10 Ways to Know When Someone Is Bull Shitting You

Hi readers,

This blog goes out for the clients/customers, as well as all “internal” clients in the enterprise- CEOs, COOs, CTOs, CMOs, line managers, team leaders, P&L heads etc.

BS is seen in many forms within many verticals, in different functions in a matrix enterprise. Those in sales are often seen as masters of BS; this is accepted as an integral part of their “arsenal” and skill sets.

I beg to differ here.

BS is at best a short cut to some success you may score in the short term and a profound weakness in the long term. As a sales rep, once you have tasted success as a BS practitioner, you will erroneously start to believe in the “power” of the BS speak. This goes for those who practice this in other functions within the organization as well.

Therefore, according to me,  the most unheralded success skill as a manager and as a client is knowing when someone is full of it, full of themselves, trying to pull the wool over your eyes, or maybe even trying to fool themselves.

In any case, knowing when someone is BSing is absolutely a key to success in business.

Why is that?

Well, your work life presents thousands of options, opportunities, paths to go down, people to hire, people to work for, people to align yourself with.

Or not.

But you only have one work life. You have to learn methods to narrow the field. Knowing whether people are being genuine or not is key to narrowing the choices, and narrowing the choices is key to picking the right ones.

  1. The story changes. You can ask them the same thing three times and get three different answers.
  2. They act dumb but they’re not. It’s disingenuous, not a good sign.
  3. They act smart but they’re not. Not necessarily disingenuous, but also not a good sign.
  4. They try too hard. That’s got to give you pause.
  5. They appear nervous when they shouldn’t be.
  6. They look scared when they shouldn’t be.
  7. They repeat the question. It buys them time to think of an answer.
  8. There’s something in it for them. Anytime somebody’s trying to sell you something, there’s a good chance you’re being BSed.
  9. They’re fanatical. Fanaticism, fundamentalism, call it whatever you want, it’s a one-sided view of an issue that cuts off debate. Not good.
  10. They only present one side. Same thing.

9 Rules for Negotiating a Complex Deal

Hi sales stars!

This blog is based on my field experience working with clients and successfully negotiating complex deals in the B2B space- in fact when you move from pure services and products driven organizations, to a solutions marketing and sales business, the rules become critical to your success.

I would use these rules in my sales playbook.

  • Rule #1: Prepare thoroughly. Collect and evaluate information on leverage, values, sale prices, competition and other factors that will have an effect upon the negotiation.
  • Rule #2: Develop realistic expectations. Temper your aspirations with “feasibility” based upon what your counterpart has in mind, and reassess your expectations as the negotiating progresses.
  • Rule #3: Know your pricing parameters. When it comes to price, before bidding, know the deal you want and are able justify as being realistic.
  • Rule #4: Decide whether to “go first” or not. If you put your own number on the table, you put your counterpart into your ballpark.  But, beware, you might accidentally low-ball.
  • Rule #5: Give yourself room to maneuver. Leave yourself some bargaining room, but make sure that you have a plausible rationale for the positions that you take.
  • Rule #6: Manage the concession process. Let your counterpart know that every concession is meaningful and don’t let your counterpart think that holding out will reap big rewards.
  • Rule #7: Create and sustain credibility. Buttress any positions that you take with appropriate rationales. Be specific about your facts, and stay detached from the emotion of the negotiations.
  • Rule #8: Negotiate until the contract is signed. Don’t relax once there’s a meeting of the minds because negotiating a written contract is an important final step.
  • Rule #9: Know when it’s time to close. If the negotiation is going well and you’ve got most of what you want, don’t keep negotiating.

7 Strategies to Build “Negotiating Power”

Hi readers,

Over the last 18 years I have successfully negotiated with a plethora of customers and clients, across verticals and domains, across B2C and B2B businesses, with bosses, with team members, with suppliers and unions and realized that a strategic approach to the business of negotiation serves you best if you wish to “close” the sales engagement.

When negotiating the final terms of any deal, complex or not, many sales pros find themselves in situations where the clients apparently hold all the cards! Now that is not a happy situation to be in at that critical juncture of the sales closure process…

Since you have invested so much to reach this position, chances are that you will have a lot more to lose than your client, if you wish to walk away…and worse….the client knows that…

This is a recipe for a WIN -LOSE outcome , with you on the losing side.

In order to counter this, you may be better served to create a “counter balance”  by developing your “negotiating power” throughout the sales cycle – some strategic initiatives may help you in developing your negotiating power

  • Strategy #1: Eliminate or thwart competitive threats.
    Convince the customer that your product or service is the only one that can adequately fulfill the customer’s needs.
  • Strategy #2. Develop at least three contacts inside the customer firm. Provide perspective to your solution-building process and information about the motivations and politics inside the customer’s firm.
  • Strategy #3. Show the customer your ability to see beyond the obvious.
    The customer can’t know everything about the firm, much less the market, so being an “outsider” gives you the ability to see situations more objectively.
  • Strategy #4. Create the legitimacy that comes from consistency.
    Remain aware of the strengths and limitations of your offerings, adhere to your firm’s policies and procedures, and be willing to explain why they make sense.
  • Strategy #5. Position all interactions in terms of mutual success.
    A productive relationship is based upon mutual respect and understanding, and a sense of working together to achieve mutual goals.
  • Strategy #6.  Generate a solution that matches the customer’s needs.
    Your value to the customer skyrockets when you help the customer to crystallize needs and visualize the right solution.
  • Strategy #7: Differentiate yourself from other sales reps.
    Communicate clearly how you, as an individual, are a unique resource to the customer and use your own unique personality to your advantage.