Episode 134: Mark Raffan

Manage Your Concessions


Mark Raffan

Mark Raffan is the founder of the Negotiations Ninja Training, a training and coaching business dedicated to developing and delivering the most engaging training and coaching in the world. Having spent many years in c-suite negotiations Mark decided to start his own firm to educate and train executives, M&A teams, sales teams and procurement teams in how to execute better negotiations to get more value out of their deals. Mark is also the host of the Negotiations Ninja podcast, the number one negotiation podcast on Google Play. Mark interviews FBI negotiators, influential executives, world leading sales guru’s, legal masterminds and expert communicators to draw out what works in negotiation and what doesn’t work and what we can do better.

Our Mission Is To Change The Negative Perception Of Sales People

Our Vision Is A World Where Selling Is A Profession To Be Proud Of

[01.30] Mark defines Negotiation – as a conversation to get to some sort of agreement.

[02.08] Mark explains how negotiation is important for business – negotiation is the way we get things done. If your not going to ask for the things that you need and want, don’t expect to get those things, no one is going to give you something for free so you’ve got to ask for it! Obviously the person who you are having the conversation with is going to want something, and it’s on them to ask for what they want.

[02.55] Why don’t some salespeople don’t like to negotiate and what can we do to change this – Mark feels that it has a lot to do with fear. Fear of rejection, ridicule and loss. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way and it’s not uncommon for people not to want to negotiate. The way to get over that fear is through practice and volume, get comfortable with rejection so that when it counts when you do ask for something out of the norm or more than the other person is expecting, you are not caught off guard or that you are more comfortable with the potential of ridicule or rejection.

[04.00] How do you plan and execute a high stakes negotiation – Go in prepared, before starting any negotiation Mark firstly works out what he actually needs and wants out of the deal and then equally looks at it from the other party’s perspective, what do they need and what do they want out of this negotiation and do the needs and wants coincide? If there is some overlap then there is the beginnings of the making for some sort of deal to be made. If there is no overlap the likelihood of coming to a deal is significantly less. Mark then suggests that he works on what he is willing to give away, knowing this beforehand prevent him from giving too much away than he actually should, then he puts himself in the other party’s shoes, thinks about they are willing to give away and if there is overlap here Mark can begin to start making trades.

[07.20] What are the attributes of a good sales negotiator – Most people feel that great negotiators are great at talking where Mark feels that most great negotiators are more quiet than you would think. They are the best with active listening, able to sit and absorb information, detail orientated, takes notes, able to quickly develop rapport with the other person because that’s what negotiation is all about, accessing information you don’t have before.

[08.47] Mark shares his top negotiation tools and strategies – Roger Dawson’s book ‘The Art of Power Negotiating’ explains the golden rule of negotiation – being able to ask for more than you expect to get. If you ask for something that you expect to get and someone offers you less than that you’ve basically backed yourself into a corner, technically speaking you have to walk away from the deal because someone is offering you less than you expect. However if someone offers you more than you expect you are creating room for yourself in the negotiation. Another strategy Mark talks about is the ability to manage your concessions, so many sales people get caught in the trap of always giving concessions to the party who are buying their product or service and not asking for something in return.

[11.00] Mark shares his top three negotiation Do’s and Don’ts – don’t keep talking, let the other party speak and when they have finished let it settle for a minute or two before you respond. Do listen, listen to what they are actually saying and more importantly listen to what is not being said, if you’ve asked a question and they’ve answered politically then ask a probing question. Don’t assume anything, when you think you’ve come to an agreement on a deal and the terms and conditions you assume are agreed to and then all of a sudden they come with all these red lines to your conditions – that’s your fault, you assumed that you had come to that agreement. Ask for any issues up front and make sure you’ve covered all of your basis. Don’t scoff at the lack of knowledge your prospect has, chances are you know more about what you are selling than the other party, by laughing at them if they ask a silly question it doesn’t do anything to help build the relationship or trust. Do concession management and do make sure you read up on negotiation, it’s a skill that needs developing through constant reading and practice.

[14.45] Mark shares his favourite negotiation story – a fictional story but teaches a very important lesson and demonstrates the difference between positional and intraspace negotiations. By using an example of a negotiation where both parties want an egg. Rather than both parties walking away from the agreement with only half of what they both wanted, Mark explains how by asking more questions as to why each wanted the egg, they both came to an agreement and both parties came away with what they wanted.

Connect With Paul Watts


Audio Production and Show notes by

More About Mark

What was the last book you read?
Blink by Malcom Gladwell

Who / What inspires you?
My faith and my family

What aspect of your own Social Media are you most focused on improving at the moment?

Hobbies, Interests?

How can our listeners contact with you?
Website, Linkedin

by | May 30, 2019 | Sales Reinvented Podcast

Share This Episode, Choose Your Platform!