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Worth It: Negotiation for Creatives

Lesson 7 of 29

The White Board Process

Ted Leonhardt

Worth It: Negotiation for Creatives

Ted Leonhardt

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Lesson Info

7. The White Board Process


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 The Dilemma Duration:42:18
2 The Resolution Duration:35:44
7 The White Board Process Duration:31:16
8 The Dyslexic Advantage Duration:12:38
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Core Principle: Inquiry Duration:31:49
4 Turnstyle Team Example Duration:30:02
6 Time with Karen Moskowitz Duration:43:53
7 Core Principle: Time Duration:34:03
8 Core Principles: Behavior Duration:26:20
9 Interview with Keith Brofsky Duration:30:34
10 Q and A with Keith Brofsky Duration:15:41
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Core Principle: Context Duration:21:07
2 Interview with Devin Liddell Duration:28:06
3 Context Exercise Duration:33:45
4 Core Principle: Planning Duration:31:54
5 Pounding the Table Duration:39:24
6 Core Principle: Bullying Duration:28:55
8 Core Principle: Conclusion Duration:49:22
9 Core Principles: Recap Duration:17:26

Lesson Info

The White Board Process

Architects connect us emotionally with their buildings and spacers actors and musicians with their performers, designers and artists with the visuals they create and photographers of course do so well and because we are closer to our feelings when we do our work, those same feelings can overwhelm us when we're in difficult situations and that is the problem we're always fighting and that's why we have to tap into our creative power um uh and use it as a strength so when we're at the bargaining table the uh the energy we have the smartness, the brains, the need naivete are disciplined approach our passion, our sensitivity all play a role as powers in in giving us skills to help us negotiate. We have the physical energy to stay with the situation where were smart and we, but we also see things through a different lens than our clients do, and that gives us an advantage both with them. We have a lot of the ability for discipline, and I see it every day in my own work, and they're the work...

