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Trump’s Transactional Trap

Monday, 06 March 2017 13:02
6 03, 2017

Trump’s Transactional Trap


In the New Yorker last year, Tony Schwartz the ghostwriter for Donald J Trump’s book, The Art of the Deal said:

‘He lied strategically’

‘I put lipstick on a pig’

Rather than inviting more infighting than a Taiwanese parliament, let’s focus on the negotiation trap inherent in Trump’s behaviour.

Whether you’re for or against him, Trump’s negotiation tactics are more obvious than a bogey hanging out of your left nostril on a video conference call.

·  Huge ambit opening positions – if he wants $2.50, he asks for $1 Billion

·  Flattery – ‘You’re a good guy, a great guy, the best’

·  Bluster – ‘This is going to happen my way, it always does…believe me’

·  Anger (Feigned or real) ‘This deal is so bad, so wrong, you’re making me really mad’

·  Insult and intimidation ‘You’re a loser, you’re crooked, you are going down big time’

These tactics may or may not have worked but it’s fair to say that at best, they are transactional.

A deal can be done using these tactics as long as there is no genuine need for an ongoing relationship. The winner takes it all, the loser’s standing small. (Sorry, too much ABBA in adolescence)

Interestingly, a lot of people have asked me if I think Trump’s tactics are useful for them.

My short response is ‘If you plan on renewing that client, getting referrals or being treated as a trusted advisor for a while, then probably not’.

However, when I ask them if they’ve been subjected to these and other tactics from clients including senior managers and Procurement, they say ‘All the bloody time’.

Many sales managers and sales people are aware of these tactics being used against them, yet are so keen to get the deal that they succumb, subjecting their company to poor margins, ridiculous stress to meet deliverables and a culture of subservience.

Here’s what you can do to address the key tactics in Trump’s playlist:

Huge ambit opening positions: Plan your own positions, especially your walk away. Politely refuse to discuss offers outside that range. Get back to discussing what the client is trying to achieve

Flattery: Ring your bestie, your mum or ask your dog if he loves you mid lick. You don’t need approval and validation from clients.

Bluster: Ignore or say ‘thanks for sharing that, so let’s look more closely at the issues on the table’

Anger: Keep asking questions like “Why is this so bad? Why do you want to still pursue this then? What would you like to do from here? (my personal favourite)

Insult and intimidation: See Anger, or coolly refuse to continue until the behaviour stops.

Unless you don’t care whether your client gets a great result or not, transactional negotiation styles won’t work very well.

Equally, whether they are the President of the United States or the Chief Procurement Officer, you should build a skillful tactical wall and get them to pay for it.

Elliot Epstein is a leading Pitch Consultant, Keynote Speaker, Corporate Sales, Negotiation and Presentation trainer who gets sales results rapidly. He has coached and trained high profile corporates globally in presenting, selling, negotiating and pitching. He has spoken at over 1500 conferences and workshops for leading companies such as HP, SEEK, Avaya, Hitachi , Asciano, Samsung and Lend Lease

He is internationally renowned for ensuring sessions are engaging, interactive and relevant to winning business in competitive markets.

Elliot is based in Melbourne where he lives with his wife and two negotiators.

For more information on negotiating go to www.salesversusprocurement.com


Published in   Executive Level Selling, Negotiation, Sales Management

Executive Presents or Executive Presence

Tuesday, 06 August 2013 12:33
6 08, 2013

Executive Presents or Executive Presence


You are a leader who communicates often and you know your own foibles and idiosyncrasies and I don’t mean that weird thing where you think a flat white is still a real coffee.

I’m talking about the way you present to staff, managers, clients, boards and industry conferences. You know, all the stuff that requires you to work till midnight re-working the presentation and debating whether Helvetica is a good font.

Each executive has his/her own gifts (presents) but to truly engage with all stakeholders you should be flexible enough to have different styles for different presentations.

Here are the four key styles that will give you flexibility and presence.

