, not negotiation
  • Positive, negative, and supporting levers
  • How preparation is key when heading into a negotiation
  • How environment impacts negotiation
  • Techniques for approaching negotiation, including listing the important factors to you before heading in
  • And much more!

About John Moss and Chris Smith:

John and Chris both work at JA Consulting. A consultancy specialising in helping companies through sales, business development, change management and doing so with a true human focus. Both are leaders in their own right with seriously impressive corporate backgrounds working with some of the world’s largest companies, particularly in the energy, government, and professional services sectors.

John and Chris presented a version of this session at The Marketing Meetup this year, shortly before COVID struck. It was so good, we asked them to come back.

We need to thank the sponsors too, all of whom have been unbelievable. They’ve really kept this show on the road, and while we’ve been so blessed to have received so many messages from the community, these folks all deserve a huge amount of credit. Thank you to Pitch, ContentCal, Fiverr, Redgate, Cambridge Marketing College, Leadoo, Brand, Further, Third Light, Bravo and Human.


Joe Glover 0:00
Today we have the absolute pleasure of welcoming john, john moss and Chris Smith come and speak with us. This is the first doubleheader folks. JOHN and Chris both work at ja consulting, a consultancy specialising in helping companies through sales, business development, change management and so on. But with a true human focus, both leaders in their own right with seriously impressive corporate backgrounds, which I know they mentioned in the presentation, working with some of the world’s largest companies, particularly, they focus in the energy government and professional service sectors. Fun fact is that Chris was the first person to ever interview me for a job in the real world. And I’m proud to say that I did end up working alongside him for a short amount of time afterwards. Both john and Chris are people I really, really respect both the experience and opinion of john and Chris presented a version of this session at the marketing meetup this year shortly before COVID struck. So good I asked him to come back. The thing that struck me from the talk was that the lessons I learned were things that I never heard before. While I sit through and attend many talks, the theories and theories they presented and the attitudes that john and Chris shared with things that I could put into practice the next day. This is the important thing about this session. We negotiate every day, whether we know it or not, knowing how to navigate these kind of scenarios is an absolute superpower. But it’s not something we examine, often, even to the point of many folks I know, being actively uncomfortable in these scenarios. JOHN and Chris are here to help you today. And if you enjoy this session, we’ll also be rolling it in depth session later this month. You can find that on the marketing meetup website. There’s going to be like a four hour session. This session, though, will be split into 230 minutes presentation and 30 minutes q&a. Get your questions in now because we will be answering questions throughout the course of the presentation and then afterwards as well. So if you’ve got a question, you can wiggle your mouse, you’ll see at the bottom it says q&a, you can ask your questions right now about negotiation about persuasion getting in. And please use the thumbs up feature because the way that I’m gonna ask the questions is literally pick them up from the top. So if your question is the top one, then that’s the one that we’re going to be asking, asking. Finally, I want to make sure to thank the sponsors. All of these have been unbelievable for these past 10 weeks. They’ve really kept the show on the road. And while I’ve been personally, you know, just like absolutely blessed to have certain people to say thank you from the community. Honestly, I do it for free. I absolutely will. These people deserve so much credit. I won’t go into depth here because they all are listed in the email that I’ll send afterwards. But one that I want to say is thank you to pitch content cow fibre red gate, Cambridge, marketing, college leader brand Other third light brother and human. One ask, just thank them. They’ll in the follow up email, their names are listed. It literally says say thanks to Laron say thanks to Andy. And just go on their LinkedIn profile, send them a connection request and say thank you, it’ll make a world of difference. So that’s the world’s longest introduction insofar as I’m concerned. So, Chris, john, welcome. Over to you guys.

John Moss 3:29
Thank Thank you so much. But before I actually start our presentation, can I just try very quickly, Joe, to echo what you just said, I think it’s a tough world out there. Yeah. The last few days have been particularly difficult for certain communities. And I think it’s great that we all recognise that and maybe have some empathy with it.


Chris Smith 3:52
let me just echo John’s comments, Joe. I thought that was an absolutely wonderful introduction. It was delivered from the heart and I think everyone on this call empathises with everything you said. So well done.

Joe Glover 4:05
Thank you very much appreciate. Thank you. Sweet. Okay,

John Moss 4:08
folks, I’m now going to share my screen. And we’ve got a deck of material we’re going to walk you through. And if you do have any questions, I’m just please, as Joe said, put them in the q&a box or in the chat box. And Joe is going to control that sort of side of the process that if you have any issues on hearing us or anything like that, please shout so screenshare coming up now.

