Do you suck at sales?

I’m willing to bet you actually have a really good service, I’m willing to bet you are pretty dang good at design and I bet you can even get clients some good results…so why is selling so tricky? Communication.

Sales is all about how well you communicate not only the value of your service but how you handle negotiations (aka sales meeting) and guide the other person to the destination of closing the sale.

It also reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

“The quality of your life will depend on how you communicate.”

Wow have I found that to be 100% true in both personal and professional arena’s.

In this podcast episode, I’m so excited to bring on one of my new entrepreneurial friends and CEO of the American Negotiation Institute, Kwame Christian, who shares his top strategies and methods for how to sell better, how to handle negotiations and how to handle conflict when it arises.

As a lawyer, author, podcast host, TED speaker and thriving online entrepreneur, Kwame has so much to offer when it comes to this topic, I can’t wait to see what you take away from this conversation.

Share your top takeaway at and I’ll make sure Kwame see’s it!

In this episode:

00:00 – Introduction
01:58 – Greeting to Kwame
04:54 – Confidence in titles
08:05 – Importance of communication
11:18 – Three parts to be effective
14:29 – the biggest struggle
17:25 – Negotiation is learned
19:07 – The Steps
21:30 – Earn the right to persuade
23:14 – Challenges of people
24:24 – How to deal with emotions
31:19 – Utilizing compromise
35:54 – Role playing example
43:30 – Human centered approach
46:15 – How to get results
48:45 – Aware of personality types
52:28 – Build likability
57:20 – Be the conversational leader
1:00:19 – Learn the Why
1:06:27 – Online communication

How to Have Difficult Conversations About Race | Kwame Christian

Connect with Kwame:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #231 Full Transcription

[00:00:00] Josh: hello friends. Welcome into episode 231, where I have got a treat for you in this one. I’m so excited in this episode to bring on somebody I’ve met more recently, uh, who is the c e O of the American Negotiation Institute.

[00:00:17] Josh: This is Kwame Christian who, as I just mentioned, I, I met recently as he’s local here in Columbus, Ohio as well. And when I met him, I realized something very quickly that he is an astute listener. He is very intentional and he is an incredible communicator, and for those reasons, I wanted to see if he would be willing on to, to come onto the podcast to share with us some tips on sales and negotiating and how to handle conflict and just communication as a whole.

[00:00:48] Josh: That’s exactly what we dive into in this conversation. I had an absolute blast in this. I, I, I say this later on, but I think what I’ve realized and my journey and what I see a lot of my students struggle with is you get really good at design and services and your craft, but the last thing it’s likely that you’re really learning about and diving into is communication.

[00:01:09] Josh: And which as you’ll find out if you haven’t learned already, is the absolute key thing when it comes to sales. So I think in this conversation in particular, I think you’re really gonna pull a lot of strong and, and, and, uh, proven strategies for selling better and negotiating. So I’m so excited for you to meet Kwame and to dive into this.

[00:01:27] Josh: And we’re gonna cover quite a few links in here. Kwame has some resources for you that I’m gonna recommend that you dive into after this, including a course on LinkedIn, without which I’m about to take on working and communicating with different personalities, which I’m really excited about. So, all that to say, what a great conversation.

[00:01:42] Josh: I could have chatted with Kwame for eight hours on this, but we tried to keep it concise for you. Here’s my man, Kwame. We’re gonna talk all things, selling, negotiation, communication and more. Let’s have some fun.

[00:01:59] Josh: Welcome to the podcast, man. I had such a good time meeting you a few months ago and I was stoked that you were down to to come on. I know you’re a busy guy, so thanks for the time today, man.

[00:02:08] Kwame: Hey, my pleasure. Yeah, I’ve been looking forward to this since we met a few months ago too. I’ve been, I’ve been super busy. I know you have been too, but I’m glad we’re able to make this happen.

[00:02:18] Josh: Yes. And I think this topic that we’re gonna dive into, like we were chatting about before we went live, this is something we really haven’t touched on too much on the podcast. Uh, and you, I can’t think of anyone else better to talk to about this.

[00:02:31] Josh: Really just about communication and how to communicate better in all areas of business and life, sales, conflict, uh, tricky conversations, all things I know you are, I would consider, you know, the man to talk to. So, I’m so excited to dive into this. Dude, I wanna ask you though, the, the question that I love asking online entrepreneurs now, and that is, when somebody asks you what you do, what do you

[00:02:55] Kwame: tell them?

[00:02:56] Kwame: Man? Jas, I’m so glad that you asked that question. And, um, It’s funny you have me on to talk about communication, and this is something I struggled mightily with because for so many years it was, yeah, I’m a business lawyer. Um, and, uh, that, that’s the, that was kinda like the elevator pitch that I would have, you know, go on the spiel about business law and things like that.

[00:03:18] Kwame: Then I transitioned and I was, uh, I started the American Negotiation Institute, but it was small. It was kinda like a side hustle. So I was it the, the, the existential crisis I was having was, do I still call myself a lawyer or do I call myself, uh, you know, the owner of this, uh, of the American Negotiation Institute?

[00:03:33] Kwame: Do I lean into c e o? Like, what is it? It’s, it’s just me at this time, six years ago. So I don’t know what felt right. And so I really wrestled with this for years, but now we have a staff, I’m not practicing really anymore, uh, practicing long anymore. And so now when people ask, well, what do you do? I just confidently say I’m the CEO of the American Negotiation Institute.

[00:03:53] Kwame: And I, I leave it there and then let their curiosity lead the way. Cuz usually they’re like, what, what , what is, what do you do? And I said, yeah. So we’re a, a company that conducts negotiation and conflict resolution trainings that make difficult conversations easier. We have podcasts, books, and other resources to help, uh, along that way too.

[00:04:12] Kwame: And so that, I’m telling you, Josh, like I just came up with that a month and a half ago.

[00:04:17] Josh: Oh, nice. Well, I like the idea of just saying your title and, and particularly for businesses that if you have a business name, if you do say, I’m the owner of such and such design agency, or if I’m c e o of American, negotiating essence to it like that is kind of cool because okay, that’s what your role is.

[00:04:36] Josh: But then I would imagine. The, it looks a little bit different depending on the room you’re in with what questions they ask, and then you could probably dive into to the, the secondary topic. So I like that. That’s a good, that’s a good rule to stand by. I’m gonna, I’m gonna definitely take that and mention that and recommend that to my students who are unsure as well when people ask them what they do.

[00:04:54] Kwame: Yeah. And I think it’s, it’s worthwhile to do a little exploration of why that question is so hard because it’s, when you just think about it logically, what do you do? There’s an answer. You should leave it at that. But there’s something inside of us that makes it tough. And I know for me it was a bit of insecurity, you know, I started this company, um, is how legitimate, is it legitimate?

[00:05:12] Kwame: Is it to say I’m a c e of something that I started, it’s very legitimate , that’s what an entrepreneurship is, right? And so there was a little bit of insecurity there. Um, uh, just kinda leaning into that and saying it, and then balancing that concern of like arrogance. Does it sound arrogant to say that?

[00:05:28] Kwame: But it’s no, it’s just a factual type of thing. And so that’s how I say it. It’s just a matter of fact thing. What’s your name? My name is Kwame Christian. What do you do? I’m the c e o of the American Negotiation Institute. It is what it is. And I think for the people who struggle with that, I think they’ll find a lot more headway when they start to do a little bit of introspection and figure out what it is that makes that particular question so difficult for them to answer.

[00:05:50] Josh: Well, I love that. It, it reminds me of a chat I just had recently on the podcast. One of my students mentioned this very, this very idea and this very topic, and she said she struggled for years with saying what she does by saying just, well, I build websites. But she recently turned it around to I am the owner of a web design business.

[00:06:08] Josh: And it just shifts the, like, confidence in your posture and your stature immediately. Not that I think it’s some sort of power trip, but I do think it’s interesting that you could go from like, well, I, I build websites to like, I’m a business owner. Like I, I’m own a web design business. Uh, so right off the gate. That’s really interesting cuz that kind of sets the precedence for communication potentially too, right? Moving forward if you start in a position of confidence, I guess

[00:06:34] Kwame: 100%. Like that, that’s what my whole first book was about, finding confidence and conflict. Because confidence by itself is persuasive. And so a lot of times with the negotiation, um, materials that are out there, they are giving a lot of these tactical advice, uh, this tactical advice, strategic advice and teaching negotiation skills. But that’s not really the biggest issue. It’s kind of like giving recipes to people who are afraid to get in the kitchen.

