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Insights: Negotiation Is In The Eyes Of The Beholder

Updated: 6 days ago

In this episode of Lance Rants, Lance takes you through the intricate world of negotiation, drawing from his own experiences with publishers. Join him as he unravels the essential strategies for successful deal-making, including the art of turning your opponent's tactics to your advantage and gaining insight into the buyer's mindset. Lance stresses the importance of never assuming a sale and shares the significance of empathetically addressing the concerns of the other party. Let's explore the analogy of negotiation as a strategic game of chess, where staying several steps ahead is key to achieving your goals. Tune in to discover how Lance approaches negotiations, ensuring he plays his cards right, even when the odds seem stacked against him.


Lance is the bestselling author of Selling Is An Away Game and The Human Sales Factor.

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Lance Rants: Negotiation Is In The Eyes Of The Beholder

Negotiation Vs Objection 

It goes back to something Lisa was saying ,and it's now tied to what you're saying. There is a spot where negotiation is not an objection and an objection is not negotiation, but they're cousins. When I wrote this first book, I'd never written a book before. I had to figure out how to get it done and I was meeting with a vanity publisher. I brought a part of my team down to this publisher. There were three of us and I was all in with everything that they wanted to do with the book.


When it got signed in the paperwork, we got ready to sign and I said, “I think we need to talk about terms.” They were like, “The terms Lance for 50% down and 50% when we start, and that would be in 60 days.” I said, “That's not going to work for me.” Let's say it was a $250,000 investment because it dealt with artwork and was going to be published. The guy said, “I'm not sure.” I go, “I guess it's the difference between me signing here as opposed to going somewhere else.” He goes, “You're here right now.” I said, “It's a good statement of the obvious.”


I said, “You might want to check. You introduced me to all the publishers, the decision-makers, and everything else. You might want to ask them about terms.” He goes, “What are you thinking?” I go, “That's interesting.” I said, “I'm more interested in what you're thinking.” He got up and my whole team was uncomfortable because I didn't tell him I was going to do that. He came back and said, “We can do three months.” I said, “That's not good enough. I was looking for more like fourteen months.”


He came back again and he went up to six breaking this payment down. Cash is king. I could have struck a check. I'm like, “Cash is king. Why not keep my money as long as possible?” He came back and he said, “We're stuck on six.” I said, “I'm actually closer to about fourteen months right now.” I pegged the number the other way. He looked at me and said, “This is really uncomfortable.” I go, “It is really uncomfortable. After everything you pitched me, it’s uncomfortable that you would seem so desperate to need 50% down in 60 days.”

Suicide Clause 

Now remember, whatever they use against you, you can use back against that. It's called a suicide clause. He came back and he goes, “Lance, it’s final. We can get it to eight.” I signed and he said, “Just out of curiosity. What have you done it for?” I said, “I would've done it for four months.” He goes, “You're kidding me?” He goes, “What did I do wrong?” I said, “You just assumed the wholesale. You didn't ask me if I had any concerns. If you asked me if I had concerns, I would've answered your question. I wasn’t BS-ing you. You probably should have asked that earlier.”

Against The Sales Odds | Lance | Negotiation
Negotiation: Negotiation is in the eyes of the beholder.

Now, you might say, “That was pretty stage out,” but when it's going fast, I've yet to find anybody that's that good that there's six moves in front. I deal with a lot of people and you do too. Nobody has six moves. They are 1 or 2 moves ahead of you at best. They're quicker on their feet. Those are counter things you got to look for, but then it has a lot to do with how you lay it out there also. Also, think a little bit like that 24-second clock in the NCAAs. Sometimes you have to slow the clock down and times' relative too.

Negotiation Is In The Eyes Of The Beholder  

However, negotiation, even if you listen to what Randy was saying, is action in the eyes of the beholder because everybody would agree that you would negotiate. Would you all agree that you all negotiate here at some level, the little things? Would you also agree that you probably have to describe a negotiation in order to say where it falls into things? Would you also agree maybe at some level that some people are just better negotiators than others for some reason?


If I could add, our tricky thing is that sometimes we don't hold the cards that we want to learn from, for sure.

We're going to go on that too because I think if you don't hold the cards, we have to figure out what you do hold.

 If you don't hold the cards, you have to figure out what you do hold.

I definitely am very excited to learn more about that. How can you still negotiate well when you don't have the cards?


I think the big thing to understand is in the process, and I don't mean to genderfy this. It's called steel manning. The concept is called to steelman somebody. A steelman is when a lawyer goes to law school, they learn to prep the case that they're fighting against. The reason that concept becomes so important is that then you can recognize when people are negotiating with you very quickly.


We're going to go into that concept of whether or not you hold the cards or you own a process because if you don't hold the cards, then maybe for instance, I'm not saying this case leads to that. Maybe you own the time, maybe you could slow it down and that becomes negotiable. I want to make sure you guys understand. First of all, there is zero in business. It's hard for anybody.


Everybody says negotiation is a skill you should have. Nobody knows where it starts or ends. Two, most people would know a good negotiator when they see it and most business people would say, “I need to become a better negotiator.” With all that said, we're dealing with a concept that's ambiguous. Is that fair?

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