Before the Negotiation - Do Due Diligence
So number three, so you have your pain, you have your assets, you have your asset column, your pain column, now you want to do your due diligence. This is that research piece. So I personally, you can do this a different way if you like, I personally like to do it in this order. I like to think about worth audit first then I like to match it with pain points, then I like to do research. Some people start with the research, that's totally okay. The reason I like to do the research third or after is 'cause I kind of like to see where are my gaps in knowledge. Sometimes I'm filling out the assets or the pain points and I'm like oh, I don't know anything about this demographic, or I don't know anything about this company, so it helps me fill in where to research. So the research column, you're answering a couple of basic questions. Who is my partner? Like who are they as a person, what do they want, what are their needs? What are his or her values? And we talk about personality signs in my...
master people skills course, do they like a lot of evidence, a lot of details, are they kind of big picture people, are they creatives, what are their values, how do they best learn from you? How should I approach them? What kind of pitch do I think I'm going to be able to deliver? What is this meeting or this coffee or this phone conversation, what do I think it's gonna be like? And then using all this research to then try to fill in a little bit more to make sure that those pain and asset columns are completely full. What background info will help me in this negotiation? This is kind of your biggest column, that's why it's the biggest column on your sheet. You're kind of putting everything that you learn here like those tidbits, what could help here? What name their children are, where they grew up, all those little tips that might help you with rapport. Couple of examples for you, so I want you to think outside the box, the whole name of the game here is creative and strategic thinking. So a couple of things that you might stumble upon that are interesting. Let's say you're going into a salary negotiation with your boss and based on your research you notice they recently had a baby, they talked about it a little bit at work, you saw a little bit on their Instagram, that would be a great place to start for rapport building, right? Especially if you think oh they're probably really tired, probably getting very little sleep. Probably don't want a late afternoon meeting with them, right? I might want to bring in their favorite coffee with me and say I know you're probably in those first three months, I know it's really hard, like how can you build that piece of information in? Another one, if you want to go raise your rates and you learn that they actually just brought on a new hire, you saw on LinkedIn that they have added a new team member to their team, something that that they didn't publish on their website, but you noticed it. You can also use it for rapport, I saw you brought in a new team member but this could also be a great incentive. I would love to do a check-in call with them, I'd love to work with them I'd love to send some helpful sheets for onboarding if you'd like them. That's something that they don't even realize is a pain point that you can solve that you can offer for from that notice. You're going in for a job interview so you're not really sure, right? You don't necessarily know the person you're interviewing with, you don't know who's going to be in the room, but you hae learned that the company was recently acquired a few months ago. And you had experience with this because the last company that you worked with also was acquired. It would be very helpful in that interview to say I've been through an acquisition process before, I know these pain points can often come up and I know that I can help with those with these special skills. Even if they don't ask about the acquisition or anything just knowing that you did your research is gonna help you, it's also gonna give you that confidence knowing that you have this kind of special asset, seeded information. Another idea, you're pitching to investors, right? And you noticed they don't say this on their website but you've noticed that a lot of the companies they invest in are very pro-social, they're very good for the environment, they're giving back, they have a couple non-profits in their portfolio, and you say I don't know if this is important to you, but we actually have a really amazing social benefit to our business. We donate 10% of our profits to veterans. They might not ask that but you know from your research that has it, and this is deep dive research, this isn't just a little like a little Googling, a little bit of Wikipedia. This helps in two ways. One, it gives you all these new ideas, but remember that every piece of information, every bullet you have on that sheet of paper is another seed of confidence, right? It's another, when we have inside information we're like yeah, okay. It's like fuel. So every bullet point you put down there helps both you and actually in the negotiation. Last idea you have a large purchase. You wan to go buy a car, you want to go buy a house, there's a couple things you can look at. One is you can go in with competitive offers, literally print out the adds that you're seeing online for the similar car of their competitor. Alternative asks, what are some other things that you might want, you have a budget in mind but you would love to have that thing when you kick the back of the car the trunk opens. Have you ever seen that commercial where she's like walking? It's like when I wanted a car, I really wanted that kicker thing, I really wanted it. And that was one of my BATNA's, my alternatives to negotiating price that I had in the back of my head. So what are some alternatives that you can bring in? They can't lower the price, what else could they throw in for you that you could get extra that they wouldn't maybe think to offer? And lastly timing with big purchases, when is their monthly quota gonna hit, right? Did they just start the month and they're not desperate at all? That would not be a good weekend to come in. Are they really busy on Saturday afternoons when everyone wants to go