[00:06:57] Kwame: That we have to address that fear. Right. And I, I, just to give an example, I remember I was at my doctor’s office and, um, she asked me, so what do you do? And this was the first time after I came up to it, I was like, yes. She asked, this is what I’m gonna say, . And then I was like, I’m the c e o of the American Negotiation Institute.

[00:07:12] Kwame: And then her response was, She like, she said, oh my gosh. Like she was legitimately impressed. Right. And I think that’s something that we need to do more as entrepreneurs just step into our power, you know? And it’s not, it’s not like a, like a power trip in a negative way where we’re being arrogant or hubristic or anything like that. It just is what it is. And I think a lot of times we do our potential customers a disservice by having these tepid responses that don’t fully articulate the value that we bring.

[00:07:42] Josh: Ooh, that’s well said. Well, I’m gonna steal this and start saying, I’m the c e O of josh And see what type of face, yes.

[00:07:48] Josh: See what type of looks I get back. Uh, hey, so we, you mentioned something before we went live and I think we both stopped each other cuz we knew we were onto something good. And that is the goal of communication. I would love Kwame to hear your thoughts on what that goal is like. Why is communication important?

[00:08:05] Kwame: Yeah, communication is important because it’s what connects us. We’re social animals, we’re primates, that’s what we do. And um, you think about the, the fear of rejection, you know how when you’re rejected it, it hurts. What’s interesting is that they’ve done studies and they’ve found that the, the pain associated with rejection actually registers through your body like a physical pain.

[00:08:26] Kwame: So they did a study where giving somebody an analgesic, like T Tylenol actually diminished the pain of rejection. Like that is how tied to communication and connection we are. And so when we think about us as social animals, the way we socialize is through some form of communication. That’s really it.

[00:08:44] Kwame: And that’s why communication is so important. And when we were chatting it, it really just hit me that there’s just one single goal for communication and that is to be effective. With the tool of communication, then it begs the question, what is, what does it mean to be effective? How are we rating efficacy?

[00:09:02] Kwame: And that is where it gets really interesting because a lot of times we don’t take the time to actually consider why it is we’re communicating what we are communicating. And that lack of internal clarity leads to external, um, lack of clarity as well. Because if you don’t understand why you’re communicating, then the person who’s receiving the message doesn’t understand what you are communicating.

[00:09:26] Josh: Great point. My gosh, in the case of business too, this is one of the biggest challenges I see with a lot of my students if they’re earlier on in the, in their web design career, is maybe they don’t fully feel confident in their services and they’re not a hundred percent sure of what they do and how they do it.

[00:09:42] Josh: And that just comes out in every way when it comes to sales and proposals. Project management. It’s like, unless you are sure about what you do in, in the business sense, what you do, the results you get, it can be really tough to sell. Uh, now that said, I was able to sell early on because of care and because of just my eagerness to really do a good job, which does work.

[00:10:04] Josh: I mean, you can, you can sell without being fully confident, but my gosh, it sure makes it easier when you understand. Why you do what you do, what you do, and starting with good communication that just kind of goes out from there. So that’s a great point, man. It reminds me of a quote I heard years ago that I’ve literally probably thought about every day.

[00:10:23] Josh: And I got invited to this, what I thought was like my friend’s business, uh, presentation. Turns out it was like one of those, uh, network marketing things. Uh, however, I will say it was not a total waste of time because the, the speaker they brought him was actually really good and he had some really good things.

The quality of your life will depend on how well you communicate. – Josh

[00:10:38] Josh: And you mentioned you’re a note taker. I had my notepad. I, I think I was one of the only people in there taking notes, even though I had no intention of joining. But he said something that relates to this so well, and he said, the quality of your life will depend on how well you communicate. And I heard that and was like, Ooh, I wrote that down and circled it.

[00:10:58] Josh: And as I’ve gone through the years after hearing that, I just, it j I always go back to that quote cuz I, it’s so true in business and in personal life, like how well you communicate it. Like anyone who’s been married, Probably can say that’s 100% true in, in the business sense. I love that. So what are your thoughts on that? Uh, do you agree that the quality of life is just gonna depend on how you all, you communicate?

[00:11:18] Kwame: 100%. It, it sounds, it’s very similar to the motto at the American Negotiation Institute. We believe the best things in life are on the other side of difficult conversations. You know, so we, we take it to the next level because we’re saying, all right, yes, communication in general, but then also there, every conversation is important, but.

[00:11:36] Kwame: All conversations have the same level of importance, right? There’re gonna be some crucial conversations that require conflict resolution. Communication in general is very, very helpful. And in the vast majority of cases, that will be enough to get you where you want to go. But then every once in a while, they’re gonna be these really important conversations that requires another element of communication, which is persuasive communication or conflict resolution.

[00:11:59] Kwame: So going back to that example, think about uh, your, your significant other. Think about the business relationships you have. The majority of those conversations are pretty easy, but we remember every single one of them that was not easy. And the problem is with a lot of us, when it comes to effective communication in those situations, it requires the ability to resolve conflict, manage emotions, and negotiate. But those three things are skills. Most people don’t have that innately. And unfortunately with the education system that we have, we don’t learn those skills.

[00:12:34] Kwame: Check this out. So, I graduated from Ohio State Psychology degree, master of Public Policy Law Degree. So I took negotiation courses, conflict resolution courses, mediation courses, those type of things. Cause I liked it. But what people don’t know is that the vast majority of lawyers graduate, never, ever, ever taking a negotiation or conflict resolution course.

[00:12:57] Kwame: So even if you are in a, a job that requires a negotiation or conflict resolution, statistically speaking, most likely you haven’t received any training on that. And if you did, It was years ago and a like a, a short term class, so you forgot most of it. And so yes, when we think about communication, it’s going to have a massive impact on the quality of our lives.

[00:13:18] Kwame: But we also have to recognize too that we are not going to be effective at communication until we take the time to learn how to effectively communicate.

[00:13:26] Josh: Oh, I love that. What was the big three again? Negotiation, conflict. What was the third? And emotion management. Emotion. Okay. Okay. And I’m trying to, you know, we could take, we really could take this from a personal sense, but also in a business sense on the business side of things.

[00:13:41] Josh: I think about this like negotiation. For web designers, it’s most often in the beginning when you are proposing a project and dealing with a client who says, ah, it’s more than we thought, trying to explain the value, et cetera. Conflict is gonna come in o often during the project management phase when there’s deliverables and feedback and difference of them opinions and everything, and troubles with, with designs or, or the project and as a whole.

[00:14:04] Josh: Um, and then emotional, I mean, I guess at, at some point, oh, Ooh. I had plenty of emotional times as a web designer, but I feel like sometimes you do have to put your emotions aside to get something done or just to work with somebody, especially if it’s a case of growing a business. So those three pillars, man that is awesome. What do you think is the hardest, uh, maybe that’s not a fair question. What, what is the one that you see people struggle with the most out of those three?

[00:14:29] Kwame: I would say, ooh, there’s so many options here. Let me give you a couple top ones. I think the biggest one is emotion management. Um, because I don’t think people recognize it’s a challenge, but most people don’t understand the challenge because when they think about emotion management, they focus on the other person.

[00:14:46] Kwame: They have emotions. I need to manage them. How do I do that? But then they don’t realize that, hey, you as the negotiator, you’re gonna have emotions too. You can’t manage their emotions until you manage your own. And so most people haven’t taken the time to study how to regulate their own emotions. And if you can’t regulate your own emotions, how then can we expect you to regulate the emotions of others?

[00:15:09] Kwame: So emotion management is really, really important. Then when I think about negotiation, most people. Struggle with negotiation because they don’t know what negotiation is. And so the definition that I use for negotiation is any conversation where somebody in the conversation wants something. And when you have that broad definition, you realize that you’re negotiating all the time.

[00:15:29] Kwame: You’re gonna be negotiating most frequently with the people who are closest to you, the people who are on your team. So at home it’s gonna be your significant others, you’re your children, uh, family and friends. Um, at work, it’s going to be your employees, the contractors that work for you. And then it’s going to extend out to the outside world when you’re thinking about the, the people that you’re trying to, to have these business negotiations with.

[00:15:49] Kwame: Those are the ones that are most infrequent. And so one of the biggest mistakes that people make in negotiation is that they don’t know they’re negotiating. And if you don’t know you’re negotiating, then you don’t know to bring these skills to the table when it matters most.

[00:16:03] Josh: That’s an interesting thought. Yeah. I mean, I really, like, I never would’ve considered myself. at any level, good at negotiating. But as I think about my career, and I think most everybody has a business owner, you’re, yeah, like you said, you’re negotiating constantly all the time. It just isn’t in a courtroom or it isn’t in like a business deal, uh, in an office somewhere.

