C-Suite Network™

Entrepreneurship Human Resources Investing Management Negotiations Sales Skills Women In Business

“Would You Like To Be A More Powerful Negotiator” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“To be seen as being powerful, you must first see the power within yourself.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

Click here to get the book!

“Would You Like To Be A More Powerful Negotiator”

People don’t realize; they’re always negotiating.

In every aspect of your life, you’re negotiating. The vast majority of people don’t realize that. Thus, to become more successful, you must become a more powerful negotiator! Why? Because the better your negotiation skills become, the more successful you’ll be as a negotiator. And that will allow you to obtain more in your daily activities. So, would you like to be a more powerful negotiator? If the answer is yes, observe the following.


Getting Better Answers

Asking questions as a negotiator is a way you gather information during the negotiation. But the questions you ask, and the way you ask them is what’ll determine the quality of information you receive. To get better answers, listen carefully. Be attentive to how people speak and what they say, so you know what questions to ask that’ll get them to give you better answers.

When people speak, they give insight into what’s important. A negotiator does that by the emphasis he places on certain words or phrases, the gestures he emits as he’s talking, and the reflections displayed when he pauses while speaking. That’s what you can observe to determine the questions to ask.

As an example, if a negotiator talks whimsically about a time he obtained a significant achievement, most likely, he’s speaking from a position of pride. Thus, during the negotiation, ask questions that put him back into that mindset. And imply that he can experience that sensation again. That will give you momentary power. And with it, he’ll be more inclined to accept your offer at that time.


Control Emotions

How did you feel mentally, the last time you engaged in an activity that required alertness, and you were emotionally distraught? If you’re like most people, you experienced sluggishness in your thinking and responses. You weren’t firing on all cylinders. That’s what occurs when you enter a negotiation, and you’re depressed. You don’t perform at your optimum level, which means you’re less likely to perform at your peak.

As a negotiator, emotions can be daunting to deal with during a negotiation. You have natural highs and lows, depending on what’s occurring as your bargaining. While it can be easy to say control your emotions when you negotiate, in reality, it can become a more challenging task to accomplish.

So, what might you do to control the destruction that taut emotions can bring to a negotiation? You can role-play, before the talks, to get a sense of the feelings you might experience during the proceedings. You could also consider having another negotiator, as a teammate, to deflect and combat negative emotions that might occur. And you can establish walkaway points, marked by a heightened state of emotions, that signals your departure from the hagglings.

The point is, you must control your emotions to negotiate effectively. Thus, the better you manage your feelings, the more significant will be the probability of you having a successful outcome. And since you know the role and value that emotions have on your negotiation, plan how you’ll control them before you engage in your next one.


Empathy’s Role

He doesn’t care about me. He’s the negotiator type that only wants the best outcome for himself. Have you ever heard someone say that about a person with whom they’d be negotiating? A lack of empathy can wreak havoc in a negotiation because it has an enormous role per how negotiators perceive one another. I’ve witnessed some negotiators improve the deal for their counterpart because the other negotiator displayed an interest in that person’s wellbeing. That’s the added value that empathy can have.

During a negotiation, when possible, let your counterpart sense the emotional care you have about his plight. Display through your actions that you have a sincere desire to be fair. With a negotiator that’s like-minded, he’ll appreciate your gesture and reward you with an easier going negotiation. You will have exercised a peaceful power that ignited the desire for him to reciprocate.


Accept Reality

If you wish to become a more powerful negotiator, you must learn to deal with reality. Some negotiators engage in negotiations too long. That causes them to become more emotionally involved, which pulls them deeper into staying engaged. They do so because psychologically, they want to see the outcome. In some cases, it’s like watching a movie that’s so bad; you can’t tear yourself away from it. Don’t allow this to happen to you!

When you first sense the minimum goals for the negotiation may be too far out of reach, begin to consider how you’ll exit. The sooner you withdraw from a situation that’s not getting better, the faster you can address one that may produce a more significant benefit. And that’s the value of accepting reality.



