Negotiating in hospitality? What can we learn from Sam Trattles? the easy way to increase bookings

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This is another episode of The Accommodation Show which I know will bring HUGE VALUE to your business. Whether it’s with your suppliers, stakeholders or colleagues on your team, negotiating is a skill that we use nearly every day and your approach can make a huge difference for ever.

We are also doing a competition with a free copy of Sam’s latest book ‘Negotiate your worth’. So please read on. 

Not everyone is born with innate negotiation skills. Fortunately, there are proven ways to become a good negotiator. In this podcast, we break it down into a structured process – just like any other process in business. To walk us through the basics, we brought in a negotiation ninja, Sam Trattles who has negotiated deals for over 20 years working for large corporations. Sam gives us an insight into how negotiating works and some of her do’s and don’ts, plus a few principles that negotiators should keep in mind while at the bargaining table. If you don’t like negotiating, she tells us how to get over our fears and provides some straightforward advice when things get tricky. 

Sam is the founder of the Other Side of the Table where she works with people and brands to create negotiation strategies for positive outcomes to game-changer deals, so you don’t leave wondering “could I have gotten more?”. Previously Sam enjoyed a successful Corporate career across Australia and Europe, with senior roles including Head of Sponsorship for Telstra. Having negotiated more than $500M in deals across sport, music, the arts, philanthropy, and grassroots programs, Sam is adaptable, is practical, and likes to share her knowledge to help others learn to love negotiating.

As a Commercial Deals Negotiator, Sam loves negotiating, and she’s written two books on it – “I Love Negotiating” and “Negotiate Your Worth”.

Top things that we cove about the value of negotiating to; 

Help you build better relationships with your business partners.
Deliver lasting, quality solutions—rather than poor short-term solutions that do not satisfy the needs of either party
Help you learn how to negotiate without burning bridges.
Help you avoid future problems and conflicts.
Help you find your “walk away” point in any deal.

It is important to remember that the goal of any negotiation should be a mutually beneficial agreement. Both parties need to feel like they’ve won something and achieved their goals in order for negotiations to be successful. If you can walk into a negotiation with empathy and an understanding of the other person’s perspective, you’re already on your way to building better skills. 

I hope you enjoy this episode!

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If you’re anything like me, you’re always on the lookout for a good book to read. But finding a good book can be tough. That’s why I’m excited to share this book giveaway with you. I’m giving away one copy of my new Amazon Best Seller, “Negotiate Your Worth.”

This book is all about how to get the most out of negotiating strategy. If you’re looking for a way to make a big impact in your life, business and career, this is the book for you.

We have 3 books to giveaway – shipping anywhere in the world! But get in quick as the draw closes on the 22nd of May!

Good luck!

📣   Listen to the episode here
👓   Watch the episode here


Bart: Hello and welcome back to The Accommodation Show. We help accommodation owners like you to get the knowledge and skills you need, to grow your business, improve your guest’s experience and increase your profitability. 


Welcome back to The Accommodations Show everybody. I am pleased to welcome Sam Trattles to the show and we will be talking about negotiating. Sam, Welcome to the show.


Sam: Thanks, Bob. I love your enthusiasm for negotiating.


Bart:  Thanks a lot and I am really enthusiastic about this. I actually woke up this morning and I was talking to my partner, I said, I’m going to be doing an awesome episode because I’m gonna be talking about something that we’ve never covered before and actually talking to someone who’s an expert like yourself in negotiating and has made it your work to really go deep on this topic and understand it. It’s fascinating and I almost got nervous to book you in for this episode in case you start to try to negotiate with me.


Sam: I guess that appears Yeah. Today I might be making that up.


Bart: Yeah, so look, Sam, we got connected because you are you’ve just published your second book, which is a best seller on Amazon. So congratulations, well done. I would love you to introduce yourself. Let everybody know who you are what you get up to maybe a tiny fraction about the book or maybe we can talk about the book at the very end but yeah, I’d really love to know for you to share with the audience. A little bit about yourself.


