Meeting MPI Toronto - January/February 2015 - (Page 15)

TS REVE C EEFFECTI SR FO D GET AN WHAT TING WANT YOU By David Lavin, The Lavin Agency W hat is negotiation? The term itself can have numerous meanings and can be portrayed in many different ways. According to Wikipedia, negotiation is "a dialogue between two or more people or parties intended to reach an understanding, resolve points of difference, to gain advantage for an individual or collective, or to craft outcomes to satisfy various interests." In simple terms, it means creating a win-win scenario for everybody involved. In theory, however, things tend to take all kinds of twists and turns. That said, there is a problem with this title. It makes the wrong assumption about negotiation. I presume that the point of any negotiation is to get what you want. The real secret, though, is to understand what the other person values. Once that is established, then you decide whether that value is acceptable to you. For example, I was once hired as a consultant by a national chain. They were negotiating with a sports celebrity through her lawyer for an endorsement deal. The national chain asked me to put a value on her worth as a celebrity. To do that, I asked them a lot of questions about their business, about the impact this endorsement would have, and what their potential upside was. At no point did I attach a value to the celebrity. The national chain decided that this endorsement was worth $100,000 to them. At the meeting, her lawyer thumped the table, demanded $50,000, and said this number was non-negotiable. My client pretended to be shocked, but was instead delighted. They would have paid double but the lawyer only cared about what he wanted, not what the company valued. If he had asked the right questions, his client would have earned $100,000 and the company would still have been happy with the transaction. In this scenario, if the value to the company was $35,000, then the lawyer and his client would have had to decide whether this was acceptable to them. If they answer is no, they walk away. But again, what they want is the last brick in the wall, not the first. It is always shocking to see that people don't ask questions. Are they not curious or just intimidated by the process? It can feel rude to answer a question with another question, but it is the key to understanding. For example, I frequently get calls asking, "How much is speaker X?" Before answering, I always ask my own questions: Why are you interested? Have you seen them? Who did you have last year? The reason we ask these questions is that people often make the wrong assumptions. For example, they want a political speaker to give a motivational talk or an American to talk about Canadian politics. Only by understanding what a meeting planner really wants can we understand whether this is the right speaker. After all, the audience doesn't want to hear from the wrong speaker and the speaker doesn't want to speak to the wrong audience. Reputation is more important than money. So, what is the "secret to effective negotiation"? Ask questions. Only then will you be able to determine the value of the negotiation and if it is worth doing in order to create a positive outcome for all involved. David Lavin is the President and CEO of The Lavin Agency and can be reached at | MEETING * 15

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting MPI Toronto - January/February 2015

President’s Message
Editor’s Word
Welcome, New Members!
Upcoming Events
Discovering Toronto’s Best Kept Secrets – A Venue Guide
Entertainment Trend Forecast 2015
Inside the Chapter: MPI Toronto’s Hidden Gems
Canada’s Hidden Gems: Ready to Welcome and Delight Groups of All Sizes
Hiding in Plain Sight: The New Niagara
Secrets for Effective Negotiation and Getting What You Want
Chapter Speaks
Attendee Engagement – Try Something New!
The Rise of Restaurant-Inspired Events
Destination Winnipeg
Advertisers’ Index &

Meeting MPI Toronto - January/February 2015