Episode #145: Todd Camp

Take the Baggage Off the Table


Todd Camp

Todd Camp has been providing negotiation training and coaching to executive teams on all continents since 2001. The Camp System of Negotiation has been featured on CNN, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune and The Harvard Business Review to name but a few. Todd proudly collaborated with Jim Camp on his book ‘No, The Only System of Negotiation You Need For Work and Home’. Todd recently participated as a speaker and sponsor at the Negotiation Leadership Conference at Harvard University and he and his partner Derek have coached over two and a half billion dollars in negotiations over the last three years ranging from mergers and acquisitions, fundraising, sales and partnership agreements.

[01.21] Todd defines Negotiation – this is the first question Todd asks his workshop participants, interestingly, the two responses Todd tends to receive are ‘win-win, compromise, meet in the middle, make the pie bigger, give and take and try to find a mutual agreement. The other response being ‘use leverage or power to get what they want’ and will try to find ways or angles to get exactly what they want.

[02.13] Why don’t some salespeople don’t like to negotiate and what can we do to change this – Todd feels that there is a lot of anxiety and fear that comes with negotiation, especially in the sales arena as sales people feel they will be beaten up on price and are held accountable for managing results instead of managing their activity and behaviours that are responsible for driving the results. The other reason, is that people often think of negotiation as a tactical gamesmanship and people like to be liked, and the anxiety is natural.

[03.17] How do you plan and execute a high stakes negotiation – Todd uses a checklist for any negotiation that is done whether it is done on a phone call, e-mail or meeting highlighting a particular criteria that gets you to think about and focus what’s important. First and foremost Todd’s checklist asks to look at what you want to provide to the other party and how. Secondly what are the problems or challenges that both parties are up against that need to be solved and how they will be communicated, or what are the opportunities that the other party is trying to secure. Next, the checklist considers baggage, what is the other party bringing in to this negotiation, consider emotional history that has happened in the relationship so far and asks for this to be validated or removed. The checklist also asks you to identify what decision do you want the other party to make and what decisions you need to make. Finally the checklist considers the next step, using this guide will help you gather a fine tuned agenda.

[05.15] What are the attributes of a good sales negotiator – Todd feels that most good sales negotiators set agendas to level set expectations of what’s going to be discussed and accomplished in the next communication, and they make sure they have the right authority on the other side of the table. Good sales negotiators are also able to ask the difficult questions.

[06.27] Todd shares his top negotiation tools and strategies – A piece of advice Todd shares with sales teams is a way to respond when a procurement person responds to your proposal with statements like ‘you need to sharpen your pencil, or you need to drop your price by 20%’, Todd advises sales people to off the cuff ask the other side ‘are you officially rejecting our proposal on behalf of your business team or your organisation?’ If their response is anything other than a ‘yes’, then you may have called their bluff. An effective tool to help drive decisions.

[08.17] Todd shares his top three negotiation Do’s and Don’ts – Do validate mission and purpose, what it is that you are trying to provide the other party and how. Do validate authority, as early as possible know who the right people are. Thirdly, do ask for clarity, don’t be afraid to exercise your right to detail. Don’t give away your price too early, stop using verb led questions, instead turn these questions starting with what, where, how etc. Make sure you correctly identify the real problem, is the real problem us…are we not being affective enough??

[10.37] Todd shares his favourite negotiation story – of how he helped a relatively new company secure one of their biggest deals simply by following Todd’s advice by off the cuff asking the other side ‘are you officially rejecting our proposal on behalf of your business team or your organisation?’ when they were asked to sharpen their prices by 20%.

More About Todd

What was the last book you read?
Originals by Adam Grant

Who / What inspires you?
Clients who are coachable with a growth mindset, willing to try new ways of thinking and behaving even if it makes them feel a tad uncomfortable.

What aspect of your own negotiation skills are you most focused on improving at the moment?
Understanding the motivation and dynamics responsible for driving the behavior of Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

Hobbies, Interests?
Coaching youth baseball and football

How can our listeners contact with you?