Sam: Yes, thank you. Yeah, so I love negotiating, which sounds very strange. I also love strategy, but two things that people don’t love. So I totally understand that. So I spent my entire career working in corporates up until about six or seven years ago, and I negotiated for my job so the head of sponsorship had a brand and sponsorship for various businesses have worked in Europe and Australia, for big banks, Telstra in Australia and Price Waterhouse Coopers around the world so had an awesome portfolio to look after being in those roles and negotiated really great things. But in the process learned, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly at the deals table. So when I walked out of corporate some time ago, I was like, Well, what would I do every day if I could do one thing and that was negotiating and I realized that people hate it. And really good friends of mine hated it. And I was just like, hang on, you’re really senior, and you’re really smart. And you don’t mind asking me for things. So what’s the block here? So for me, it was about understanding, okay, maybe I know some stuff that other people don’t know. And I can help alleviate the tension and stress associated with negotiating so, so set about helping change people’s perspective on negotiating particularly focused on Australians, because we were never taught this at school and the first time we tend to negotiate is when we have no other choice. So yeah, so that was really my focus as the business evolved.


Bart: We’ll come back to the book afterward, but that actually didn’t vote the question, and something that we covered before we recorded you said education we’re not really trained to negotiate and you said it’s particularly strange. Before we go into the value of what these skills actually bring to you as a business person and as a human being. Do they train in any other countries like the negotiating at school?


Sam: Great question. Not particularly, but it’s often that lifestyles are different. So in Australia, we are influenced heavily by the taboos in our culture. So don’t say what you do want don’t say what you don’t want. Don’t talk about money. Oh my gosh, because that’s rude. So you’ll add that layer to our culture, then that’s that we don’t have it as every day let alone being taught in schools. So different cultures talk about money, and different cultures will barter every day. There are lots of cultures that don’t even have price tags in general because you’re buying from markets all the time. So it’s inbuilt in that culture with that’s the difference in Australia. We don’t have that.


Bart: Yeah, okay. I understand. So, you know, I get a quote, and then I just pay whatever the quote is, rather than actually going and saying, Hey, hang on a second. Should this be a better price? And kind of starting to ask questions? I can. I can see that for sure. Particularly, going over to Thailand and then you go to the markets and all of a sudden you’re in the thick of negotiating, which I actually quite enjoy. loved being over there. So, so great. So look, once again, I’m appreciative of you being here. I’m appreciative of the topic that we’re going to cover today. And I know that one of the precursors is just to set up the environment for the episode because we’ve got accommodation owners, we’ve got managers, we’ve got people working in big hotels, we’ve got people that have small short term rentals that are listening in the audience, and I know that you’ve done well, almost billions of dollars worth of deals and negotiating through your time. The things that we talked about today, are they going to be relevant to our audience?


Sam: Yeah, I mean, I talked about if we can become more confident in negotiating anything, then that’s going to have temperatures across your whole world. So whether that’s negotiating as a family unit, whether that’s trying to get out of a parking fine, or whether that’s a really big partner relationship that you have that’s going to have multiple legs to it and go for many years. Absolutely. I try and make things as practical as possible. And look at it on a surface on a base level so that you can build on it and build on it from you know, just experience. Yeah, yeah. 


Bart: that’s and that was kind of my thinking is that this isn’t only about coaching, this actually we can find really practical elements that we can take and put into our accommodation business because there are different aspects of the business where you will be negotiating and feel free to kind of jump in and go, “Hey, hold on about that one or that one.” But I really see that there are different stakeholders that were working with whom we’re in accommodation. So we’ve got the guests and there’s a potential room for negotiating there. And all sorts of different manners. Today, I definitely don’t want to be covering off negotiating through issues and that sort of stuff. I think that that’s there but I’d like to focus on more business improvement, profitability, return on investment, that sort of thing. We’ve got so we’ve got the guests we’ve got staff members, so the cleaning front of house kitchen staff, you know, depending on the business size we sell, we might be negotiating with him. We might be negotiating with suppliers, which is one of the focus areas that I want to focus on today. And then the last one, also that is really come up for me. There are actually two more sorry, one of them is local area. So community so the local people that they’re living next door to the people who have noise complaints with that sort of thing. And the last one is regulation and politics. So talking to government, talking to the local government areas and that sort of thing and sort of negotiating with them. So those are the sort of five kinds of key areas where I really see accommodation owners benefiting from those skills. Would you agree with that?


