Negotiation Series Blog Post 3 – Get out of the Kitchen, too soon.

Learning to move beyond the first Yes

Do you describe yourself as sensitive, introverted or reticent? If so, this post is for you.

Many people view the prospect of negotiating or selling with the same apprehension as a fighter pilot going into combat. The sheer terror of the event is unnerving. The logical move is to get out of there as quickly as possible.

Bravely move beyond the first "YES"

In such away, billions of $, £ & € are left on the table every year. It is part of our make up to sit down at the negotiation table with one “thing” in mind. If we are lucky enough to hear a YES to our single demand we, like the long-lived fighter pilot – head back to base as quickly as possible.

Negotiation is not selling – When you are in a raw “YES” / “NO” selling scenario – grab you “YES”, then silently and swiftly retreat to a place out of site and out of earshot. Job done.

When we apply the hit and run method to the richer environment of negotiation we praise ourselves for our risk reduction. In reality this may represent opportunity loss and, even, extra work creation.

Question; What would happen if you staid to talk further?

If you were to stay at the table you could;

a) Enrich the current deal, refine the details and ensure smooth delivery, to produce an experience of full engagement, advocacy, and, the start of a key account encounter that will provide value for both parties for years to come.

b) Repair any relationship damage sustained in the bargaining phase, And,

c) Look for more needs, wants and desires to talk about next time – a second area for mutual and beneficial exchange. When someone is in the trading zone, that is the time to talk and explore.

Next time.

When you hear that “YES”, stick around, shoot the breeze and ask, “What else is on your mind?”

Give me a call if you wish to talk further about moving beyond the first, "YES". Matthew Hill 07540 65 9995




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Negotiation Blog 2 When Can Compromise Represent A Strategic Win?

Adding Compromise To Your Tactical Armoury

Today we will shift your view of compromise from, “not quite winning” to something of value claiming a place in your negotiation toolbox.

In the UK we tend to go in for polarities – left and right, rich and poor, men and women or right and wrong.

The problem with our propensity, is that it misses the layers, the subtleties and the possibilities of achieving something greater – of uncovering and distributing more value.

Compromise can increase the size of the pie.

Going into talks aiming for a win-lose, will escalate macho posturing, position taking and create the perfect conditions for all-party deafness. It is a quick way to disengage the higher cerebral cortex and reduce the chances of mutual gain to virtually zero.


If we can take a more reconciliatory approach, a pragmatic one and one that is strategic, we may end up with a greater number of wins overall. Remember, in business, the most expensive customer is the one you have to replace after only one purchase. If you lose a customer with your bravado or brinksmanship, you are not playing the economic numbers for a career win, you are fuelling your short term EGO at the expense of your stakeholders.


When you are pushing a customer / supplier / purchasing executive with the fixed-eyed stare of a Texan sheriff, just remember that a compromise may be a much better outcome than the potential loss of everything.

The bigger picture

If you had to replace a partner of customers this year, what would the real cost be? Factoring in time, executive salaries, lost revenues and the fact that the new relationship might take up more hours and delay to get up to the efficiencies you enjoyed with the lost one.

Exercise – Grab an envelope and work out the cost of losing one of your established clients verses the short-term investment of compromising on a detail to get to the next sale.

Sometimes the results can be shocking.

Good luck, and, do give me a call if you have any questions – Matthew Hill   07540 65 9995.


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Negotiation Series Blog 1 – Think Feel and Do.

Do you wish for a slightly easier life when it comes to selling and negotiating?

The art of minimum friction – maximum outcome negotiation can become a reality when we embrace the use of proven influencing skills.

The most powerful form of influencing involves creating a vision for your opposite number illustrating their dream future – a magical place where their current problem is absent, something they need to do has been accomplished or something they are currently experiencing as unpleasant has been avoided.

Negotiation is about CONTRAST

This technique, taken from sales copywriting experts, is called the TFD, think, feel and do formulation.

There are two time zones that exist in the mind of your counterpart and negotiation partner – the negative now and their dream future. Your job is to fill in the six boxes with colourful detail…



   Feeling, &,



Dream Future


   Feeling, &,


Let’s look at an example; Negotiating the private sale of a car.