Everything mentioned thus far, getting better answers, controlling emotions, the role of empathy, and accepting reality, can be enhanced through your positioning. Positioning is the tool that sets the stage per how others will perceive you. Thus, if you’re situated correctly before engaging in a negotiation, you’ll have a more significant opportunity to impact those activities.

You can position yourself by understanding the mindset of the person with whom you’ll be negotiating. That means you must know that person’s preferences, likes, and dislikes. Once you have those insights, display those characteristics when you’re in her presence. You can have others project your persona that she views as influencers. That will assist your attempts exponentially. It will also be the leverage that allows you to be a more powerful negotiator during your interactions.



I started by suggesting you heighten the sense that you negotiate in every aspect of your life. And I suggested, to acquire more in life, you must become a better negotiator. By employing the insider-thoughts presented, you can increase your negotiation abilities. That will make you a more powerful negotiator. And everything will be right with the world.


Remember, you’re always negotiating!


Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://c-suitenetwork.com/radio/shows/greg-williams-the-master-negotiator-and-body-language-expert-podcast/


After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com


To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Negotiation Insight” click here https://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/



#Powerful #BodyLanguageSecrets #csuitenetwork #thoughtcouncil #Negotiator #NegotiatingWithABully #Bodylanguage #readingbodylanguage #Negotiation #NegotiationStrategies #NegotiationProcess #NegotiationSkillsTraining #NegotiationExamples #NegotiationTypes #negotiationPsychology #HowToNegotiateBetter #ReadingBodyLanguage #BodyLanguage #Nonverbal #Negotiate #Business #SmallBusiness #Power #Perception #emotionalcontrol #relationships #BodyLanguageExpert #CSuite #TheMasterNegotiator #ControlEmotions #GregWilliams #success #Howtowinmore #self-improvement #howtodealwithdifficultpeople #Self-development #Control #Conversations #Howtocontrolanegotiation #howtobesuccessful #HowToImproveyourself



Best Practices Entrepreneurship Investing Marketing Personal Development

Behavioral science puts old price theories to an end

Low prices gets more customers, high prices gets fewer customers. This is an “old” truth that the business economy has lived by for a very long time. In reality, our buying behavior is considerably more complicated than that, and a higher price can on the contrary increase sales volume. 

Traditional knowledge in business economics follows that price and demand have a linear relationship. The management’s marketing strategy in terms of pricing is then simplified to the practice of setting the price so that the total earnings are optimized.

However, modern research complicates this well-known business practice. We humans tend to allow psychology and other non-rational factors influence our behavior and that includes our buying behavior. This strict economic theory does not give the whole picture, though.

When people make decisions in purchasing situations, it is based on an estimate of the product or service value. Of course, that valuation may differ across various situations. For example, an umbrella is much more worthwhile to the buyer when it rains. Still, you see shops that sell umbrellas when it is not raining.

However, the estimated value correlates not only with the personal and current needs, but also on its relation to other products or services of the same kind. Is this product or service of good quality? Is it worth its price? If the answer is “Yes,” the consumer will purchase the product or service and on the contrary, if the product or service is not considered worth its price, then a purchase is unlikely to occur.

Since the consumer often does not know how good the quality of a particular product or service is, the price itself is a quality indicator. The value thus rises in the consumer’s eyes as the price rises. This is not about status or a desire to show off wealth. Of course, this can have a determining effect, but the principle applies in a general sense and also to products that do not have “status” attached to them.

An everyday example can be a pair of winter shoes. In the shoe store, it is difficult for the consumer who is not able to look at the shoes in-depth, to see if they are of high quality or not. If, on the other hand, the price is high, we assume that the quality and thus the value are higher. Buying low-quality shoes for the winter season, which may start leaking or quickly lose their freshness, is a huge miss, even if they only cost a fraction of the more expensive shoes.

The problem is that you as a consumer do not know this in advance. The cheap shoes can keep the moisture out as well as the expensive ones, but it is uncertain factor, that only time will tell whether your purchase gave you good value or not. However, price is a factor – perhaps the only one – that the consumer has in assessing the (perceived) value of the shoes.

