Be Ready to Move From Informal to Formal Negotiations

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The Sales Warrior Within | Season 2 Episode 15 – Be Ready to Move From Informal to Formal Negotiations

Andy Olen is a Sales & Leadership Trainer and High-Performance Coach. Andy works with talented salespeople, business teams, and leaders who seek empowerment, improvement, and insight. Andy’s clients strive to be the best in class.

“Good Selling, Good Leading, Good Living.” – Andy Olen

Be Ready to Move From Informal to Formal Negotiations with confidence, and ease. Turn informal moments into successful formal negotiation events.

  • Savvy customers catch too many salespeople in Informal Negotiations
  • Informal moments set the table for the formal moments later on in
  • Andy shares three Rs and best practices to ensure that salespeople navigate informal moments with thoughtfulness and success
  • All cooperative negotiations can lead to Triple Win Outcomes – master Informal moments and enjoy the success at the upcoming formal negotiations
  • Andy thanks the many listeners joining Andy’s Instagram Live feed.

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Be Ready to Move From Informal to Formal Negotiations

Speaker: Andy Olen

| 00:02 | There’s a Sales Warrior within each of us. My name is Andy Olen, and I’m here to help you discover and empower the Sales Warrior Within. Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the Sales Warrior Within podcast coming to you today, April 18, 2022. Both on the podcast and also live on Instagram Live.
| 00:27 | Always happy to do that at @andyolen on Instagram Live. If you want to check out and see some actual recordings of the podcast, check me out there. Usually we record on Mondays and Tuesdays for that week and often in the afternoon. So if you see me going live on Instagram and you’re a follower, definitely check it out there. Team. What I wanted to talk about today was a variation of negotiations, the yes if negotiation style, which is cooperative negotiating, where you can say yes to all of your customers, wishes, requests and asks you can say yes to all of those if and only if you’re ready to trade value back and forth with that customer.
| 01:07 | And as importantly, they’re willing to trade value back and forth with you. That’s a yes if cooperative negotiation. It’s a mindset. It’s an approach. It’s working together to solve a challenge or a problem where both sides can really prosper and move forward together. I like to think of it as a triple win outcome for salespeople can be achieved. That’s a win for you as a salesperson. It’s a win for your customer, and it’s a win for your business as well. When all three win, that is really the Mark of a triple win outcome.
| 01:37 | A cooperative yes if negotiation and one where value is freely and openly traded back and forth between both parties. We often think of negotiations as moments where parties come together and individuals come together around some big Oak Brown boardroom table in a conference room and somebody’s office park or wherever it may be. Maybe it’s in a conference park, at a hotel or at a golf resort. Who knows where that big formal table is, where the big negotiation will take place.
| 02:09 | And in that negotiation, if it’s a really big opportunity, there are people, many people on one side of the table, many people on the other side of the table. It’s almost set up to be an adversarial exchange. We’re going to cut through all that adversarial posturing and get to a cooperative yes if negotiation by trading value back and forth. But that’s the scene that we almost always see play out. I think about some of the negotiations that happen in movies. Aaron Brockovich comes to mind where she and her law partner are working on.
| 02:40 | I think it’s like California Gas and Electric, whatever the California Power and Utility Company is that they were negotiating against. And that’s in a big boardroom, a big formal setting. And that’s how negotiations are often depicted and shown. The reality team is that might only be the tip of the negotiating iceberg. You might experience and actually be a part of hundreds, if not thousands of mini negotiations that take place far, far away from that boardroom table.
| 03:13 | I like to call these informal negotiations. And informal negotiations require a very important skill set. They require the yes if mindset.
| 03:25 | They require attention from a salesperson because the expectation that’s set in the informal setting in a hallway conversation, in a random bump into the customer moment, out in your personal life, at a soccer game, for your kids, at a Milwaukee Bucks game at Pfizer Forum in downtown Milwaukee, or just randomly bump into them, maybe in the cafeteria at your customer site, and in that informal conversation, hello, exchange pleasantries are going back and forth, and then all of a sudden the customer asks you, hey, here, you’re launching a new product.
| 04:02 | Is it going to be priced the same as your old product? How you answer that question in the informal setting is so important. Why? Because it sets the expectation for when you do get around that formal negotiating table. Andy, I remember you said this when I asked you about the price of your new product, and now I want to put that into the contract. Or you said this about the price for your new product, and I’m not seeing that in the quotation that you provided us.
| 04:31 | The informal negotiation sets the stage. It sets the expectation for the more formal negotiation that comes later on down the road at that boardroom table when the contracts are put on the table and hopefully you get to assigned agreement and a triple win outcome, a win for you, a win for your customer, and a win for your business. Informal negotiations really require, as I share in my online course, that’s coming soon on informal Mastering the Art of Informal Negotiations.
| 05:05 | It requires three things that you do as a salesperson. You have to recognize there’s an informal negotiation. You have to react to it appropriately, using yes if techniques. And you have to respond and try to work your way to a good trading event, rather than a moment where you acquiesce or give in in that informal moment and answer your customers questions in a way that you might regret a little bit later on.
| 05:29 | When you’re at the formal negotiation table and they remind you of the expectation that you set, they remind you of the price point that you offered in that very simple, very casual conversation you had near the water cooler or at the refrigerator or at the salad buffet in the customer’s cafeteria.