The seller may investigate the circumstances of the buyer’s current state, NowThinking – “I have completely written down this car in my company accounts, so I am free to invest in a new one.”

They feel slightly ashamed driving to their office in a bit of a banger with those scratches all the way along the driver-side door.

Their Dream future involves them thinking – “I am driving a new and shiny vehicle and I am writing off as much as I legally can against company profit.”

I am feeling less ashamed and more confident today as I rock up in my new motor and I am doing more social miles as I really like the way the new car drives.

Contrast – The key skill you need to practice to maximise impact, is in creating as wide a gap as possible between your counterpart’s current levels of dissatisfaction and their prospects for their feeling wild future happiness.

Exercise – What scenario will you use and how will you fill in the six boxes?

Start thinking about a real work based scenario for your customer / supplier / colleague and fill away.

Help – Do feel free to call me, if you need help with this exercise…

07540 65 9995 – Matthew

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What is your RETURN on WORK, Your RoW? a summer post by Matthew Hill

Its not all about the money is it?

Can your efforts in the office be measured in the same way as your equity portfolio, your buy-to-let house or the rewards of taking a holiday?

The following post promises to make you think, reaction and, just possibly, reframe your view on why you go to work in the first place…

]rewarding work "Hey guys, why are we so happy?"

A share’s return is calculated by comparing the year’s total dividend to the price of the stock and is referred to as its yield (a great and ubiquitous word.) Similarly, the net rent collected from your buy-to-let tenant is measured against the equity you have in the property.

The benefits of a holiday are more qualitative than the above examples – time away from stress, the chance to deeply relax and perhaps reverse some of the medical symptoms suffered in the previous months, the space to have a brilliant idea or to plan your next work strategy or clever invention.

The benefits are there but appear in a range of forms.

Measuring the Outcome of your work?

You could think about your salary and compare it with the market place and see how many pounds / euros  / dollars you are getting in a year. This can be satisfying of you are in the upper echelon and disheartening for the rest. You could calculate your money per hour (a very useful time management technique BTW – is the task you perform on Tuesday at 10.15AM worth your hourly rate or should you be outsourcing / delegating the work to someone appropriate to the money cost?)

Perhaps you have put in extra effort (representing a dilution of your money per hour) in the hopes of getting a bonus or promotion? This gives a different yield depending on the relationship between your effort put in and the resulting reward that comes out.

I am more interested in long lasting and psychologically measures – after all, the emotional benefit of a bonus or pay rise can last less than 90 days though the cost of those late nights and weekends will be felt for longer.

Need for Achievement

I work with high achieving executives in more than 30 countries and find that whether paid more or paid less, the happier workers seek intrinsic motivation though attainment, completion of tasks and solving problems. Getting the job done in a clever way, an effective way or a new way is of great value to them. This is their reward. As is working with great colleagues.

Need for Acknowledgement

Coming from the UK, which is not the most emotionally open and expressive nation on Earth this return cannot be relied upon. I meet many executives who are managed by emotionally stunted directors who would rather have a tooth extracted than give out enthusiastic praise and thanks for a job well done.

Often it is the peer-2-peer recognition that occurs more frequently and is valued more as well. There is sometimes more power, empathy and respect felt in a colleague’s kind words than those from a customer.

The Need to Belong

As used by the world’s armies, brotherhood, inclusion and earning your place in the team are sources of pride and accomplishment. Membership of elite groups and social rewarding communities are highly prized. Interestingly though viewed as competitive, the inner dynamics of such organisations tend to reward sublimation of ego and emphasize cooperation, personal sacrifice and, occasionally, “taking a hit for the team.” And the tougher the entry process the more rewarding the membership.

Would they let Groucho Marx join? And did they let you in?

return on work "Let's measure more widely…"

The Need to Give

Invisible help given freely to a customer can sometimes provide satisfaction that is priceless. My mother was for years a tough cookie teacher dragging reluctant and resistant youths to a 16 year olds qualification that in some cases, was the only piece of paper they left school with when entering the icy world of work. Mostly they did not say thank you. For her, the rewards have come later – her fruit and veg is cheaper and she has been given a store discount card normally only reserved for staff – all by former pupils. The greetings she receives from “reformed” boys and girls, now hard working parents provides a warm if belated return for all that effort she put in pushing her educational water up hill.

