Bonus Q&A with Vanessa
So we are doing Q and A. So, I have some great questions from our live audience. We have some questions from you at home. So we're gonna do all of my favorites with some new ones from you guys as well. We're gonna start with a couple of warm-up questions. First, from our at-home audience.
Alright, first question here, I work with a lot of non-profits and religious organizations who are notoriously slow to adopt technology and new ideas. I'm working hard to convert people to more effective ways of operating in the world, with varying degrees of success. How do I convince a non-profit board of directors that social media and IT are not the devil and that they will only make their business better?
Okay, I love this question. So, there's two things you want to think about here and both are related to proof. So there's two different kinds of proof. There is future proof and there's past proof. So with this kind of question, the first thing you want to do is provide proof that it's alrea...
dy worked for someone else. Especially if people in your non-profit world are low open, right? Especially if they're like I don't like these new ideas. This new fancy communication technology, right? So, what you want to do is show look, it's already worked for these specific non-profits. Try to pick non-profits that are as close to yours as possible. With projects and campaigns that are as close to the ones that you would do, as possible. Show A, how easy it was to setup. So, this is maybe two or three hours of work to just set this up. All the money it raised, all the likes or re-tweets. So as much of the actually it worked, with little effort, and all the proof that it worked for these people in the past. That's the first thing. The second kind of proof that you want to provide is past proof. In other words, past proof for your non-profit. So what you could say is, hey, you know that power of the purse fundraiser that we did last fall? So, here's how much we raised. Here's how many people we got to do. We spent $300 on flyers and printouts. We had to contact the following newspapers, to take out ads for them. With social media, we could do this for free. It would be free to create an event. It would be free to post on all of our friends' social media. It would be free to post on Instagram. We could also post each of the purses that are gonna go up for auction on our social media page, on our Instagram, which would be free. And I think that all of this would take me five hours. My guess is that if we had done this for last year's event, we could have doubled the amount of attendees and or doubled the amount of funds that were raised. Those are two different kinds of proof. One is this already worked for someone else. And two is, this could have made our efforts easier, had we just done it. That way you get people to kind of go over the hump with trying something new. Now.
Alright, well we got another online question here. How do you answer when you're selling something, and the person just asks what's your lowest price on this? As if the price that was previously listed means nothing to them?
Okay, so I don't play this game. So, this does happen. Especially, when your doing Craigslist negotiations. I do not play the lowest price game. So what I do is I flip it back on them and I say, here's exactly what went into this price, why do you think it's not worth that? So, I don't play that game. (laughs) So, I will never say what's the lowest you can go? Lowest I can go is the price that I quoted you, unless you have specific reasons why that shouldn't be the case. Make them prove to you why it's not worth that. Yeah. (laughs) So, a quick answer.
Alright, well, how do you respond to past clients, who have previously spent a lot of money with you, and then when they come back, they insinuate that they should get something extra because they've put in their dues, so to speak.
So this is actually another re-frame. So, this happens all the time, right? Especially with repeat clients. This happens with me with corporations who have bought from me before and say you already know our company, you've already been here before, so what deal can you cut us? So I reframe it as, well, first you got my last year rates. Or you got my last quarter rates, my rates have gone up. You're lucky you got my rates so early, right? So, already re-frame it as you were lucky to get my rates back then. Second, all the things that have changed, in those few months or that year. So, I've upgraded my gear, I've actually learned more about you, so now, you actually get a better service from me, now that I already know you. You don't have to do any of the initial consult calls or any of the initial setup calls because now I'm able to skip all those steps and provide you even better service. So you actually flip it back on them and say, we're not talking about going down in price. I'm actually wanna talk about why I think it's actually probably worth more now. Or my other clients, who booked me this month, are paying more than you paid last time. Right, so it's a re-frame. To shifts, you're not having the how much of a discount question. So, when someone says to you, hey I already paid in my dues I want it to be less. And you go on that discussion of how much are you gonna discount? That's a very different conversation than actually, I think it should be more and here's why. But it really changes that conversation and that power dynamic.
