Episode #142: Randy Kutz

No Naked No’s and Yes’s


Randy Kutz

Randy Kutz is the author of the forthcoming book ‘The Negotiation Table, Everyone’s Guide to Everyday Negotiation’ and founder of SoftSkills Training 360. He has trained over 3000 professionals in the art and science of ethical persuasion, communication and negotiation skills from a cross section of industries. His training challenges participants to put people as the central focus for greater success in one’s personal and professional life, allowing them to succeed in both without compromising.

[01.04] Randy defines Negotiation – seen in terms of conflict, negotiation is one form of conflict resolution. In essence, anything can be negotiated and in reality everyone negotiates every single day.

[01.32] Randy explains how negotiation is important for business – in business negotiation should be a collaborative approach as you are setting up your exchange or a transaction or deal in light not just of the current transaction but future business either directly or indirectly via referrals. You can only continue to stay in business by doing business and expanding your business base but if you are looking for a win lose approach you’re not going to have much business.

[02.55] Why don’t some salespeople don’t like to negotiate and what can we do to change this – Randy shares that he asks this question when he teaches, and sales people are not in a minority class with this, it is the general consensus that most people do not like to negotiate. The reason being that most people don’t like to lose and are fixated on the outcome. If they don’t feel they have much very power, they feel disadvantaged going into the negotiation and then they don’t want to negotiate. Everyone negotiates everyday, the problem being we don’t do it effectively and more often than not, we don’t do it effectively because we don’t do it consciously. To address this we need to become more self aware of the negotiations around us.

[04.47] How do you plan and execute a high stakes negotiation –Randy’s book ‘The Negotiation Table’ is a form of a training curriculum to help people handle everyday negotiations. Planning is the key to all negotiations and the preparation is based on three things around the negotiating table, what happens before you get there, what happens at the negotiating table and what happens after you leave the table. Randy uses three key questions that really sets up the process in every negotiation, 1 – who is coming to the table, have a clear view about the people who you will be negotiating with, recognise secondary players and influencers. 2 – what do they want, or the products that are going to be negotiated over, and 3 – how are they going to negotiate, gather information about the process and using that information identify your best option and frame your strategy and then test ultimately how the negotiation will unfold and then present to your counterpart.

[09.30] What are the attributes of a good sales negotiator – Randy discusses attributes that can be natural and attributes that can be learned. As a starting point you need to be good with people, because you are negotiating with people and not just yourself. Victor Kind, an American spokesman once said to be a good negotiator should observe everything you should be part Sherlock Holmes and part Sigmund Freud. For Sherlock Holmes trait you need to be aggressively curious and empathetic for the Sigmund Freud part. A good sales negotiator has to develop the skill set of good question asking, ask open ended questions and resist the urge to hear your own voice.

[10.59] Randy shares his top negotiation tools and strategies – Prepare, prepare, prepare!!!! Don’t be afraid of ‘no’, no is a starting point and you are always learning something, at no, you are learning the limit of your counterpart. Bring the role of persuasion into your negotiation, use persuasion to help frame how you are going to make the case for the negotiation.

[12.22] Randy shares his top three negotiation Do’s and Don’ts – Never give a naked ‘no’, ‘no’ should never be by itself, dress it up, put some clothes on it! Turn your ‘no’ into ‘yes’, when you feel like you can’t say yes to something think through under what conditions could I say yes to it and on the flip side, never give a naked yes, sweeten the pie, when you are ready to say yes to something add a final trade. Another do is always preserve the relationship, don’t make your relationship personal. The real metric of a successful negotiation is the answer to the following question – ‘will they do business with me again?’ leave the door open for doing future business.

[14.16] Randy shares his favourite negotiation story – Randy shares a story that illustrates not all negotiations are based on price. Based upon the real estate context of negotiation, in a very hot market where buyers were competing with one another and bidding wars were going way off the original asking price. Randy describes how a friend was representing a buyer in a situation where multiple offers were being made. His friends buyers were not the highest offer, but by taking the time to prepare the negotiation and do their research about the sellers they were able to craft an offer adding something of value that the sellers could not say no to.

More About Randy

What was the last book you read? Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great

Who / What inspires you? People with genuine humility. Others focused. Helpful. With no strings attached.

What aspect of your own Social Media are you most focused on improving at the moment? LinkedIn – connecting with people in my network and offering to help them (pro bono) with negotiation

Hobbies, Interests? I like to WINE a lot.
Also, we are helping our daughter/Son-in-law cultivate a small homestead farm- We went from city life to farm life last year. We now have cows, goats, chickens (oh my!) and are learning about sustainable farming and where I food comes from. Having a blast.

How can our listeners contact with you? LinkedIn- linkedin.com/in/randy-kutz-cplp-000275108