TALKING SALES 76: “Negotiation – a life skill”


“Life is easier when you know how to negotiate” –  Interview by John Smibert



WayneBerryPreferredIn this interview the Top Gun sales coach Wayne Berry points out that the best negotiators understand that negotiating is a process and they understand that it’s something we do every single day in every area of our life.

Wayne explains that; “People are happy doing business with me and on an ongoing basis, because I tend to give them what they want and I get what I want; it’s total win-win.

Wayne’s bottom line is “Life is easier when you know how to negotiate”.

Watch – and/or read – the full interview below.


Wayne Berry is the Top Gun Sales Guru and Coach and has authored 5 best selling books on selling.



John: Hello! I’m with Wayne Berry, Australia’s top gun sales coach. Welcome back, Wayne!

Wayne: Thank you, John!

John: We’ve had some great discussions, Wayne, and I’ve loved them. We talked about what top salespeople have as skills and capabilities to be successful. One of the things we haven’t talked about yet is negotiating. I think negotiation’s critical, but there’s ways to do it effectively, and, as you say, to give or to help.

Wayne: Yes, yes.

John: Tell me what negotiation means to you.

Wayne: Okay. It’s a subject that I’m really passionate about. I’ve written three books on negotiating, and I met the man who wrote the fourth best book on negotiating in the world.

John: [laughs] Right!

Wayne: His name is Herb Cohen. Now, I was just young, I was in my early 20s. Perhaps our viewers have even heard of the book, it’s called ”You Can Negotiate Anything” by Herb Cohen.

John: Right.

Wayne: When I met Herb at the airport, young, in my twenties, and I was promoting a seminar in Australia. I was looking around at the airport for this man, and this crusty old guy, who looked much older than the photograph on the book, that often happens…

John: [laughs]

Wayne: Came down, and, I was a little bit in fear of him, because he’s this big negotiator. I mean, being a lawyer out of New York, tough international negotiations. And he was just the most lovely, affable, nice guy! And as I travelled around Australia with him, strange things started to happen. Like, in the airlines I knew I had booked economy, but when we finally went on the plane he said “Oh, this is my seat here.” and then I went down to the other end, and he’s sitting in first class, and I’m thinking “How did the do that?!” Like, I didn’t do that – I paid economy.

We go to the hotel, and he said “Wayne, I’ve got to handle the check-in.” So, I say “No, I’ll handle the check-in.” and then he’d call me for his room, and it’d be the penthouse! And I’m like “I’m not paying for the penthouse! How is he doing this kind of stuff?!” And he wasn’t paying either! And so it went on, and I got to travel with him, and I asked “What is it that you’re doing?” and he said “Oh, these people are lovely! I just ask them in a particular way, and they just give me whatever it is that I want.”

Now, the reason I tell that story is that it really made me think “Wow, could negotiating really be all about treating people with respect, treating people in an intelligent way, in a nice way, and they’ll give you whatever you want? And my experience of negotiating since I’ve researched this, the best negotiators – number one understand that negotiating is a process, they understand that it’s something we do every single day in every area of our life, and they make a decision to become very, very good at it. And it’s not about being a tough person.

John: It’s not, is it? My experience with negotiating… I used to think I’ve got to be a strong negotiator, and my experience is that if you do everything in a sales process effectively right up to the point where you’re ready to negotiate, negotiation becomes really easy.

Wayne: It does.

John: If you haven’t done it effectively, you haven’t qualified effectively, you haven’t researched, you haven’t got a good understanding of what the value proposition is in the customer’s mind, negotiation becomes very difficult.

Wayne: Tough, yes.

John: How do you develop the win-win there?

Wayne: Yes, true. I think they call it “too late” in negotiation, and I say “too late” because if they’d done certain things earlier they wouldn’t be in the situation that they’re in. It’s a process. Understand what the process is, understand what the strategies are, understand what the skills are, and determine to be really good at it, because in my life… My life… I float through my life very nicely now with very little stress, because I negotiate every single day of my life to get everything that I want. And not in a selfish way. People are happy doing business with me and on an ongoing basis, because I tend to give them what they want and I get what I want; it’s total win-win.

John: Yes and they love you for it. Yes, so, the bottom line in negotiating for you… Give that out.

Wayne: Life is easier when you know how to negotiate.

John: I love it! Life is easier when you know how to negotiate. Wayne, thank you very much for that insight! I look forward to talking to you next time!

Wayne: Indeed!


More interviews with Wayne Berry:


Your Invitation: I invite you to join the Strategic Selling group on LinkedIn where you can experience informative discussions with your peers and sales thought leaders on subjects like the one we have discussed here.

Please Share: If you valued this article, please  share via your Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook social media platforms. I encourage you to join the conversation or ask questions. So feel free to add a comment on this post – I promise to respond. Please follow my LinkedIn post page and follow me here on the Strategic Selling Group. I also recommend you follow my associates in the SMA Sales Masterminds.

Invite to subscribe to this blog:  Please feel free to SUBSCRIBE HERE

John leads three related organisations, Custell, Strategic Selling Group and Sales Masterminds APAC. These help B2B selling organisations, who recognise the need to transform their sales capability, to respond to the tsunami of change that is starting to wash over us all. He works with people who recognise that to survive they must more strategically support their customer in their buying journey - and understand that they must become specialists in the customer's domain in order to be of value to them. He also helps sales teams build differentiated personal brands and leverage the digital and social worlds to engage to create trust and value.

Your Turn To Talk