Okay, here's a question about composure: how do you maintain your composure when it's a lead for a job that you really want or it's a potential client that you know would make a huge difference in your business? You don't want to seem overly eager and push them away. You don't want to seem so enthusiastic that they try to take advantage of you to do it for less than your worth.
Yes. The amount of research and the quality of your props and aids should be equivalent to the size of the VIP. So your energy going into a room, should be the same whether or not they're a big VIP or not. Because I know, better than anyone, that when you're around someone who's really important, a big fish and you're like oh my god, I'm so nervous. That's only gonna hurt you, right? So, your energy level should not be different whether that's a small account or a big account. What is different is something that you can control. Which is how much deep dive research do you do, do you really reach out to mutual contacts? Do you call other people who've worked at the company before? Do you call their toll free hotline? Do you set up a sample account? What is the cost of the aids you're gonna bring? Okay, maybe you're gonna buy their cup of coffee, that's a small one. Maybe you wanna go order their hair at books. Maybe you wanna get a special gift for them. That, I think, is where your energy goes in. So the portion should be the pre-research and the aids. As opposed to the amount of energy you put into the meeting. 'Cause that's only gonna make you more nervous going into it.
Alright, so this one says, I struggle to have business discussions with people who refuse to stay on topic, whose thoughts go 100 miles an hour, who jump from one subject to another, and getting a full thought out of them, or getting a straight and coherent answer is nearly impossible. I find that I'm going to end up in a misunderstanding with one particular kind of person, how do you advise somebody to move forward with somebody like that?
Yeah, so one thing we didn't talk about today was agendas. So that is a tool in your arsenal that you are welcome to use. So, we talked about this for you, but we didn't talk about this for your client. So, if you suspect, or if you've been in a previous negotiation where you're like over here and you're over here and they're trying to get free advice because they also wanna talk about this, you actually might want to turn this into an agenda for them, right? So, if you know you're gonna start off, we were talking about with your client, starting off with how do you want to feel? How do you feel? Maybe you can say, agenda item number one. Future goals diagnosis. Agenda item number two, current health diagnosis. Number three, priorities and values. So, in a way, you can then point to A, they know they're on an agenda. They know that there's some organization, there's some method to the madness. And B, it's a way for you to say, oh, gosh, we've spent so much time in set number two, we've gotta move on to set number three to make sure we cover everything. Right, so you can kind of blame it on the agenda, that you made, but you have to move on to set number three. (laughing) The other thing, if it's really bad, you can do. Is you can actually create different assets for each thing. So, for example, let's say that this is part one, this is our e-book, this is step one and this is step two. And then the book is step three. Okay, I'm just making it up. If they're really off topic, you can say, let's go over number one, so the first thing I brought for you is a health report that I'd like you to go over. Right, go through it. Wonderful, so you can now put that aside, you can save that for later. So let's go into step number two. (mumbles) number two. That way you're like physically moving them from one thing to the next, and if they're talking and talking and talking you can literally pull this across the desk 'cause then they see, oh, we're on to the next thing. I better wrap up whatever I'm saying. So, physical props can be really good as a backup for that. Like, if you were gonna print out your algorithm. That could be a sheet a paper that you could use to move someone on to the next thing you want to talk about. Now, those are all of our online questions?
We've got a couple more, we can keep going, for a while.
Well, I want to give my live audience a chance.
Yeah, how are you guys feeling? Anybody have a question you wanna bring, go ahead.
So, regarding the here's what went into this price, what makes you think it's not worth it, or I'm not sure if that's exactly how you phrased it. So, I used to be a freelance artist, fine artist. And I did a lot of work on commission and I had that pushback. Signed contract, talked to some friends and we can get this work, we can get an equivalent work from somebody who charges less and our friends think that you're charging too much. And I basically responded that way, but I felt like it was getting into defensive mode. And that felt so awful. So can you talk about how to anchor your value without getting defensive?