[00:16:23] Josh: Like negotiation is, yeah, it’s everywhere. That’s a really good thought. And I’m actually kind of curious conflict too, like from a personal perspective, I hate conflict. I just hate it. I’m, I just am a simple guy who just likes to have good days and I don’t wanna fight with anyone. I just wanna have a good time.

[00:16:40] Josh: That’s mainly what, what my favorite thing is. So conflict for me, I’ve had to really, really be intentional about negotiation and emotion. We’re not near as hard for me as, as conflict. I say that to say I’ve had to intentionally like, Do better at that. And, uh, especially as being married, you get to learn, you learn pretty quickly that conflict is something you’re gonna be working through often because two people who spend a lot of time together are not going to agree on everything.

[00:17:05] Josh: So I, I think with, like with conflict, Do you have any advice on that or for a personality like me who just doesn’t like conflict and a lot of people don’t even show up for conflict or they just stop the conversation immediately because they don’t even want to get into it. What are what? What would be your take on like just some tips on doing better at conflict?

This is a skill, not a talent. I can improve when it comes to self-advocacy. – Kwame

[00:17:25] Kwame: Yeah, so let, let me start with this because I think a lot of times people look at thought leaders in the negotiation space and say, well, there’s something different about them. They’re built differently. Um, but I think it’s helpful to, to understand my origin story when it comes to this. So for me, I was profoundly bad at negotiation and conflict resolution. I’m, I’m a recovering people pleaser, and it wasn’t until law school that I discovered negotiation. And um, it was the first time I realized that this is a skill, not a talent. I can improve when it comes to self-advocacy. I can stand up for myself, I can persuade other people.

[00:17:57] Kwame: I didn’t realize that. And so we had negotiation competitions at the law school, and my partner and I, we won the competition at Ohio State that gave us the opportunity to represent the school at the regional competition at, um, in Ottawa, Ontario with the American Bar Association. And we won that as well.

[00:18:12] Kwame: And then we made it to the semi-finals of nationals in New Orleans. So I was hooked. And so for me, like every time I stand up for myself, have a difficult conversation and negotiate, it’s a vote in confidence for the man that I ultimately want to be. But for me, it’s even more empowering to be able to share that to other people so we can change the, the, the world one difficult conversation at a time. That’s my mission. That’s why I do what I do.

[00:18:34] Kwame: And so when I think about when it comes to conflict resolution and how we start, let’s go back to the definition. I love definitions here, right? So we have negotiation, which is any conversation where somebody wants something. And the way I think about conflict is that conflict is just a negotiation with. There’s an emotional element that makes, there’s a little spice.

[00:18:55] Josh: Little flavor.

[00:18:56] Kwame: Exactly. There’s a little bit of flavor, right? . And so that’s what makes it so tough. And so objective number one is to address the emotions, tamper that down so it becomes more manageable.

[00:19:07] Kwame: Then it becomes a negotiation. Now that’s a lot easier. And so for us, our, our approach, our flow chart for how we have these difficult conversations is diffuse, connect, persuade. So step one, I want to diffuse the emotionality. Number two, I want to connect with the person, build trust, build rapport. And number three, then I, I’ll get to persuading.

[00:19:27] Kwame: But what’s really interesting, especially with these, these conflicts that we have internally with people on our own team, is that usually you just need to get through step one and step two, and you’re good. Like persuasion happens like. Don’t have to do it. It’s, it either happens organically where they just start to see things differently or it becomes significantly more, uh, more manageable to persuade the person.

[00:19:48] Kwame: Because one of the biggest mistakes we make is that we try to persuade too soon. We start the conflict off on where we disagree and where the other person’s wrong and it necessitates a combative response. Josh just said, I’m wrong. I need to say I’m right. Then Josh says, you know what? I think they’re wrong. They said they’re right. I’m gonna say they’re wrong again. Now we’re having a dumb conversation, Josh. Yeah, .

[00:20:08] Josh: It’s not going anywhere. I’m sure, I’m sure everyone like me right now is having flashbacks to a fight with a spouse or, or, uh, you know, relationship or a family member where you just immediately start with combative persuasion. I don’t know if there’s a proper term for that, but, uh, guilty, like all of us probably are, which it makes sense if you feel you are in the right or if you want to be heard and you don’t feel like you’re being heard.

[00:20:32] Josh: But what a great reminder to like, take a step back and start with. Like, like hearing them, like setting that foundation for empathy and trust to build that. And then b, you know, laying the groundwork before you just dish out, blah, all your thoughts. Cuz it’s, again, I mean, I, I learned that early on in marriage especially, it’s like, instead of coming at my wife immediately with why I think I’m right and why I think she’s wrong, being intentional about, well why do you feel this way?

[00:21:00] Josh: This is just personally what I learned. I, I’ve been tr I’ve tried to, which we don’t, you know, we, we used to fight a lot more in the early days, which I think is, which I think it’s as common when you get to know each other. Hopefully it kind of levels out. But in the early days, I, I’d started persuading first and I have learned to persuade last.

[00:21:18] Josh: So yeah, I say that to say, What a great reminder. I’m so glad you brought this up and now I’m flashing back to unpleasant memories, but , as we all, all do when it comes to communication, which is why this is so important.

[00:21:30] Kwame: Absolutely. And I, I think it’s really important when we think about the, um, the persuasion equation. I think about the, uh, earning the right to persuade. I have to earn that, right? I can tell in their body language and in their emotionality when they are ready for it. Because if you say the right thing at the wrong time, it doesn’t work. And we also have to remember that there’s a big difference between being right and being persuasive because we can always think about times where we were objectively correct.

[00:21:55] Kwame: Unquestionably. But did that help you ? A lot of times it doesn’t. And then we, it’s a really frustrating place to be in a situation where you, you find yourself facing a, an opponent or a person on the other side where it seems like they are impervious to facts. It’s like, what else do I have at my disposal?

[00:22:14] Kwame: And then that’s how you start to realize, okay, this, there’s an art to this, there’s a science to this, there’s an approach that works. Being right and having the data is not enough to win the day. Hmm.

[00:22:27] Josh: Oh gosh, that’s really good. I mean, again, both personal and business fronts. Wow. What a good, what a good thought. I’m just my head’s spinning right now because this is all coming into, into the forefront for me with the idea of persuasion and being right or being wrong in some cases, but like, some people are really wrong, but really persuasive and that’s equally as dangerous. So it’s, it’s, this is fascinating, man.

[00:22:49] Josh: I’m kind of curious, like in business, let’s stick on the business front. What is some, uh, what are some of the areas that you, do you guys have like clients or do you work with groups? How, how do you, like what, what’s your customer? Yeah,

[00:23:02] Kwame: so that, it’s a great question because we haven’t found much consistency there.

[00:23:07] Kwame: Okay. Because

[00:23:08] Josh: our, yeah, I just asked that cause I’m, the next question I was gonna ask was like, what challenges do you typically see in regards to this? So

[00:23:14] Kwame: challenges are the same. Okay. Um, because our customers are people who happen to deal with people. Which are people. Right. And so like that, that’s the thing. So sometimes we have like fortune five, fortune 10 companies who are negotiating billion dollar deals. They want negotiation tips. Cool. Sometimes it’s other organizations where they’re just leaders and managers, architecture firms. Like all, like all we, there is no. Um, industry that we haven’t touched yet, which is really cool.

[00:23:42] Kwame: The challenges ultimately and fascinatingly are the same. So managing emotions is a big challenge. Like keeping your calm under pressure is a big one. Dealing with difficult people is something that comes up a lot and then a lack of confidence. They don’t have confidence in their skillset and they don’t have confidence in the, the tools that they have.

[00:24:04] Kwame: So for instance, it’s like if you don’t understand the science and if you don’t understand why something works, then you’re kind of gonna be skeptical because if you don’t understand the mechanisms that are controlling the behavior beneath the surface, it’s gonna seem like some of the things that I’m gonna ask you to do, um, are not going to and they’re gonna be scary.

[00:24:24] Kwame: So, for example, acknowledging and validating emotions is, is something that we have to do. So I have a, a framework called the compassionate Curiosity Framework. It’s a three-step process. Step one, acknowledge and validate the emotions. Step two, get curious with compassion. And step three, joint problem solving.

[00:24:38] Kwame: And so that tracks with diffuse connect persuade. So we’re gonna acknowledge and validate the emotions by saying it sounds like, it seems like, or I can tell that. And we’re gonna label the emotions. And then we’re gonna ask questions with an open, uh, an open-ended questions. Get the person to talk with a more compassionate tone.

