The Art of Everyday Negotiation Without Manipulation with Susie Tomenchok

loyb podcast Dec 07, 2021

When was the last negotiation you made?

Was it something as simple as resisting the urge to hit snooze or something as major as closing a business deal you had been working on for months? 

Negotiating is a daily practice from the things you talk yourself into and out of and the things you get the people around you to do. From getting your kids to do chores, from your partner picking where were you want to move to and what kind of house you will live in.

When you start to see everything as a negotiation you can improve your skills so that not only do you get more win-wins but those you are negotiating with will also get more wins. When you implement the 4 part framework you will be learning from the author of The Art of Everyday Negotiation without Manipulation Susie Tomenchok which you can apply to anything and everything.

Susie shares with us how to change your mindset about negotiations and the old school thinking that they have to be hard and one side has to lose instead of both sides winning.

Tune into the podcast to hear Susie and I discuss:

  • Common misconceptions around negotiations
  • Why women typically have a more difficult time negotiating
  • How a fixed mindset can keep you from receiving more than expected
  • Why it’s important to walk away from a negotiation with a win-win and how to create one
  • An easy to implement 4-part framework for negotiation
  • One thing that is guaranteed to improve your next negotiation
  • Why you shouldn’t say yes to the first offer 


Silence is powerful.

Does silence make you uncomfortable? In a negotiation one of your best techniques is going to be silence. Often times when there is silence you will want to fill the silence, continue to make your points, make more on your case but when you give space in the silence this allows you to not give any more than necessary. A good rule of thumb for this is following a pattern of only answering the questions that have been asked without giving any more fluff to the conversation and then stopping for silence. This keeps you from potentially negotiating against yourself without realizing it.

"Don’t say yes to the first offer, honor yourself and the person you are negotiating with by taking the time to ensure you both get the best deal possible." - Susie Tomenchok. Click To Tweet.


The four-part framework for negotiation:

Prepare: Preparation in all things is vital. Looking at both your side as well as knowing what the other side can potentially want is vital. See where they are coming from, analyze what their objections to the negotiation could potentially be so you are able to come back with intelligent and precise points. This covers what is important to both sides and what possible outcomes could be for both parties. The side that is best prepared will generally win the negotiation. 

Aware: Being clear on exactly what you want here is going to be the most important step. You will need to be aware at every step from your research to how you yourself are reacting along the way. Knowing when to answer questions, knowing when to ask them and when to fall silent, and allowing there to be space in the conversation as it happens. Keep in mind what your objective is to avoid letting your emotions get in the way so you do not negotiate against yourself. 

Close: Congratulations you have closed the deal. Whatever size or win that you have accomplished you should be proud of this step. 

Evaluate:  This step is vital no matter how the negotiation goes either in or out of your favor. You can look at how prepared you were and see where you did your best and where you can improve. Ask yourself what worked really well for you so for your next negotiation you will be able to come in and be even more successful in the future. 

Negotiation Framework. Click To Tweet. 


References Mentioned In This Episode: 


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Welcome to the lean out your business podcast, a show dedicated to helping entrepreneurs accelerate business growth in simplify success. I'm your host, Crista Grasso, and I've been working with businesses for more than two decades to help them lean out and optimize what's working, while eliminating anything that's not adding value. So if you are ready to get more time back in your day, more profit in your business, and to do business differently growing and scaling on your terms. Let's dive into today's episode.


Hello, hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the lean out your business podcast. Today I am joined by Suzie Tomenchok and I'm so excited. We're going to be talking all about negotiation today. So let me tell you a little bit about Susie and then we're going to let her share a little of her story Susie Tomenchok works with individuals and organizations to amplify their strengths to unleash their negotiation guru, and for increased professional success. She believes that when people learn how to use negotiation strategies every day, they create more opportunities and walk away with a win win when it matters most. So Susie has recently captured all of her advice, her stories, her strategies, all of her experience and released a book called The Art of everyday negotiation without manipulation. And that's a lot of what we're going to be diving into in talking about today. So Susie, welcome. I'm so excited. You're here.

1:45 Oh, Crista , I'm so honored to be here with you. I'm excited.

1:49 I am too. And so what I want to start off with, we're going to get into a little bit of your story. But the first thing I want to start with is I bet there's a lot of misperceptions when it comes to negotiation because I think you hear the word negotiation. And usually, you think of you know, like back in the days when you're in corporate and needed to ask for a raise, or when you're going out to buy a new car. I know you talk a lot about negotiation happening every day. So what are some of those really common misperceptions that people have about negotiation?