of other creatives and the very passion that we feel about her work is infectious it's infectious and it grabs the other person and gets them to teo take the risk that we suggest going forward in with our particular point of view and of course the sensitivity that we bring to the situation is really? What gives us the insight so we know what to do so I say thanks again teo to me high for that now we're going to run a video and I want you to take careful notes here because this is a negotiation technique that any creative can use that builds that relationship with the client and of course we know that that is the most important thing that we can do is we must make that connection if we're really going teo too have a chance to display the way our insights will help them and display our passion, if you will and this particular video I've titled it the white board video lesson in this video cindy uh uses her creative strengths teo uh to basically develop a relationship with, uh with her client and uh and uh and win the assignment so there's no secret here she's gonna win the assignment through this technique, but I'd like you to think about this and perhaps chat a little bit together and come up with a list uh each one of you can come up with a list or you conform little teams of two and come up with list of the methods that she uses too to make her connection with her clients know how this works, so I want you to kind of go through the mental process of of how does she make this this connection with her audience and and how does it work so we'll run that video now and I'll step out of the way so you can see it hey, look at this these are exactly the right folks for us on this project I'll send them the r f p cool we told you got a shot at this thing fantastic. Hello charles hi, cindy. How are you? Good. How are you? Good things. Thank you for sending the r p over my pleasure. What do you think? What? We reviewed it and we find it a bit too limiting um and we could help you out better if we can perhaps be a little more flexible on some of the thoughts why? What do you have in mind? Well, we could just be more prepared and sure of giving you what you want if we just could do a little bit more planning. So what would that entail? Well, I'd love to spend three hours scoping it out on a white board with you uh would mean fifteen hundred dollars of my time but I could deliver three things for you. I could deliver you uh base of insights for moving forward so that the project is very well clarified I can also deliver a strong sense of where this project will take you and thirdly you'll be able to have a much clearer idea of what results you'll get with the project that sounds interesting I think I think we can do that excellent okay so we're in a bit of a hurry are you available tomorrow or the day after uh tomorrow no but the day after I could be that work yes in the afternoon great great yeah perfect all right well I'll be by the office then thanks thank you charge so here's the process as we went through it all and of course we've got the final results I know there's a lot here but what do you think I think this is just great city thinks this this makes things really clear it's very detailed I know what I'm going to get thanks very much so here's what you did I think this is just terrific very detail I liked her I think we should hire her great sounds great to me let's do it okay hello charles hi cindy hi good news you win that whiteboard work was great excellent thank you so much for calling me letting me know let's get together soon okay wonderful thanks charles but but by no okay so so you're thought and uh and then the final question here note how could you use this method that's the other thing I want you to think about so why don't you guys talk a little bit and ross you and I can deal with some of the questions that air that air coming in and uh and once you guys kind of compare notes a little bit and come up with a list and specifically I'd like you to like you to think about how you might be able to use this method, okay? Absolutely so one of the questions that we've got and so folks, what we want you to do out there is do these same things in the chat room, jump in there and share your thoughts of what happened, how you could use this method with your own work, whatever it is you do, whether you're a photographer, designer, architect, whatever it is we'd love to hear how you would use these techniques for your own work right now, though let's talk a little bit just kind of a little bit higher level elle woods was wondering, are these things true of any negotiation, not just creative ones saying that emotion is in everything? Yes, it is, it is it is in every negotiation it's just that because created creative people tend to be mohr in touch with their with their emotions, they're more sensitive to the issues that they're more vulnerable to it so you know, so the things they're true but but the difference is in the way the personality type of a creative takes it and versus the general population, I guess fantastic let's see so folks so we were talking about the video in which we saw the white board being used so is that one of the well I guess I don't want to take away from these guys uh started answering the question I realized that was bad of me how do you feel? You guys coming up with some answers definitely feeling pretty pretty stoked and excited like I feel like I can you use a lot of this and my future work but it's like I'm seeing a lot of things that she's doing that we talked about earlier that was like okay, wow, this is starting to click and make a lot of sense here so how about the other other group you guys got some answers were chatting way dio I think but your insight was really interesting. Good. Oh, yeah um so she already knew what she wanted and what she would bring to the table so she had the exact amount of how much it would cost how much time it would like take exactly to talk about it even like to the date by like, oh, can we meet tomorrow in the afternoon like that doesn't work for you we could meet the next day like she so it's just a question oh no this is just one of you okay? So it's an observation she knew so go back for it she she knew yeah, she was sharing he knew what she wanted from him yes and so she that's what exactly like for him like oh, I'm not really sure like what you're saying I don't understand we need three hours every time it's gonna cost fifteen hundred dollars we need to meet on this day we need to get the project started seeing so like any questions that he would have I already asked she really took care of right yeah yeah yeah good okay excellent you want did you want to follow up on that? Oh just really minor minor observation to follow but it was that she she seemed to be the one in control even though he was the client she was kind of on dh why was that? Why was she the one that control she chose to be? And she she just made it happen and she said this is what I can offer you this is what you're getting this is when we can meet this is what I'm available are you available and she just kind of she chose to be that's a very, very important with mitt so she established her expertise through her behavior didn't wanna do when you know there are many layers between you and r p and this decision maker usually that the phone number are on on a request for proposal goes to just a general person who I can't do something like give the green light for three hours, right? But in this case in this case what we have is someone who reached out to cindy and so she's then she's then responding to him so it's it's this particular this particular set up is what is what? So I'm actually really quick just loved to kind of set the stage a little bit for this whole experiment experiment but clip video this clip yeah. So this is the source situation where you've got a big client I mean, if they were willing to spend fifteen hundred dollars for three hours before even committing teo her obviously this is a very big budget clan. A lot of people were questioning that lets a good that's a good point. So what get asked the question about that? Uh, yeah, well, maureen shaughnessy says around here if I proposed to charge fifteen hundred dollars for a three hour whiteboard presentation before I had the job, I would not get a call back. Well, it's a matter of scale, so maybe you would charge five hundred dollars or maybe you would charge two