Sam: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s that. Unfortunately, it’s not unique to this industry, which is good for this conversation today. But I also think that there are some patterns of behavior that happen in and around a lot of corporates and a lot of businesses that we are facing these challenges that are coming from multiple directions. That means that oh gosh, I don’t know how to have an uncomfortable conversation in one area, let alone five areas. So if we can solve it in one area, hopefully, it has those learnings and knock-ons into the others. as well. So hopefully we can solve a few things through those conversations.


Bart: Okay, cool. So let’s, let’s start off with breaking down the supplier side of things, and then we can kind of see where we go. And I really loved you to sort of taking us through a little bit of a journey of maybe, if we start off with mindset, whether we’re looking like we just looking at someone who’s like we’re about to negotiate for a new contract is that when we’re starting to negotiate, where does this all fit in and where do we get started?


Sam: Yeah, good. Question. But thanks. I think the first position is where do I feel comfortable? So we don’t just go Oh, today I’m going to go and negotiate well, III. I mean, we do that when we have to have a conversation that we’ve been putting off or in particular meaning that’s coming out but often we don’t realize how many times that we negotiate. So I think the first piece is the mindset it is how do I approach a conversation that I know that I have to have So firstly, actually I tell people, if you don’t like negotiating, don’t call it that. It’s a series of conversations or I’m going to have a conversation with somebody because really, that’s all we’re doing. It’s just as this connotation associated with negotiating that it’s going to be a thought. And it does not have to be a fight. 


There are definitely people who love that they love the punch on. So for them, we have to have a different set of tactics but most people just want to go and have a conversation and get an outcome. Where it comes a little bit unstuck is that we come at it from different places, and we don’t have the right vocabulary to actually ask those questions. So we need to actually bank a whole series of things that we wouldn’t ask ahead of time. So preparation is key. I think we talked about in my team spending 70% of your time in preparation for any meeting. Now. It’s a percentage. It’s not an allocation of time. And the and we work with farmers up in the Northern Territory, and we say to them from the farmhouse to the gate is enough time to you to think for you to think through what is it that I really want? What is it that I don’t want and then being clear about when would I walk away? The next layer is how will I walk away? Yeah, so we get frustrated, generally speaking because we don’t have the words to say and I think preparation can change that for everyone.


Bart: Can we start breaking that down? I’m loving this already. My mind is going crazy. So the first step that you said was, what do I want? Was that what it was?


Sam: Yeah, yeah. Well, the first step is actually we have a four-stage methodology that we work through called APEC. So the first step is acceptance. So accepting that you will participate in a negotiation. So you may have to have a very uncomfortable conversation with a staff member or supplier or these people we’ve talked about. So the first bit is to get your head in the game and say, right, I will have that conversation today. I’ll make that happen. So psychologically once you commit, most people who I do as well get done will actually do it.


Bart: Can I ask you a question about that, because you mentioned a few times, that you kind of has to prepare yourself or that it can be an uncomfortable conversation. In my mind negotiating. I never really approach it from an uncomfortable point of view, and that’s probably because I understand that the end results if doesn’t go kind of the way that I wanted to. It wasn’t meant to be or you know that there is that walkaway point. Why have you said uncomfortably a few times it’s a good thing. It can be fun yay. Right, we get to because I see it as a process for working together and for collaboration, right? And I don’t see it as a necessity when negotiating has got a negative connotation for me. It doesn’t sit there don’t have to be uncomfortable. But I know obviously, you’re you work with so many 1000s of people and a lot of people will go at something I don’t want to touch too much. But what do you think it is that would lead you to kind of frame it in that way?


Sam: Yeah, I think because most of the people that we work with we are talking about the tight end of it. We’re talking about those difficult ones for the most part. We are just going to have a conversation so I guess I do err on the end end of this one. There’s one I’ve been putting off so we have a lot of situations where people will kick the can down the road and not have that conversation. So that’s why I probably land in the uncomfortable space but I think it’s so big on the spectrum. So but you’re clearly at the end of we’ve got four personas of negotiators and one of them is mastery, you know you sound like somebody who’s edging towards mastery if you’re not there already. So that’s very comfortable, very confident. Never see it as you know, a hostile situation but the bulk of people 87% of people are apprehensive about negotiating. So that’s massive. And it is a US stat but we believe based on our years of data, it’s actually in Australia, it’s probably about 75% on a good day. So still damn high. So most people are seeing this as an adversary situation.


