Think Like A Negotiator

Creating Win Win Results and Understanding the Pitfalls to Avoid

A Friends Reminder Gives a New Perspective

I was chatting on the phone this morning with my friend Cat Hammes known as the “One Legged Blonde.”  She has been riding motorcycles for 31 years long before women riding became popular.  In fact it was odd for a woman to be on a bike back then.  I’ve been riding for 18 years myself.  We still didn’t have a lot of women’s riding gear when I started riding. 

In our conversation, she reminded me that I was in the military long before it was popular for women to be in the military.  I enlisted in 1980.  The military was only about 8% women at that time.  There was starting to be a push to get more women into the military and into nontraditional jobs.  I actually scored high in the mechanical area on the aptitude test and I was being pushed to get into a mechanical career field.  Although I am a bit mechanical, can fix stuff if I need to, change my oil if I have to etc, I wanted to work with computers.  Computer programming was nothing like it is today.  It was considered an administrative career field back then.  I really wanted to work with computers so I enlisted in the “open administrative” career field which meant I would chose my job when I got to Basic Training.  When I went to choose my job, computer jobs were nowhere to be found on the list.  I ended up picking a job I knew nothing about or even what it was.  The job was called “Contracts Specialist.” I only picked it because it had the highest required score to get into it.  I figured you had to be smarter to do that job than the rest of the others so I chose Contracting not know what the job was about.  

I basically stumbled into the Contracting career field by accident and 30 years later I am teaching and helping people be better negotiators and ensuring they have the tools to never be taken advantage of again.  If you want to be a better negotiator, my Think Like A Negotiator course 11-13 October is guaranteed to help you do just that.  Check out the online store for more details.

I never thought of myself as a trail blazer.  You hear about a lot of women that flew planes, helicopters, drove tanks etc.  I flew a desk.  Not very interesting compared to some of the others.  I am proud of my service and don’t discount it.  That’s not what I’m saying.  In fact, I have inserted a rifle drill routine into my speaking presentation in order to stand out from the herd so to speak.

I realize from talking to Cat that I am a trailblazer and I achieved a lot more than I realize at times. Sometimes it takes someone on the outside looking in to remind you of just what you’ve accomplished.   I retired as a Master Sergeant, not an easy rank to get to, especially when I had to prove myself in a man’s world with sexual harassment and assault as part of the journey.  It was the extreme harassment I received in the Middle East the made me decide to retire after 23 years of service.  I wanted to be a Chief Master Sergeant but couldn’t handle it anymore after that deployment.  I had had enough. 

What does one of your friends need to do to remind you of all you’ve accomplished?  You may not have been in the military but don’t discount what you’ve done to get to where you are today.  Call up one of your friends and ask them what they see in your journey.  The reminder will brighten your day. 

Today I am excited about the release of my upcoming book and my upcoming event.  The military gave me the training to persevere in the face of adversity, the discipline to stick with it when I wanted to quit and the strength to carry on.  Thanks Cat for the reminder! You totally rock!

Check out Cat at http://www.oneleggedblonde.com/

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17 July 2013 Posted by | Negotiation | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Get Your Carpet Cleaned While On a Radio Show

So there I was on a one hour live radio show at 10 am til 11am PDT when my doorbell rings and it’s the carpet cleaning guys that I had scheduled to come after noon today.  They decided to show up at 10:30 instead!

I handed a note out to them that I was on a radio interview until 11am.  I wasn’t ready for them and had a couple extra uh’s and um’s on the show as I was in the middle of talking when they came ringing the doorbell off the ringer.  (they kept ringing until I answered because they heard me talking).

They came in and looked around my small place and asked me a couple questions about what I wanted.  The guy on the phone the day before had quoted me $60 for my place.  The guy who was assessing the place then quoted me $180 for all the extra’s they wanted to do.  I said forget it, too much money for this small place.  They proceeded to get ready to do the house.  They talked to their boss and made an offer of $140 for all the extras.  No deal, I told them just do the regular cleaning.

Because they came early I wasn’t ready so was scrambling to get pets out of the way and move excess furniture ; chairs etc.  While they were getting their equipment from the car, my son came out of his room and left.  They asked did I want his room done too and told me it would be $30 for that.  I said I was quoted $60 for the entire house.  They called the boss and ended up passing me the phone.

The boss then told me it was $20 for an extra room (not the $30 the other guy quoted me). I told him he quoted me $60 for the entire house.  We went back and forth but I stood my ground on the $60.  He kept saying different things and I went back to “I hear what you are saying but yesterday I told you the size of my place and you quoted me $60 for the entire place.”  Every time he brought up another point, I repeated the same thing back to him until he finally said pass the phone back to the technician.