hundred dollars so keep it keep it relative to the project. So I think that's a very, very good point yeah, you had so say this project if she's asking for fifteen hundred say this project is probably twenty thousand dollars men are all like it's more than that you know but but the scales so that the fifteen hundred is not such a big deal so what we're talking about different tactics that were being used by her throughout it teddy two points out it looks like she used a non creative approach of process mapping to visually show them the steps she would take so translating her creative process into a non creative linear process so they understood what they were getting very insightful comment very insightful comments and one of the things that creatives are very good at and especially dyslexic creatives is using they know they have difficulty with process so they slowed down and over compensate and really nail it and so so what she did is took control of process you're exactly right so she used her discipline great let's see got a lot of it morning shaughnessy then later said I like that she told him they would have a clearer picture of the result if he spent the three hours with her so telling the value of spending that time like a lot of people are kind of getting hung up on the idea of spending a lot of money before the job is even there's like I would ever do that yeah well it's people who you've told why and what they're going to get out of it because that she gave him three reasons if you recall three reasons let's go back in the room here yeah, I think the first thing I really noticed with this clip was that like when she got that email is she kind of gave her like herself like a boost of confidence she did, didn't she yeah, she gave herself a little whoop yeah, yeah, it was like yeah, you know, like I could do this turn around and turn that into action where it's like I'm going to give you a call and then turn into in person meaning where it's but like build value through that entire process was all it was all on his behalf was it? Yes, she was truly interested in his best interest and then like like what we said at the end of the last segment was don't use your language it's like used there so they can understand because I think like in the creative field there's always that problem where your client and you might have different understandings of the project and I think what she really did really well was like, okay, we're going to come together and make sure that we're on the same page and we have the same goal at this like hey this's, why we always have different understandings of the project from our client and that's a really, really good thing because it allows us to use our expertise to help the client understand their own project and in the process of defining that with the client which is what cindy did she gained a significant advantage over any possible competitor we didn't hear about any competitors there but you can bet if they reached out to cindy they reached out whoever you know and so she eliminated her competition by um by going through this little process for us a couple of the thoughts that I just love what people are saying and here we've got a lot of great things coming in controversy we'll basilan says I like the idea of charging for my time it makes it so I appears though my time and expertise is worth paying for I'm worth it I am worth it yeah and where we're going and he says even beyond that I suppose if you could get them to do it then they've already invested time and money with you and so are more likely to hire you for the final project exactly exactly yeah so you know you could look at this and think of it as a trick you know you could look at it is this is a trick to get in and gain an advantage but that's a real negative way to look at it you should look at it is this is a helpful way to scope out in a in total mutuality with the client what is in their best interests so we can go ahead together and curio so points out that you then get a taste of what it's going to be like toe work with me and I would say also for what it would be like for you to work with them so you complete qualify and see if you even want teo exactly you see how receptive they are too that exactly back and forth maureen shaughnessy points out that the speaker was smiling while she was talking on the phone yeah that's a small aspect of it that does help to convince people yeah yeah good point. Good point yeah, she was happy and engaged absolutely any more here in the room of it so no one told me how exactly they would use that process in their work. Does anyone have any thoughts about that? Yeah, actually for me it it actually seems pretty straightforward where it's like you know for my work is a lot of its commercial work words I need to meet with the client and really to find out where it's like I can have these bigger jobs where I can ask for for that time their time for them to spend money on my time to come in that they're really define it like I'm pretty much to the same like white boarded out with um make it very simple easy to understand and then build that connection with him long they're so good and asking for a small fee yeah, asking for a small fee puts value on you instantly. We're not remember we're not ever going to give anything away for free ever again, ever, ever, never unless it's to a relative, and we're going to ask for a fee. So in this case of fifteen hundred was inappropriate, fi, I have a client who just did this technique last week and it was five grand, but the assignment was probably a hundred, you know, and I've had clients ask for as little as two hundred fifty dollars, but what it does is because money is commitment in our society may be, sadly, you know, but money is commitment in our society, so asking for a little bit of money gains you respect and legitimacy in the relationship. Yeah, it's commitment on both fronts, yes, on both un bunga part of both parties, but you suggested it so that, again, that's a behavior thing that puts you in the expert behavior mod. So we've got j liqueur photog who says I could use it for showing clients the process and vision of the total photography experience from start to finish? Yes, because a lot of people as creatives, we can envision the final process, the final product, yes, but it's a lot harder for clients to do that they are not creative in especially not in the same field that's why they're hiring us and so actually showing them what's the process what it's what is it going to be like it every step how are you going to feel there what what can you expect and then here's what the finished product is going to be like I love it and mark are said what I got was that the method was to make what the client is paying for highly tangible so it's much easier for them to imagine them having that in their hands and then what they're going to feel like when they do once you've got them imagining that it makes it tangible yeah it makes it tangible we've got trixie de who says it's kind of like my husband makes sketches of proposed illustration designs for a fee up front to show what he can do for them yes very good very good don't give it away now I love that yeah so you get commitment from the small fee so that's very important so and once you've done this once in a small way this is like the rejection therapy game you can propose this to a small client for a few hundred dollars and carefully have your three reasons so you know the reasons that send to use we're just these generalized reasons but I would like to have three very specific reasons why you would like to propose this planning session you know what is it about the assignment that you were going to improve or gain an advantage for the client? What the one of the benefits for the client and one of them is the most classic one is is a really clear understanding of how to reach the client's goal so that's a generalized one but it's but it's one that would resonate with anyone because everybody has something they're trying to accomplish. So what you're saying is that this process will allow us to accomplish this and know how we're going to accomplish it in advance and then the other two reasons might be specific to whatever the type of work that the assignment actually is got a question from ideas girl that I really like about this uh she says what I do if they want to meet I tell them my feet per hour but if they do end up booking