Bart: Yeah. And do you think as well though, that there’s an element of having the more you have at stake, the more uncomfortable it all becomes?


Sam: No, I think for me, I mean, I still get nervous when I go into a big deal. So there’s a difference between the nervousness and then there’s the apprehension piece of it. So it’s where you sit on that so you always should be nervous if it’s a lot of states gets nervous. It’s more I guess that uncomfortable often comes with often negotiating with the same people. So if Gary is difficult today, and it’s difficult, difficult last time and the time before that and time for that you’re already like I’m gonna, I’m gonna have that conversation with Gary.


Bart: Okay, so acceptance was the first part of this puzzle. So if we, if we’re and also if we’re always bringing it back towards the supplier sides, I really want people to think about and we’re gonna keep talking about this. So this could be for relationships with current suppliers, future suppliers, that sort of thing, but we’ll touch on that after. So we’ve now accepted that we’re going to have to go and have an uncomfortable conversation. And what was the next step?


Sam: Yeah. So we’re going to the next one, is preparation. So prepare. So I guess often part of acceptance also is deciding that we’re going to just have a review. We’re going to look at our p&l. We’re going to look at all of our suppliers and determine how long since we’ve reviewed their contracts, how long since we’ve actually gone to tender for the work that is required because often, we get busy bringing in new people and we forget to review the existing relationships. So that’s really I guess that’s a line in the sand to say, right? Well, we’ll pull out the p&l this afternoon and we’ll go yep, there are people who have been here for a while. Let’s have a sit-down. Have a chat about that. So preparing for that conversation is important. Determining what does that look like? And what are our benchmarks? So if you are going to do a tender, then how will we assess whether somebody is better than the people that we’re working with right now? And then how are we promoted, etc. So there’s, there’s a piece of work to be done, I guess in the first instance, to actually just wake up and realize that Oh, shit, we haven’t actually checked out. You know, we haven’t actually had a conversation with our suppliers for a long time.


Bart: Yeah. And I think that COVID was a really interesting one because that was a point where a lot of people were actually having to go out and renegotiate and we maybe don’t have as much much data as they also need to be able to go in with a position of strength within a negotiating sphere, but I know that a lot of people definitely were looking at this sort of stuff and having to use these sorts of skills. So we’ve gone and we’ve prepared we understand that you’ve got something that we need to need to need to tackle and then what was there over the last couple of steps


Sam: in your preparation is about okay, well, when we get into the room, which is engaged the next phase and how might that go? So in your preparation, it’s about thinking, right? What’s our ideal situation? What’s our, what will we settle for, and then what we walk away from it so every single situation has those three parameters? So currency is different so money, people’s time, it could be your currency. But having a think about those three different levels in your preparation is really important. And then, you know, thinking about if it is Gary that you’re renegotiating with that you’ve spoken to before and you know, he’s quite difficult what can you preempt that he’s going to say to you, and then when he says it rather than going to the thing again, that really drives me nuts. You’ve got a response ready, so we can play a little bit of a game with Gary. So for all Gary, we can play with toys Gary so when Gary says that line that we’re so ready for him to say rather than annoy us, we like Oh, I’m ready for this. I’ve got a response ready. So we actually keep ourselves on a level even keel the in the room.


Bart: Okay, so I just wanted to because I don’t know if you’re going to cover this again later on. But the whole those whole three points of the, you know what I want and then you said that was you know time money price


Sam: Okay, well when we get into the room which is engaged the next phase and how might that go? So in your preparation, it’s about thinking, right? What’s our ideal situation? What’s our what will we settle for and then what we walk away from it? So every single situation has those three parameters. So currencies difference and money, people time, it could be your currency. But having a think about those three different levels in your preparation is really important. And then, you know, thinking about if it is Gary that you’re renegotiating with you’ve spoken to before, and you know, he’s quite difficult. What can you preempt that he’s going to say to you, and then when he says it rather than going the thing again, that really drives me nuts. You’ve got a response ready, so we can play a little bit of a game with Gary. So for Gary, Gary, Gary, and Karen. So when Gary says that line that we’re so ready for him to say rather than annoy us, we’re like, oh, I’m ready for this. I’ve got a response ready. So we actually keep ourselves on the level even keel the in the room.