Right. Hopefully, everybody can see it. I’m looking at Joe and Joe is giving me the thumbs up. Thank you, Joe. So, so this this, this conversation is called negotiation and persuasion from marketeers and looking at what Joe has been sending out, you are all probably gonna have some expectation. We’re going to be talking a lot about it. Association, we are, but we’re actually going to be spending quite a lot of time talking about persuasion. And there’s a reason for that is the most effective negotiators. Don’t basically, the most effective negotiators work really hard on persuasion. So we’re going to be talking about us as Jay consulting today a little bit about that we weren’t both hands off here on that talk, talk about what the persuasion job is, the buying journey and how that works, the fundamental principles of resistance, and then lead into negotiations. So that’s basically the structure that we’ve got tiny little bit about us and Joe did a really good job. I’m not sure if I can, I can improve it actually. Fundamentally, my whole career has been sales and marketing. All in the business to business environment. We run a small group of us run a small consulting firm That’s all about business development, account management, those sorts of things. I could go on talking about, you know what I love doing for animals, but I’m not going to and Chris, why don’t you say a few words about yourself?

Chris Smith 6:13
Yes. And then like last time, john, I will definitely keep it short because you told me off that last time I went on too long at the last minute marketing meet up. Late john. I’ve spent my entire career in sales and marketing. It’s been spent in the IT AND IT services industry. I use john at the same company that I recruited Joe in to to help us improve the types of quality of commercial conversations we were having with our clients. We had a team of consultants who were very comfortable in having technical conversations and we wanted to help them have a subtly different conversation and one that was more business and commercially focused and we use john Jay consulting to help us on that journey. And then, after a while of working for them, I work towards the detail. I came and joined john. And I’ve been doing this with john for the last three and a half years.

John Moss 7:12
Thank you very much, Chris. And I just saw a couple of the q&a questions, and we’ll see if we can pick those up as we go through. Now, one of the problems that those of you who present on zoom will know is that sometimes the screen freezes, which means you have to reshare which is what I’ve just done. So apologies about that. just just just this picture just tells you something about the sort of people we work with. As I said, it’s primarily business to business and almost exclusively for the last 10 years. It’s been a business, the business environment, and you’re going to see quite a lot of professional services firms in there. BP is our largest client. We also do quite a lot of work in the Minister of Defence and other government agencies. So quietly An interesting variety. One of the key themes about what we do is all around change. And a big part of changes is how do you persuade people. So that’s what I want to move to now. So this rather crude side says the road to persuasion. So I want to introduce you to some fairly sophisticated, you’re going to notice our hasn’t been sophisticated models to really think about what persuasions so here’s our sophisticated model number one, persuasion is all about moving people from point A

to point B.

Now, I’m sure some of the marketers out there can make a much better Fist of that slide that slide. But fundamentally, that’s how we should be thinking about persuasion. We’re trying to move people from one position to another position. Now, of course, it’s it’s it’s a bit more complicated. Isn’t it because actually, there’s there’s almost always some sort of barrier, some sort of hill that we’ve got together. So, I want to spend a bit of time just talking about what that really means. And therefore, how can you avoid having a negotiation if you do the right persuasion. So one of the things that we spend a lot of time talking about is this thing that we call the buying engine. Some of you have may have seen this, some of you may not. But fundamentally, what it is trying to do is to sum up how people buy. This particular model is based on three three key pieces of research. So working on my channel, Neil Rackham, who’s done a huge amount of research in this area, something called the challenger sales opportunity and somewhat results have been offered. Let me just move Use it quite quickly. So, and you’ll see what we’ve done here is we’ve split it into marketing and sales. So I think you’ve probably have some awareness about this. So stage one is pre awareness and awareness means making sure that people are aware of what you’re doing. Stage Two is about education, and then moving more into the face to face or maybe we’ll never have face to face now. But in that direct contact, recognition of needs seeing that people have got something that they want to do something about. Then there’s a phase of consideration, thinking about whether this is a good idea of phasing, evaluation, and then into a decision and then into delivery. Unlike a lot of models, and it’s something that as consultants do is we put these models together. It costs it’s really complicated and quite complex. And one of the things about this whole buying journey is people get stuck and they get stuck in each And maybe just go round around in circles. If you look at, particularly the b2b environment and how that is evolved over the last, probably the last 10 years and different researchers seem to say different things. But fundamentally, there are now many, many more stakeholders involved in making a purchasing decision. Now, I’m going to pause for a second, because I’m referring very much into what I guess we’d all think of as a very traditional business environment. I think the same is true about persuasion in our personal lives. Social media has exposed us a lot, lot more conversations, and more and more people are influencing those decisions and influencing us. So fundamentally, lots of things have changed.