Sure, so, also remember that non-verbally, voice tone here is gonna make all the difference. And I totally know what you're saying. Because you could say that in a very defensive tone or not. So, it's the difference between defensive and curious. So a defensive way of saying that would be: well, why do you not think it's worth it? Do you not think it's worth that price? That's defensive. Whereas curious is: oh, wow, so tell me why do you think it's not worth that price? Tell me what's the hesitation for you? It's a very different way of asking that question. So, it forces vocal tone, making sure that you're practicing, kind of throwing it back to them, as I really do want to know what's going into it. The other thing you might wanna do is go into that list that you made of all the different numerical values for your work. So you can say, I'm not sure about your friends. I'm not sure about the competitors that you're talking about. I don't know their work, but I do know what goes in to this work. And when I look at, for this fine art piece, and I know that you don't have to do that now, but for this fine art piece, the materials alone, probably 500. Renting out my studio, it's been at least 16 hours of work. You can kind of add a little bit more numerical, you don't have to give them exact things per hour. You can breakdown for me, to produce this high quality work a lot of things are happening behind the scenes. And you can kind of dismiss the competitors by saying I think every artist works a little bit differently, I don't know how they work. I do the same thing with competitive speakers. So when they say, you know, I know a body language speaker who can speak for this amount of money and it's a whole day. And I say, you know, I don't know, I don't know that speaker, I'm not familiar with their work, but I can tell you that we have a database of over 3500 body language studies. It's taken over eight years to compile that database. That is what I use to build your deck. Is I've custom pull studies from that database and then we spend at least two weeks customizing the slides for you and building a curriculum. I don't think other speakers do that. I haven't heard any other speakers who have a custom database, but if you've found that, and that works for you, maybe that's a better fit for you. That way of saying it.
Yeah, I think it was your example, is very easily quantifiable and from, my example, in the situation that I was just sharing, it was a little harder for me to quantify, because it's like, if they like my work, ultimately, what I came down to is if you like my work and you want to pay my prices, great, if you don't want to pay my prices, there are plenty of other artists that you can go to. And that was sort of the answer that I'd came to after that very painful experience. (laughs) But I think, if you have a quantifiable answer, that you can give without getting defensive, then great.
And remember that, that's a negotiation tactic in itself. So, saying, I have a lot of people who love the work, and they kind of see it and it speaks to them. And they know it's perfect for their space. If that's not you, and that number feels really scary to you, we're probably not a good fit. That is a negotiation tactic in itself. It's basically saying, are you willing to pay for the art on your walls? And then you can bring in some quantifiable things by saying, every time you look at this piece of artwork, how many times do you walk into your living room? You know, 20 times a day? You'll look at this piece 20 times a day and every time you see it, you'll be able to get joy from it. If that joy, is not worth this price to you? This is not the right fit for you. But, I want it so that every time you walk into your living room, 20 times a day, 20 times seven, 140 times a week, right, we could do math. We could do some math there, if you want. So, you can also quantify in that way. And throwing down a gauntlet of like, if that's not valuable to you, that's not valuable to you. The same thing like with my happiness course, for example. It's kind of hard to measure happiness. And, so, when I created the happiness course, I was like, how do we price it? How do you justify happiness? You can't really put a price on it. I was able to say I want you to 10 x your value in this course. With happiness, you can't really do that. So what I said is if the time and the cost of this course, I think it's $100 course, if that's not worth it for your short term or long term happiness, this course is not for you. (laughter) If it's not worth $100, of your time, it's not for you. So for that one, that was a tactic I used, and that's a good tactic. Yes.
You mentioned going for a win-win kind of result, so you'd help build relationships, what if you're not going to build a relationship? If you're going to a garage sale or buying something on Craigslist does that get tossed out the window then?