Bigger than you or me

These fascinating areas are not rewarded with money or universal thanks. Societal movements and bigger issues that are painful to view, difficult to resolve and are left untouched and un-discussed by the majority. Refugees, poverty, domestic abuse or the local dispossessed.

Collecting blankets and bicycles for those stranded in the Calais “Jungle”, helping with the soup run under Waterloo Bridge, staffing the shelters or working with care leavers to increase their chances of finding dignified employment at a living wage…

Those that volunteer for this work receive a higher order of reward. They are voting with their hands and their Saturdays to invest in a greater scheme.

The Nobility of an aching back.

Finally, and with full apologies to anyone feeling underpaid for their manual work, I feel a nobility and honest tiredness is experienced in occasional and voluntary physical work – painting, cultivating vegetables, building something or mending something. The soreness in my lower back is a sign of a simple cycle – work in -> result out. Sometimes we need to be reminded that the  work itself can provide peace and meaning.


Gaining emotional satisfaction from work is important. It can get us out of bed in the morning, put a smile on our face, and help us to build resilience against the inevitable tough days that come our way. The aim of this post is the ask you to reflect on the wider returns that you experience in work and out of work and calculate a more meaningful RoW.

So… Why are you going to work?



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How to get effective CHANGE, part 1

The Stages and Actions

1. Shock – “It can’t possibly be true.” Staff feel overwhelmed and helpless. They can freeze or panic. They may slow down and lose the ability to see beyond the immediate future.

Action – allow subjects to voice their concerns. Offer understanding and reassurance. They need to know that they are still valued and part of the company. Highlight opportunities and the benefits of the change.

Change Management on the Mechanism of Metal Cogwheels.

Change Management Coaching.

2. Denial – “It won’t affect me.” This is a symptom of evasion. “Things aren’t really that different.” This is avoidance of the issue. Some staff will convince themselves that work is the same really. Many will stick to the old rulebook.

Action – old actions are prevalent. Individuals need to be given the time to explore, make mistakes and learn to make fewer mistakes as they gather experience. Listen and offer appropriate advice.

3. Incompetence – “I can’t do it”, or, ”It’s not what I want” – expressions of vagueness, depression, frustration and anger. Staff are expressing their less comfortable feelings. The “old way” is not working. They are coming to a critical point in the cycle and begin to realize that they are going to have to change their own behaviour in order to survive.

Action – deal with the anger, depression, temper tantrums and the closing of ranks. Accept the drama and the blow-ups as part of the change process. Keep them focused on the day-to-day work.

4. Acceptance –  “I accept that I’ve lost everything” – Letting go. The old values, attitudes and behaviours will have to go. Staff express their fear of starting the change process. BLAME.

Action – keep repeating the facts and help individuals to feel valued.

5. Developing (Testing) – “I’ll give it a try if I can understand why.” It is only after the change is in place that the testing and developing normally happens. Mistakes are made as issues are not identified correctly in the new set up and competence has yet to be fully developed.

Action – training and coaching come in here. Promoting the development and practice of new skills are essential. Encourage broader thinking and tolerate the short term drop in quality and confidence.

6. Application – “I can do it if it’s what I want” – Elation. Beginning of staff understanding of their own emotions. They may choose to take a more sophisticated look at how they can act in the new set up now.

Reflection – “Am I happy acting this way? (the new).”

Action – Keep identifying and communicating clear objectives. Align the outcomes of the company and the individuals as everyone moves towards the vision and the other side of change.

7. Integration / Completion – “I’ve changed and I can do it.” The staff have established new behaviours at the unconsciously competent level. The new ways have become the norm. Here the people who do not fit in stand out and may leave the company.

Action – Help individuals by continually reviewing progress against initial concerns and acknowledging individual efforts. A positive coaching approach is appropriate at this stage. Encourage ownership of new behaviours, listen for suggestions regarding further improvement. Now is the opportunity to establish continuous improvement as a habit.

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