It’s more difficult than it ever used to Because

this is a piece of research that we think is really, really important for us to understand both at the business level, but also the personal level. And what you’ll see then is that the biggest challenge that most organisations have, because there’s so many people involved in making the decision. And I’d suggest the same is true. If you’re trying to persuade somebody to promote you or something like that, is actually agreeing on what the problem is. And actually then defining how to solve that problem. We traditionally tend to think that our job is to make sure that we get selected as a supplier, make sure we get selected for that job. Whereas actually, what the research is now saying very clearly is the more effort we put into the problem definition and the solution, engineering piece. And that piece, the more likely we are to succeed. So the traditional view of persuasion of, you’ve got this problem that maybe not that well defined, but I’ve got this fantastic solution really doesn’t work. This is another piece of research, which actually comes from the same sources, the previous slide, which is about how much contact people have with you, before, they really count how much research they do before they have real contact with you. Now, you can both look at Chris and I work out that was pretty old. When Chris and I started doing this, the vast majority of sales and persuasion conversations in the b2b environment have been face to face, lots and lots of contact. Not anymore. People out there are doing a lot of research online. So for the marketers, you know, That’s a really, really important point because it’s it’s so crucial that the online presence is right is getting over the right messages. I know you all know that. But yeah, this is just such a crucial part of this whole journey.

Now, let’s talk a bit more about persuasion.

A lot of people think that logic is what you need to have in persuasion. And we don’t disagree with that. We think logic is really, really important. The only problem is, it’s not enough on its own. Logic works if they’re really prepared to listen, if they clearly got an idea of what the situation is, how it will work. If they’re not too resistant to change.

Without logic,

then you’re going to have some problems with persuasion. So it’s really important to have the evidence to support your logic. And, and what we see in practice is people think they’re being logical, but they just don’t. They don’t build in the links then show how they’ve got to where they got to. The problem we have with logic isn’t logic itself. It’s the fact that a lot of decisions are made,

driven much more by emotion.

And it will be lovely to be scientific about this and say 57% is emotion on 43% is logic. It’s it’s not as clear as that.

We have to

pay attention to the emotional side. We have to pay attention to the logical side as well. So just introduce you to a concept here about what we call our leavers leave is all about trying to understand the negative He was asked what might go wrong. The positive leavers are, if you like what’s in it for you? What do you as an individual or your company gain from the idea the solution? A secondary leader, he was the ones that sit underneath that those primary ones. So they support those negative and positive leavers. So let’s just think about some of the key messages were saying about persuasion. You need to understand their positive and negatives. So if you’re like, what are they worrying about? What are their pain points? What are they looking to achieve? What what are the consequences of not achieving what they’re trying to achieve? What’s going to be the impact of that problem continuing. So it’s not as simple as just getting that first piece. have input here need to really get underneath the skin. And we talked here about pitch. And I always worry when I talk to marketers about pitch because I think, you know, we all have different ideas about what pitch means. To me pitch can be a three line email, or a 64 page PowerPoint pack. It’s about tailoring your pitch to suit the audience. Again, I guess you all get that. But it’s also about tailoring your pitch to fit their needs. A really good example, the moment of calm call mention the company name, but we’re talking to an all fairly new startup, but very, very well funded, do some great tech. And our proposal to them is going to be probably maybe four lines on email. It’s all about pace and sort of but also for a small startup organisation. They just want to get on and get Things Done. I worried now that you might have heard my messages are saying, logic doesn’t matter. Logic does matter. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got logic. And it needs to be backed up with facts and return on investment. So logic is important. But we also need to make sure we understand the emotional side and use those leaders as well. So this raises the question, well, what the hell can you actually do? So the first thing we want to say about being persuasive. Is this is all about asking questions. And you’ve probably all heard, you know, well, what sort of questions really work? And I bet you’ve heard open versus closed questions you should ask open questions. Yeah. It shouldn’t ask those questions. That’s, yeah, it’s one of the key ones. messages that people are told. Unfortunately, research doesn’t actually back them up. So just pause for a second, if you imagine you meet somebody who’s a raving extrovert, they just love talking. So it’s probably me. Versus you meet an introvert who really finds it struggles to have that conversation. You probably don’t want to be asking a raving extrovert lots of open questions, they talk too much anyway. So you want to be asking them closed questions that shut them up, or at least trying. Whereas the introverts, you want to open them up. So you really need open questions to. So that’s the problem because you don’t know what the psychological preferences are about the people you’re meeting. If you’re thinking about persuasion in the context of you and maybe your job environment, maybe you do know and therefore, you can do some different things. But what the research has found out is that actually, it’s much more nuanced than that. The questions have to get the leavers they have to get at what is it that really, really matters to that individual. And what I’m going to do now is I’m going to hand over credit to Chris, he’s going to talk much more about what this means in terms of negotiation. And what is the very best best negotiators do. So over to you, Chris.

Chris Smith 20:36
Need to unmute yourself. Yes, I know. I’m just doing that. Thank you, john. Good evening, everyone. Thanks for listening. So, Kelly, what is the difference between persuasion and negotiation? Well, persuasion really is just a very simple, one way process. It’s about trying to persuade the people you are having a conversation with To move them to either accepting or solution, accepting your point of view accepting, okay? So it’s very simple. It’s, you’re persuading them to move to you. Now negotiation, on the other hand is very different. negotiation is a two way process, the whole definition of negotiation is you’re trying to get a common agreement between two parties. So with negotiation, what we’re trying to do is persuade is is is get to a position where we both agree on something so we both move to a point in the middle. Now, it goes without saying the very best negotiation is those that are a win win. Now, you can, I would suggest, maybe look at some of the, the negotiation that’s gone on and Brexit dare I raise that offer subject, but actually, you would say there may well have been some of the strategies that were being adopted by Politicians on both sides was not a win win strategy in their negotiation. It was a win lose. I want my position and I don’t care where you end up. But the research and everything about it tells you that the best negotiations are those that have a win win, where both parties come out feeling that they’ve got something from that negotiation.