[00:24:54] Kwame: And then we’re gonna work with them. Just, it should feel like a brainstorming session by the third step cuz you worked through the emotions, you gathered all the information, now you’re working with them to solve the problems. That that’s it. But the thing that’s scary is that sometimes if you acknowledge the emotion and you label it the wrong way, the person does not like to be mislabeled and then you, you’re, you feel terrified and you back off of the strategy.

[00:25:17] Kwame: But I’ll give an example of, of why it still works. So, uh, in one of my mediations, there was a woman who was really, really stoic. She was like, stonewalling me. I wasn’t getting any information, the information that I would need in order to really address the situation. So I said, okay, there’s probably, this is a mediation, it’s a tough situation.

[00:25:35] Kwame: Um, it, I’m gonna label the emotion, try to break through. And so I said, so correct me if I’m wrong, but it, it seems like you’re really frustrated with the way that things are going now. And then she got quiet for a second and then she glared at me and said, oh, no, no, no, no, Kwame. I’m not, I’m not frustrated.

[00:25:51] Kwame: I’m angry. I’m angry and I’m angry for this reason, that reason and this reason. And I said, Hey, I apologize. It, it makes sense that. Angry. Can you tell me a little bit more about what’s making you angry? Well, I’m mad because of this and this and this, and so if you don’t understand what’s happening beneath the surface, what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna label the person, they’re gonna say wrong.

[00:26:11] Kwame: Your label isn’t wrong, . And then you say, oh, Kwame led me astray. What happened? But the thing is, they will label themselves and there’s magic that’s happening beneath the surface because the amygdala is what triggers the emotionality, but the part of the brain that engages in logical reasoning is the frontal lobe.

[00:26:28] Kwame: But there’s an antagonistic relationship between the two. Element. So the more emotional you are, the less clearly you’re thinking. The more clearly you’re thinking, the more emotional you are, the less, the more emotional you are. It’s an either or. And so the part of the brain that labels the emotions is in the frontal lobe.

[00:26:44] Kwame: So when you label the emotion that activates that part of the brain, one way or another, either you’re right or you’re wrong, but it activates that part of the brain. So you have to stay in that mode and then they calm down.

[00:26:55] Josh: And I would, I’m curious, do you think could, I was, I was gonna ask like, is it beneficial to have equal parts? Logic and emotion in some sort of conflict, or do you feel like emotion more comes into play with persuasion? Potentially

[00:27:09] Kwame: it’s, humans are mostly emotional. And when somebody says, oh, I’m really logical, I’m just focusing on the facts, and they say that during a difficult conversation, that is an example of an emotion , you know? Oh, okay. Right. And so like, emotion comes in very different forms. So I know for me, like back in the day, uh, pre therapy, Kwame, I know the, the way that you could tell whether or not I was upset was if I said, I’m not upset.

[00:27:34] Josh: You know? Yeah. Cuz when I think of emotion, I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like that’s when you’re like lashing out and you’re, you know, or crying or like in a bombastic type of emotional trait. But it, that is a good point. That emotion may look different for different people.

[00:27:47] Kwame: 100%. So think about this, Josh. So we, we both have young kids, right? So one of the things that’s interesting about kids and I, the reason I love like studying them is because the frontal lo is the last part of the brain to develop. And so that’s the, the emotional regulation exists there. That’s why children will cry and fall down and everything like that for not that much because they can’t regulate themselves, but those children grow up into adults.

[00:28:14] Kwame: The thing is, Those emotions are still there. We just do a much better job of concealing them in something called professionalism. And so the thing is, you won’t, most us always see it , most of us. Exactly. So you won’t always, I honestly, I would rather have deal with somebody who is overtly emotional, cuz at least I know what I’m dealing with. Oh, that’s interesting. Yeah. But if somebody is really professional, then I’m kind of, I’m flying blind.

[00:28:39] Kwame: Like you are gonna run into problems and not understand why you’re running into the problems, because you’re not recognizing that it’s an emotional problem. We think it’s a logical problem. It’s a factual problem. And so we try to use this really precise, logical reasoning and data analysis and providing evidence, and we’re fighting the wrong battle.

[00:28:59] Kwame: They cannot absorb what you’re saying until you address the emotional state. So it, it doesn’t make sense to send a message to somebody who is not psychologically ready to receive it. So we need to become better at our emotional intelligence to recognize when we’re dealing with an emotional barrier so we can address the emotion and then earn our right to persuade later on in the conversation.

[00:29:19] Josh: And it goes back to something you said earlier, which was awesome, which is the right thing said at the wrong time. How did it end? Yeah. How did it You can the right, you can say the right thing at the wrong time. Maybe that was the, that was the quote. Um,

[00:29:33] Kwame: exactly. And if you say the right thing at the wrong time, it just doesn’t work. Doesn’t work. You know, and that’s the thing. And so we have to be really, really patient. That’s something that great negotiators do really well. I had, um, Gary Nester on the podcast yesterday, and he was the former F B I lead crisis negotiator. So he was the person who was negotiating at Waco, Texas, you know, so like big time stuff.

[00:29:56] Kwame: And one of the things I’m realizing is that, With great negotiators there’s not a hack. There’s not like a three step process to win every negotiation. It’s, it’s not like that. There are no magic tricks in this, but if you have the patience to diligently apply the rules of negotiation and conflict resolution long enough, you will win the negotiations that are winnable.

[00:30:16] Kwame: We also have to address the fact that not all negotiations are winnable, and sometimes it’s a matter of time before we break through. Sometimes the person is simply not breakthrough able and sometimes you have to make a cost benefit analysis and say, even though I believe I could break through with this person, it will take me more time and I would be better served ending the negotiation at this

[00:30:35] Josh: point.

[00:30:36] Josh: What a segue. I was gonna ask you about compromise and where that fits in with communication and conflict. Like this is obviously very open-ended, and it may depend whether it is personal or business, but. As a married, I’m going back to the married person, just cuz I think it’s the easiest example when it comes to learning about communication and conflict and compromise is a big thing that my wife and I both learned.

[00:30:57] Josh: Like, we may not agree, we don’t have to agree on everything, that it’s not gonna be the case with two people. But this thing of compromise is another really important subject and topic that people just aren’t taught about until it’s too late often. What, what’s your thoughts on compromise and like when, I mean, maybe it’s just a weighing of like the pros and cons and, um, you know, what that would look like, but Yeah. What, what about compromise? Open-ended dot, but I’d love to hear

[00:31:19] Kwame: Oh, I’ve got tons of thoughts on this . And so the, uh, the relationship between negotiation and compromise is similar to the relationship between squares and rectangles. So all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.

[00:31:33] Kwame: Right. And so in Negoti some negotiations may require compromise, but all not, not all negotiations require compromise. And my biggest issue with compromise is that when you have a shallow toolbox, when you don’t have any other negotiation skills or strategies or techniques, to go back to compromise is the first thing we go to where we say, all right, I’m having this conversation, I’m running into resistance.

[00:31:58] Kwame: Ah, I should probably give something up in order to break through. And sometimes that leads us to compromise when we shouldn’t compromise. And so for me, we have to, compromise is a part of a lot of negotiations, but it should be one of the last tools that you put at at into play. Because if I can negotiate and maintain my position and then get what I want in that situation, that’s better than unnecessary compromises.

[00:32:23] Kwame: So I think one of the challenges that people have with compromise is that it is a word that should never exist by itself. And so it’s either one, a strategic compromise where I know I am compromising in this moment to meet my strategic objectives, and I still have my strategy in mind.

[00:32:41] Kwame: Or two, it’s a reciprocal compromise. And this is good for transactional negotiations. So I don’t just give things, it’s an if then proposition. If I give you this, then I get that in return. So it makes sure that you’re not losing ground in the process. And so I think just adding these elements and keeping these things in your mind during the negotiation will help you to realize when it’s appropriate to compromise and when you should probably

[00:33:04] Josh: hold your.

[00:33:05] Josh: Yeah, that’s good. Speaking of holding ground it, this, so takes me back to a big shift in my business when I would in the early days, be very quick to compromise on price. Like I would say, you know, $3,000 is my, is my average price. If they were like, ah, we were, you know, our budget was 2,500, I’d be like, well we could do it for that.

[00:33:23] Josh: Let’s just look at what we could do and then, you know, if we do that then I’ll take this away kind of thing. But then I learned a very, very valuable, I guess, ne negotiation trick, which was not even a trick, but just technique, which is to like share the value of why it is $3,000 and just getting to explaining how that can outgrow their business, et cetera.