and buy a car? You're just one of many but no one is coming in on Tuesday morning. So what is the right timing you could offer there, that's also a piece of that research when you're buying. So there's a couple of different kinds of things that I want you to think about for research, the non-obvious beyond Wikipedia things. What else to research? A couple of buckets to think about. So yes, obviously their pain points, their values, their interests. Company updates and industry trends are another one, especially in business that are kind of hidden and interesting. You wan to think, what are they talking about around the water cooler? So what news sites are they reading in the morning? What blog are they addicted to? Was there a really new industry piece that just came out? Like for example, if you're working in the valley, AI is a huge thing we're talking about, the ethics of Ai is a huge thing that we're talking about. You could go read a couple of Medium pieces, come in, that would be a great rapport piece to talk about. All this, it's so interesting what's happening, did you see that recent article that so and so put out that they're probably reading on that blog. So think about what they're talking about around the water cooler that makes you already feel like part of the team? What are they already talking about with their team, that makes you fit in much easier? And by the way, I think that rapport is incredibly important before you even get into money topics, so all these topics help you with those first few minutes of bonding. This then goes into, as we begin to now talk about money, the incentives, the bargaining chips, the rapport building and then your confidence. These are all pieces that you're going to offer during that catch when you're tossing it back and forth, they're all pieces that you can use to leverage. I call this unbundling, so I mentioned this word earlier. This is why I want you to have five to plus bullet points for each column. A lot of us think in big terms, like we think compensation, right? Or we think wedding. But I want you to start breaking all of those things down into the smallest little offers possible. The more quantity of assets and offers we have the more our value goes up, even if it's very very small. An example, I'm just gonna do this with compensations. You're going into a job interview and you want to get a raise, compensation is one thing, and most people when they're going to negotiation for a job interview they think of one number. That's what most people do, they think of all these great answers for a job interview and then their goal salary, and I'm like there are so many more things that happen under compensation. So if we were to unbundle compensation sure, salary is number one, bonuses, health benefits, moving costs, if you're moving, parking and transportation vouchers or validation, vacation and sick days, cell phone allowance, car allowance, education allowance. You want to take some new courses, you want to create a live budget, that's something you can ask for. Raise schedule, so like okay, it's not as good as you want but how fast do you want to grow. Office location, do you want to start working virtually? Can you add in a virtual day if they're gonna offer you less? A new computer or monitor, right? Gear, a great new printer, a great new desk chair, a huge new extra monitor, all of those things come out. A standing desk or desk chair, all of these things are potential offers or alternates in just that one word, compensation. Everything that you're thinking about can be unbundled, maybe even more than this. By the way, I had another column but it was too many words so I took it away. But there are so many things when we actually dive into the small pieces that really helps us in that playing catch, it helps us avoid deadlock. So everything I'm teaching you is trying to make sure that A, it's preparing you for a really good discussion aimed at agreement, that's the official definition. Not a confrontation, not a fight. And second, preventing that terrible moment where either they say no thanks, I won't pay it, or let me think about it. So all of these things are to try to prevent those things from happening ahead of time before we even do anything. By the way, we're not even in the negotiation yet, right? These are all things that you do on your own which is great, this is all stuff that you're in control of, you do it on your time, you do it when you want to, so give us a lot to do. How to research. How do we do this research beyond the obvious? First, obviously previous intel, information they've given you. So if someone emails you a client they give you all kinds of information, great, that's the obvious one. Digital assets, website, LinkedIn are the obvious ones that we go to. But I also want you to be very aware of Goodreads and Instagram. I cannot tell you how many deals I have closed when I'm like, I saw that you loved the book on your Goodreads, I'm a Goodreads obsessed user, you loved the workbook How to Win Friends and Influence People, I love that book, it started my career. That is a great rapport building moment. Or, you see that they just read a bunch of negotiation books, that would be a good thing to know. So a lot of people have public accounts on Goodreads, a lot of people also have public wishlists on Amazon. That would be a great thing, I actually one time was going into a big VIP meeting, it wasn't a negotiation but a big VIP meeting and he had a public wishlist and one of the things was like a 10 dollar collapsible cup item. So I bought it, I wrapped it, I was like I saw this on your public Amazon wishlist and he was like floored, blown away, took me around his office, introduced me to everyone, like do you need any testimonials, can I buy 10 copies of your book? It was a 10 dollar cup, so thinking a little bit alternatively, looking at their Instagram, looking at anything that's public, nothing creepy, nothing beyond public, but anything that's public that's open to being shared. Yeah, Erica.
So have a question about that with the line between when does it look stalkery and when does it look okay? So for example, I might have a client that books a free 30 minute call with me and I, yeah can you talk about what looks weird and what looks nice?