Now, what can you didn’t negotiate on? Now, what do you think that you can negotiate on?

Now, often, I think they the answer that initially, people will come up with is dependent on whether they may be sitting in a marketing team or whether they’re sitting in a business development role. And so there will be probably some subtle nuances that But typically, when people are asked this question and we run a course call on effect, negotiating skills we have a session on negotiation. What can you negotiate on? And very typically, the the conversation will dry up fairly soon and with people say, do you know what the only things we can negotiate on our price and time. And then with a little bit of persuasion, you might get resourcing out of that. And a little bit of persuasion, you might get some other topic that you think you can negotiate on.

But actually, if you spend the time on it, there is an awful lot that you can negotiate on.

When we’ve come back to this topic, and in the course we run, we’ve got up to with some facilitation. We’ve got up to over 130 items that people go can can have in their negotiation, back pocket. So our experience and the very best and the research tell As the best negotiators have a long list of things that they are going to negotiate on. And it is way more nuanced than just price because you can cut price down into a whole variety, for example of different items. So price, for example could be, is it going to be tied in to materials? Is it going to be fixed priced? If it’s fixed price, so we go milestones and eggs? And how are those milestones? What percentages are going to be split out on that? Are we going 30 day terms? Or am I going to give you a discount if you pay in seven days? Are you going to pay me in euros or you’re gonna pay me in pounds, so you can start breaking price down into an awful lot of things. But the very best negotiators know not only the price of the item then again to negotiate on, but they have spent the time understanding the value of that item to their client. Because there isn’t necessarily a correlation between price and value, often something that is low cost to you could be seen as very high value to your client. So they, they spend time getting their list of negotiate, go shovels out, they then spend time thinking about what the cost is to them, and the value is to their client. And then the very best actually build their plan around those items. They will decide which sequence of things they’re going to give away in that negotiation. And they will typically the very best will start with giving away things that they believe will be perceived as high value for the client, but low cost to them. And then they’ll work through their list as they as they progress through. They will not deliver all of the items in one go. They will go through work through each one To the very, very best work, have a spend a lot of time thinking through what items and again to negotiate on.

Unknown Speaker 26:12
But that’s

Chris Smith 26:14
all very well, very well and good. But negotiation really is a complex mix. And we do dive into this in a lot more detail typically. So I can only give you a very brief snapshot of it. As you’ve probably gathered from what I’ve just been saying. One of the things about negotiation is, then one of the things we believe is absolutely critical critical before you get into actually having the conversation is preparation. Preparation can mean many things. It isn’t just about what I was just talking to identifying the list of negotiables it’s actually setting up the environment maybe which which you’re getting, which which you are going to negotiate in. Interestingly, one of the very best negotiations, I have had was with a tech company up in the East End of London. And the negotiation wasn’t typical, as it most often has done across the table face to face. We sat on a squared sofa. And interestingly changed the complete dynamics of the, the negotiation. It felt more like a conversation rather than a commercial negotiation. So the preparation isn’t just about the things are good negotiation, it’s about the environment that you’re going to create to have that negotiation. I would suggest if you have to do it in an office, which we don’t have to do it anymore, is if you do do it that way you sit across the corners of a table, but clearly, social distancing doesn’t allow us to do that anymore. So preparation is really important. Interpersonal skills is the second most important thing in there. It’s just understanding How you deliver the messages, how you maintain contact, how you maintain the environment in which you’re having a conversation rather than the feeling as if it’s an attritional battle between two people. You want to try and create this environment and understand the interpersonal skills that enable it to be a win win. One of the most key most important skills that you need to learn to be a really good negotiator is listening. It’s one of the skills we as humans are absolutely appalling at, we never listen properly, we never actually spend time honing our skills and listening. But one of the most important things you need to get we all need to get better at in negotiation is really attentively listening to what the other side is saying. And demonstrating back to them that you have actually listened. You have taken note and you are acknowledging what they are saying. And the last bit of negotiation is is all the various tactics that you are going to deploy a news to get the person to move from their position to closer to your position, and what are those tactics you’re going to use and we’re not going to go into those now but there’s a whole list of different things you can do and things you can say, and that you can nuance in there. One of the things we always say is, if you’re going to give something away, always ask for something back in return otherwise you’ll always end up in a give give situation. So always when you’ve conceded something in negotiation, ask the person you’re having that conversation with now what can you do in return

so what are the words are that the negotiation negotiation he behaviours that the best do I can’t even say?