[00:33:42] Josh: And as soon as I replaced compromise with like a little more education and, and help them understand why it is the way they is, I started closing at a much higher rate than eventually five, 10,000, 15,000, et cetera. But those, those strategies like. Went up to, to my higher price tiers when it came to like, negotiation and people were like, oh, whoa, 15.

[00:34:03] Josh: I was thinking more like, you know, half that and, and I would explain, you know, why. So I, I guess all that to say like, is that something you see in your recommend in that type of case? I mean, I know that could look different depending on the type of negotiation and industry, but just the ex explanation of like why something is the way it is, or why I feel the way I.

[00:34:21] Kwame: Yes, at the right time. And timing is important here. Um, because what you’re doing in this situation is you’re solving the correct problem. Because what would end up happening is people will present with an objection of price and they’ll say, oh, it’s too expensive. And we say, oh, the person said it’s too expensive, so I’ll make it cheaper.

[00:34:39] Kwame: That’s solve the problem. But what you’re doing is you’re solving the real problem. It’s not that they’re not okay with paying $15,000, it’s that they don’t know why it’s $15,000. And now for the consumer, we, we think about ego as one of these things that will, will come into play as a consumer. They don’t want to reveal their ignorance to you, even though you’re the expert, they don’t feel comfortable saying that.

[00:35:03] Kwame: So really what’s happening beneath the surfaces, they say, I thought that this was gonna be $5,000. Um, it’s way I don’t know why, and I’m not gonna let Josh know that. I don’t know. That’s kind of uncomfortable for me. And so, so instead, I’m just gonna throw up this shadow man, like the, the strawman argument of, of price.

[00:35:23] Kwame: And so a lot of times people attack the wrong thing. And so again, let’s just use the, the example of compassionate curiosity. How would we address that? It’s, this is a mental model, compassionate curiosity that you can lay on every conversation. So I use it at home with Whitney and the boys. I use it with opposing counsel back when I was a lawyer, as a mediator as well.

[00:35:41] Kwame: Every single conversation you could use this. So when somebody says, Hey, or actually Josh, if you wanna do a little role play, we can do that. I’ll like, we can just start. You can do the, uh, you could be the, the client, um, is saying 15 is too much. We, we could just start from there and see how it.

[00:35:54] Josh: Sure. Let’s do it. Let’s have some fun live. Let’s do it. Roll play case study. Okay. Awesome. How we start now? Here. Hello. Call me web designer. You are, you are handsome and knowledgeable, and I would I trust you to make my website.

[00:36:07] Kwame: Awesome. This is great. Well, Josh, the prices, um, five, uh, $15,000. Let’s just start there.

[00:36:14] Josh: Oh, uh, Darren Headlights. Look, by the way, for everyone not watching this on YouTube, uh, I was thinking more like 5,000. That’s kind of what we had in mind and what we, uh, probably have in our budget for, for this type of project.

[00:36:27] Kwame: Okay. No, that, that makes sense. And, and Josh, correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like you’re kind of uncomfortable with the 15,000, am I sensing that right? Yes. Yes. Okay. Tell me a bit more about that.

[00:36:41] Josh: Well, we just kind of felt like 5,000 was, uh, an appropriate range for type of sites and based off of some research we did, we just kind of felt like this was, you know, where around where we be, be an end up on this project.

[00:36:53] Kwame: Okay. No, that makes sense. And so I would assume, based on the, the number I told you, you were a little bit surprised by that.

[00:37:00] Josh: Very surprised. Yes. Yes.

[00:37:02] Kwame: Pause real quick. Now if for the people looking at YouTube, you’ll see this, but for the podcast listeners, Josh had the deer in headlights look first. And so I acknowledge and validated twice, right? I said, uh, you know, uncomfortable and surprised. And after I said, surprised, then you, your facial expression lightened up.

[00:37:19] Kwame: You smiled. Yeah, I was surprised. Now I’ve realized that the emotional barrier has been decreased. So now I’m gonna move into getting curious with compassion, asking more questions. So let’s just flow, flow back into it. Awesome. Okay. No, that it makes a lot of sense. And, and Josh, let me tell you that a lot of people that we work with have had that initial first response, so you are, you’re not alone. Um, tell me a bit more about what you’re trying to accomplish with your website.

[00:37:46] Josh: we’d like to have our website help us, um, grow our income and, you know, just make more sales online and, and sell our services

[00:37:54] Kwame: better. Okay. So grow the income, make more sales, sales and, and, um, get the services out there. Sell those services better. Okay, that makes a lot of sense. Um, and what would you say are the potential risks if we scale back on the website?

[00:38:12] Josh: Well, we’re just leery about investing several thousand dollars or a lot of thousands of dollars into something that isn’t going to work or is, isn’t going to to actually help us grow our business.

[00:38:22] Kwame: No, that, that makes a lot of sense. That makes a lot of sense. Let me ask you this question, a hypothetical question so I’m not holding you to this. If hypothetically the website works in the way that we discussed, how much would that add to your bottom line, month to month?

[00:38:38] Josh: It, if it works, it would be really good for me and my business for sure. We, we have customers that pay us anywhere on average around $500 a year. Mm-hmm. . So if it works, it, it would be, it would be really good for us. Okay.

[00:38:51] Kwame: So $500 a year, um, for the average client, about how many clients would you say you’re getting right now?

[00:38:59] Josh: Uh, through the website. Not even one a month right now.

[00:39:02] Kwame: Okay. Let’s just edit it. Let’s just say one a month. Okay. Now, let’s say if this were to work, well, if we were to put these sales, sales funnels in place and things like that, about how many more clients do you think you could get per month through the website?

[00:39:19] Josh: I, if it works, I would love to maybe five x that maybe get five clients a month. That would be great for us. Okay. That would be our goal is five clients a month through the

[00:39:27] Kwame: website. So five clients a month at 5,000. Uh, at $500. So that’s 2,500 per month. Over 12 years. That’s after over 12 months, that’s $30,000. Um, and I will, I’ll tell you this, Josh, based on the clients that we’ve worked with before, I think five is pretty conservative and I believe that we can make this work, but we would only be able to make it work with that level of investment. Considering the potential return on investment, what would it take for you to feel comfortable with 15,000?

[00:40:02] Josh: I think what you, I think if, if we could get at least five per month, I would, we’d feel comfortable with that. Okay. If, if, if we felt like there was a really, you know, a really, a really good chance at that.

[00:40:13] Kwame: Okay, perfect. Now let’s pause right here. Um, so good job, Josh, by the way. I, I can tell you’ve been in these con conversations before, right? And so you can see how this conversation, how we flowed through the, the, the framework, right? Acknowledging and validating emotions, getting curious with compassion, asking those questions with an open-ended, with a compassionate tone.

[00:40:33] Kwame: Because I could have asked those questions in a bit of more combative way. Yeah. Why don’t you think 15,000 is, is sufficient? What experience do you have in this industry that makes you believe, okay, so now it’s getting into an argument. Now the person’s gonna get defensive and not give me the information I need.

[00:40:48] Kwame: So I ask those questions, gather that information, and then transition into joint problem solving where we say, all right, what would it take to get to this number? And this is a really powerful question. What would it take for us to accomplish x And a little pro tip, um, the more you say a number, the more real it becomes.

[00:41:03] Kwame: So you said 5,000. I never will say their number ever. Never. Not one time. Um, but I will say my number a lot. So 15,000, 15,000. 15,000, right. And so that, that repetition is important, but I want to never like fully embrace 5,000 or say that because it makes it more real for both of us.

[00:41:25] Josh: And I love too, like the, the pivotal point for me as the, as the, the lead, the customer on that side is when you said, based off of results, we’ve got other clients. I think we could far surpass that or however you worded it. That was the key for me. And then I would probably, if I were to add one more thing on, on that side as the customer, I would say like, can you show some examples or are there some similar? Cuz that would probably be the closer for me is like, okay, all right.

[00:41:48] Josh: Yes. Like, and now I’m excited. This is another sales tip that I recommend to a lot of my clients is, is get them excited about that potential. Like, let’s not shoot for, I’m gonna shoot for 10 because even if we fall a little bit short of our goal, what if we get eight, uh, eight times, 500, whatever that is, you know, 4,000.

[00:42:05] Josh: Awesome. So yeah. That’s great, Kwame, I love that. Uh, It’s funny, it was cool being in that side of things cuz I have been on the other side of the table so long. But that was a great example of like the flow of that entire conversation and not being combative and not being like stupid client, like freaking these $1 websites are, you know, making this industry a nightmare.