As a company or trader, this becomes an important thing to consider, especially with regard to pricing strategies. A low price means that people also perceive the value as being lower. Therefore, a low price does not, of course, mean higher sales in number. In fact, in some contexts it can be just the opposite. Too low a price can lead to reduced sales as “cheap” signals poor quality and value to the (potential) customer.

Price is therefore important in itself. Companies need to understand that a correctly set price is not about placement on a linear graph, but about finding the point where consumers’ perceived value is the greatest.

The next question then helps to know how this value can be found, where is the optimal price? The answer is perhaps obvious: You ask the consumers. By asking consumers to value different products and indicate what they would be willing to pay, you get results for price indicators for a specific product or service. You can then see the true balance between price and sales volume. This can be refined through a number of variables and it is also possible to work across different markets.

The results are analyzed and processed and at the other end, there is a graph that looks very different from a “standard” graph analysis. Instead of just a linear relationship, it becomes a two-way staircase where different price plateaus and price walls appear in the data.

So, we humans do not act according to the classical and traditional economic theory mentioned earlier. Psychologically, we perceive a low price as lower quality and thus of lower value. The price we as consumers are prepared to pay is about what we perceive as “worth the money.” In this situation, a higher price can be a sales advantage too good an opportunity to pass up on.

An estimated 95% of companies today use a simplified model for pricing their products and services. You guess, use cost-based pricing or predetermined marginal goals. However, if the actual willingness to pay is included in the calculation, the profit margin can often increase by 25–40%. Sometimes even more!

This means that the price of the products can be significantly improved. Businesses and traders, many perhaps pressed under small margins, can, through such an analysis, have a more stable basis for their pricing. Profitability is increased and they have better opportunities to develop their business.

Of course, this is based on the fact that the products or services are genuine. Trying to bluff consumers by setting a high price on a substandard product or service is not going to be a success. This will quickly have a detrimental effect and damage the brand significantly.

The importance of consumers’ perceived value may not be revolutionary. However, it is a new process how this value can be investigated and analyzed. In this, behavioral science and psychology play a greater role than the classical and traditional economic theory. Pricing strategy becomes a whole new ball game, once you know what the consumer is willing to pay for a product or service.

Per Sjöfors
Sjofors & Partners

Economics Growth Personal Development

Want to Win in Business? Test your Strategic choices with a Simulation

My former employer, BTS pioneered the use of business simulations for strategy alignment since the company was founded in 1986. Since then, they have developed more than half a million leaders in this space. They have built hundreds of simulation and experiential learning solutions for virtually all industries, which means that we have deep and varied industry expertise across our 1,000 full-time professionals.

Some of our current clients include: IBM, Microsoft, GE, Salesforce, SAP, Citi, Fidelity, JP Morgan, Unilever, LG, Coca-Cola, and others.

Why all this background? As a Hero Club Member, I would love to share this content with fellow members. Winning in Business is a powerful, flexible, 3- to 4-hour digital solution that puts users in the driver’s seat of a virtual company. In the simulation, users compete to construct and run the most profitable and sustainable company in an evolving marketplace. Over the course of 3 simulated years, users must plan for and respond to a variety of events and external pressures.

Click HERE to learn more and get a free demo of this amazing business simulation.

Best Practices Economics Growth Leadership Personal Development

Learn about your customer’s business

Some of the best sales professionals I ever met demonstrate a strong combination a business acumen and influencing capabilities.

For the business acumen part, I asked a Senior Partner at one of my clients how did he learn about the industry, and his answer was – “With a Business Simulation Experience”. Through an Industry Business Simulation, participants:
• Understand the interdependencies in the industry ecosystem and how key players create value and influence one another
• Inhabit the executive mindset, understand industry terminology and how the industry sector business is run
• Articulate the key strategic priorities, financial levers, and challenges facing the industry
• Identify the critical decisions made on a day-to-day basis, the inputs, outputs, impacts & implications of those decisions, and how market changes implicate decision making
• Engage in informed discussions about the industry with a true appreciation of the business and a point of view on how and why market trends impact the industry sector ecosystem
• Develop an action plan to apply the knowledge and capabilities back on the job and drive results

Click HERE to learn more

Economics Growth Leadership Personal Development

Why do you think pilots train with simulators?

