June 27, 2014

The phrase “I’ll meet you halfway” hasn’t existed for me for most

of my adult life…and I can thank the lameness of some people I love
as much as anyone in the world for that…

I have a group of ten buddies from high school who are like
brothers to me.

However, we all know that no matter how close you are to certain
people, it’s easy to fall out of touch…and if some of those people
are particularly “complacent” (euphemism for “lame” since some of
my buddies subscribe to my list and I really don’t want additional
unsubscribes), it’s even more challenging…

But come to think of it, they probably don’t open this e-mail
anyway so yes. some of them are quite lame…but they still love me…

So for the most part, if I didn’t reach out to them, the odds of
them reaching out to me were slim…although the joke was that they
were “always sitting by the phone waiting for my call…”

Now…that could have pissed me off…

I could have asked: Why did I always have to make the extra effort
to keep in touch? Why did I always have to organize any events
where we could all have some kind of reunion or get together?

Well…because they didn’t have it in them to work that hard but of
course when we did connect, it was always a blast, a true love-fest
and we actually joked about the lameness and how we overcame the
odds to getting together.

If I waited to be met halfway, I would not have some of the most
important people in my life being a bigger part of my life…and I
could have easily made that choice.

But knowing that if I brought 100% to the relationship, the payoff
to having those brothers in my life was worth the extra effort.

This is also a premise I follow in business…and while everyone I’ve
ever worked with at Boardroom considers me a wimp for not holding
out for every dollar on a contract or not walking away when demands
from the other side of a negotiation became unreasonable, all I
know is that I sleep well at night…every night (well, there was the
night I was prepping for a colonoscopy…oops…TMI).

This “100-Zero” concept is something I learned at Landmark Forum
and I’ve put my own spin on it…and I have to tell you, it takes
away so much stress…the stress of “keeping score” and seeing how
much they gave you vs. what you gave them is just wasted energy as
far as I can tell.

As the great Dan Sullivan would say, that is a “scarcity mindset
not an abundance mindset.”

This mindset has led to two concepts that I would like to leave
with you today that may be a shift for you as you negotiate deals
in the future…and I know you can’t do this all the time…but it
might get you thinking differently about true fairness—and it could
lead to some more peaceful nights of sleep…

1. Don’t sweat the deal numbers for the test…share all
results with total transparency…then adjust deal accordingly for
maximum win-win on rollout: So many of the deals/agreements I’ve
made over the last 30 years were so unpredictable how they would
work out (the beauty of testing in direct marketing)! But knowing
that I would be a slave to the numbers on that test (can’t believe
this English Major is saying that!)—figuring out the “profit pie”
based on REAL results and then adjusting
to the fairest deal possible for both sides always led to the
biggest long term wins…and the longevity of the product/project.

2. Windfalls are good for today but if unfair, you’ve got a
one-hit wonder: To continue from #1, you may not have been able to
negotiate a “flexible deal” on the test…and then one side makes a
mint while the other side doesn’t do so well…and if you are on the
windfall side, don’t assume it was a “fair deal.” It might have
been…but since we are hopefully not about revenue events and all
about business building for the long haul, be the first to fess
up if it’s not a fair deal…

I’m reminded of a mailing list salesperson early in my career who
went to a company that had never previously rented their lists…and
the lists were comprised of affluent professionals who responded
well to all kinds of business and consumer offers…a very responsive
list that was a previously untapped gold mine.

So this salesperson negotiates a commission deal the first year
that unexpectedly has her making more money in commissions than the
CEO of the company was making in total …and it was a pretty large
company with an overpaid CEO to boot…

After the first year, the CEO asked the salesperson to adjust her
commission based on the unexpected windfall and she refused…

Her position: ”Why should I have to take a pay cut when I did such
a good job?”

She stuck to her guns that a deal is a deal…

But “the deal” was not an “employment contract” and she was let go
from the company a year later and frankly, if she cut her
commission in half in year two with the company, she would have
made more money than she ever made in any single year for the rest
of her career.

I know this is extreme…but it makes my point…

Be in the game for the long run…play fair…and I guarantee you will
be richer for it in the long run.

Until next week,


P.S. Someone asked me last week: “How did you get all of those
speakers for your event? Many say no to everyone and those who
might say yes, probably don’t do it all that
enthusiastically–which I know they did for you?” I couldn’t answer
the question definitively but I’ll chalk it up to the fact that
they all love Marty Edelston…as I do. But also, it might be the
serendipitous result of living a life of 100-0 which Marty and I
both feel is the only way to live.. Or maybe it’s just
the fact that I asked politely… 🙂

Hope you will be there: www.titansofdirectresponse.com [

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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