Tactics

Never let someone interrupt you TWICE

Published on October 16, 2020

Oren Klaff

Quick question … did you ever meet a bloodthirsty and diabolical genius that can out-negotiate Satan?

No, you haven’t? Well …

… then let me introduce you to Jonathan (my financial partner for over 20 years.)

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Sorry I don’t show his face but he will sue me.

Basically, Jonathan is a real-live Harvey Spectre from the show SUITS …

I’ll give you a perfect example of this …

One day, quite a few years ago, we flew Jonathan’s plane to Phoenix:

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We arrive at PHX, and go to a reserved conference room in the terminal.

This was the final negotiation to close a big deal: 40 million was was stake. 

We’re sitting in the conference room ‘facing off’ with the other side’s CEO, CFO and lawyer.

I needed them to sign ONE minor legal document, and the huge sale would be closed. 

But their lawyer was such a d**k.

He was constantly on his phone while I was presenting.

I was presenting something called a “bad boy carveout” – a document they had to sign. 

But the guy kept interrupting me.

Every time I was getting “to the point” … their lawyer would take a cell phone call, or send a text, or make a call to someone else.

After the fifth interruption …

I knew Jonathan was going to do “something.”

He is very impatient.

He is also creative and outrageous and smart – and experienced.

AND HERE WE GO ….

Jonathan moved into the conversation, and I thought, “Finally, here comes the A-team to back me up” and turns out, that was an understatement.

He looks at their lawyer and says in a growling voice:

“Do that again and I’ll put your phone in a glass of water.”

I guess he didn’t know Jonathan as well as I do because about 2-minutes later, the lawyer made another call and interrupted me again.

AND IT WAS ON.

Jonathan grabbed the phone. 

PLOP. straight into the water.

Like a plane that just crash-landed, the guy’s cell-phone was half-sunk half-floating in a full glass of water.

Sh**.

I seriously didn’t know what to do ….laugh, run-away or apologize?

But I didn’t have time to do any of that …

Chairs were flying backwards. There was angry-speaking and legal-sounding threats going back and forth.

But this deal was not dead like you think it would be. 

Their CEO was also in the room.

I think he was very happy that finally someone put the lawyer in his place. 

They asked the lawyer to leave, and it was pretty clear to me he would be fired.

Now, free of all interruptions, In no time at all, I made my presentation, in a nervous voice, but I did my job.

And we closed the deal. I made a nice 100K. Jonathan probably made 3 million.

And then Jonathan charged me $600 for the replacement phone … said that he had to step in and “do my job for me.”

I gladly paid the bill because it was the lesson of a lifetime.

Now, most of us aren’t like Jonathan, ultra-rich 30-year veterans of the deal business that fly around in a plane and dump people’s cell-phones into seltzer water to close large deals.

But WOW and DAMN — 

Imagine if you had a little of this knowledge.

Imagine if you know exactly when to act, how to defend your position against difficult personalities, and still close the deal.

What if you knew how to handle anyone getting in your way.

In other words, how to deal with any “third party” that is keeping your deal from CLOSING.

  • Lawyers
  • CFO’s
  • Accountants
  • Analysts
  • Partners
  • Committees

In my 20 years of closing deals, I’ve found there are always “advisors” and “committees” who stand between you and a closed sale. 

I’ve seen a thousand deals close in tough negotiations and I know first-hand how you can get the “nod of approval” from every decision-maker in your way. And it doesn’t have to be dramatic of confrontational.

Until you learn to recognize and work with each of these character types, you’ll be stuck in deal after deal, frustrated and unable to get it closed.

 

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