Bart: I don’t know if you’re going to cover this again later on. But the whole those three points of you know, what I want and then you said that was you know, time money price, whatever it is. And then you said what I’m prepared to walk away with and we’re gonna bring that in later or could we need to tackle this right now?


Sam: I mean, it’s naturally into the Engage but it’s because we’re in the room, because you’ve prepared and you know, what your position is going to be? And you’ve been able to articulate why is that your position? So what research have you done in the preparation phase to actually be ready for counterarguments? I mean, I don’t want to use the word argument counter discussion. So when you get into the room, really what we’re trying to do is explore where is it that we already agree, and where is it that we differ, and then focus on where we differ because what happens is often we have protracted negotiations because we’re focusing on the whole lot. So if we can narrow that down and ask questions around well, how did you come up with your valuation? Can you explain it to me, then we’re having this you know, we’re focused on these little pieces, and then we’re actually asking questions, rather than having this you know, fight so to speak. That’s, that’s happening in the middle there. So yeah, once you’re in the room, that’s when your walkaway position is probably the most important one there to know when your valuation is this of the contract and my evaluation is this of the contract, so why bother? It’s a lot unless there’s no other supplier. Then this bridge is too far. Yeah, so let’s call it.


Bart: Let’s talk about that a little bit. Just that sort of walkaway point. And one thing that really strikes me is when we go to an auction, and we see the price of a house and we’ve got an emotional investment and quite typically, I think the advice is always to have some sort of a walkaway point. But then the emotions take over and you get consumed by the process and then the feelings that you want to win and then you have the the the realtor as well shouting at you whispering to whatever trying to get you there to keep them going. And we talked about being prepared. And we have a walkaway point, saying hey, you know what, this is not going to work for me. Unless it’s at this particular stage,  how do we deal with the changes in the walkaway point through that negotiating process? 


Sam: Again, back to prepare. So we, when, when it’s an emotional purchase, you have to factor that into your preparation so we practice with people we put our case and test our preparation with other people. And it’s so important when it is an emotional purchase. Whether that is an option, whether that is a pair of shoes or wedding dress and watch, you know, a Maserati whatever it is your thing, you know that okay, I’ve said this is my bottom price, but then you have to go no, what’s your emotional buying price? So you actually have to have a really easy conversation that I know I’m gonna go but I love it. And so what do you do? And what is your actual hard hard bottom line there? So yeah, it’s a tip. It’s a tough one because I’ve seen people and I’ve been getting dressed and shopping with friends. And it’s like, well, I’m not doing this and I’m not doing that. And it’s like, but it’s beautiful. And now I’ve got the tiara. Okay, cool. Did you want it? 


You know, there’s the emotional piece. So for me in those, particularly with that dress situation, I took my friend and said let’s go have a drink and then come back and if you still feel like that, so you’ve got to have a circuit breaker as well. Trying to and this comes back to gameplay. So when you’re in a discussion with a supplier, then when you are you know, maybe you’re not that far apart, as we were talking about before, maybe you’re closer, but there’s still a bridge there. Maybe it’s like you know what, let’s have a timeout. Let’s get some other thoughts into this and get some more fresh air thinking into this. And then maybe we can cut in a different way. So maybe it’s not you give me this and I’ll give you that maybe there’s another bit more creative way to approach it. But we actually need that time to go away and think about what that solution might be.


Bart: And how about if, if I played a little bit of devil’s advocate kind of just be really evil. What if the goldmine negotiation isn’t about trying to find common ground it’s just about trying to really do maximum super capitalist I just need maximum profitability. That’s all I really care about and finding common ground isn’t really my isn’t my priority at all our business owner goddamnit what’s what is the yeah, what are your feelings


Sam: Yeah, it’s tough because you gotta look at drivers. So we’re all in a, you know, it’s a commercial outcome that we’re seeking here. So we have to have real conversations about the realities. I need to make money and you need to make money or I need to make sell this and you need to buy that whatever that thing is that we’re exchanging on. We just need to stop and ask questions. So it depends on if it’s a group environment. If it’s one person being difficult and you’re in a group, don’t call it out in the room, call the timeout have a conversation with that person on the side and say, Look, I’m not sure really what’s going on here. But let’s have a chat about what’s behind this. So maybe, you know, if you’re, if you’ve done five negotiations with this person, and you screwed them at one point, accidentally, then that might be coming back to bite you right now. But if it’s just a very difficult person who was just hard-nosed, then if you really need to have that sidebar conversation, so I often talk about would you negotiate? Would you be happy for your dad or your mom to sit next to you when you’re negotiating based on your approach to it? And you know, I know I look back at times when I was I had massive budgets and I was that person. I was just like, I was just trying to get the right bottom dollar and it’s, it’s not good because especially when you’re in a relationship with a supplier who you have to see and spend time with and work with once the deal is done. If you’re dealing with just a broker, you kind of imprimatur to get-go a little bit harder. But why Australia is such a small place, it’s gonna bite you at some point.