End result, entire house done for $60.  They showed up early, attempted to upsell me into 3 times the price they quoted and were in and out in a few short minutes.  Then they wanted to be paid in cash but never told me to have cash for the payment.  They took my debit card in the end.  I won’t be calling them again.

The point is, stand your ground and don’t let people push you into a different agreement.  Actually I should have asked for a discount for the trouble they caused me showing up significantly before they were suppose to.  In the end I didn’t let them push me around which is part of what negotiation is all about.

26 June 2013 Posted by | Negotiation | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Negotiation Language – How You Say It Affects It

Negotiation is all about how we communicate and it’s one of the areas to consider when preparing for a negotiation. Language is so important. The words we use can often be construed in different ways to have different meanings depending on who is doing to receiving. In negotiation, you must be sure the language you are using conveys the appropriate message to gain the appropriate response. How you say it may ensure you win or lose the deal.

Most of you who have been following me have noticed my shift to showing people how to Think Like A Negotiator. People often ask me why I have made the focus on negotiation vs my Pink Biker Chic brand. I have responded by telling them that it’s negotiation is my genius and I never thought to teach it. I tell them about a good friend of mine who is a business strategist was having some contract challenges with a client; I shared some of my contracts knowledge to help her resolve the issue. Her response was “I get this Pink Biker Chic thing, but where did all that come from and why aren’t you teaching it to others?” I share that I thought why would anybody want to learn that? It’s my genius, I do it in my sleep and take it for granted that everyone has that knowledge.

Well, recently I was at an event and passed someone who said he knew me but couldn’t remember where from. I knew him too from somewhere and told him he probably knew me from my Pink Biker Chic brand and explained the story above. He immediately launched into this idea that I don’t value myself and have issues and need to resolve those issues with him so I value myself and my genius. Then he attempted to hard sell me into doing a session with him to fix my issues within myself so I will be successful, basically implying I am not successful because I don’t value myself. It was much more than that but you get the gist. WOW! Really? Thankfully another friend walked up and started talking to him so that provided a pattern interrupt for me to depart which I did.

What that did for me was enable me to take a look at my language and evaluate whether that was a message I am projecting when I share my story. I certainly don’t have the serious issues that he implied. Of course we all have some kind of doubt about ourselves but he was attempting to tell me I was broken and that I really needed serious help. This is without even taking the time to find out anything about me.

Be careful of the language you use. I’m not talking about being politically correct. Chances are we will offend someone with what we say, but if we evaluate our normal “shtick” to make sure we aren’t projecting negatively onto ourselves or others, we will be better off in day to day communication as well as our significant negotiations. Take the time this week to pay close attention to the things you say. You may need to make an adjustment based on feedback and results. I sure did.

30 April 2013 Posted by | Negotiation | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Draw the Line

Many times discussions occur to resolve some sort of dispute. You may end up going back and forth on an issue to get it resolved and find that the other side just isn’t doing anything to resolve the issue. When it gets to that point, it is time to draw the line and push your position hard over to the other side. It may require indicating you will take some sort of action if they don’t resolve the problem within a reasonable time. That could mean going to court, reporting the company to an agency like the Better Business Bureau or the individual to the board or organization such as the Bar for an Attorney, the IRS for a tax professional, the Medical Association for a Doctor etc.

I prefer to use this strategy as a last resort. However, when it comes down to something that will in the end negatively affect me, my business or my family or personal life somehow, it becomes time for no more Ms. Nice Girl.

A had a situation where a service establishment was handling some professional work for my company. Their action and failure of action had resulted in my getting in trouble with the state and being assessed significant penalties. It was their fault, they admitted to it and I worked with them for months to get them to resolve it, which they did not. I finally had to draw the line and tell the owner of the company that if this wasn’t resolved to my satisfaction, not only was I going to report them to the Government agency that governed their profession, I was also going to send out a letter to 2 organizations where they had significant business dealings and were referral partners with those organizations. These two actions would have significant impact on their business.

I was prepared to go through with it, otherwise I wouldn’t use this strategy. The way I saw it they left me no choice. I sent them a 3 page letter in writing outlining everything that had occurred. I purposely did that so I would have the entire scenario already outlined for the other agencies so if I needed to send the information, I could simply sent that letter. That got some action pretty quick and although the problem is still being resolved, I will soon have the documentation that should clear my record with the state, which is all I wanted in the first place.

Bottom line, when a dispute can’t be resolved, draw the line and push back hard. You will get results or at least know if you need to elevate it to the next level such as court or some other formal proceedings.

14 April 2013 Posted by | Negotiation | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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