 2:21 I find such a good question. Because I find that people will say, Yes, we negotiate every day. But until you start thinking about all the scenarios that are applicable to that, you're like, Oh, you get kind of this renewed Aha, and you're like, oh, my gosh, it's so true. It's like in everything you do, whether it's your own mind telling you, you know, the alarm clock goes off, and you hear it, you're like, oh, I don't want to get up and do early, whatever that looks like for you. You just want to snooze to being able to talk to somebody that wants to influence you to do something they want you to do. And just having that awareness around how you need to show up in that moment.

 3:07 Yeah, absolutely. And now, let's talk I think to the other one of the other misperceptions that I'm assuming, tell me if I'm right, is that when people hear negotiation, they frequently think of something more masculine. They think of men coming in and negotiating these like big deals very strongly. And how does this apply to women? And how do we really need to be thinking about negotiation and maybe shifting our mindset around how we think about it?

3:35 Yeah, it's such a great question. And there are so many different ways to take it. I'm not an expert, or I haven't done my own research. But I have read a ton of research around the gender aspect. And there's a lot of nuances to it. But that the research def definitely shows that women aren't great about advocating for themselves, they tend to just expect, you know, they work hard and things will just take care of themselves. And men tend to just approach life differently. They just tend to be more vigorous around asking or really pushing for more, whereas women just kind of expect that, whatever their efforts are, they'll be noticed and they'll be rewarded. And that's not always true. And it doesn't may feel that way to us, but to others around us. Just asking more out of even reframing it out of a place of curiosity, of pushing a little bit more to see what you can get and trying and being aware of those opportunities that maybe we just don't automatically see.

It's almost a different lens on life. I really feel like once you see it all around you. It's like you've lifted this screen and you can see negotiation happening even if you're not advocating for yourself like negotiation is happening around you So opting into something or just being ready to say, yes, even if you're not quite ready, or you don't feel prepared enough, just say yes, and figure it out it while you get there, if that makes sense.

5:15 It makes so much sense. And I really love that shift in that, that way of thinking about it in so what are some examples that you see where we do have negotiation around us every day? What are some of those things that we encounter that we might not even recognize in our negotiation?

5:31 Yeah. What comes to mind when you ask that is an example that I personally had, that there was a really sparked the need to do this for others is, I remember I was in a corporate role. I had a pretty competitive peer, that really was a great negotiator literally negotiated a lot of our deals to other customers as well. But he was really good at just advocating for himself. And I remember one time him coming up into the hallway, and saying to me, you know, Susie, I'm going to be leading this project. And I just wanted you to know that I want you on my team. And in my mind, I'm like, that was so nice of Dan to ask me and invite me to be a part of the team.

What I didn't realize in the moment was he was not the lead on the project. But he was setting my expectations that he would be, so that I would just fall in so that when our boss came to us, I would already assume that he was the lead. So there's an opportunity, like, oh, I look back at that and think, How did I miss that? Like, I have already subscribed to the fact that negotiation happens all around? How did I miss that? So that was a big aha, for me, and I see it even today, in every time I go to a store are different things I can give you tons of examples around how a fixed mindset and just not being able to see beyond what we assume in front of us can inhibit our ability to get what get more than we expected.

7:05 Yeah. And so if you think about that in relation to entrepreneurs, right? I mean, there's so much that we do all throughout the day from, you know, supporting our clients and doing sales and discovery calls and reviewing things for our clients. What are some ways that you see negotiation coming up for us throughout our day,

7:25 really, the one thing that we it's personal, it is just personal negotiation is personal, because we're in it. So it is personal. And so what happens when things happen to us personally, is emotions are involved. So understanding that when we have any ups and downs emotionally, we should take a step back, because we're not thinking clearly. And when you said that, what came to mind was an example, that happened to me yesterday, I had a customer that I had quoted a pretty high monthly retainer for, and it made me kind of like, I was still kind of feeling like, Oh, should they be paying that much? There's a little bit of uneasiness around the number of the head thrown out. And this person from their office calls, I'm like, Why are they calling? They're gonna question me on it. Like, what am I going to say I was kind of thinking about, and I remembered my advice, and I try to take as much as I can is, answer the question that's asked of you. And he was actually only calling just to verify how to bill the number. And because I would have easily gotten my own way and been like defensive, I waited, answered the question.

This is where you send the check. It was a non-issue. But we can get in our own way. Just that's just an easy example about how we anticipate these things that when we, we swivel into their chair, we might see life differently. And so taking that time, to not make assumptions around the feelings that we're embodying, so that we don't get they don't get in our way.