[00:42:24] Josh: But you did like you empathized and, and got right into what their expectations were. And then I I love what you said there too. Never say their number, uh, but say, say the hi, say your number and why, and Yeah. That’s great man. Because I think if in, in that case, if you showed me some case studies and results, I would be as a customer, like, okay, yeah, let’s, let’s do it. Even if you had similar vibe or, or had similar case studies that showed the result of like what I was first hoping to get. That’s it.

[00:42:54] Kwame: Absolutely. And, and one of the things too, let, actually, let me hear you say this, Josh. So how did it feel talking to me when I was using this methodology? Oh, so much

[00:43:04] Josh: better. So much better from a customer standpoint because I felt like you were interested in my business and not just selling me a website. Like, because you were talking about my goals and, and talking real numbers, which for whatever reason, a lot of people are, are afraid to actually say that made it feel all together different. Uh, particularly when you gave me the idea of like, oh, wow, what if we could do way more than five a month? .

[00:43:30] Kwame: Mm-hmm. Yeah, exactly. I mean, this is a human centered approach, and I think one of the things about persuasion we have to recognize is that persuasion is best when it is imperceptible. Somebody shouldn’t feel like they’re being sold through the process. If they feel that way, they’re going to put up their barriers. And so it wasn’t that I said like any, like u used any kind of negotiation hack or anything like that.

[00:43:54] Kwame: I just lowered the defenses, right? Because a lot of times we just keep on running into the same wall. It’s like, and then they say, Kwame, how do I break through this wall? What if the wall wasn’t there? like, oh, that’s good that that’s the goal. Take the,

[00:44:08] Josh: exactly. Now I’m curious, Kwame, what would you do if. Like that was the good client who understood it and was ready to move forward. But what if there was a client who was like, wanted to be in the middle? What if they were like, this sounds good. We were expecting five the most we could do, and both I could probably get cleared is 10. What would you say in that case?

[00:44:29] Kwame: So what I would do is like, I would just, I would do a bit of a forensic analysis, QuickTime in, in the, uh, in the conversation. So what you said was, um, this is probably the most that I can get cleared. So for me as a negotiator, that doesn’t mean anything. like that doesn’t mean anything. Okay, great. Well, who else do we need to talk to in order to get approval for 15? Okay, cool. You just, are you the mi you’re the middle man. Great. Well, let’s get, go directly to the decision maker. I wanna talk to that person.

[00:44:58] Kwame: If you don’t have the power, lemme go to the person who does. You know, so like, now my negotiation strategy changes, so I w they, if they say, yeah 10 is probably the most that we get approval for. I was like, okay. That, that makes a lot of sense. And out of curiosity, you said a approval, who is it that gives approval?

[00:45:16] Kwame: Oh, it, it, it’s, it’s Martha. Martha gives approval. Well, great. You know, I think what would make the most sense, it, it going forward is if we bring Martha into these conversations. So I could directly go directly to her. Because in my experience, when we play this game of telephone, uh, the, the conversation kind of gets muddied and Martha probably has questions to ask me, and it’ll probably be more efficient for all three of us to sit on a call and, and talk through.

[00:45:39] Kwame: So, um, what would it take to, to get, uh, a meeting with you, me, and Martha together? Right. And so like, I’m not playing that game. I’m not the long story story and I’m not, I’m not doing that. That’s

[00:45:51] Josh: good. Yeah. That’s good. And, and what I was, I was just curious at what point would if they just keep on not getting it, at what point do you feel like it is just time to not compromise at all and just in, in the, like when, when at any point you say, well this, this is our package and this is why. Mm-hmm. , we don’t budge on that. Like what, at what point would you in that, in that negotiation,

[00:46:15] Kwame: I’ll give you an annoying lawyer answer, then elaborate. So the annoying lawyer answer is, it depends, right? So let me elaborate. So let’s say it’s coming to the end of the quarter. You have some bills to pay and you, you need $10,000. Um, you, the financial C circumstances might dictate that you accept this deal. , that’s fine. Sometimes those, those situations happen. Okay, I’m not going to just give you $5,000 for free.

[00:46:39] Kwame: You are going to give me something back in return. Mm-hmm. So this is the reciprocal compromise. And I said, listen, this is, this is way lower than what we’ve done before. Um, and I’m willing to do this, but the only way I could justify this is if we get something in return from you. Then you’d say, well, what is that?

[00:46:57] Kwame: Well, you have, um, you have five executives in on your leadership team. What I would need is LinkedIn testimonials from all five of those executives on, on LinkedIn because it’s substantiated. That would be helpful, and I’d like you to come on the podcast and talk about the experience working with us, and that’ll allow us to take the clips that we use and use it as marketing. So I’m gonna get that $5,000 back somehow. I’m not just going to give it to you.

[00:47:23] Josh: That’s good. Well said. I love it. Well, there it is everybody. Fun live little case study on some negotiation techniques and I enjoyed that man. I had fun being on that, on that side of the table. Actually, I really didn’t cuz it pained me to talk that way to web designers. uh, but but that was cool man. A lot look, a lot of great tips. I wanted to ask you about this as well. Are you familiar with disk, the personality testing? Yes, I am. Where it’s like for anyone who isn’t D stands for like dominant I is more like interactive. S is. , I forget what I, is it stable? Or, um, something like that.

[00:47:56] Josh: And then c is like cautious. The, the bean counters, the people who only see numbers, they don’t see inspiration or ideas or possibilities. It’s only budgets and, and spreadsheets and numbers. Where does that come into play? And, and whether you a agree with that framework or whether it doesn’t matter, like there are different personality types. Some people are more direct and dominant. Some people are more kind of subtle and, and some people are highly interactive and, um, you know, they, they like communication. They’re extroverted. Some people are extroverted and, and, and just wanna, you know, they wanna have a more loyal and and calm approach.

[00:48:29] Josh: Like where does personality types come into any sort of negotiation or, or conflict? And how do you manage, like do you try to match them? Do you try to match their energy, match their personality as much as you can without becoming someone different? Or what, what are your tips on working with different personality types?

[00:48:45] Kwame: Yeah, so personality comes in everywhere in negotiation for sure. I actually have a, a course on LinkedIn learning called, um, leading and Motivating Different Personalities because for me, personality-based persuasion is an, is that’s next level. It’s really important. And so I prefer to use the, the big five personality traits mainly because of its fluidity.

[00:49:06] Kwame: It. I don’t need to take a test to see where I stand. I could, but I, I can apply that to myself with a lot of fluidity and I can apply it to others to make it more rapid reads in the moment. And so the big five personalities, first we have openness to experience, then we have conscientiousness, then we have extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

[00:49:28] Kwame: And neuroticism, more recently is being considered or called emotional St. Stability because over the years, neuroticism has become like an insult in like modern day parlance. And so I wouldn’t say that our goal is to match the other person, but our goal is to recognize that every personality type has things that we need to pay attention to.

[00:49:50] Kwame: So me persuading somebody who is highly extroverted is gonna be different from me persuading somebody who is highly introverted. There’re gonna be a lot of opportunities and then there’re going to be some pitfalls to avoid. And we have to think about that from our own perspective too, because we always focus, when we think about personalities, we always focus on other people.

[00:50:07] Kwame: Like how do I manage their personality? What’s your personality? Have you thought about that? What works for you? Like what? Where are your strengths and weaknesses? Because I think it comes down to energy all. I think that is the biggest consideration when it comes to personalities, because we need to recognize that different conversations are going to be more or less difficult for different reasons.

[00:50:28] Kwame: So if I’m negotiating with somebody who is highly extroverted, the conversation is gonna be challenging because the person likes to talk a lot and I might not be able to get what I wanna say in. And then people who are more extroverted are more dominant than assertive too, so they’re, it’s gonna be harder to push through that person.

[00:50:47] Kwame: Somebody who’s more introverted, it’ll be difficult to get them to talk if I’m more extroverted, because extroverted people process externally and quickly. Introverted people process internally and slowly it’s deep, slow, think. So if you have, if you have an extrovert negotiating with an introvert, what often happens is that the introvert is thinking about how they’re gonna respond.

[00:51:11] Kwame: And the extrovert just says, oh, I guess they’re not gonna say anything, so I’ll keep talking. You know, and so we have to recognize the, the challenges for each personality type and be able to move fluidly, um, based on the situation.

[00:51:25] Josh: It’s interesting, I, I think back to a, a sales tip that I recommend in a lot of, and I have a business course for web design I recommend this in, in sales, and it’s something that really helped me. And that is to take like a phrase or a keyword word that someone mentions and bring that up at the end of the conversation. So, for example, if somebody’s, like, if when it comes to negotiation or if they’re just talking about a website, for example, if they say, I want a website that’s like fresh and and modern.