The answer to this question is so simple but true. Pilots train on simulators so they can make mistakes in a risk-free environment and not die.

I believe it is the same for Business Leaders. Our simulations use an engaging board-based format to simulate a company that participants are required to manage and operate as a team. Participants increase their business acumen by experiencing business flow, functional interrelationships, and how making a decision in one area has a ripple effect across the entire business—which eventually impacts the bottom line.

During the simulation, participants are challenged by realistic scenarios that require them to evaluate business situations, apply sound decision-making, analyze the results, and learn from the conclusions drawn.

Click HERE to learn more. We would love to help

Growth Investing Personal Development

The Sweet Spot of Pricing

Expectation bias is a term used in behavioral economics; the academic field that covers how we as humans make our decisions, and in particular, how we make our purchase decisions. Expectation bias is a human trait and something that is innate within all of us. I have it. You have it, and most importantly, all your customers have it, too. Expectation bias works in a couple of ways; here is how.

If the price the buyer is presented with, at the point of purchase, is (substantially) higher than the buyer initially expected, then no purchase will occur. Conversely, if the price is (much) lower than the buyer initially expected, then the buyer will have doubts as to whether the product or service will provide sufficient benefit to justify the (low) price. This means that setting the right price for your product(s) or service(s) is a balancing act; not too high and not too low, but just right. It is important to hit the “sweet spot” with your pricing strategy. These price points where the price is deemed to be too high or too low is based on every individual buyers’ circumstances; everything from access to sufficient funds to prior experience with the brand (as a purchaser and user), to how badly the buyer desires your product(s) or service(s). However, since many of today’s buyers have shared experiences, have similar circumstances, and are influenced by the same type of sources of influence, then there will be a price point where most buyers will congregate around—that is the “sweet spot” that you are aiming for. This is the price where the maximum number of potential buyers say that the price itself becomes a message of adequate quality and/or benefit to the buyer, and the minimum number of buyers say that the price is too high. This is the price that will generate the highest sales volume for you. 

The price we pay for a product or service will also affect the benefit we expect to receive from the product or service; if the price is low, then we do not expect such a high-quality product or service and we will view the product or service has having little potential benefit; if the price is high, we automatically expect a very high-quality product or service as well as numerous benefits attached to that product or service. Although, the benefit we expect is often firmly established in our heads, but does not always match the reality of the product or service in question. A common experiment within behavioral economics is to have consumers that are in some kind of pain purchase pain medication. The effectiveness of the pain medication they purchase is then directly correlated to the price that these people pay. Or to summarize this type of behavioral experiment: a 5-cent aspirin is not nearly as effective as a 50-cent aspirin, as the 5-cent aspirin would be seen as having inferior quality and effectiveness compared to the 50-cent aspirin. Similar experiments have been done with wine; researchers put individuals in an MRI machine and examined how the brain’s pleasure center lights up, or not, based on what the subjects were told about the price of each bottle of wine that they sampled. They were served two different kinds of wine. One was a $6-bottle of wine and the other a $60-bottle of wine. When the subjects drank the $6-bottle of wine and were then told that it was a $6-bottle of wine, the brain’s pleasure centers did not light up. On the other hand, when they were told the wine they had just drunk was a $60-bottle of wine, the brain’s pleasure center lit up consistently! Conversely, when subjects drank from a $60-bottle of wine and were then told that it was a $6-bottle of wine, no pleasure was registered. Overall, the conclusions taken from these experiments is that the benefits we receive from a product or a service are directly correlated to the price that we paid for it. 