9:04 Ah, that's so good. And I feel like how many times as you guys are listening to that, how many times throughout the day, do you do something like that similar, you see an email or you have a phone call, or something comes up and you're imagining all these things and almost showing up on the defensive. Meanwhile, they just want to know something really simple.

9:25 Exactly. And you've just kind of given them like that's one thing you want to do. On the other side of it is practicing silence If I was to give you just a simple key, that's one that I just love to place for people and, you know, silence can feel very uncomfortable and it could just feel like it's a long space and time. But doing that allows you to kind of get your feeling back. It allows you to get some objectivity and sometimes they talk first, most of the time They talk first so you can hear what's on their mind. But when we're nervous, we tend to keep talking. So just really being concise. And answering the question that's asked a view is a good way of just stopping and practicing that silence. I think that's a key one, if you want to try a party hack that you can start today.

10:21 I love that. And I feel like that kind of saves us from negotiating against ourselves without realizing we're doing.

10:28 Absolutely. Such a good point. That's exactly right.

So let's dive into I'd love to hear a little bit more about your story. And why negotiation? Like how has this played a role in first your corporate journey, and now your entrepreneurial journey to really get you to where you are today?

 Yeah,  I, as so many people start their story. It wasn't by design, I was in a corporate role, where I was doing pretty high end deals with media companies and found myself, just because I have a very outgoing personality might be able to tell, and I get people really quickly. So I was put in place to do some of the deals at a time when there wasn't a lot of vigor around the business process. So they started putting me in front of these big clients like Viacom, and discovery, Boeing, and I was doing multimillion dollar deals, and I was successful.

Because I would really think about the natural either natural tendency to think about all of the lever points and how to get both parties to a final scenario that everybody could be happy with. And as I was doing that, and they kept putting me more and more in front of, you know, kind of the point person for these pretty complex, complex negotiations, I started doing more research and really trying to figure out how can I take the best of what other people have said, success looks like. And I started watching people that I thought were great negotiators and just built a portfolio that I was really successful in. And then I had, at the same time in my personal life had children. And as they were growing up, just seeing how that influence, positively and negatively against me, because they learned very quick, early to negotiate against me, I am at the store. And they thought they thought about timing and how to put different things in front of me.

So I made decisions that benefited them. I saw that it happened every day. And it got me really excited because I thought, wow, I can take the best of what real I don't want to say real negotiators, but people that negotiate for a living, and help people understand that we need to use these things. It will make us better humans, better professionals, better entrepreneurs. And we get more comfortable with the idea of negotiating because we're not as afraid to try.

  13:01 Yeah, that's so good. And one of the things that you said that I really liked was coming up to, you know, a solution that everyone is happy with in so can you talk about what the output the desired output is with negotiation, because I think it's probably a little different than what people might think.

 13:20 So if you think about all negotiations, the only few, it doesn't matter about the long term relationship. I mean, I can only really think about really a car salesman like does it really matter, if you make his day, you're not really going to have a long term relationship with them. But every other negotiation normally involves, typically involves, I should say, typically involves somebody that you're going to have a relationship with. So you never want to leave that relationship with the other party feeling like you took advantage of them. And so with that, it's not that you're not going to ask for what you believe you deserve, or pushing beyond kind of the limitations that we put on ourselves about what our value is. But it also is having that lens on the other side, and what's important to them.

Because sometimes what's important to them is not what's important to you, and you can give them something that you don't care giving up, but they would feel really happy with. So So many times we kind of get so focused on and tied up around the negotiation process, that we don't take the time to think about what the other side needs. And so opening up our ability to look at it objectively and considering the needs of ourselves to get through it. And what you can do to benefit the other side allows you to see it more holistically in a way that can help reframe it like we were talking about the gender piece and what the research shows is, women aren't necessarily always great at advocating for themselves. But if they reframe it for themselves that this is for their team, they're great and negotiating for other people and for their team.

So if I'm doing a salary negotiation for myself, or as a business owner, you're negotiating a deal. It benefits more than you. It may be it benefits the people that work on your team, it benefits your family, it benefits your future self, you know, you need to think about whatever you need to do to free frame it for yourself, can help you, it will can enable you to really take a more objective view and move into and through the negotiation, feeling a little more confident.

