Powershifting Your Negotiation

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Negotiating is a tool that you use daily without even realizing. We start young as children trying to bargain with our parents for a toy we want, or a nice treat. We evolve into business owners trying to sell a product, negotiate a higher raise for ourselves, or start a business.

Negotiation is a process where two or more parties have different needs or goals and want to benefit from the situation mutually. Good negotiation skills can bring higher sales conversation, build better relationships, and build your reputation as a thought leader in your industry.

On Season 6, Episode 31, the legendary Daymond John is opposed to the ideology that you need lots of money to make money. In his book “Powershift,” he discusses a blueprint everyone can use in pitching their negotiations. The three-part framework starts with building influence, negotiating, and forming relationships.

Building Influence

Changing someone’s mind starts with understanding what’s in their mind first. Do your research on the company and what precisely you can assist on as a business partner. Understanding someone’s challenges makes it easier to connect with them, which could then lead to trust. Beginning with a trustworthy foundation, we can start to create a lasting impact.

When approaching someone lead with what you could do for that specific company or person. Give ways to easily digest who you are, what you overcame, and your future goals. State that your service or product will make their lives easier.

Whether or not they need your business now, they will remember you and reach out in the future if you can form that initial trust. Once you have that trust, you can better garner long-term relationships and loyalty.


When you look at success stories, it starts with what they negotiated in their lives. A successful negotiation is an agreement that works for both mutual parties. If who you’re pitching to doesn’t see how it will potentially provide them value, they won’t consider your offer. In negotiation, this loses the potential of that business owner and does not differentiate yourself from the others looking for the same connection.

Daymond John states that looking at anyone’s success story is always about what they started negotiating in their lives. The number one reason people don’t reach their hopes and dreams is that they think they aren’t worth it. Shifting that mindset away from doubt, as well as understanding your purpose will create a negotiation pitch based on value. If you can define your purpose, you can help guide you in negotiations. Your purpose will become a north star, to some extent. So, when negotiating, understand your purpose, be confident, and always walk away with a call to action such as a business card.

Building Relationships

If you just met someone at a business conference and have no prior relationship, it’s not always easy to approach them. How can you start to build a long-term business relationship with someone you don’t really know?

First, you must look at yourself. You only have one chance at a first impression. When people tend to approach these opportunities, it can seem transactional. If you have a pitch focused on yourself, it turns off who you’re pitching. Not to mention it’s not setting you apart from the dozens making the same mistakes. Additionally, not having a clear goal kills these relationships before they begin.

Start with a 90-second pitch focusing on what you could offer in this relationship. Ask thoughtful questions on their values and what is essential to this potential partner. Building trust starts with a small commitment. The commitment will give you the knowledge of what this person needs and the tools to best negotiate the services you can provide for their business and yours.

When you build trust it also gives them more initiative to start learning more about you. Maintain this connection through social media, and provide insight into important content for your business goals.

When a person looks you up after the conference, they will notice the content you’re providing, and question if it aligns with their values. If you remember to convey your values as a person and a business owner both on and offline, you will attract the right partnerships that could last a lifetime.

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