Companies who sell a product or service where the resulting benefit cannot, with 100% certainty, be measured, can then leverage expectation bias to gain much higher sales, often at higher prices at the same time as their customers’ satisfaction level is increased. (If you think about it, there are many products or services where the benefit the buyer gets cannot be directly measured.) In order to achieve this multipronged goal, it becomes paramount for you to be able to fully understand the willingness to pay among your buyers in a specific market. This can be done through price-specific, online market research that specifically measures the monetary value customers associate with your company’s product(s) or service(s). In such market research, respondents during an online survey will be asked a series of questions that, when the answers are subjected to statistical analysis, will accurately provide you with important and highly relevant information pertaining to what your buyers are willing to pay for your product or service, within a specified market that your business is engaged in. 

This, however, is just the first step. A very important step none the less. 

To further understand how it is possible to increase your sales at higher prices, the willingness to pay measurement must in turn be segmented. In great detail. What this means is that the willingness to pay data from respondents with the same preferences for your product or service features, benefits, or even marketing message preferences are grouped together and then willingness to pay for each (segmented) group is analyzed and contrasted with the other groups from the survey. The results taken from this in-depth analysis will mean that your business will be further enlightened and will better understand what features, functions, and benefits that generates a higher willingness to pay compared to other features, functions and benefits that your business offers. Also, you will see what specific marketing messages and sales channels will drive a higher willingness to pay for your product or service. These results will also show you what kind of buyer and what circumstance around them will affect their willingness to pay, which they take into consideration before potentially purchasing your product or service. As a further example, think about how a different circumstance may affect willingness to pay, consider a commodity like gas, for instance. If your gas tank is nearly empty and you are on the way to the hospital with your sick child, your willingness to pay to fill up with gas is likely higher than if you were visiting your in-laws, with a fully-healthy family!

So, in closing, in-depth understanding of a market’s willingness to pay and being segmented both by-product or service features and also taking into account the unique variables attached to each buyers’ profiles will enables your business to target potential buyers better, to optimize your market strategy better and to get your pricing strategy better, so that you hit the “sweet spot” for yourself and your customers. Having done all this, it will all lead to your ability to increase sales at higher prices for your products and services. 

Per Sjöfors
Sjofors & Partners

Best Practices Entrepreneurship Human Resources Investing Marketing Negotiations Sales Skills Women In Business

“Negotiator – To Be More Amazing Turn The Tables On Negative Emotions “ – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Watch the meanings you give to events. They impact the perception of your actions. -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

Click to get the book!

“Negotiator – To Be More Amazing Turn The Tables On Negative Emotions “

If he’d been a cartoon character, steam might have been bursting from his ears. He muttered under his breath, “that S.O.B. will not get away with that.” The S.O.B. that he was referring to was the other negotiator, who had stoked the negative emotions of our steamer. And the steamer swore he’d turn the tables on his adversary.

Have you been in a situation where the opposing negotiator did something that sent your emotions into negative territory? We’ve all been there at one point in a negotiation. But what good did that serve? It only upset you.

If you’d like to discover how to confront emotions better and increase your negotiation outcomes, consider the following before and during your negotiation.


Causes of Distress

Most emotions stem from people seeking and not achieving either more sex, money or good health. If you just thought, I know that. My question is, as a negotiator, do you consider the impact that may have on a negotiation?

Depending upon whom you’re negotiating with, one aspect of those variables may be more important than another. Thus, if you’re not aware of what’s essential to your negotiation counterpart, you might experience negative emotions when you can’t acquire what you seek.

The lesson at this point is since there are three points from which negative emotions can stem, know which one is prominent in the mind of those with whom you negotiate. Having that insight going into a session will enhance the foresight of its outcome.


In Comparison

Is that the best you can do? Many negotiators have heard that question during a negotiation. Some hagglers become irate at it, especially when they think they’ve made their best offer. Smart negotiators divorce their emotions from the question. They know, no matter how good the offer may appear, if untested, they’d never know if there was a better one. Thus, they’ll test the proposition by asking if it’s the best one the other negotiator has.

