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This business coaching episode explains how to seek understanding during contract negotiations.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Steps For Effective Contract Negotiation:: 16. He Who Speaks First Loses
  • Lesson Nugget:: If you’ve done your research and offered a true win-win, then stand firm and allow the other party to consider your terms of negotiation.
  • Definition Magician:: Deposition - The testimony of a party or witness taken before trail.


-Step 16-- he who speaks first loses. Walk me through this. This is a magical step right here.

-Well, this is a step that if you're from San Francisco, we know we have quite a few Thrivers in that San Jose, San Francisco area. First off, Joe Montana, Joe Montana, Joe Montana, number 16, Joe Montana. But now let's get into it.

So here we go. The point is when you're going in, you're closing the deal-- or Jim Cathcart, one of our Thrive mentors-- he likes to call it confirming the deal, because of the semantics. He likes to say, we're confirming the deal.

We're not closing. But we're confirming. We're not ending the relationship.

We're confirming the relationship. But when you're going to confirm the deal, what you need to make sure you're doing is you need to make sure you have this right mindset. You don't want to go into it with a kind of a mindset where you go, "Oh man, I'm going to make a win-lose," to have the right mindset here. OK?

Because we're going to get into this. You're going to make this offer. And when you make the offer, you'd better have made it with the other party in mind.

You had better have tried to make a win-win. And when you make that win-win, if the other party doesn't agree-- let's say, you're sitting there in a room face to face with them. And you say, "Now, Marshall, this is what I'm prepared to do for you.

I can do ABC. And you can do ABC." Once you say it, that's it.

And just look at them in the face. Just look them and go-- and they're going to look down at their piece of paper and they're going to go, "Well, now, OK." Don't interrupt them.

Let them think. It's crazy uncomfortable for you. But just work with me.

You look at them and you go, "What do you think?" If you're Donald Trump in a debate, you might go-- but the point is you just want to, like, let them think. And then when they're thinking, they're going to say, "Well, I had a question."

Your temptation is going to be saying, "Well, I can do this." And you're coming off your points. And you're trying to quickly negotiate down.

Because you want to save the deal. But instead, if you've been genuine, you've done your research, you made a fair offer. It's a true win-win. Let it sit.

And they're going to go, "Well, yeah. It seems pretty good. I did have a question about this point."

And then don't lose your confidence. Don't lose your composure. And just go, "OK, well, what do you mean by that?"

And just be very confident. But just try not to speak first. Let them speak first.

And then seek to understand them. Don't seek to be understood. Seek to understand them.

Truly, if they say, "Well, I have a concern about this." Then ask them two or three questions to really understand it. "Well, what do you mean by that?"

"Can you describe that to me in maybe a different way? I want to make sure I fully understand you." Because we're right, very close to the finish line.

(WHISPERING) We're very close to getting a win-win deal done. We don't want to screw this up. So don't talk first.

Again, what not to do. Make the offer. And then just sit for a minute.

And let them marinate on it. I've unfortunately had to do depositions in my career. I've had to do mediations in my career.

Mediation is where two parties disagree. Instead of going to court, you fire a mediator and you mediate. You basically try to kill with a win-win without a court, a settlement that's a negotiation there, that's a mutually-agreed upon idea or agreement.

And I've actually been a mediator before. I've actually mediated for people. And in both situations-- I'm just telling you-- he who speaks first almost always loses. And I don't understand psychologically why it happens. But it does. Back to you.

-So most Thrivers or people that are doing these contract negotiations, they'll give the deal. And then they'll be uncomfortable with that silence in between the close and giving it. And so they want to fill that void with something.

Because they think they're getting nervous. But if you've really done your work, what you're saying is you've created a win-win. You should feel confident and let them speak.

And again, I always try to throw in that free marriage advice for you. Because it's like a deal. This isn't a dating website. I've been married 14 years. You know?

And guys, I'm telling you, there's no reason she should be married to me. It's a trickery. But the thing is when you get down on that knee, and you're proposing, you'd better have thought about is she going to say yes? I mean, hopefully the emotional states there-- I mean, don't be the guy who proposes and go, "I can't believe she said no."

Don't be the guy on the Jumbotron at the Boston Red Sox game who asks somebody to marry you with no clue about whether she's going to say yes or not. Don't. Come on.

Make sure you know. Talk to her dad and you're talking the dad asking for his permission. You've talked to her girlfriends. You know that you know that you know she's going to say yes. And by a rock that costs you some money.

I mean, saw off a leg. Sell a car. Go without air conditioning.

Do what you have to do. But buy a ring that wows her. And then when you give her that ring, be prepared to say, "Will you marry me?" And then just let it sit. Just sit.

And it's going to be uncomfortable for you if you haven't done your research and you don't know if she's going to say yes. But if you know she's going to say, yes, then you just sit. Drop the mic.

Boom. You sit there. And she's kind of crying. And she'll go--

And it's going to seem like it's, like, an hour. You're going to feel like you've waited for an hour. It's like a Matrix sort of-- whoosh. You feel like you're waiting for an hour. And she's, like, (IN SLOW MOTION) "Yes."

But it feels like an hour. Don't be the guy who is unconfident about your offer. And you have to go, "We could wait. We could still be friends. We-- I-- I-- didn't have any more money. I didn't have enough money to buy you a decent ring. I'm sorry I didn't ask your dad. Please, baby!" Don't do that. Just ask, silence. It's gold.

Ask, silence, Gold.


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