Bonus Lesson - Dealing with Deadlock
Let's talk about dealing with deadlock. What is deadlock? Deadlock is a negotiation or situation in which no progress is being made. It's when you're at that point either through email or on the phone or in person where you both are where you're at and you just cannot budge, you can't give things up. It's hard to get out of deadlock, but I do have a couple of strategies that you can try and this is kind of something you can keep in your back pocket if it's happening. A couple back pocket questions literally. These questions can often find a little bit of movement wherever it is. One, anything you can do to sweeten this deal? It's a real casual way of saying what offer do you have left in you? You're buying a car and he's like, sorry can't go through, can't include that, can't do anything like that, can't do that payment plan. And you're like well I can't go above this price. Any little thing to sweeten this deal? Basically you're asking them do you have any movements at all left? This ...
is kind of (mumbles) question. I like this one. Is there a special Vanessa discount? First of all it always gets a laugh. Or I'll say is there a science people special you have going on for my company? So sometimes personalizing like that can bring a little bit of levity in a situation where someone's like (growling) I'm done. Like it can kind of be like look like we're friends. Like it's a Vanessa deal, like what do you got for me? If they ask for something impossible. So occasionally that will happen when they're asking for something that like is just not doable, like you cannot do it, it's not possible. What you can say is you can turn it back on them and have them solve it for you. So you can say, how do I do that? We don't have like let's say they ask for... This actually happened. They wanted me to do a conference and they said could I bring also three other speakers who could speak at breakout sessions at the same time. I was like it's two weeks away, no. I could maybe get one, but like I can't get you three other people. He's like well we have no one else for the breakout session so we can't bring you in if you're not doing the breakout sessions too. Your price has to include the breakout sessions. And I'm like well even if I could get three other people how would I pay them? So I started to ask the how, like how would I do it? And finally I was like look, I wanna make this work for you. I really wanna come speak for you. I have one other speaker, but I can't make it work. How do you think I should make it work, I don't have the people. So then he said, well if you don't have the people, do you have a workbook? Do I have a workbook. (audience laughing) Boy oh boy do I have a workbook. So he said, you know maybe if we had a workbook we could have a creative writing group session in the other room going on while you and your partner are doing the keynote and workshop so we kind of have a rotation. I said I can create workbook activities for you as long as you provide a facilitator, I can provide the workbook. I would not have come up with that on my own, but they did. So how and make them solve it for you. What will it take for us to be a success here or what will it take for this to be successful? That's also like we're at the end. We're at the end. We're at the end of the rope, what else you got for me? It kind of helps them find any movement. Here's a couple other strategies for dealing with deadlock, real easy ones. Consider bringing in a third party. Bring in that neutral person and arbitrator panel, bring in more research. Who else can you bring in to help? You can ask the question, what would you do if you were me? Sometimes, yes, that can logistically help, but it's a really good emotional thing to do because you're basically saying you're asking me to undercharge or you're asking me to do something that's really out of my comfort zone or hard. Have some compassion. What that question is, have some compassion. That's what you're asking. And it's interesting also to know their answer. Sometimes you hear an answer that you're like, I do not want to work with this person and they clearly do not understand my frame of mind or no I really wanna make it work for this person and they answered in a really compassionate way. Have you given up on this? There are times when you're in the room and they're just afraid to say no. They're deadlocking with you because they just don't want to give you a flat out no and it's like save everyone's time. You can say have you given up on this? Are we kind of out of options here? Is that kind of where you're at? I really wanna work. I wanna find something, but do you wanna find something? Sometimes it gives them permission to say yeah I just don't think this is gonna work. It saves you time. That's gonna happen. I also want you to think about trying to separate facts versus assumptions. So sometimes if you're in deadlock there's things that they are assuming are facts that are actually not. So for example, they might have an assumption that their cousin could be a wedding photographer for free so your $5,000 rate versus their free cousin or $1,000 rate is like so different. Their assumption is that free iPhone photos are going to look the same as your photos. That is an assumption not a fact. So what you can say is, you know, I know that a lot of people, you can ask, so what's the alternative? Have you found other photographers in the $1,000 budget? I've never heard a really good wedding photographer in the $1,000 budget. And they can say well my cousin just bought a new camera and she said for $1,000 she can print out a bunch of photos for me. That can help you identify whether or not they would ever spend it or you can at least talk about the difference between iPhone photos and your photos. You could pull that up and show them, look here's the difference. Here's what we got. Instagram photos can only do so much. Your package includes unlimited email help, right? So there's other sometimes like lurking assumptions that maybe are not included in the price so it's really good to hop back on that yes ladder. So just so we're clear this pricing includes a couple of emails ahead of time, the actual project, here are the deliverables. Just to be clear of the deliverables, they are here, here, and here due at this time, to start going back to checking facts 'cause that can often help loosen up some assumptions that are underlying. I can customize the presentation after you draft it. This is one that came up for me where we have set presentations. We give very set 90-minute, three hour day long bilanguage presentations and we don't really draft, we don't really give them options to customize it. I do not send the keynote ahead of time. That was an assumption in some pricing and so I said to them, that's a big ask. We don't actually send presentations ahead of time, but I'll tell you what, if you wanna have the option to edit it with me, I'm happy to write up an outline for you. You can customize the outline with me and then I can move around some slides for you and that will be X number of dollars. You could do that. People's positions always make sense to them. So if you were in deadlock and you are like what is going through their head? Something about their assumptions or their facts is lining up in their head. They're not crazy. They don't think they're crazy, so your job is to figure out what could they possibly be thinking that makes them feel right about this? That can also help give you a different angle for deadlock. Other ideas. As I mentioned before with deescalation and walking away. Take a break, get space, reevaluate, let me think about it and email you my final offer. You can take that space. Loss aversion. So I mentioned this briefly. You can say, what happens here if we don't make a deal? Do you have other people lined up? Do you have a backup choice? We're kind of close to your wedding date. What are you planning on? Like you can create a little bit of what's the if if we both walk away today? Sometimes they don't think about that and then they say no and they're like oh my god I'm left without a wedding photographer or a corporate speaker or a client or if you're working with a client and you're trying to change behavior and you say, what will happen if we don't work together? Are you happy with the way things are right now? No. And then they can say, well things will just kind of carry on as they are. Loss aversion could be your best sales agent. Separate facts from assumptions as we talked about and try to uncover those hidden agendas. You can also ask the question what about this is important to you especially if you're getting into emotional things. If you're in this deadlock and they're like I will not give up this item. You say what about this is important for you? Help me understand what is happening behind, because clearly it matters to you and I wanna know why. That could also help uncover some of those emotions. Some more arsenal questions. All of these are in your workbook for you. So does this feel fair to you? Is there another deal here we haven't thought of, asking them to get back into creative thinking. What are we trying to accomplish? What about this isn't working for you? What's the core issue? Again, what will not doing this deal cost you? I don't ever ask it that way. You can say what happens if you don't work with me? Are you happy with that?