So, when someone asks for a better deal, don’t become upset. Possessing uncontrolled emotions won’t serve you. Instead, ask what is meant by ‘a better deal.’ The opposing negotiator may have something in mind that you’d not considered. Thus, if you don’t ask the question about what he’s seeking or what he’s comparing your offer to, you could be negotiating against yourself. Therefore, don’t respond to his question before knowing his intent.



It’s a known fact that what you focus on commands your attention. Thus, to control negative emotions, you should monitor the views, thoughts, and opinions from others that you allow to come into your sphere. As an example, I use to believe I could control things that occurred in my environment. That meant I could control the news I watched, the pros and cons of those possessing opposing opinions, etc. But I came to realize that some of those thoughts crept into my subconscious mind without me realizing they’d done so. Thus, I began to act in ways that didn’t serve some of the goals I’d established. I came to realize that carrying the burden of some thoughts shaded my perspective and jaded my thought process during negotiations.

A peer associate who lives in Australia, Tanja Windegger, a Ph.D. candidate, suggested that I stop watching the news. She implied that it might be causing me unknowing stress. She further stated, “anxiety interferes with the optimal activity of our immune system.” Translation, when your immune system becomes compromised, so does your emotional state of mind and health.

The point is, be aware of what motivates your actions. And to what degree your activities align with the outcomes you seek. Even if you let your guard down for a moment, negative thoughts may sneak attack your mind. And they may do so without you being aware that an invasion has begun.


Mixed Messages

How well do you work with mixed messages? When there’s a conflict in messaging (e.g., do this – no, do that), or worse outright lies, it can create a lack of action due to not knowing what to do. The negativity can become amplified when you’re the subordinate and your superior commands you to engage in activities that cross your perspective of what’s right and wrong. That can be demoralizing and debilitating. And the latter can be the gateway that leads to unwanted adventures when you become overwhelmed by mixed messages that reside within your mind. To control your thoughts, control the meaning you assign to the events that occur to you, and be mindful of what comes into your thought process.


How You Steward

People may not know how you feel, but they gain insight into what you’re experiencing based on how you act. And of course, you know how you think, which shows in your actions. Thus, another reason you should watch the meanings you give to events. Because they impact the perception of your actions.



Don’t view the truth as an adversary. Instead, embrace it. The only way to do that is to know what it means to you and the other negotiator. Not until then will you know what you’re dealing with, and from there, how to control your emotions. Everyone can lose their cool and become heated during a negotiation. But the more you’re aware of what triggers your feelings, and those of the other negotiator, the better you can control the negotiation. And everything will be right with the world.


Remember, you’re always negotiating!


Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator


After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com


To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here https://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/



#Emotions #csuitenetwork #thoughtcouncil #Bodylanguage #readingbodylanguage #Negotiation #Control #Conversations #NegotiationStrategies #NegotiationProcess #NegotiationSkillsTraining #NegotiationExamples #NegotiationTypes #ReadingBodyLanguage #BodyLanguage #Nonverbal #Negotiate #Business #SmallBusiness #Negotiation #Negotiator #NegotiatingWithABully #Power #Perception #emotionalcontrol #relationships #BodyLanguageExpert #HowToNegotiateBetter #CSuite #TheMasterNegotiator #ControlEmotions #GregWilliams #success #negotiation examples #Negotiation strategies #negotiation process #negotiation skills training #negotiation types #negotiation psychology #Howtowinmore #self-improvement #howtodealwithdifficultpeople #Self-development #Howtocontrolanegotiation #howtobesuccessful #HowToImproveyourself


Best Practices Entrepreneurship Investing Marketing Personal Development

The ONLY Number That Counts to Hit Your Goals

We talk a LOT about fees, revenue, goals, and metrics in our mentoring program.

Many experts and speakers overcomplicate this.

Should you have a 17-part fee menu with modular prices for every potential type of engagement?


Should you charge by the size of company, by the length of program, by the number of attendees?


Should you become a master of bargaining up and down with your fees, or be able to squeeze blood from a stone, or wrangle a deal better than an FBI hostage negotiator?


In fact, there’s only one number that you need to focus on if you want to land more and better speaking, coaching, consulting, and training clients for much higher fees.