the job I'll deduct that time from the final cost but if they don't then they have to pay it on that interview what do think about that so they have to pay something but it will be deducted from the final if they do I think that's fine I mean I just think that if that feels better too you find that's great it's sort of a way off seeming to soften the blow and probably more psychological for the person doing the asking for the money then then for the ultimate client who probably doesn't care you know that's really interesting so finally maureen shaughnessy who had won those reservations at the beginning yes says okay, now I'm in love with white board process way go through and some it all up and talk about all the different things you can do for it yeah yeah so charging the client for a plan creates riel understanding of what the outcome will be it creates commitment between the two of you over working together it creates a really understanding of what their need is and how you will fill it it differentiates you from the competition I mean the list of positive things goes on and on and on and I can tell you a little quick story now uh I actually didn't even do slides for this one it just it just came to mind once I was in an international competition against uh ah a bunch of much larger firms who all had international offices we hadn't sold our business yet and the client's office was several thousand miles away so we flew a team there and this was that the initial get to know you meeting of of will you be in this or not? So this was you know, they had like I don't know eight firms or something that had flown in all to present supposedly their capabilities tow how to meet this particular need and um when it came and and then we we presented and impress the client enough so that a couple days later we stayed in that city waiting for the outcome of that because they were going to choose immediately who was going to be a finalist so you waited a couple days and nine hours walking along through the streets of that city with my little team and I got the cell phone call we had made the finalists you know we'll be you know, we've we've made it through the first round and so we went out and celebrated naturally and had a great time and felt on top of the world and then we buckled down to okay how are we going toe how're we going to get this thing you know and we went in the next day and the client was extremely gracious this was their corporate headquarters you know what the classic high rise the elevators the receptionist the art collection all the power all the power things to make you nervous and we were indeed nervous of course and we came into the room and we you know did the shake hands and did the chit chat and you know basically the ball was then their court so they told us how fabulous we were and what a great presentation we had made and how much they loved us and you know, of course my little brain is going like uh, this is a setup for something. This is the kind of thing you you you say just before you say the but, you know, but now, but this but that and so I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, and sure enough, they say we would like you to scope out creatively over the next month and then come back with exactly how you're going to address this, and we're willing to pay a fee for that, so they're wanting us to do this whole bunch of work to show how we would take their brand, so then they can choose us or one of the other two finalists, and I'm thinking, what am I going to do? Tow, eliminate those finalists? I got to do something right now in this room, that's going to eliminate those guys there's a power cord? I can't use that trick again, I got to do something else. And, uh, and then they said and the fee that we're going to give you eyes twenty five thousand dollars, twenty five thousand dollars teo to do this to do this work, and I thought, this is my chance, this is it, this is the opportunity to get commitment from them, they're offering twenty five thousand dollars gotta ask for more, don't I gotta ask for more? So I looked toe one side to the head of our client service team who would come with me said we've got to think about this don't weigh in and I looked to my other side to my creative director had come with me I said, you know, we really appreciate the fact that you are offering us this fee and this is certainly a great opportunity but I have to tell you it costs us more than twenty five thousand dollars just to come here just to show up I'm afraid I'm gonna have to ask for one hundred thousand dollars you're asking us for one hundred thousand dollars worth of work we just can't possibly do it for twenty five thousand dollars and they went the client just went white whole bunch of them went white and I knew I had struck a chord and I was feeling pretty cocky those days and this is what happens when you have the confidence you can do those things you know, so you could do those things I couldn't have done this earlier, you know in my career but I could do it then and so that was like silence, embarrassment it was a lot of discomfort, you know? You could just feel it, you know, the discomfort level of the room if it was water, we were all drowning, you know and they just you know, no everyone else accepted way really want you involved? And I said, well, I'm just sorry, we we can't do it, so there was lots of, you know, kind of weird handshakes and out the door and down to the elevator and kind of funny and everybody's uncomfortable and we way get down in the lobby and the the guy that was a local guy who was on our team, who was helping us out because it was in another country he said, are you out of your blankety blank line? This is the opportunity of a lifetime. What are you doing? Are you crazy and he's lighting up cigarettes? And, you know, and, you know, he was just living with me and I said, well, I don't know, but that's, the way I felt about it, that was my job, I called it that's it so sure so we leave and you know, then our plane is scheduled to go, like, the next day or something like that and, you know, I'm like I hope it worked I hope it works, you know? You don't know you can only control yourself, I hope it worked. I hope it worked and I was literally walking down the jetway, the little tube down to the airplane to fly back home, and I got the call and it was the client and he said we can't go to one hundred but we could go to seventy five would you do it for seventy five said nobody else is getting this don't tell anybody I'm telling the world here don't tell anybody can you do it for seventy five I said let me think for a minute okay I think we can yeah we can do it we can do it for seventy five so they got twenty five we got seventy five but that wasn't really what we got we won the assignment we went away who did the work became back kicked us we won this time but we got commitment you see it was actually in their best interest it was actually in the client's best interest because we did seventy five thousand dollars for the work easily and we went back and we won the assignment yes I think you said something actually it's pretty powerful I mean actually say you just did it but you worked through the discomfort I think that's a solid thing especially negotiating right stay silent work through the discomfort yes that's right? Yes very very very good observation yes this is kind of like a very pointed question during that negotiation when you put out that one hundred thousand offer did you wait for them to answer so yeah I just shut up just shut up you have to tell yourself that just shut up for first person who talked, shut the blank up. Yes, exactly. Just shut up well, that's, when the things I noticed in the video was, she gave her plan and then she stopped talking. Yes, and when our tendency is not to do that, what we want to do is make everyone feel good because we're very sensitive and and it's just natural. We want people to feel good that's, we don't want to hurt anybody. And s o we naturally just kind of filled the air and talk and, you know, and that's what we do. Yeah, but it's it's it, but it reduces it softens the request and it's not rude, it's just asking for what you need to succeed on their behalf on their behalf. Yes, so many a was saying is that paws, like a part of the negotiation is, do you think that's that's an integral part? Absolutely, yeah, ask, don't tell and be quiet. Love it, yeah.