Well, as john was saying, actually, no, the very best don’t negotiate unless they really have to. They spend their time persuading people to their point of view. You go there only negotiate if it’s a really, really have to do that. The best people, as I said, persuade first, but too often in a negotiation, we concede far too early. An example of might be that says, Do you know for this type of project, can you give me an idea of what the cost might be? And you know, typically, often the answer gets given is, well, actually, it could be between 25,060 thousand depending what number does the person you’ve just been speaking to remember? Is it the 60 or the 25? Actually, they just remember the 25. So as far as they’re concerned, We’re starting from negotiating at 25, not 60, whereas you thought you might be negotiating from 60. So be careful on that the hints you give in terms of what possessed what concessions you are going to give. Be really confident about your position. And be very clear about articulating your value. Concentrate the negotiation on the value you are delivering to your client. And be very clear about how you articulate that. Don’t talk about price, talk about the values that your solution is going to deliver to that client. Why they should hire you as their new digital marketing manager, the value that you’re going to bring not the salary or the cost you’re going to bring as a contractor or an employee. Don’t start this Counting too early. The best people to negotiate with are the car salesman, they’ll offer you a discount straight away, I’m sure they’ll offer even bigger discounts now. So you can always negotiate with car salesmen, they’ll always start at 20%. The worst people that than them are software salespeople, especially at the end of their quarter or the end of their half year, they will always be offering discounts. The last thought I’ll leave you with is to be really good at negotiation. spend the time preparing first, really spend the time trying to get in putting yourself in the shoes of your customer, or your manager or your agency to really understand what the value of your negotiables are. Concentrate on the value, not on the cost. Do those few things and I think you can emit prove the outcomes of your negotiations.

Over to john? Oh, it’s actually

Well, it’s for both of

Joe Glover 33:11
us to say,

John Moss 33:12
stop sharing and go to Joe.

Joe Glover 33:15
Sweet. Thank you very much chaps. So just to say that, that mindset shift for me when he first say about persuasion, first, negotiation second, but then also the list of the negotiables. For you. They’re two of the things which I listened to that talk for the first time, and I came away, and it changed how I approach business. So I want to say thank you to both of you for taking the time to deliver that because there’s still a whole bunch of people on this chat, who would no doubt have benefited from that little grain of knowledge and so much more from that presentation. So thank you both. It’s really, really useful. There have been a series of questions that have come in. While I say to everyone else on the call still is, take the time to ask question, we’ve got a little bit of time I’ve got some of my own. if you will of the mouse, you find the q&a feature below and you can get your questions in. I’m literally going to be taking them from the top. So we’ve got a question for Marguerite, who says, and it’s very relevant for today, as well with the situation as we addressed it at the beginning, which says, as a black woman, the statistics say that as a group, we will earn 68% of the salary white male will do for the same job. Can these persuasion tools work, even if the employer has an inherent bias, and I guess the particular element that’s really worth noting there is the inherent bias bit because I guess,

Unknown Speaker 34:54
the rest of it, yeah.

Joe Glover 34:57
So we’ll start with that if that’s okay.

John Moss 34:59
Okay, I’ll go Kick off. And then maybe maybe Chris will chip in?

I think I think the aren’t that the answer yet is yes. But let’s be frank, it’s much more difficult when you’re trying to persuade somebody who’s got a degree of bias in the situation you’re talking about. I think the key thing to really, really focus on is the value that you can create the outputs that you can deliver. And funnily enough, having said what I did say a few minutes ago, I think it’s more even more important when there’s that bias to get as much logic in as you can. So a really strong rationale. The thing that worries me about any of those sorts of conversations is, is we weave in a lot of our own emotion into them. And we need to take that out. And we need to help the person on the other side, take that out. So we’ve got a really strong business case about why they should promote To that can only really work if you’ve got some strong value you’ve delivered. So I do a lot of coaching work. And one of the key things I say in that is, build your story. Build your story of the value documented, and take time to do that. So it’s thorough and rigorous. Yeah, I think that’s what I’d say, Chris, what what’s your What are your thoughts?

Chris Smith 36:25
The only thing? Well, I think it’s very hard to persuade someone who has an inherent bias.


quite frankly, I wouldn’t work with anyone if they are making decisions based on on race because

that’s completely unacceptable to me, but that that’s,

Unknown Speaker 36:42
that’s me saying that.

Chris Smith 36:44
I would base it on value and

and I would use using John’s analogy of stories I would call it case studies or past partner. Evidence of past things I have done and the distance Value I’ve delivered to the clients I’ve worked in the past to demonstrate why I would be the right person to come in and undertake that role.

John Moss 37:09
Oh, can I just Can I just add in another point because in the b2b environment in sales, and when we’re helping people, we do come across a different sorts of bias. And one of the key things that we coach people to is sometimes you’ve got to walk away.

