Shifting the game in negotiations
Regardless of the business that you’re in or the life that you live, your ability to negotiate favorable outcomes is likely to have a disproportionate impact on how far you go in life. At some point during each of our lives, we’ve been on either side of the table - whether it’s a conflict with a family member or a friend, an important decision with a business partner, or a significant purchase that you’re about to make - the manner in which you approach each of these negotiations will almost certainly be the difference between success and failure.
I’ve always had great admiration for those who make the art of negotiating seem effortless. And as much as I view it as a game, it’s been a tricky art for me to master. My empathy for others and desire for the conventional ‘win-win’ solution has yielded less than favorable outcomes on too many occasions; and that’s why it was particularly exciting for me to get inside the mind of someone who makes a living negotiating on behalf of entrepreneurs.
Stan Christensen co-founded Arbor Advisors to be the bridge between company builders and their bankers. Whether it’s a capital raise, an acquisition opportunity, or a potential partnership - Stan’s singular objective is to achieve significant outcomes for his business leaders. Like a chess master, a lot goes into his approach; and as you’ll notice throughout our conversation, he's as precise as he is strategic - never neglecting the impact of human psychology. Here are the topics we discuss:
- The evolution of Stan’s interest in negotiations.
- A framework to prepare for an important negotiation.
- Negotiating an equity stake or a compensation package.
- What not to do when dealing with a difficult person?
- What expert negotiators know about relationship management?
- How not to get emotionally hijacked?
- What you should never compromise during an important negotiation?
- Why it’s impossible to align interests when raising Venture Capital?
- When, how, and from whom to raise capital?
- Why capital isn’t a scare resource?
- Understanding the capital structure that’s right for your company?
- How to improve the odds of an M&A succeeding?
- Gaining leverage and shifting the power in a negotiation?
- What sales people should stop doing?