| 05:52 | Informal negotiations team are all around us, and savvy customers will use informal negotiations in order to try to shape the expectations of the more formal negotiations to be favorable to them. You also have the opportunity to shape informal negotiation moments. So by the time you do get to that critical conversation on contract renewal, contract expansion disrupting your competitor, you will have planted the seeds that hopefully you’ve watered and can bring home to your advantage during the more formal negotiations.
| 06:31 | So an informal negotiations again, they can take place over a phone call. Customer can call you up and just start talking about things, and then all of a sudden say, hey, we heard that you gave a discount to our neighbor down the road. Can you do the same thing for us? You weren’t expecting it, you weren’t ready for it, and all of a sudden it’s there on your doorstep. And how you respond to it is really, really important. Do you say yes and acquiesce and give away that value, or do you use a yes if style after recognizing and now reacting to this informal negotiation?
| 07:04 | So I’m really pleased to have the informal negotiation online course available at It’s a fun course. There are role plays in there. I always like to bring back my friends Mia and Isaac, who are the stars of the negotiation roleplays. Mia is a very talented up and coming salesperson, and she’s dealing with all kinds of different negotiations. She learns the yes if mindset and the yes if mindset master class continues to groove that muscle.
| 07:32 | And the more advanced negotiations by looking at challenging customer personas. And then she’s also looking at power dynamics and how to manage power dynamics and negotiations, which she can harness at times. And at times the customer, Isaac can harness it. But in informal negotiations and of course, what you’ll find is you’ll see a lot of role plays of where Isaac, the customer just comes up to me as a salesperson and asks a sort of casual question. But there’s a lot of significance to the question that Isaac asks and the response that Mia give.
| 08:02 | She has to be on point at that moment or it will set a challenging expectation for her to meet when it comes time for the live in person formal negotiation happening later on down the road. So what I’d like to leave you with today is a couple of calls to action. One is the first, the recognition that, hey, look, negotiations are not just around the formal boardroom table.
| 08:27 | They may conclude there, but many big negotiations around that boardroom table actually start with the informal negotiation that happens text, phone call, bump in, random meeting, or even a scheduled meeting where all of a sudden negotiation term or condition might pop up. And your answer to that customer’s question or inquiry may shape the outcome of the more formal negotiation later on.
| 08:55 | And we want to make sure that you use yes if approaches in order to shape the informal negotiation in a way where you set expectations that also create a winning outcome for you as a salesperson. That triple win is what we’re after. And you’ve got to be really important, really Mindful, excuse me of getting to that triple win outcome by mastering informal negotiations well in advance of the more formal negotiations that come down the line later on.
| 09:24 | And if you think about your personal life, if you’ve been out dating and people start to ask you different relationship questions, trying to do their due diligence and research, if you’re a good connection for them, or if you’re with your significant other and you’re getting into sort of that questioning or conversation that, oh, this is a comment that might lead to a little bit more of an important conversation we have later on that negotiation that might be coming up later on, say, where you’re going to spend the holidays with your significant other. Which city are you going to?
| 09:54 | Whose in laws are you going to see? But maybe there’s some conditioning informal questions that just pop up around the dinner table a couple of weeks or even months before. And it’s even in there where I think, especially in your personal life, with people that you love and are in relationships with, hey, do you want to put all this out on the table now and talk about it? I wouldn’t actually allow for the informal negotiation to linger on too long. Let’s get to the heart of the matter in our personal lives. And so even their informal negotiations do pop up a lot.
| 10:23 | And how you manage those using a cooperative style is super important. They absolutely pop up and are very present in our professional lives and endeavors. And it’s really important that you’re able to recognize, react and appropriately respond to informal negotiations using yes if styles. Yes if approaches and be able to bring that negotiation into the more formal realm with confidence and conviction that you’re ready to go trading value back and forth and achieving that triple win outcome.
| 10:59 | A win for you, a win for your business, and a win for your customer as well. So check out if you want to learn more about informal negotiations and formal negotiations as well. Check out the online course. You can check it out  and go navigate to the online content there on my website and you’ll find informal negotiations. There’s a preview video, so you can actually watch the first video in the course.
| 11:24 | And if that’s something that speaks to you and something that you think is important in your line of work in sales and business and in leadership, I find that it’s super important in business. As a salesperson, as a negotiator, as a sales warrior myself, I want to make sure that I’m setting the appropriate expectations in the informal negotiation so I can have that lead to a very cooperative and successful formal negotiation later on. It all fits together. It’s a whole big system.
| 11:53 | And the good news is that the yes if cooperative mindset really helps you move in and out of these negotiations with an eye towards success, an eye towards creating mutually beneficial outcomes for you and your customer. So team with that. That’s the podcast for Monday afternoon. Looking forward to connecting with all of you again. Go check out to learn more about the negotiation courses that are out there and the yes if mindset as well.
| 12:20 | And by the way if you do invest in negotiation learning for yourself use the discount code warrior warrior and you’ll receive 10% off your investment. I look forward to seeing all of you soon and talking with you even sooner sales warriors have a great day. My name is Andy Olen and as always good selling, good leading and good living.