It’s the number that leaves your lips.

Quote the right fee in the right way at the right time.

No waffling.

No caving.

No negotiating.

No begging.

No convincing.

No persuading.

Understand the value you bring to the table, talk about solving business problems (not speaker problems) and you’ll win every time.

You win when the right clients say “Yes” to your right fee.

And you’ll also win when the wrong clients say “No” to your right fee.

What’s the new number that’s going to leave YOUR lips the next time you’re talking to a prospect who wants you to train, coach, speak, or consult?

I REALLY want to know – will you hit reply and tell me your new number?

Best Practices Economics Growth Management Personal Development

Leaders Who Outperform Competitors In A Down Market

No one likes a downturn in the economy whether it is short-term or a longer-term recessionary period. What ensues for business leaders and their employees tend to be a natural reaction – heightened anxiety, stress and hunkering down into an approach that focuses on defending and retaining existing clients to keep them happy and the revenue intact.

Focusing on happy clients during a downturn is not new nor should it be a new focus. In fact, focusing on clients is something good organizations do during good economic times. What’s changed is what actually comes next – a leadership focus on managing employees to tasks the organization feels will lead to desired goals.

Studies prove when leaders have heightened levels of anxiety and stress, they become more goal and task-oriented and less “people-oriented” towards their employees. Employees feel the pressure, the culture shifts, and everyone is less happy than they were just a few weeks prior to the economic downturn. And, the shift lasts……. hurting productivity & employee engagement.

The lasting effect of this shift is twofold: (1) productivity and focus decrease, negatively impacting desired results and (2) unhappy employees are waiting for the upward turn in the economy to jump ship and move to a better organization who feel the experience would have been better.

Who are those who leave? Your best employees. If you refer to Leigh Branham, the author of “7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave” you’ll find managers believe 89% of all employees leave for more money when the actual number is 12%. Without your best employees your ability to execute a growth strategy can become significantly handicapped.

So, what do the best leaders do during an economic downturn to find success? Let’s take a look at the two things winning leaders focus on accomplishing – employees and real investments into a growth strategy.



Great leadership knows the tasks and work will get done by their direct reports because they hired qualified, capable people. What this same leadership also knows is that their employees can and will get caught up with distractions of a downward economic cycle in both their personal life and business. By acknowledging to their direct reports these distractions and challenges, they offer a few important things to their employees:

Connection – Employees want to know their boss ‘gets it’ and knows what they are feeling and going through as stressors. Outward acknowledgment helps create and keep a line of communication open where the employee may have a periodic need to just talk through things not related to their tasks and goals. The employee feels relieved they can talk to their boss if needed without the risk of it coming back in the form of a negative performance review.

Listening – Let’s be real, employees do not have a lot of outlets to talk through their stressors at work. Listening is the biggest form of emotional support when employees don’t want a solution but understanding. They don’t want to think there is a professional risk in being human.

Engagement – Those leaders who master connection and listening create the highest level of engaged and committed employees for making the business successful. It also reduces turnover when the economy turns positive. How do we know this is true? A Harvard Business Review study revealed 58% of all employees trust a stranger more than their Manager.


There are 4 types of business behaviors during an economic downturn by leadership:

1) Prevention-focused companies, which make primarily defensive moves and are more concerned than their rivals with avoiding losses and minimizing downside risks.
2) Promotion-focused companies, which invest more in offensive moves that provide upside benefits than their peers do.
3) Pragmatic companies, which combine defensive and offensive moves.
4) Progressive companies, which deploy the optimal combination of defense and offense.

#2 is the most important leadership decision you can make for your business. These leaders know that while there is short-term pain in terms of selective cost-cutting, they actually spend budget dollars to create a new growth strategy for when the upward economic turn starts to evolve. This is something I discuss in my February 2020 whitepaper entitled “Economics – The Business Owner’s Blindspot” as Plan B. Creating and preparing your business for growth by investing the time and resources will put you ahead of your industry peers who will be trying to figure it out when you already have, and the economy has turned positive. This gives you a window of exclusivity to accelerate business results.