I think it can, right? If you're going to a garage sale and this is maybe the only time you're ever going to see this person and you really want that china set, sure you can throw it out the window. However, you also have to put value on the learning you could do trying to exercise your negotiation muscle to get a win-win. Yeah, you could throw down the gauntlet and be like I'm only paying $10 for that china set, no more. You could totally do that and walk away and that would be it. However, you could say this is a low-pressure opportunity for me to try to find some kind of a win-win, to see what do they want to sell? What is a garage sale person goal? Getting rid of their stuff. (laughter) That's their goal. Money is maybe secondary. But really they wanna get rid of all the stuff in their yard, they don't wanna repack it up and put it in their car or put it back in their house. So maybe is there a way to say, I really only wanna pay $10 and they want 12, maybe you're willing to pay a little bit more and also get that really big bulky item over there. Or maybe you don't need them to wrap it up in newspaper, you're happy to just carry it home with you. There's all those little things. That challenge, there's a little bit of value there. You don't have to do that, you're absolutely right, you don't have to have a win-win, if you don't want one. Also, I tend to feel bad when I do that, a little bit. I travel a lot, my husband and I travel a lot, my husband and I always get in this fight. We were in these little markets, these craft markets, and you're negotiating over the equivalent of 10 cents. (laughing) And my husband and I get in a huge fight about this. My husband will argue the last dime. Right, he'll argue down to it. And I'm like, I feel bad taking that 10 cents from them. That is not a feeling that I like. I would much rather get this beautiful handicraft that I love and give them close to their full price, or the price that I wanted to pay, that I actually think it's worth. But that's totally a personal preference of my feeling. My husband feels very vindicated and validated when he is able to get the lowest possible price. I'm sent away during those negotiations. (laughter) Yeah, Erica.
So, I have a history of negotiating against myself.
Or lowering it too soon. (laughs) So, if I set the price and the response was oh, that was more than I was thinking, in the past, I would've, done something not that I want to do now.
Okay, okay, okay good, okay, so--
So, then is the answer, is that curiosity? Is it why do you say that or what I--
So, I actually think, that if they come at with that was more than I was willing to spend, doesn't mean they won't spend it. It does not mean that they won't spend it. I never come back with even an alternative, if they say that, I don't lower my price if they say that. I usually just wait. Let them negotiate with you. Let them offer a counter. A lot of the times they'll say, wow that's more than I was willing to spend, hmm, hmm, you know, that kind of thing. (audience laughter) And they're waiting for you to-- and you don't say anything. Oh, okay, you know. And then they'll either come back to you and say can you cover your own travel? Or could offer a lower package? Or is that really the lowest you can do? Or, I can't spend that. Let them offer the next thing. I wouldn't even go into curiosity, I would just let them offer the next number. You cannot play catch with yourself. If they have the ball, you can't just be like, there's no ball, they have it. So, they have the ball, they have to throw it back to you. You gotta let them play catch with you, a little bit.
Yeah, that's helpful.
And I'm gonna challenge you, and this is really hard, but if you know that about yourself, I think you should make a rule for yourself that you will not do it. You know how sometimes you have to say to yourself, I will not do it. So next time that happens, I want you to actually put your fingers in front of your mouth. (laughter) 'Cause we don't, when we do that, we'll stop our speaking. So, if you hear that, I want you to actually just cover your mouth, for a second, and just wait. They might say no, it might be awful. I don't want you to feel the feeling in your body when that actually happens. But I want you to actually put your finger in front of your face, so that you don't say anything.
Okay, and yes, I will do that. I'm committed to it, and I love it. I feel good standing in my worth and doing that. 'Cause especially having the assets and all of that. I feel really good about that. If they don't commit, if they're sort of wishy-washy at the end of the phone call, what is your protocol for following up in that kind of thing? So, this would be like I've talked to them for a half-hour, they're like, oh, well, let me think about it a little bit more.