15:42 Oh, that's so good. I could just I could totally feel that while you're talking. Because I can sometimes myself just be like, well, it's not that big a deal for me, I want to do what's gonna make them happy. But if I then start thinking about, but if I'm doing this for my team, for my husband, for my dogs, like, if I start thinking about the impact, all of a sudden, I'm going to be much less likely to make all of those concessions where at the end of the day, I didn't really feel great about it. That's so good.

16:13 Yeah, it is powerful. It is powerful to think about it like that. I love it.

 16:19 All right. So in the book, one of the things that you talk about that I'd love to have you share a little more about is the four part framework to negotiation. So can you share a little bit about what that is?

 16:30 Yeah, so the the reason I came up with it is because of that stereotypical way, we all have a relationship with the word negotiation, because we all know it. And so having people not focus on what that is, and what that means to them. That was really the purpose of the framework. So the framework looks at the journey, I would say, of a negotiation, whether it is a high stakes negotiation, you may stay within these phases longer, or a short term like negotiation could be how are you going to show up for your peer, or your partner, when you have to talk about something that's a little sticky. And so you can use this framework, even when you think about approaching a conversation, that it has a negotiation aspect to it, even though it feels very personal, it could be about you know how you're going to share funds? Or were you going to go on vacation, like There couldn't be a lot of those things that are a part of this framework as well.

So the four parts are, prepare, aware, close and evaluate. And so it's just thinking about before you go in, it's the preparation, there's research that shows that the party that's more prepared, does better. Preparation encompasses not only the the pieces of that I talked about that are important to you and to the other side, but it also anticipates, how are you going to feel, and how are they going to feel and how you're going to react. So the more you can prepare about that with those, it allows you when you go into the aware, which is the second phase, about what's going on. So if you know what you want, you're really clear about how you want to get through, then when you're in the moment, you may still feel those same feelings, but you are more able to objectively move through, because you've pre agreed with yourself about what your end in mind is. So it's just about getting there. And you can make decisions based on those very thought out plans during the AWARE phase. So there were is about being aware of the other party, how do you need to convince them? How much where are they in the process of saying yes, what do you need to do to get them to understand your side so that you're not just in here, you're also anticipating them. And then the close which we lose so many entrepreneurs, they have a plan and they're doing their plan? And if they just have a little bit of awareness around, okay, they're ready to say yes, ditch the rest? They've said yes. And go to close. What do we need to do next?

So having intention about being aware of when that close happens, and then evaluate, it's all about how do we get better? What do we do? Well, what do we know now that we're better at maybe we can go silence really worked. I'm going to use silence again. And in journaling or whatever that means for you so that when you go back to the start, and you're starting to prepare, you can take some of those best practices that you're learning along the way to then really help yourself be better than the next time.

 19:38 Yeah, I love that framework. It just makes it so simple to think about how to approach negotiation. So why your book exciting, and what are some of the other kind of key takeaways that people will get if they pick up your new book?

19:54 Yeah, it's been really great. I did it because I got a lot of people when I would do speaking that would say, oh my gosh, or that would coach about their approach, they would say, can you put this in writing somewhere, so we have something to go back to. So that was such a great endorsement. So I wrote the book, and then you know, now people have read it, which is also like, Oh, by people are gonna read it like, and what people have said to me is, this is something I can come back to. I like that this is a cookbook of ideas that I can apply to a lot of different situations.

And it allows you to see, through the stories that I have of how negotiation has shown up for me in all aspects of life, it then allows people to see oh, now I see it, and this and that. And so just even having that awareness, and then taking some of those keys, like framing the conversation, how do you who anchors first, what, what do you do if they anchor first versus you anchor first how to practice silence? Obviously, that's a that's a favorite one of mine. But what are some of the things that you can use in your day to day, and then you're really building your skill, your tool belt, if you will, to be able to when the stakes are high, it you can really show up in a way that you're more confident you feel better, and you'll know what the framework is to follow. So it's all about how do people that just do it every day, can use this, to allow themselves to get more along the way. And then when it matters most. They're ready.

21:32 I love it. I feel like these are just life skills, their business skills, their professional skills. It's just I feel like it's something that's so valuable. And something that I don't I, for all of you who are listening, I don't know, if you like wake up every day and think negotiation, right. But when I hear you talk about it, it makes me realize negotiation really does happen around me all day long. And how often during the day do I negotiate? So I think it's such a great book, really super valuable. And so can you tell people where they can find the book?

 22:06 Absolutely. So it's gonna be available on Amazon. So you can search for the title is The Art of everyday negotiation without manipulation. I will have it on my website, which is Susie, Tom and Chuck calm. And that will have all of that has all the specifics around how to find it, how to order it. And if you go to negotiation There's a freebie there that gives you a cheat sheet on things that you can do to start to activate your negotiator so that you can try some things in your day to day. So those are the places to find the book and more information about it.

