I hate it when people are bullied and corporates are great at trying to bully small businesses. I was talking to a friend over lunch today about this and gave him a strategy for dealing with the corporate bully. Even if you are not in business this article will give you a strategy to deal with particular types of bullying situations.
In this particular situation my friend is being offered a deal to supply his product through a large organisation. The deal could be quite lucrative and the big organisation is using this as leverage and is creating a situation that is potentially damaging for my friend’s business.
What the company has done is dump a large terms and conditions document on my friend with the expectation that he will comply. This document includes such gems as working on a 100% sale or return basis and the responsibility for ordering errors being on the supplier to report them rather than the ordering company spotting their own mistakes.
Perception is Everything
The corporate is expecting to get away with such unreasonable terms because they are holding out the olive branch of large orders. If you are so desperate for the order that you don’t feel that you can walk away from the offer you are in dangerous territory.
The first position I want my friend to take is to understand that he can walk away from the deal. If he does this business goes on as normal and currently business is good enough. He will have lost nothing but a completely one sided unreasonable and demanding customer that has no respect for his business.
If you are prepared to walk away then you have a lot of power to renegotiate the deal. The next thing I wanted my friend to notice is that the large organisation approached him to supply them and not the other way round. In essence they found him supplying something they want and are now trying to bully him into giving them a very exclusive deal. The real situation is that the balance of power is with my friend despite the way the corporate is dealing with it.
Know What You Want and Tell Them
So once you have recognised that you have at least an equal say and that you can walk away at any time the next thing you need to do is work out the deal that you want. This means you need to look at three categories. Must have, should have and would like to have. By using these three categories you automatically have everything sorted and know what you can negotiate, what you can concede and what bits are deal breakers. From here you simply tell the corporate how you are willing to deal to start the negotiation. The chances are they will abreact because they are not use to having their authority challenged. So here is a pattern I teach people to slap them into behaving sensibly.
Hypnotic Language for Slapping Corporates
The immediate response from a corporate purchasing department when you challenge their terms and conditions is something like, “This is how we do business” or “It is our standard policy,” or “Everyone has to sign up to our terms and conditions” or some rubbish like that. There are two ways I like dealing with this.
My favourite is to, if it is a physical meeting get up to leave, or if on the phone thank them for their time and start obviously closing the conversation down to hang up. If they really want your product on board they will stop you and ask why you are leaving. Your response should be to let them know that if their conditions are not negotiable then there is no deal to be had.
I like this approach because it send a very clear signal about the balance of power. It is a risky strategy because you do have to be prepared to walk away from the deal. I have used this often when selling training consultancy very successfully. This is because I deliberately set out a very unique service. Therefore everyone knows up front that if they want what I deliver the only place they can get it is from me. If your product or service is unique and in demand then this approach is useful.
The other approach is a specific NLP Language Pattern that is a variation and extension of the redefine.
Flexibility Means Professionalism
When they come up with their challenge just gently say something like, “I hadn’t realised how inflexible your organisation is. I thought it was more professional.”
At the front of this statement is an implied redefine (“the issue is not your terms and conditions, the issue is flexibility”). The statement then moves on to connecting two things together, NLP Jargon Junkies will know this as a complex equivalence. We are connecting inflexibility to being unprofessional. I picked unprofessional specifically because many corporates have this or something similar as a corporate value. Even if the organisation does not have this in their values the individuals that you are dealing with are likely to react to the word anyway.
This is what you are after, something that slaps them out of their collective corporate trance and into something more responsive that you can negotiate with. Often after calling them unprofessional I tend to follow up with something like, “Let me see if I understand this properly. You are willing to throw away the opportunity to (insert all the benefits of working with your organisation / selling your products etc.) because someone in your organisation can’t use a word processor to delete some nonsensical terms and conditions from this document?”
This is usually enough to shock them out of the “we always do it this way” trance and gets them more responsive to negotiation. If it doesn’t be thankful that you have walked away from a particularly nasty prospect that would have bled you dry.
What Have We Really Been Talking About?
Have a scan back through this article and notice that I have been installing a general persuasion pattern with you.
- Understand the situation from both sides
- Get clear on your value and where the balance of power is
- Use patterns to bypass the presenting issue and head towards the heart of the matter
- Drag them out of their trance and into a more responsive frame of mind
- Sell them the benefits of doing this your way and the inherent stupidity of their original approach
Imagine if you had several different ways of hitting each of these points. Consider the benefits of being able to spontaneously coming up with language patterns that fit this general formula. But what if you could do all of this and also fit everything into a metaphorical device like the article above? I mean seriously be able to covertly implant ideas, change perceptions and get people to think in the direction you want them to. How many different ways can you think of using this skill?
If you want the ability to be able to do this then you will need to download the most comprehensive Hypnotic Persuasion Skills Course on the internet.