Episode #136: Mike Figliuolo

Understand The Nibble


Mike Figliuolo

Mike Figliuolo is an honor graduate with the United States Military Academy and served in the US army as an amour officer. He was a consultant at McKinsey & Company and an executive at Capital One and Scotts’ Miracle Gro. He is the founder and managing director of thoughtLEADERS LLC, a leadership training development firm. He is the author of three books, ‘One Piece of Paper,’ ‘Lead Inside The Box’ and ‘The Elegant Pitch’.

[01.09] Mike defines Negotiation – as having something that you want and somebody else having something that they want and finding some space in between those two points where both of you are mildly displeased.

[01.30] Mike explains how negotiation is important for business – it becomes a question of profitability, getting the right people and being able to drive the right outcomes. If you are afraid to negotiate or you are not good at it, you’re going to be on the short end of the stick.

[01.52] Why don’t some salespeople don’t like to negotiate and what can we do to change this – Mike feels that it is because it is high stress and people worry about the outcomes. It can also be very confrontational at times, especially depending upon who your negotiating partner is and we just don’t like conflict and want to be liked, and when you make a decision that the other person doesn’t like it becomes a proxy for them not to like you either.

[02.41] How do you plan and execute a high stakes negotiation – Mike shares that his execution involves sitting down and working out what he wants and what his negotiation partner wants. He uses scenario play to come up scenarios if your negotiation partner pushes on this, knowing what his response would be and what his fall back position would be. Mike also stresses the importance of understanding personal motivations that are involved as they can often be unexpected.

[03.52] What are the attributes of a good sales negotiator – Mike feels that it’s important to be able to distance yourself and your personality from the conversation, being able to position yourself and step outside of the process steps will be a big determinate of your success. Another attribute is the ability to be analytical emotionally/politically/numerically, being able to take a situation and break it down into small components and understand how one component affects another.

[08.55] Mike discloses his top negotiation tools and strategies – rather than tools Mike prefers to consider individual techniques, one is being able to use valuable based selling – if you don’t understand the value of what your product or service to your client, then your probably missing out. A second technique is understanding the nibble (you’ve got the deal, it’s almost done, signing the paper work and it’s the ‘just one more thing’) and knowing when it’s coming and knowing what your reaction is going to be.

[11.28] Mike shares his top three negotiation Do’s and Don’ts – Do sit down and analyse what the offer is, what are both parties putting on the table and what are the economics behind it. Do your homework on the stakeholders involved, research personalities, who is and is not in the room. Thirdly, understand negotiation cultures and styles, if you don’t know the differences you may end up insulting somebody or not getting the full value out of the negotiation. Don’t take it personally, separate yourself from what the negotiation is. Don’t under estimate the value of a relationship, trust and rapport will win you business. Don’t obsess when you don’t get the deal you want, assess what went wrong, look at what you would do differently next time and then go and deliver the best service or product you can because going into the relationship scorned because you didn’t get what you wanted, won’t get you repeat business.

[14.38] Mike shares his favourite negotiation story – when he was buying his dream car across US states Mike was unable to see the car first, however that didn’t stop Mike purchasing the car over the internet. A last minute nibble from Mike made the negotiating party realise they hadn’t covered all points, however it didn’t stop the deal going through.

More About Mike

What was the last book you read? The Paradox of Choice. It’s a great look into why more choices leave us feeling less happy.

Who / What inspires you? Participants in my training courses are a great source of inspiration. There’s nothing better than seeing a light bulb turn on for them when they understand a concept.

What aspect of your own Social Media are you most focused on improving at the moment? Right now we’re going through a website redesign to modernize its look and feel as well as improve its functionality. Putting out great content on a sub-optimal platform doesn’t get you the results you really want.

Hobbies, Interests? I love to travel to new places. I’m also an angler when I get time to get out on the water.

How can our listeners contact with you? They can find us at www.thoughtleadersllc.com and via email at info@thoughtleadersllc.com