So there's two ways you can do it. One is aggressive and one is less aggressive. I would highly encourage you to try both before you make the decision. Because most people don't do the aggressive one, because it sounds too scary, but all I say is you're welcome not to, but you have to try it at least once. So the aggressive way, I'll say assertive, it's not aggressive. Is to say, my starting offer is x amount for this package and if we can do it on the phone, right now, it will stay there, if you want to wait and take some time to think about it, I have a different package that starts tomorrow. So, you're welcome to let me know if you'd like to do that today or not. You've just given a free hour of your time. Just to like, just to give some perspective here. You've just given 30 minutes of your time, for nothing. That's a risk in an investment for you. You've answered questions, you've done some things, you maybe sent them a couple worksheets. It is very reasonable, we did the exact same thing today. Right, we were live and we said, while you're watching it live, you lock in this price, the moment it's not live, the price goes away. So we are used to this kind of pricing. So it's very reasonable to say if you don't want to book on this call, you need a little extra time, that's fine but the price will be x. It's not gonna be much more, package should only be a little bit more. It just shows I like decisive people. And you could actually say I really want this to be a no duh fit for you, I want this to be really obvious for you. So if you can make the decision before the end of the day, before the end of the call, great. I want to work with you. If it takes a little bit of time, then that's okay too, but I also am going to be filling up my calendar in the next few days and weeks and I wanna make sure I have time for you. So, that's the first way. Scary, I know, right?
Yeah, no, but then, my optometrist does that. (laughs)
A lot of people do this, it's smart business. We do it everyday on CreativeLive and people accept it. Right, they know. Right, this is the live offer. So the other offer is you know that you have a really good sales funnel after your call. So you know and you can say, I have a couple researchers I'm gonna send you, I'm gonna send you the algorithm sheet. I'm gonna send you this plan, I'm gonna send you all these things and you know that sales funnel is really good and you work on perfecting it to make sure that if anything is missing, you're making that follow-up really, really strong. It's a little harder, I like the first one a little better, but I think both work.
Okay, and I have one more question, do you have time?
So, I have basically one on one packages that are thousands of dollars and then I'm creating just a 30-day digital $97 product.
When I'm on the phone with someone, do I bring up that $97 product?
Interesting, I would say no, this is my personal opinion. I would say no because it's an easy out for them. When you're talking about behavior change and I teach behavior change, easy outs are almost always taken. (laughter) And really, truly you want bigger behavior change. You don't want the easy out. So I would actually say that's your no response. So, that's only for people who are like no, I can't do this. Not even I can do this later. This is like, no, it's not gonna work for me, it's too expensive. Then you offer that product.
Okay, great, thank you.
I've got one last good online question, if we wanna end on this one. And this one kind of comes from the after the negotiation part. But, the question is how do you tactfully backtrack or amend a deal that is already in the works, due either to new information, something that you overlooked at first, or maybe there's just some other change in the circumstances. Both, when the initial negotiation was verbal and now it's time to put it on paper but also, after the contract has been signed, and you've realized that maybe there's a change that's needed.
This happens a lot in consulting work. Right, when you're doing projects or the scope change or the scope is different. So, one is I really believe in prevention. So, having an option in your contract that says this is the scope of the work, if the scope of work changes the contract can be amended or negotiated or an hourly rate will be applied. So, in my contracts, sometimes when I'm doing longer deals with people, I'll give them a flat-rate for the project, for my workshop for the hourly, but I say if anything is beyond the scope, this is my hourly rate. So it's a real easy addition to my contract. So that's the first thing, preventatively. The second thing, preventatively, is that's why sending confirmation by email after your verbal call is so important. After your face-to-face meeting, after your call, write down everything, not just what you agreed upon, but the details of the scope of the work, their timeline, what they're expecting. All those things and asking them to verbally confirm back, yes this is exactly what I said. Protects you. Right, it protects you, it's an easy way to circle back if something changes and then highlight their email and say you know, we had talked about this, but it seems like this has changed. This is how the scope has changed, let's hop on a call and discuss it. Or here is how I wanna amend something. So I think that those prevention things are really important. If you have to renegotiate something, or something is a little bit different, I would say the earlier, the better. The problem is when something changes and you let it sit there, it sits and kind of breeds resentment and you produce less quality work. They get angry. You're kind of passive-aggressive. You don't mean to be, but you are. They pick up on it. So, if anything is a question, I would bring it up earlier as a discussion, rather than I wanna change this, you owe me more money. Five weeks later. Did you have a?