[00:51:52] Josh: Ours right now is outdated, I would hold onto, And then bring that up at the end. So even if I didn’t necessarily match their personality type or, or match their energy, I still tried to find some common ground in their goals. And then at the end they were like, if I were like, you know, okay, so the goal is to give you guys a, a fresh and modern site.

[00:52:12] Josh: And they’re like, oh my gosh. Yeah, fresh and modern. I, I should have thought of that. I’m like, you just you didn’t realize you told me what to say. Like, have you seen that help as well for, for folks who are in this case where you just wanna clinging out as something to find that common ground, particularly if you’re very different personality-wise?

[00:52:28] Kwame: Definitely. And I think this goes to likability as well. One of the easiest ways to get the other person to like you more and really get you to like them more as well, is to really focus on while you’re building rapport, finding things about the person that you could. and let them know that you admire those things and then you can build on that common ground and grow together in that type of way.

[00:52:51] Kwame: And so I think being able to find that, expand on that, that helps to build rapport and connect you with other people. Um, but then also you are showing the person respect by listening to them. So calling back to what they said at the beginning makes what you say a lot more persuasive because in the minds of the other person, the most persuasive person in the room is themselves.

[00:53:14] Kwame: So if I’m negotiating with Josh Hall, my goal is to have Josh Hall negotiate against himself. really because if that conversation would’ve continued the, the role play that we did, what I would’ve said is early in the conversation, you mentioned that you wanted to get your at about one, uh, conversion per month through the website, and you wanted to get it to five.

[00:53:33] Kwame: And you mentioned that you want to kind of lower the, the amount. Oh, I’m sorry. Rookie podcast mistake, man. No, you’re fine. Sorry about that. Um, and, and at the same time, what you’re saying is that you want us to kind of pull back on what we’re offering you, um, in order to meet a different number. So out of curiosity, how are we going to get you to five conversions a month?

[00:53:57] Kwame: Without being able to put these features on the website. Mm-hmm. You know, so I’m not, I didn’t say this, you said it, so it’s you versus you, which you is gonna win , you know, that’s good. It’s, and so, like, that’s good that, that’s the thing, when you listen, it becomes, it’s like a superpower. I don’t need to inject anything.

[00:54:17] Kwame: I just need to keep on, like filing these things away in the back of my mind and then just bring them up in, in different contexts. And have you reconcile with that. Because I think one of the things that people don’t recognize until they, you know, maybe get therapy or go through introspection or whatever it happens to be, is that, Our human condition is based on a set of hypocrisies, and a lot of times we’re not rec, we don’t recognize those hypocrisies.

[00:54:41] Kwame: So I want a website that’s $5,000, but I want a $5,000 website that’ll give me $15,000 worth of results. Yeah, that doesn’t make sense. You don’t even realize that until I ask you a question and then you have to deal with that real time. And, but the, the reality, Josh, is that I need to give the person space to transform.

[00:55:00] Kwame: And if somebody is going to transform before my eyes, they have to trust me. We have to have a connection, and they need to like me, because if they feel those ways toward me, then they’re going to feel psychologically safe. And they’re going to be open to vulnerability. They’re gonna be open to changing in front of my eyes.

[00:55:16] Kwame: But if I made this a combative type of interaction and then I drop some facts on them, uh, and those facts are legitimate, we’ve created a dynamic within the relationship where they cannot concede without looking weak. They can’t leave the conversation without saving face. And so for me, yeah, I want to always give the person space to withdraw their position and adjust with grace. That’s really, really important. That’s

[00:55:41] Josh: so important, man. I love that you said that because, and even like you talked about earlier, it’s like some people may feel stupid or they may feel like, I crap. I don’t want them to understand that I didn’t understand this. So giving grace and letting, like, empathizing with them and, and in the case of web designers, this is so important because what so often happens is web designers get bitter towards clients cuz they don’t understand their value, but.

[00:56:07] Josh: Web designer, friends, hear me on this. You need to educate your clients and empath, empathize with them, and often relate to them. Like one of the best sales tips I ever did unintentionally was I would tell clients, like, oh, when I got into web design, I remember thinking like, you know, $500 was ridiculous for a website.

[00:56:24] Josh: But as I’ve got into it, I understood the value and here’s why. Like, that is so important not to come across, not only combative, but also not to come across, um, like, you know, everything. And they’re stupid. I’m trying to think of the right words. It’s eluting me now, but like, don’t come a, don’t make them feel lower than you because that’s not gonna lead to anything good.

[00:56:43] Josh: Like if you empathize with them, and like you said, Kwame, give them some space to grow and transform, which can happen really quickly. It doesn’t take that long for a light bulb moment to happen. And then they’re like, oh okay. Yeah. Maybe even if at the bare minimum we got five clients a month in this, that’s gonna make our investment up really soon.

[00:57:02] Josh: So like that can happen very quickly. So what a great point, man. I I love that. Just that reminder to give, we’ll call ’em your opposition right now, space to grow and, and transform, but you, you kind of have to set the precedent for that, don’t you? Like, it’s not naturally gonna happen. You need to give it, you need to create that space.

[00:57:20] Kwame: Exactly. You have to set the tone. And I, I encourage everybody to think about themselves as conversational leaders. So what that means is, in the midst of this conversation, in the midst of this negotiation, I am a leader. And so the other person might be en engaging in bad behavior. They might be insulting, they might be rude, disrespectful, those type of things.

[00:57:38] Kwame: And I, I think about it using the metaphor of a highway. We’re on a conversational highway. And so there are these detours, these exits, these off ramps. People are saying, Hey, I’m misbehaving. I want you to come with me too. You should do it too. Right? And so it’s an opportunity to, for us to teach them how we should negotiate.

[00:57:54] Kwame: No, that’s not how we’re gonna negotiate today. I’m gonna pull it back on, right back on track. And so I think that’s really important. And I think to your point about, um, education, one of the things that I’ve found really valuable is following the 70 30 rule where I let the other person speak 70% of the time, where I only speak 30% of the time.

[00:58:12] Kwame: Couple of benefits negotiation is an information game. I get more information, which makes me a better negotiator. And then you’re also less likely to make mistakes when you’re not talking. That’s, it’s really important. And so when you’re thinking about educating the client, just remember that you have forgotten more about web design than they ever knew.

[00:58:31] Kwame: And so if they, if you recognize that this person is ignorant, not as an insult, but as a statement of fact, um, Your mind can go in all sorts of ways with your encyclopedic knowledge of web design and just word vomit on the person. They did not need all that. And so we need to be really targeted with our ed, with our education.

[00:58:51] Kwame: So we need to empathize to understand what the gap is. So what do they know? What don’t they know? And I want them to share that with me so I can say, you know what? I was gonna go on an hour long monologue. I only need to speak 37 seconds and address these two key issues. And then ask an open-ended question and have them reconcile the discrepancy between the data that I just provided them and the way they thought the world works. And I’m just gonna sit back and let that work and makes my job really easy.

[00:59:18] Josh: Ah, another great point. It gave me a flashback to when I subcontracted for a local company, digital marketing agency here in Columbus, and they just let me in on a sales call and the web designer was going on for probably 10 minutes about flash and why they shouldn’t use flash anymore on their website.

[00:59:36] Josh: And I could tell the main guy was like, all right, get past this. They’d know that, like we need to start talking about them and talking about, you know, their business. And it’s a great reminder. I think sometimes we’re our own worst enemy when we do know a lot or we unintentionally just go to the data vault and get all the blah, all the stuff that we know.

[00:59:54] Josh: That’s not often, probably, rarely ever gonna be what the potential customer needs to hear, like they want to hear what’s in it for them, the bare minimum to get the results. Not everything you knew about websites flash and why it’s outdated, you know, all these different things. Like those aren’t even those, maybe it shouldn’t even come into the picture at all. If so, maybe later in the process when we talk about tools and technologies, but not goals and, and sales. So,

[01:00:19] Kwame: great. 100%. Yeah. And Josh, let’s, let’s do a callback to what we talked about at the beginning, right? The goal of conversation and communication is to be effective. Same with negotiation. So if, let’s say we’re trying to close a deal, the goal is to, to close a deal, we’ll figure out whether or not a deal exists.

[01:00:36] Kwame: And then if a deal exists, let’s go for it, right? So what problem are we trying to solve? And so a lot of times if we find ourselves just going on and on and on about what we bring to the table, our expertise, the, the about our knowledge about the industry and those type of things, What is the goal of that conversation?