Bart: Ah, that’s a great quote. That’s a great quote. It’s still there. It’s such a small place. And funnily enough, my view is the world is becoming a smaller and smaller place. And therefore it takes very, very little for things to come and bite you because everything is very interconnected. And people can find you very, very easily by doing a search on LinkedIn or checking out a Google My Business or Facebook and I think that there’s a lot more damage than you can do by getting things wrong through this process. Cool. So I’m loving the conversation. I’m loving these little tidbits of huge value that you’re deriving. Just to finish off, we’ve kind of got our walkaway point we’ve gone in and then we’ve kind of tried to find common ground or work on the parts where you are divergent and try to bring them together and not focus on the parts where you do agree. And then so and then what’s next?


Sam: Yeah, so closing. So clothes are so important. And again, particularly for Australians, because we’re very last if they’re very laid back as a nation, which is what we’re famous for. However, that’s really unhelpful at the do so, so we’ve all walked away from meetings going well, I’m not sure who’s taking the actions and what’s happening next. But that was great meeting guys. Great, really excellent. Thanks. So the same in negotiation. So we need to be clear on have we closed out so isn’t it? Yes, no, maybe today. So what happens next? So if we’re closing because we’ve reached an agreement, have we reached an agreement on the whole thing? We’ll have a reached agreement on part of it. And then what’s next, so doesn’t need to go through a procurement round. 


Next, which we kind of should have asked earlier in our preparation is what is the approvals process? But if we haven’t, this is where you need to be very, very clear that have we closed this deal. Are we shaking hands today or touching elbows or whatever we do today out there, then if we have reached an agreement on certain things, let’s put those in the can, and let’s set up another meeting to talk about the other pieces that we’re still not aligned on and don’t set up an hour-long meeting set up a 15-minute meeting to just talk about this pace and this piece, because otherwise if it’s an hour you’ll fill it with art and let’s just go back to that piece. And let’s come back to here so we really want to get away from productive discussions. And then if we don’t reach an agreement, so how you leave is what people remember about you was what I was once told. 


You can throw the desk up and just go this is ridiculous. Or you can actually have a pre-prepared line for it. So you kind of has a spidey sense on when it’s how it’s gonna go beforehand. If you’re blindsided, then you know this probably doesn’t apply. But oftentimes when I’ve got Mortalis I think this might go pretty well or I think this might not go so well. So have a line prepared for that. So right we are miles apart. And I don’t think we’re going to reach an agreement. So let’s leave it fortunate day. And then we need to make sure that we’re coming back and talking about well, what’s the next steps on that? So, you know, agitated by you right now, Gary. So I’m going to call you on Tuesday, and I’m going to set up where to from here. Just right now. I just want to finish this meeting, if that’s all right. So really looking at the different options for how we’re closing it. And then that way, there’s no ambiguity. Everybody knows what’s happening. All right, great. So, Bart, you’re going to do that next. You’re going to do that by when? And I’m going to do this and I’m gonna talk to procurement and I’m gonna talk to a PR team and I’m gonna do this. And I’m gonna do that by next week. And there’ll be another meeting in three weeks’ time. So it’s really deliberate about where we’re going from here.


Bart: Okay, so I want to focus on that little point that you mentioned before about kind of burning those relationships and burning those supplies at the end of the day. And obviously, the different organizations are going to matter in different ways. And but I find as you said, it’s a small world out there. So even if you’re burning a small supplier, it could bite you in a way that you can’t envisage because they could be affiliated with someone that will be of use to you down the line. We’ve got a kind of words of advice, I guess we’ll be what it is. Because I mean, everyone can find a good way to get an excuse to get out of it. But what would your advice be when you know they gonna fall over? You just can’t make it happen and you’ve got to go. You’ve got to choose supplier B over A What? What kind of advice could you give?