And, you know, I think, you know, we none of us should ever forget, that’s always an option for us. Yeah.

Joe Glover 37:33
Thank you. So actually, one of the things that came up in the presentation was listening. And I’m not going to go to the top question here because there’s one from Orion, which I really like, which is just simply and it’s think, No, it isn’t open question. It says how can we listen better and do you have any particular techniques for thirsting better? It

Chris Smith 37:57
was, as I said in the talk, it’s it’s we as a people aren’t very good at.

And there’s all sorts of studies have been done that we we start by not having an open mind to listen to what someone’s saying. So we’re already filtering because we’ve already got, we know we’re going to this this negotiation to achieve this. So I’ve already set an agenda in my mind. So I’m filtering out already anything else that’s being said to me, because that’s not on the agenda that I’ve said.

So that’s number one.

Two is in a negotiation, or how you listen better is, is try and cut out all the other distractions that are happening around you. How often have you sat in a room on maybe the third or fourth floor with a nice big glass window? Someone’s been having conversation you’ve looked out there because the car has just reversed into the lamppost. New come back looking out the window watching that cargo haha what an idiot can’t imagine how he did that and come back to the Congress and go

Unknown Speaker 39:08
we’re talking about

Chris Smith 39:10
so that so such a things and it’s it’s other simple things like you know in negotiation or conversation How many times do people pick up their phone? To me that that’s also very annoying it shows a level of disrespect, I think so many other things, put your phone away, just turn it off, move the distract as many distractions away from you as possible so that you can actually concentrate on the conversation. And if you can concentrate on that conversation. I’m sure you’ll get a better outcome. The spending comes with practice. It comes with discipline.

Joe Glover 39:46
And I guess there’s an element of that which could also come in you mentioned designing the environment for negotiation.

Chris Smith 39:52
Absolutely. Yeah, as I said, I’ve done very structured negotiations where it is it is face to face. One side of the table sometimes the other side of the table, and you know that there’s going to be confrontational negotiation. Others I’ve, it’s been in a much more relaxed environment. And as I said, just sitting on a sofa Sounds Sounds so bizarre, sitting on a sofa and having a negotiation completely changed the dynamics. I couldn’t believe it. It ended up like a conversation. They were We were as a team, right to focus on solving a problem. That’s

John Moss 40:30
interesting. Jake Tracy’s just put a very nice quick post up, listen, to understand not to try not to fix things. Correct. And one of the challenges I used to have when I was younger is that I thought I was a great listener. And actually I was pretty crap.

And I made myself write notes.

And I found that meant that I listened much more carefully. I find it quite fascinating. I spend quite a bit of my time watching people having These sorts of persuasive conversations are having negotiations. And we come out and we do a review. And they’ve got three lines on their Notepad. I’ve got seven pages.

But fundamental question is how well have you been listening?

Chris Smith 41:17
But bill, just building on that the fact that you are taking notes, I think demonstrates to the person you’re having a conversation with, that you are taking this conversation seriously. If you sit there with just a blank sheet of paper or don’t even open note, but you go are you really listening to anything I’m saying and how you going to recall all the things we have agreed to do during this conversation if you’re not taking notes?

Unknown Speaker 41:43
I’d like I’d like to hear

Chris Smith 41:47
and I noticed someone Caleb’s put it up there and on the chat thing, and I just say this is when I first started out, the my sales manager said to me, You need to be Mickey Mouse. I said, What do you mean by Mickey Mouse? He said, two ears, two eyes, one mouth, use them in that proportion. The best salespeople don’t speak a lot. They listen

Unknown Speaker 42:10

Joe Glover 42:12
of that. And, okay, we’ll go to the next question. And we will, we’ll do Deborah’s. Next. But I’ve got one quick one first, which is if you imagine the scene, you walk into the room, and there’s a person in front of you, and they’re sat the other side of the desk, or in the virtual world, and they’ve been very short on their emails back to you. You’ve you’ve tried to be very friendly. You walk in and you feel like the underdog. In this scenario, you feel like I don’t know how to deal with this person. How do you begin to a find the confidence be start to feel permission to persuade and then see if you have to negotiate if you feel like the underdog.

John Moss 42:59
I think there’s Three things, one, do your homework, I think confidence and people undermining our confidence. Sometimes we don’t help ourselves by by doing the preparation. I think there’s also the thing about courage. And if you have been treated as in the way that you’ve just described it, Joe,

is that okay?

I hate to say this, but I think there’s some organisations that think think that is okay.

I don’t know if I’d want to be working with them or for them.

But I think fundamentally, this is about you being ready to have the conversation. I’ve worked with people where we’ve said, they’re not ready and they deliberately engineer not having the conversation. And you might say that’s ducking the responsibility, but I think it’s it’s about getting yourself as ready as you possibly can. One of the things I tend to do if I get very, I work with some people who have very short Curt emails, and that’s fine. That’s how they are and who they are. But if I get a really short Curt email from somebody who doesn’t normally do that, my response is, is there’s something wrong right now productivity, call it out.