[01:00:55] Kwame: It’s shifted. So go back to what we were talking about with insecurity. A lot of times the reason we go on and on about ourselves is because we’re trying to solve the wrong person or resolve the wrong problem. They, we are interpreting it as they don’t believe we are good enough or knowledgeable enough, enough.

[01:01:12] Kwame: And so we get insecure and we’re like, you know what? I’m about to give you a dissertation on how good I am. That’s not the problem. And so now you look like dis like out of touch, and arrogant and more unlikeable and less likely to close the deal because you just went on a monologue on about how smart you are.

[01:01:30] Kwame: And so again, we have to make sure our goal is to be effective. And one of the things I started to do, Josh, is ask myself, why do I want to say that before I say anything? Why do I want to say that? You know, you find some really interesting things out. If it’s a really tough conversation. Oh, they, the only reason I wanted to say that was to hurt somebody’s feelings.

[01:01:52] Kwame: That’s not legit. I’m keeping that to myself. Oh, the only reason I wanted to talk about all of my degrees and everything is because I feel insecure right now. That’s not legit. I need to work on that myself, , and not just, you know, put it on this, this poor, unsuspecting person, you know? So I think taking the time and stopping and asking ourselves why we want to say the things that we’re saying can help us to really moderate our voice in a really impactful way during the conversation.

[01:02:18] Kwame: Because you’ll find that in a lot of cases, the majority of the things that we want to say don’t need to be said. Hmm,

[01:02:27] Josh: man, Kwame, I think that is a perfect capper thought on this conversation. I mean, we really, we really weaved in and out of selling, negotiating, handling, conflict, all of which, as we’ve talked about, coming to play in our, in our personal relationships. But 100% in business. This is so great because I feel like a lot of this stuff isn’t really widely talked about and, and I guess maybe a lot of industries, but particularly in creative industries, it’s like you mainly focus on your craft and then it’s like, well, hopefully you can sell good luck. See you later.

[01:02:58] Josh: It’s one reason, this kind of thing like has reinvigorated my passion for helping people communicate, and it goes back to my favorite quote I mentioned earlier. , your quality of your life will depend on how well you communicate. I know there’s different versions of that, but my gosh, this entire conversation has really laid a good foundation.

[01:03:15] Josh: I hope for people to, to know how to negotiate and sell with a little more confidence and be more empathetic to clients and just communicate better. Cuz it just, it does, it just makes life better all around. So man, call me. I had some serious fun on this one, dude. Um, look, listen, you got an awesome website.

[01:03:30] Josh: I know you’re really active on LinkedIn. You have a podcast. I have a few podcast. Yeah. . Where, where, I know we, we talked about that when we had a chance to, to meet up. Um, where would you like my audience to go? I, I know I, I don’t know if they’re your ideal, uh, customer type or, or client, but potentially, I, I don’t know. And I know you’re doing more programs moving forward. Yeah. Where would you like everyone to go

[01:03:51] Kwame: after this? Yeah, so the, the social media, uh, platform of choice is LinkedIn. I try to post almost every single day. So connect with me there on LinkedIn. Follow me there. Um, I’m assuming you’re a podcast listener, , if you’re listening to this podcast.

[01:04:04] Kwame: So check out the Negotiate Anything podcast. That’s our flagship, flagship show. Um, seven days a week except this holiday, I’m giving the team, uh, you know, the, the holiday off. But, um, yeah, it’s seven days a week. Uh, and we have over, I think we’re creeping up on 7 million downloads. So it’s been growing really well.

[01:04:24] Kwame: That’s awesome. And um, in, in next year, next year we’re gonna start a community, a learning community. We don’t know what it looks like yet, but it’s exciting. It’s gonna be, it’s in development in the next 30 days, we’ll have something. And I’m, I’m pumped cuz I, I just want to help change the world by making these difficult conversations easier. So the more high level content we can get out there, uh, the better. So stay tuned on that one.

[01:04:46] Josh: That’s awesome. And that, that’s unfair of me to say that the, the, my audience isn’t your ideal customer. Cuz as I’m looking more at your stuff, I mean, it applies to anything like hu people like you mentioned earlier. So I was actually, I’m gonna make sure, I’m gonna make sure to, to link to your, um, your LinkedIn course, the leading and motivation, motivating people with different personalities.

[01:05:06] Josh: Cause I’m looking at this, I’m like, man, this is like sales 1 0 1 that I’m definitely gonna link to. Um, I’m just looking at the modules, like leading extroverts, leading introverts, uh, leading agreeable people, disagreeable people, all of this. Like, I, I need to dive into this just, oh. Like your, your, your resource and your ca your, your entire catalog looks awesome. So we’ll definitely put a lot of these links in the show notes for everybody. Um, I was gonna ask you for a motivational, you know, last stop, but I, I think you hit it there, man, with, with some of your closing thoughts on that.

[01:05:40] Josh: I mean, really, I can’t think of a better way to end this. So all I’ll say is Kwame, dude, what an order to meet you here recently. Uh, I’m really excited to continue to, to stay in touch and to see what you do. You’ve had a really, really impressive, uh, online entrepreneurial journey, I think compared to maybe your background.

[01:05:57] Josh: I don’t know how many people have your background and translate that to, to, to the online. Hey, last question, if you, do you have a min, do you just have a couple minutes? Yeah, man, this is fun. Let’s, let’s keep rolling. Okay. I wanna make sure you’re, you’re cool on time. Um, what is the biggest difference, I was gonna ask you this off camera, but let’s just, we’ll keep on rolling.

[01:06:14] Josh: The biggest difference between communicating in like the corporate professional world versus the online entrepreneurial world is how you communicate different. What’s, what’s the biggest difference that you found?

[01:06:26] Kwame: I would say it’s a couple of things. One is tone. There’s a corporate tone that’s a little bit different. I think on the, uh, in the online creative space, there’s a little bit more space for personality. You can be, you, uh, whoever you are, you know, the, but there’s a little bit of conformity that occurs in on the corporate space, so you can see people being a little bit more reserved. And I, I think that’s a cultural difference.

[01:06:50] Kwame: And so the way I define culture, The, the way that we do things. And so Josh, you and your family within your nuclear family, you have a culture. Then your block has a culture. Your city has a culture, right? Within departments, within organizations, they have different cultures. And once you start to see it as a cultural thing, okay, I’m talking to somebody in the corporate world, they have a different culture, a little bit more buttoned up.

[01:07:12] Kwame: So I’m not going to compromise who I am, but I will slightly edit it and bring corporate Kwame to the conversation, right? But on the go for Kwame hashtag bit on the, uh, on the online side, I think, like I said, there’s a little bit more authenticity. But I will say this, I think there is a little bit less willingness to actually engage in conversations either over the phone, via video chat or on in person.

[01:07:41] Kwame: And I think a lot of the, the efficacy that we’re looking for in communication is lost because we believe so strongly in text communication, either text message or on Discord channel or Slack or email, those type of things. And so I think a lot of times we, on the, in the online space, we can start to rely too heavily on that to our own detriment because there is really no way, thus far to replace the persuasive value of like realtime communication where you can hear somebody’s voice. Or see

[01:08:14] Josh: them. Like so much of communication is what you see with their mannerisms. Like you mentioned in our little case study, you saw my eyes have the deer and the headlights look, but then you see, you saw my guard drop as I was like, yes, that was way more expensive than I thought. Uh, all those things are so important. Another great reminder for web designers who wanna automate the sales process, which I think is super dangerous.

[01:08:33] Josh: I mean, at some point, unless you are a salesperson, you can’t be selling all day if you’re building websites too. But you, I definitely don’t recommend solely relying on automated sequences, like have that be a part of it maybe, but. And at the end of the day, like, try to get in front of somebody or on a call, something where you have all the different communication pieces at play.

[01:08:53] Josh: Cuz you’re right man, they all make such a big difference. I mean, gosh, this could, this might need to be a round two conversation, uh, particularly when it comes to communicating, uh, face-to-face versus via text. Cuz that’s another, another big thing. Oh my gosh, I didn’t wanna start open a bucket of worms with like, kids these days texting instead of being face-to-face. When it comes to relationships too, like that’s a, that’s a whole day. You know, there’s a lot of that, uh, that is filtering in the business world now too.

[01:09:19] Kwame: Definitely. Yeah, man, let’s do it again. This was fun for me. So I’m, I’m glad that you found, uh, value in it and I hope your listeners did too.

[01:09:26] Josh: Oh, no doubt, man. Well, I’m respectful of your time. Call me. Thanks so much, dude. Definitely looking forward for round two and we’ll make sure we link up all everything mentioned in the show notes. So until next time, man, thanks for joining.

[01:09:35] Kwame: My pleasure.

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