We know COVID-19 will have an unprecedented impact on businesses. But, we also know there is no permanence to this current challenge and things will get better. The question is: “what can you do right now during the COVID-19 pandemic to be prepared to capture new growth when the pandemic subsides?”


Step 1 – Analyze your market’s buyer behavior right now and predict what it will be when the economy turns positive. What will be their triggers for engaging and not engaging? How you build a strategy around those constraints and enablers determines success in creating positive outcomes
Step 2 – Initiate a plan today around your employees so they are with you for the hard times and good times without having thoughts of leaving for greener pastures (a.k.a. better leadership)
Step 3 – Budget and be willing to spend money on strategy that will give you a competitive advantage over what everyone else is doing right now and where they are focused
Step 4 – Embrace your limitations as a leader and obtain the help to build out Step 3. Average leaders try to do this themselves. Great leaders know their limitations and embrace it – there are no feelings of vulnerability nor concerns they will be viewed as unqualified leaders. Quite the opposite.

What leaders exemplified these traits and found exceptional success during their time leading an organization? Herb Kelleher, co-Founder & CEO of Southwest Airlines. Elon Musk, Founder & CEO of Tesla. Rodney Martin, chairman & CEO of Voya Financial. There are many more – and you can be one of them too.

Best Practices Investing Leadership Marketing Personal Development

The High-Fee Expert Bill of Rights

Here’s a checklist of attitudes, traits, behaviors, and beliefs that the Top 1% of speakers and experts wrestled with – but then STOPPED so they could become the Top 1%.

How many of these have been problematic for YOU?

It’s time to ASSERT your rights.

Because you DESERVE success.

And you must STOP getting in your own way with these 6 self-limiting, revenue-killing, success-preventing BAD habits.

Ready? Here they are…

  1. Lack of time, focus, and a game plan to build a serious “speaker/ expert” platform that could be generating an additional $10K-$15K per month on speaking fees alone AND helping you reach more high-probability buyers with your impactful programs
  2. Small potatoes thinking and doing: Settling for local chambers, libraries, and business organizations with no overall game plan to target high-fee niche groups on a national level and build a revenue-generating machine for ALL your investable opportunities, including speaking, training, coaching, consulting, and online products.
  3. Generic sounding programs and No target market that is hamstringing the efforts that you ARE making with your limited time. What needs to happen here is a way more effective and efficient approach. (Targeting specific decision-makers with a value prop they’re already seeking.) Transforming your generic-sounding programs into 2-3 well-branded ones in your “integrated product suite” and dropping the Chinese menu approach that is commoditizing you to death!
  4. Gaps in sales process, sales execution, and sales follow-through with little proactive selling – too much distraction and thus, falling back on reactive “catch as catch can” marketing and taking on random low-fee opportunities as they fall in your lap. Replace with a buyer-centric DAILY dose of high-touch, high-relevance outreach.
  5. Lots of good ideas but too little activation and too many “spinning plates” which you can no longer afford. It’s high time you started making more money – in other words, it’s time to STOP paying your dues, and start paying your bills! Even speakers generating $5K – $7K – $10K fees are often OVERDUE in raising their fees because they’ve gotten complacent or wrongly believe that clients won’t or can’t pay more. There’s always a bigger fish – and if you’re not moving ahead, you’re falling behind.
  6. Mindset, self-esteem, self-worth, and the impostor syndrome. Nobody will value your programs, services, and solutions higher than you do. Stop being your own worst enemy and get out of your own way. Sales, significance, and happiness will follow.

Ready to assert these rights?

Ready to BUILD or REBUILD or PIVOT into the high-fee expert business you’ve always wanted?

Ready to start down the path of doing so quickly, with all the steps laid out so that you get a reliable, repeatable process that brings you the clients, the impact, and the freedom you deserve?

Find a time on the calendar that works for you and we’ll schedule your breakthrough session to see how we can help you right now: www.doitmarketing.com/call

Powered By MemberPress WooCommerce Plus Integration