Sam: It’s a tough one because our default position is we don’t want to disappoint people. But the reality is it is business so we just need to tell them the truth. These are the reasons why. And we’d really like you guys, but we can’t work with you guys on this basis. Unless you think that there’s an opportunity for something different, a different mix that makes up for it. So less cash more this, more than more or less of that. So it’s really about that creative solution and together so you know, we just need to be as honest as possible and looking you know, if you are in a meeting in a situation where you have got frustrated and you’ve lost it was just people like like I’m a big advocate for people or people we’re human beings so you are going to lose it from time to time. It’s how you recover that matters. So if you go home, and then wake up in the morning, go, You know what, I don’t know whether I said what I wanted to say that I need to call up and apologize and say, Look, this is what I was trying to say. I’m sorry, I got frustrated and I got wasn’t able to articulate what I wanted. 


Can we keep going with this discussion? So you’re kind of putting it out there that you’ve made a mistake. You’re asking for permission to keep going is there an opportunity to say no, I don’t I don’t want to talk to you anymore, which is very hard. I find that very hard to believe that people would say that so so it’s about recovering. So you know, unless you burn a bridge that you don’t really know there’s always a way to come back from that and that’s team teamwork as well. So for me, my tell is that I go red in the face, and if I go red in the neck, my team notes or calls the timeout. So if someone is frustrating me, my team will just be like maybe we just have a cup of tea. So your teammates knowing you and your tells is really important when you’re playing having a game strategy in negotiations as a team.


Bart: Yeah, absolutely. And going back to my analogy of doing the markets in Thailand, I remember categorically that my partner and I were both already pre-planned what we were going to be doing to then create two negotiating points through the whole process. 


So many great little tidbits I just want to wrap it up and Finish, finish it off. And I do want to talk about your book and what it is. And we might have a bit of a giveaway as well of the book. But one thing that you mentioned was suppliers. Obviously when we’re negotiating new contracts and new deals, then we’re looking at a multitude of suppliers and then coming to the right conclusions and then drilling down on what’s important to us and that sort of thing. And then making deals and then you said we said so we’ve got new suppliers but then we’ve got suppliers where we need to go and renegotiate with them and go hey, I just want a better deal or we haven’t approached this for such a long time. Or sometimes we won’t even do it because like we best leave that alone because it’s working right now. And if we do anything to mess that up and our business is gonna fall over or have a could have much bigger consequences by kind of rattling that cage. Any tips or advice about going and renegotiating deals? 


Sam: I think it’s one of those things where you can leave it well enough alone in the last two years. Some things you just have to leave well enough alone. It’s working. Just keep going with it. But I think you know, it’s just about a conversation. So we’re Where are you guys? Do you think this relationship still working under the current terms because we’re not so sure there are pieces we’d like to talk about and you know, what do you think? That’s it doesn’t have to be okay, we come in here. We’re gonna get in the room and smash this out together and make it really tough. I think it’s, you know, the great thing about supplier relationships is most of the time they’re becoming mates. So, you know, it’s a conversation with a mate. Now obviously, we’re in the room when and I have had relationships like this, where people have become my friend who was a supplier and I need to say to them, look in this room, where this is my job and that’s your job. Let’s put the mates out of the door. 


And that has some interesting things that come from it, but I definitely think that there, there’s no reason to avoid those conversations. It’s as long as it starts out. It’s just that it’s just a conversation to see where it’s at. Because everybody might actually say, You know what, it’s not that bad. Or that if you’re thinking that it’s not working, then they’re probably thinking it’s not working as well. So, you know, we do we it’s kind of obvious when things aren’t working in those long-term relationships. And sometimes it’s just sitting down and having that chat over it and saying, Okay, maybe we don’t need to wholesale change the relationship. Maybe there are just little pieces that we all need to iron out together.


Bart: So but then, from what you said at the start was it all stem down to looking at your p&l? And I guess we’ll p&l is one of the metrics your thing and then if things are working right by a cleaning company, you keep in falling over for when and company it’s been three years, you’re not delivering on whatever you promised those sort of things to those can be those prompts. And you’ve got to find those opportunities to have those conversations. I love it. I love it, Sam, awesome. Couple of things we’re going to talk about just to close off the show, and this is a bit of a thank you for your time. The two things that I’m interested in. One is you’ve got so much knowledge and skills. If someone wanted to engage you right, what kind of business sizes are you working with? Are you doing anyone on one coaching with execs, what kind of who would you want, like if you said my ideal client is who would it be?