Joe Glover 44:20
Nice. I love that. That I mean, it’s

John Moss 44:23
catchy is added a comment with with it more formal, like find out some lawyers, etc. Yeah, they’re still human beings.

Not all of them. But

we do a lot of work with senior lawyers and senior accountants.

And a lot of people who got those high technical skills and high intellectual skills do put up a little bit of a facade, put up a bit of a veneer. And I think if we can find some ways through that, so that preparation isn’t just about the logical side, it’s also about the emotional side.

Joe Glover 45:00
Lovely, thank you very much. So we’ve got 10 minutes left. So we’ll make these open eight questions into a quick fire round, if you don’t mind. So we’ve got a question from Deborah. And I feel like you would have covered a lot of these elements within the presentation. But potentially, we can now apply these to a specific scenario. So Deborah says how can we persuade a client that despite our product being more expensive than other quotes, they may have found for similar products that they are the worthy choice, particularly given the current climate where budgets will be so tight for companies and decision makers will be seeing the pounds before anything

Chris Smith 45:40
simple focus on the value delivered not on the price.

Nice. And and when it’s and I say value, be able to articulate that in pounds in monetary value?

John Moss 45:54
I think right right down

the market, particularly for agencies is really, really tough. Let’s let’s not pretend. And there’s a lot of freelancers out there some really good quality people who are fortunately don’t have jobs. So it’s going to be challenging. So you’ve got to be much more articulate about the value and create. And I’m going to be really horrible here. value has to have a pound note or $1 or a euro next to it. So you’ve got to work out shell to monetize what you’re saying you can deliver. But I think also maybe have the courage to monetize what the opposition is going to deliver, and see where the differences

Joe Glover 46:40
is. Good. Cool. I like that. Yeah. Particularly if you know who that opposition is. Opposition competition. So we’ve got a question from anonymous, so they’re very mysterious. Unless they are called anonymous attendee could be, could be, and they say what would you Say is a good strategy for getting past gatekeepers when cold calling or cold visiting. Thank you very much for doing this.

John Moss 47:11
You go first. You know I think

Chris Smith 47:15
I think the best way to get in to do cold calling is you have to warm them up first of all, whether it’s with an email letter or something that gives that warns them that you are going to be calling. I think straight cold calling on the phone without any warm up activity doesn’t work.

John Moss 47:36
Yeah, I’m gonna say the same thing is it’s cold calling the evidence is that absolutely cold calling doesn’t work.

I think some really strange thing. Send people a letter. How many of you get a letter these days? Yeah.

Joe Glover 47:53
Big fan. Big, big fan.

Chris Smith 47:54
I agree. I think as we’re now we’re working from home. That is is a great thing. Today,

John Moss 48:01
well written letter that sells the need for a conversation.

Marketers out there, you know, I think, I think sometimes maybe we forget that, what is the purpose of what we’re doing? So the purpose of a cold call, not a cold call, hopefully a warm call, is to sell the need to have a conversation to persuade somebody to have a conversation, not to persuade them to take product or service.

Joe Glover 48:28
That’s a really good point. That’s a snippet right there. We got a question for you. So we did we do have a question specifically about negotiating on interviews, but I feel like we’ve we’ve kind of covered that. So unless,

John Moss 48:46
before you discover that much, I think again, do your preparation, do your research and really understand what the markets like for that particular job role. How many people are out there? That’s pretty easy data to get these days.

Joe Glover 49:01
Absolutely, it the preparation is absolutely vital. I if there’s one thing to take away from here, that could well be so real question for you. Do you have a checklist or template for the preparation phase?

John Moss 49:17
Yes and no.

I think for preparing all negotiation, the key piece of preparation is really thinking index about all of the things you can negotiate and then putting that list together and working out what’s the value to you? What’s the cost to you? What’s the value to the client or the other side? And it takes time and effort. And as Chris says, Yeah, we do this work both in terms of our training courses, but also with coaching real life situations. As I’m saying something at one particular situation where they said there’s only four things we can negotiate. When we actually sat down and worked it all through, there was something like 80 things they could negotiate on. And that was a really interesting example where they knew who the competition was. It was an open competition. They a killer question that they knew if they asked the customer that question, it will blow the competition out of the water. They wanted to ask it, that negotiation for this particular project lasted a week. They wanted to ask that question on the Monday morning. Okay. It also wants to know, ask it on Friday. Mm hmm. He asked it on Monday, the competition have got enough time to maybe work out an answer. So I think it will be very easy to say there is a checklist. I think the reality is the detail will vary from time to time. It is a bit quantity and then honing that down to the quality of where is the real value you can create.

Joe Glover 51:09
And I mean, if the if there’s a point here, there’s a few questions coming in, which are like, quite specific questions. But if there’s one message that seems to be reoccurring again and again, it’s like preparation for the individual that you’re going to be persuading and negotiating is not a one size fits all approach is a very much.

