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4 Rock Star Secrets to Prepare to Crush the Killer Deal

By |May 26, 2015

The Black Swan Group law of success:

“When the pressure is on, you will not rise to the occasion, you will your highest level of preparation.”

Articulated by others as “Preparation beats talent.” Out-prepare others and you will win. But, how do we avoid over-preparing and wasting our precious and limited time?

How do rock stars do it? They take advantage of daily opportunities.

Meet Annabaker – a rock star. She is one of the best people we know and someone who is constantly applying negotiation skills she’s learned. We had the pleasure of adding our knowledge to her already strong skill set. Here’s what she does to stay sharp.

  1. Take advantage of the daily low stakes “negotiations” with the people who normally annoy you.
  2. Have fun. It will boost your performance!
  3. Adjust
  4. Repeat

Annabaker called eager to tell us about her “negotiation” with one of the annoying telemarketing mortgage companies. It’s a classic. She does a mindset shift, uses a little inception and then drills it in with a 3+ (thank you, Jim Camp). Boom. A complete Jedi Knight.

Take advantage of the daily low stakes “negotiations” with the people who normally annoy you.

The telemarketing company had called her so many times she had actually entered them into her caller ID as “crank caller”. She’s a natural born assertive and her consistent application of assertion resulted in a Groundhog Day effect. Remember the movie? For those that don’t, it’s what famous baseball legend Yogi Berra delightfully described as “Déjà vu all over again.” The same company kept calling her over and over again. Sometimes in the same day. This presented a great opportunity to practice.

Are you and your team prepared for the next negotiation? Download our  Negotiation Capacity Checkup to assess where you excel and where you need to  improve »

Have fun. It will boost your performance!

Why is having fun important? It boost your performance! There is data that supports the idea that our brains perform up to 31% more powerfully when in a positive frame of mind. Fun is a performance hack instantly available to you when you harness it. Something as simple as smiling when you speak will improve your ability to call up skills in the moment.


Annabaker realized that since she was engaged in this seemingly inescapable vortex that maybe she needed to adjust. She started with her tone. A natural born assertive she did what she describes as going “accommodator on them”. She harnessed the power of nice, another great hack.

Annabaker then puts the rest of her negotiation skills to work. She then gets her counterpart to suggest a solution (inception), drills it in twice with some paraphrasing and then gives a big reward of gratitude to seal the deal.

Annabaker and other negotiation rock stars use these daily interactions to remain sharp as a razor and build the skills into second nature. When so much more is on the line she crushes it because she’s practiced.

Listen here to our call where she explains what she did. It's 2 minutes of fun. Thank you Annabaker!

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Practice daily to prepare for the big negotiations. Have fun and forgive yourself for the little mistakes. Adjust. Repeat!

Crush it. Make some rain!

Negotiation Capacity Checkup