Episode #147: Amy Franko

Negotiating With Empathy


Amy Franko

Amy Franko is a strategic sales expert working with professional services, insurance and technology organizations to accelerate sales results. Her book ‘The Modern Seller’ is an Amazon bestseller and was also named as the 2018 the top sales book by Top Sales World.

[00.52] Amy defines Negotiation – as a process of learning, understanding conversation where your goal is to create a mutual win with your client.

[01.08] Amy explains how negotiation is important for business – Amy believes that it is the only way that we can be as to come from the principled angle of negotiation and win-win. In today’s world there is so much choice, modernisation and noise that the way we come to the negotiating table can be a big differentiator in who are and how we can help our clients win.

[01.43] Why don’t some salespeople don’t like to negotiate and what can we do to change this – Amy feels that this comes down to mindset and skill set. Mindset being of fear, negotiating can viewed as conflict and we naturally want to avoid conflict even though within nature of the role of sales there is seen to be lots of conflict. There is also a fear that sales people have to give in, or fear of potentially damaging the relationship. To help overcome this Amy suggests learning the skills of negotiations, no matter how long you have been in sales, there is always something new to learn. Amy recommends the book ‘Getting to Yes’ by Roger Fisher and William Ury.

[03.06] How do you plan and execute a high stakes negotiation – Amy thinks of negotiation of something that is happening through out the sales process, not something that is saved until the very end. Starting from the very first conversation and discovery, gathering intelligence and understanding the under pining’s, as to why they are working together. When drafting up a proposal, Amy will often create up to three choices which helps to open up the negotiation process rather than being at risk of being in a positional negotiation, which can lead to a one way street rather than a conversation. Amy will use her proposal as a basis for her negotiation, to debate the pros and cons of different solutions. Amy often finds that her clients like a hybrid of her solutions and her ultimate solution will be a combination of the ideas proposed.

[05.01] What are the attributes of a good sales negotiator – Amy feels that a great sales negotiator is others focused and are just not in it for themselves and believe in the same side philosophy. They have lots of empathy and are willing to put themselves in the other persons shoes. They also have a good grounding in terms of what they want to see in terms of the outcome.

[06.03] Amy shares her top negotiation tools and strategies – One of Amy’s favourite tools is the book ‘Getting to Yes’ by Roger Fisher and William Ury, which is about principled negotiation which benefits both sellers and clients. Amy loves the use of open ended questions when preparing proposals or coming into negotiate, it helps when you become stuck in conversation to keep the conversation moving.

[07.03] Amy shares her top three negotiation Do’s and Don’ts – do always come prepared, know what the outcomes are you want accomplished before heading into the conversation, preparation breathes confidence. Do provide options for the conversation and do follow anything up in writing, take the opportunity while it’s fresh to follow up. Don’t ever go into a high stakes negotiation tired, lack of sleep really inhibits our ability to make good decisions and our ability to have emotional control. Don’t dig into your positions so much that you show a lack of flexibility, when you really dig in it becomes harder to pivot to be able to get to an actual win. Lastly don’t agree to something right away, you need time to think about it and are entitled to take time to process the offer from the other side.

[09.34] Amy discloses her favourite negotiation story – reflecting back to a time when Amy won one of her biggest opportunities. As a smaller business owner Amy working with a very big client who was undertaking a large technology transformation that would affect their entire business, Amy was up against other large companies and knew that she would have to be more creative and provide more value in order to compete. In her story Amy shares her secrets as to what made her successful in her big win.

More About Amy

What was the last book you read?
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, by Dan Pink

Who / What inspires you?
I‘m President & Chair of the Board of Directors for Girl Scouts of Ohio‘s Heartland. We serve 18,000 Girl Scouts in my region. I‘m so inspired to play a leadership role in helping these girls to become our leaders of tomorrow.

What aspect of your own negotiation skills are you most focused on improving at the moment?
I like to think of negotiation as a series of commitments…..some small and others big. I‘m working on weaving win-win negotiation into the entire sales process. When I do that, I‘m creating a better experience for my prospects and clients, while creating the right outcomes.

Hobbies, Interests?
I‘m a fitness enthusiast, so you’ll usually find me doing a workout…..cycling, lifting, barre are my go-to’s right now!! I also have a very energetic black lab, Roxy…so part of my fitness routine is playing frisbee with her!!

How can our listeners contact with you?
Website: http//amyfranko.com and LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/amyfranko