So kind of tying into that. I had a specific situation last year. So, I guess, the general question would be whenever the deal is done, you've done the work, it's all over and said and done with, and they have forgotten what they signed up for? And I had a very specific situation where the client came back and they were like oh, but we thought we got this. And, yes, it would be very easy to go well, just look at your contract. But that's kind of, it comes across a little bit, And, anyway, I ended up with this very lengthy back and forth with this client where I was having to basically remind them here's what you signed. I try to be very good about like, okay, this is what you booked and even during the session I'll say okay, I'll follow up with you in two weeks. You know, I'll send you your x, y, z that was included in your package. And then, later down the road, it was like they'd never even knew what they even signed. And I was like, so anyway, I don't know if that's necessarily a negotiation question but, basically I ended up in a separate negotiation with them on how to resolve their lack of--
So, first of all, good job on not taking it personally. So, truly, people forget. (laughs) Especially when you're talking about wedding planning. They're looking at a billion contracts. They're like, yeah, yeah, sure. They confuse you with someone else they were talking to. So, it is not personal. I think, most of the time you have to assume the best in people. They forget, like they truly just forget. They didn't mean to add to the scope. They didn't mean to take advantage of you. They literally thought it was included. So one way you can kind of prevent this is you can label them as their package. So make their package more apparent. So, for example, on your website you could list gold package, silver package, whatever. Pro package, premium package. And then in your email subjects, you can say premium package phase II. Premium package email three. So, it's a trigger reminder of, oh right, pre-package two. So, you can say, instead of just, it was included with your package. You can say as included with package two, we're on bullet point five, I don't know if you're following along, but don't worry, I'm keeping track of everything. So you make it almost like I'm keeping track of all of it for you but here's a little reminder just before you get anything. And I would actually attach it to emails. I would just keep reattaching your one sheet to emails, just so they're real clear on what it is, which package their a part of. 'Cause if you're worried that that's gonna happen. Little reminders. Alright, so I know that we've reached the end of the class. If you have more questions, you're welcome to always Tweet me. The last thing I just wanna say, and the last question I have for you guys, is first every single negotiation makes you a better player. Just like every game, just like every practice. Every time you do it, you are honing your skills. So, from here on out, you have learned negotiation framework. That's it. Every time you practice it, every time you fill out that assets column or that pain column, you are exercising that muscle to think that way more spontaneously. So, hopefully, eventually, you may not even need this sheet to take with you. So, my final question for you guys, is what was your biggest aha moment in this course? You have, kind of, this big moment of something you're gonna change, something you're gonna do. I love hearing about behavior change. So, any good behavior changes that you can think of off the top of your head. Yes. (laughs)
This is sort of obvious, but my biggest one is to have a growth mindset around negotiation and not a fixed and not just like oh, it's always gonna be hard. And just knowing that with each one, I'm gonna get a little bit better. I'm gonna hone my skills a little bit more. I'm actually really looking forward to it.
Yes, are you looking forward to your next negotiation call?
I am, I am.
Okay, that's good. Like a ball game, right? We get a little bit nervous, 'cause it's a ball game, you wanna do your best, but you get to try these new skills. These new tactics, these new questions. And who knows what you'll learn.
Right, and I'm actually just really excited. And just one more way that I can serve someone. And be in my worth and I get something and they get something. So, thank you so much.
It reminds me of a quote in a movie, that he just kind of, it says, we are always negotiating. Either they close you, or you close them.
That's right, or you both win. (laughter) I think you are always negotiating. I think as these next few weeks happen, there will be a little times where like, oh, wow, that person's accessing my pain point. Or, wow, I could probably get on the yes ladder right now. You'll see it will creep in ways that you never, ever expected. One more, one more aha moment? ♫ Big behavior change. Any more going, yes.
Just the framework. That whole sheet, it changed everything. Just the whole concept of the pre-work, before going into a negotiation. That's just a mind-blown.
Yes and that's the part you can control. A third of the work is done before you even walk in. And that's the part that you can do on your own time at your own pace, when you want to. So I wanna thank you guys so much for being live with me. Thanks for everyone watching at home. If you have any questions, I am here for you. And I think that that's a wrap. Alright, thanks guys. (applause)