Sam: Great question. We have different groups that we work with. So we will mean from a base level My thing is about advocating for change, to help people learn to love negotiating so from the books to our on-demand programs online, and then we have our group coaching programs where we have senior leaders come together and learn through live deal negotiation so they bring challenges and then I’d go through a five-week process through our conscious negotiator program and really tackle those problems in a peer-learning environment. And then from a strategic perspective, so big deals Game Changer deal, we call them then we can do consulting work for people. So making sure that they’re very comfortable to go to the deals table. So we often, we don’t really tend to negotiate on behalf of people it’s about upskilling people so capability building is key. So join it with the team preparing for it and then we can be gone for hire and go and negotiate with your team and then we feel like that has a whole learning process associated with it as well. So yeah, so there’s a lot we deal with so people at all different levels and all different industries. So my team has a background kind of across the industry. So I know I’ve been a bit evasive on your question there but anybody who wants to learn how to become a better negotiator.


Bart: At least you’re very clear about that. And I think that the methodology would be to look at your website and then maybe fill out a contact form or something saying, Hey, this is my situation and this is what I’m interested in. If I was going one of the ones that for me, I would use your service or for would be for a next job negotiation. It’s one of the weakest areas of my skill set actually is once because I feel like I’ve got so much invested in it and by the time I’m at the negotiating table I want the job right so it doesn’t I really disempowered by that. Do you guys do any of that kind of stuff?


Sam: In my first book, I love negotiating. There’s actually a whole chapter in there about negotiating a pay rise, which is obviously linked to a new role. So we actually give that away on our website at no charge. There’s a free chapter download that people can get, which will help them with that.


Bart: And what a great lead in to the new book. So tell us about the new book The New bestseller


Sam: Yeah, that’s selling on Amazon as of yesterday. So negotiate your worth and you have copyright here which we are going to give away some copies on today. So basically negotiating your worth was written from my learnings as a business owner. So I thought that coming from a big deal then closing deals would not be a problem for me. Turns out it turned out that negotiating your worth when you sell your brain is really challenging. So really understanding like what’s the book that I wanted someone to give me on my first day as a business owner. So I also believe that we always remember that teaching was fun. So learning should be a fun experience. So what I did was identify the eight characteristics of powerful business negotiators. And then I found that attributes that are aligned are the animals to each of those characteristics. So the books centered around the animals and then through the process because business owners are tight on time as well. We have a self-assessment tool at the front of the book, which basically tells you what power animal you are strong in right now and which power animal you need to spend a bit more time on. So you actually can fast track your way through the book based on that and you can just jump to the chapter that is what you’re where you need to focus on and, and then learns about that Animalist characteristics so often talk about sit down with your business coach and work through it together over time and then hopefully, you’ll feel more confident through those little tips and tricks and putting them into place which is that’s the most important part actually actioning it and then you’ll become a great negotiator feel more and more confident as you as time goes by.


Bart: I love it. So the moral of the story is to pick up a book if you even if you think you’re an amazing negotiator, pick up the book, figure out where your weaknesses are and then start working on them and polishing them up. Sam, thank you so much for joining us and for sharing your insights and your skills, your expertise in this field. I think it’s a fascinating one. I think that I would encourage anyone that’s listening to manage those relationships, look at your p&l, look at what’s going on in your business. And then if you do need to go and make some changes, that’s when you would make sure that you’ve got those skills and before you get going you get prepared. Folks thanks a lot for tuning into The Accommodation Show. We do really appreciate it. We appreciate a like and a subscribe. It means an awful lot to us and it also means that we can keep them bringing invaluable content like this to you, Sam, thanks once again, really appreciate it and have an awesome day.


Bart: Thanks for having me.


Bart: Thank you Take care thank you so much for listening to the show. You can find us at the accommodation where you can find all the show notes, links to resources we’ve talked about. And transcripts from the show. I really do appreciate you listening. And if you’d like to support the show, and please subscribe, leave a comment and share it with others.

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