John Moss 51:32
If there’s any of those individual questions that we don’t get through tonight, just just find Chris I on LinkedIn Drop, drop us a note with more happy to engage in that conversation with you.

Joe Glover 51:41
Absolutely. And I’ll link it in the follow up. So another question from anonymous. So how can you approach potential prospects, either in the b2b seat or b2b environments or searching for your marketing services? I feel sorry, excuse me. I don’t care about that question. Quite. Right, I think there might there might be a better place to answer that question. So we’ll come back to that one, if possible. So there’s a question here, which says, How do you classify as leavers, our primary positive or negative and secondary? So I think that’s more of a reiteration of the presentation and maybe some examples, if you could,

John Moss 52:20
you know, let me reinforce that. So I think, primary leavers, the simple way of explaining it is primarily used for things that really matter to your customer to your client. But underneath them, there are going to be some knock on effects positive or negative, which we will call secondary leavers. And what you’re trying to do is get as many of those as possible, because that reinforces your case for change. And I think one of the things we find the really effective people do is they think about persuasion as building a case for change, and the more things you can have, it’s not unlike what Chris has said about integration And the more reasons you can have for changing, positive and negative, it’s important to have some degree of balance between the problems that need fixing and what will happen if you don’t fix the problems versus the opportunities that can be grabbed and the payoff you get from those opportunities. So I think the more leavers, the better. Again, what are the best people do? They really think very carefully about which of those leavers matter and I will find myself saying to apply, you’ve given me seven things that you’re really worried about, which is the most important if you only only could afford to fix one, which one would it be so I’m getting I’m trying to get them to prioritise for me.

Joe Glover 53:47
I love that. They’re very good. Okay. So last question, I reckon, which again, keeps them honest. He says, How important is storytelling when negotiating How do you how do you then go that in?

Chris Smith 54:03
that’s a that’s a very interesting question. And I did see that

Unknown Speaker 54:06
and I was wondering with you then to ask you

Chris Smith 54:11
I think storytelling is important in both persuasion and negotiation is not don’t use it with one or the other. I think it’s a very powerful tool to use in negotiation to demonstrate your a your understanding of the clients pain points, or that you are trying to address and equally demonstrating if you can tell a story as to how you have sold that somewhere else that is relevant to them, and the value that you’ve delivered in solving that to someone else. So I think storytelling is really important and I think it’s important to have A number of stories in your armoury that you

can roll out in the conversation you’re having. So yeah, I think it’s very important.

John Moss 55:12
Let me quickly echo that.

It’s got to be relevant. The one thing that worries me whenever we talk about storytelling is the relevance of the story to the situation or it

Chris Smith 55:24
must be relevant.

Joe Glover 55:28
Nice. And do you have any examples of like, the types of stories that you tell is that again, it’s not gonna be a one size fits all I appreciate, but is there going to be

John Moss 55:39
so I have a

bank of stories, which are all about situations where we’ve come across a particular problem or a particular opportunity, and that client, and the emphasis is really important how that client has solved it. So often, it’s not what we’ve done. Yeah, it’s more often what we’ve helped the client don’t do. And so we very deliberately try and keep ourselves in the background. And we think that’s a really important part of how you tell if you claim all the credit, people don’t believe you. Yeah, and that’s not the truth of the matter. If you if you’re trying to persuade an organisation or an individual, it is a two way process, you can’t do it.

Chris Smith 56:30
And most people don’t want to be the first. Most organisations don’t want to be the first to buy this solution, either this person or whatever. They want to know where have you done it before? What you’ve delivered, and that makes them more comfortable because most organisations are on the conservative end of the spectrum. So if you can tell him a story as to where it’s been done before, you’ve seen that problem before, how you’ve helped them to client solve it and the value they’ve got from it. Bingo.

Joe Glover 57:00
Nice. So a case study approach basically. Yes. Lovely. Fabulous. Well, so we have touched our, our mark. So I think it’s very important that we allow people to head into their evenings and enjoy the last of the sunshine because I think it’s supposed to be less day to day. So all I can say is, thank you very, very much to Chris and john, for spending the time with us tonight. And I hope people found that really useful. Even the second time around, I’ve taken an awful lot for it, which I’ll be presenting and using it in so many different ways. Couple of things as to follow up, please do say thank you to the sponsors. And if you’re interested in finding out more than we are running the workshop in a few weeks time, which will go into more depth on the topics that we’ve discussed tonight. As ever, you know, like this community is just like the best community in the world. You’re absolutely brilliant. And Chris and john, you’ve both embodied that tonight. So thank you very much. And thank you to everyone that’s been here as well. Take care. Look after yourselves and I’ll see you soon.

John Moss 58:12
Thank you so much. Thank you.

Chris Smith 58:15
So you have a lovely evening, everyone. Take care