Yes okay, so reframing this so what I do, and I'm a deep researcher, and now my team also helps me research. So what I say is I would love to do a free 30 minute call, I'm gonna be preparing for our call by looking at a number of things. Here's a pre-questionnaire, always good to set up your questionnaire. And I'm gonna be looking on your website and blog, just try to make sure I am super prepared for this call, I cannot wait to speak with you. In a way, you're saying like I'm doing a lot of work for this free call because I care, that's how much I care. So I actually like to warn people if I'm gonna do that much research, and then in the moment you can say, and I'm very transparent about it. I really wanted to make sure this call went really well, it means a lot to me, you matter a lot to me, so I did a whole bunch of research and found all these cool things, I hope that's okay. So reframing it as like you care a lot, that is an offer, your ability to research, like one of my assets is my ability to research. I run a research lab so that's one of my things, but knowing detailed interesting facts about someone is one of my assets, so I would actually reframe it as an offer.
And so if my potential client books, like schedules with me, they just schedule something, we don't have a conversation before they schedule, so I don't have the point, be able to clarify like oh I'm gonna look this up, but I can still say oh, yeah.
In the moment, I was so excited for this call, in fact I spent the morning researching all these things, here's what I found. You don't have to do it ahead of time, although it kind of gets them excited, also makes them less likely to cancel. So if you have the kind of business model where you do free calls, which we do, so like typically if someone is approaching us for a speaking event I will do a free call with them. But sometimes they cancel or they've already booked someone or they booked someone before me, it's just a scope call, I will say everything I'm doing before the free call, like I'm gonna prepare a sample curriculum for you, I'm gonna pull a couple of resources together, I might even have my team member join the call with us, there much less likely to cancel on you, they're also much more likely to wait and not book someone else. So I like to set that up, you're already priming value, we're gonna talk about priming in the next section.
Great question, yeah. So Goodreads, Instagram, digital assets, alternate resources, obviously this is for industry trends and updates, I would Google their company name, Google their maiden name. I have a maiden name, I have books under a maiden name, I'm always super impressed when someone has figured that out. That means some deep dive Googling, 'cause all they've done is search maiden name or seen that I have previous books. So is there other intel that you can get from that, either Googling their company name or their full name or their previous name, also reaching out to mutual contacts. Have you noticed on LinkedIn or Facebook you have a crossover contact? Can you reach out to that person and say hey, I saw you went to Emery with this person, I'm bringing them and they're a client, I would love to have, or their a tenant, I would love to have, if you could put in a good word if you still talk to them, I'd be so appreciative. Doing that piece of the research. And if this, if you're doing salary compensation, Payscale. So I love Payscale, they're a great website. What you do is you go on here and you select your experience your job title and it will give you compensation reports. I think that knowing industry averages is another piece of the research, right? What are your competitors charging? Who do you think they might be looking at also? So I love Payscale, it's also just you can do this if you're a freelancer, I like to check in with this every once in a while, I'm also very excited 'cause I'm actually speaking at the Payscale conference in Austin in October so I love Payscale, they have really really good research. So let's go back to our example, right? So back to the wedding photographer. What would the wedding photographer research before, they've gotten an email from a client saying, and by the way, this the reason I chose a wedding photographer. It's a very typical scenario for consulting. Someone emails you a little bit of information, maybe the date, maybe a wedding website if you're lucky and then you have a free consult or a setup meeting and you know that you're in the running against two or three other people. That's a very typical thing for a consultant, same with a job, right? You're going in, doing a little bit of research, you know there's a couple of other candidates. Some things that they might want to research that's out of the box beyond just what was in the email. Most people just look at the email. There is so much more research out there. For example, maybe they found an early draft of a wedding website and found that they have a Great Gatsby theme. It would be great to pull your other Great Gatsby themed weddings. Look I've done all these weddings before, look how amazing the photos are. Also she found her Pinterest board that she shares with all of her bridesmaids and saw that she loves black and white. You would be much better inclined to bring a couple of beautiful black and white photos with you to show as an example as opposed to big full-blown color photos. She saw on Instagram that she has a very large wedding party, right? 10 plus bridesmaids. You can say I noticed you have a large wedding party, I actually love to make sure that I coordinate everyone right and I have some really cool setups and frames for large wedding parties. Here are a couple of examples that I pulled for you. So she can actually see that it's not like this silly kind of typical wedding photo, that you've actually done some really unique, creative things. Instagram, she just got a dog. You can say, I saw you just got a dog, great rapport, would you like to have the dog in the wedding? I have some really great pictures at engagement shoots with dogs, would you like to bring your dog to the engagement shoot? All of these it's like oh, right? All of these things are great assets that again, they haven't even thought of that incentive. You can say oh, I took this great picture with a little ring on the dog's snout, and we can do one with the ring on the dog's paw, dog lovers are gonna be like yes! I will pay double, that's how that goes. You also have noticed from Instagram that she has a very large family but her mom is very involved, you notice her mom is CC'd on a couple of the emails. And there are other vendors she's already chosen, you've already shot at this particular wedding destination five or six times. You know where the outlets are, you know where the plugs are. You know where the best parking is. You know there's usually traffic on Sundays at 12. Those are all offers, those are all qualified assets that should have a number attached to them to help increase your rates.