22:49 Oh, I love it. Everyone. Of course, all of the links will be in the show notes below. But tell us what else is going on? What do you have coming up? And what are you really excited about as we get ready to step into the new year?

23:00 Yeah, I love to just see how negotiation really comes alive for people. I love to hear the success stories. So I am going to be launching in the new year and negotiation intensive course a two day half day session with some ongoing opportunities for people to have workshops and talk about some negotiation scenarios that are happening in real time. And I find that people love to hear the stories of others because it allows you to see negotiation all the time. And obviously I am such I just love the topic, it gets me it completely inspired. And just being able to give like you said, it's an essential tool for all of us to really understand and embrace so that we whatever channels that we use it in can be better off for ourselves and all the people around us. So that's what's next for me is really spreading the word and helping people in a more real time way, be able to take the framework into their real life.

24:10 I love it. And so now I'm like dying to hear the answer to this. But this is the question I asked everybody. I want to hear what you have to say. So how do you work smarter, not harder and keep things lean in your business?

 24:22 Such a good question, because I'm definitely a person of overwhelm. I am very optimistic about a time and how much I can force into a small amount of time and that I can do everything myself. So you didn't ask me to say this, but you have been my coach and helped me really figure out how to make my overwhelm. Put it in categories that I can accomplish and making sure that I'm prioritizing and focusing on what's going to really get me to the next level. So I hate to say it because it's gonna sound like this was contrived, but that's my true answer. I couldn't do it alone. And I think that's really fair for so many of us entrepreneurs, and you've really given me the ability to be successful by becoming more lean in what I'm doing and being able to move the business forward without being the only person that is involved in not

25:20 Well, thank you. No, definitely was not expecting that answer. However, that makes me incredibly happy to hear. And you are absolutely amazing. And I'm just I'm, I love seeing your journey unfold. I'm so excited for all of you to check out Susie's book really, it's absolutely incredible. But I want to leave everybody with like one parting tip on negotiation. Any final things that you think everybody should keep in mind as they think about negotiation every day?

25:50 Yeah, one thing that people talk about a lot is don't say yes to the first offer. And so obviously, you can dissect that and understand that that means you'll leave money on the table, if you say yes, right away. But the other side of the coin to that is if you say yes, right away, you're not honoring the person on the other side of the table, because now they know that they could have gotten you for for less, because their first offer was too good. So not only should you never say yes to the first offer the first thing so that you continue to negotiate and you understand that everything is a negotiation. It also is good for the relationship to even take the time to say I need to consider this maybe or yes is a little later. But taking that time so that the other person feels like they got a good deal too.

26:46 So good. So good. I never would have thought of that. I love that. All right Susie this has been an absolute incredible conversation. Thank you so much for being on the podcast today. Can you share those links one more time for everybody if they want to learn more about you about the book or about the intensive you've got coming up?

27:06 Absolutely. You can find everything on my website it's Susie Tom and Chuck calm which you should probably look up because it's not probably spelled exactly like you would think but Susie Tom Chuck calm and negotiation love because everybody should love negotiation is where you can get the freebie and that will also give you more information about my website. Getting the link to the book is also on the website as well. So you can either go to Amazon and find it there directly or just go through my website.

 27:37 Excellent. Well, thank you so much, and everybody, all those links will be down below in the show notes. But Suzie, thank you so much for being on the show. We'll definitely have to have you back again to dive even deeper into this. So everyone, thanks so much for tuning in this week. We will see you again next week.

28:00 Thank you for joining me for another episode of the Lean Out Your Business podcast. I hope you got a lot of value and actionable insights from today's show, and would love if you take a moment to leave us a review. If you have any questions on today's episode or on how to lean out your business. Join us over in our private Facebook community where every week we do live training and q&a. And I'd love to have you be part of the conversation had to lean out to join us. And before you go, be sure to subscribe to the show. So you're the first to know when we release a new episode. We'll see you next week.



by Crista Grasso

Crista Grasso is the go-to strategic planning expert for leading global businesses and online entrepreneurs when they want to scale.  Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact to scale a business simply and sustainably. She specializes in helping businesses gain clarity on the most important things that will drive maximum value for their clients and maximum profits for their business.  She is the creator of the Lean Out Method, 90 Day Lean Out Planner, and host of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast. She is also the founder and CVO of the Profitable Planner Co and Criscara Jewelry.


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