Class Description

Core negotiation skills are essential for creative professionals, but negotiating can be fraught with fear, anxiety, and uncertainties. Join Ted Leonhardt to uncover the negotiating tactics that allow you to build the power and respect that lead to financial and creative freedom.

Throughout this course, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the common anxieties and vulnerabilities around negotiation and build the skills you need to keep those fears from holding you back. You’ll explore negotiation not as a bargaining session but as a collaboration in which you guide those you are negotiating with. You’ll also learn how to use time and context to define opportunities, create contracts instead of proposals, and align people with your vision. Because dealing with difficult personalities can be a challenging aspect of negotiation, you’ll build strategies for coping with and disarming bullies and naysayers. You’ll develop a negotiating style that doesn’t neglect the importance of kindness and good manners, but that also allows you to know and assert what your unique offering is worth.

Whether you’re just starting out as a freelancer or you’re a longtime creative professional, this course will equip you to know your worth and confidently ask for the opportunities and compensation you deserve.



While I walked away with some amazing knowledge and skills to apply to negotiation, more than anything, I appreciated the authenticity and humility with which Ted crafted and delivered all of the materials in this class. As a fellow creative, every word spoken in this course resonated with me on a deep level, and led me to retain and integrate the materials far better than I expected. A most sincere thank you to Ted for sharing these pieces of his inner life with us.

Kal Sayid

Love Ted. His desire to help creatives shines through. Lots of great nuggets as well as strategies for both the newbie creative and the veteran.

a Creativelive Student

Another terrific course from CreativeLive. I would and did recommend it for anyone, creative or otherwise. Most negotiation courses leave one with a "bad taste"-not this one. I vastly prefer this approach. My life would be very different right now if I had this information available when I first graduated from college with a BFA in Graphic Design. Oh, and an unmentioned bonus-a design agency soap opera is included. Ted is a marvelous teacher.