1.  Motivator

This exec loves the limelight, talks fast and excitedly about Vision, Values and Success. S/he is optimistic, energetic and is adept at describing the big picture. The motivator is also great at storytelling and innovative ideas too.

The downside is that some people don’t understand how all that Vision stuff relates to them in Finance, Logistics or Operations. They don’t necessarily buy in to the changes you are trying to implement across the company. Despite the shiny presentation and video, nothing changes.

2. Counsellor

The Executive Counsellor loves consensus, bringing people together, off site group strategy sessions with fine wine and 5 course working lunches (gluten free, of course). You consult widely, build your networks and rather than present, you facilitate group thinking really well and people feel heard and appreciated.

The key issue can be that nothing actually gets resolved and actioned amidst the GroupThink. Decisions are delayed and change management is deferred affecting longer term performance.

3. The General

In true military fashion, the General is demanding, rules with an iron fist and there are strict rules and reporting mechanisms to adhere to. When you present, everyone knows where they stand and the rules are very clear to all stakeholders.

The negative aspect of this is that people are often fearful and so rules driven that innovation, ideas and fun are often comprehensively quashed. The wag’s description of this would be ‘Come on, innovate….by COB Thursday’.

4. The Analyst

S/he loves their spreadsheets and project plans so much they would marry them if it was legal. You adore presenting slides filled with figures, projections, statistics and market share trends, then add some more spreadsheets at the end because the first 92 slides weren’t enough.

The unfortunate part of this presentation approach is that everyone outside of Finance is playing on their Smartphone or pondering whether they took the Porterhouse Steak out of the fridge that morning.

So, which style of presenter are you?

What do you do to become more adaptable?

Perhaps you could ask a trusted source about  the upside of your dominant behaviour and then use the language and behaviour of other styles to flex your presentations and give them the best possible chance to engage more people, more often in more ways.

Sometimes the Motivator needs to have a bit more of the Analyst. Other times, the Counsellor needs to stand up and present like a General.

You get the gist.

Your innate gifts may be well received by some, but flexibility is the key to executive presence.

Written by Elliot Epstein, CEO, Salient Communication

Elliot has trained and coached over 3000 people throughout the Asia Pacific Region including CEOs, Olympians and Leadership teams and is a sought after keynote speaker on Executive Presentations, Sales, Negotiation and Leadership.

Published in   Presentations

The Voice (of Sales Presentations)

Friday, 31 May 2013 06:00
31 05, 2013

The Voice (of Sales Presentations)


The Voice has captured huge audiences across Australia and globally unearthing talent and giving people their chance to shine and be coached by artists Seal, Joel, Delta and Ricky.

Here at Salient we thought you could have your own company version only instead of songs you give your sales team the chance to present a persuasive case without PowerPoint in 3 minutes.

Here’s how it would work.

You’re all in the board room, filled with half empty lattes. There are four chairs turned around for the blind auditions in which four managers sit. Ideally they would be from different parts of the business just as Joel is a tad different to Delta ie Finance, Sales, Operations, Marketing.

(You can add props eg toothpick, yellow nail polish, Spanish accent, but that’s optional)

Each member of the team has 3 minutes to walk in and present with no visual aids to persuade the audience why the company/product/service solution is best fit for a particular client or market.

Same rules as The Voice. If a manager likes it s/he turns around. They compete. If they don’t, they discuss why.

You can build this over a few weeks, select teams and then for the finals, invite other staff members to vote. You could even invite really good clients.

At the end, the sales team has had a lot of fun, learned from others, been coached by another manager and you’ve got a host of persuasive new messages that can be distilled into everyone’s real life presentations.

Go on, get that toothpick, red hair spray and ‘I WANT YOU’ sticker out now.

Written by Elliot Epstein, CEO, Salient Communication

Elliot has trained and coached over 3000 people throughout the Asia Pacific Region and is a sought after keynote speaker on Sales, Negotiation, Leadership and Presentations.

E: elliote@salientcommunication.com.au

© Salient Communication 

Published in   Presentations