Skip to main content

Before the Negotiation - Diagnose Their Pain

Lesson 3 from: The Power of Negotiation

Vanessa Van Edwards

Before the Negotiation - Diagnose Their Pain

Lesson 3 from: The Power of Negotiation

Vanessa Van Edwards

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

3. Before the Negotiation - Diagnose Their Pain

Lesson Info

Before the Negotiation - Diagnose Their Pain

Okay, when we talk about pain points, there are two different kinds of pain points, which we've already touched on for this course. There are vitamins and there are pain killers for the people you're talking to. The pain killers are the really quick ones, right? The vitamins are the good-for-yous. Let's do it for the wedding planner. I'm sorry there's a lot of text in this but I want to make sure I hit all of them, right? And this is what you'd be writing in bullets on your sheet. So for a wedding photographer, the pain killers are pretty easy. I have to get engagement photos, asap. I have to get that photo shoot quick. That's a pain killer that you might not think of, in fact, a lot of wedding planners only think in terms of vitamins. Why? You're meeting with a client months before the actual event. So a lot of the vitamins are what comes up first, right? Hiring a photographer is part of the wedding process. Now that's a vitamin. It's good for you to hire a wedding photographer. It wi...

ll be a great holiday gift for parents, like, that's an asset that you have great family shots you'll be able to be used forever and be hung up in the house. It will be nice to have a professional capture the moments we're spending so much money on, right? That's a vitamin. I should have a wedding photographer to capture this. But you can hone in on some of those pain killers. For example, let's say that you heard that your bride is really stretched for time and they have to get these engagement photos so they can get the save-the-date out. Well, you're free next weekend. You're happy to get the engagement photos started right away. That is a pain killer, right? That is an asset that you might not think to list for a bride who has lots of time. How quickly you can get those engagement photos done. You're hearing a lot of overwhelm and stress. There's so much to do and you can say, I'm easy, I'm one sheet, one check, that's it. I will take everything else for you. If you know that about a certain client or bride you can hype up your asset is calm, is taking care of everything. You're not going to send them a list of 40 things to do for them. That's an asset you can offer that you wouldn't normally think of. I'm worried about covering payment. You hear that's a pain point. Maybe you can offer payment plans for them. Maybe you can offer installments. Maybe you can do a delayed payment, a really small deposit to hold the date. You can offer that as a potential asset to solve their paint point. I don't want to fight with my mom about this. Also, if you're hearing that there's some family issues you're happy to be mom liaison. You can call mom, no worries! You don't even have to be on the call. I'm happy to talk to you mom about all the family photos, you don't even have to be on that phone call. For a bride, you would pay so much for that. I love you mom; my mom is watching. I know that I would pay a lot extra for that but I wouldn't think to necessarily list that on my materials but for that specific client that could be an amazing potential asset for their pain point. Lastly, I don't want to have to coordinate during my wedding. I just want to enjoy my day. I don't want to have to think about a thing. You can say, great! You don't have to have a list, we'll do all the pictures for you, my second shooter will do all the coordination for you. All you have to do is smile and be along for the ride. Those are different kinds of pain points and assets that you would emphasize. So, in the pain column, what goes there? Current problems...pain killers. What is something immediate you can solve? Ideally in the room. You mentioned knowledge earlier, right? Your breadth of knowledge, that could be a pain point. A bride is like, you know, I don't even know what vendors to go to for my florist. Oh, you know, I have a printed out sheet of my favorite florists in town. Let me pull that out for you. Pain point solved, right? Those are all pain points and we're going to talk about props in a little bit. What's a very current problem you can solve for them? Future problems...vitamins, right? What are the good for yous? What can you give to them for the long-term, short-term versus long-term pain. The good for yous and what else can you fix for them? How can you help? If you think about your services or if you're asking for a raise from your boss, what are all the ways that you help your boss and your colleagues every single day? If you really think about solving pain points in that way but I bet the list is really long. Do the worth audit and give yourself 20 minutes per question and see how long you can go. Try to get 50 instead of five. Let's do the pain points again for the wedding photographer. I like to do examples because it helps us to think a little outside of the box. Again, my schedule is clear next weekend. Are you free next Saturday or Sunday? Let me look at the weather for you. Wow, the weather looks like it's the best light on Sunday at five. Would that work for you? Would you like me to send a couple of outfit options and locations? Those are all amazing assets that makes it so easy for them to take our their checkbook because they see the value that is there. Super easy, nothing needs to be done after this meeting. We're done, sign right here and we are done. It's all you have to do, nothing added to your list. Happy to do a payment plan, and would you like me to be mom liaison? Would you like me to set up a conference call with your mom next week? All right there in the meeting. A couple of the bigger ones, the vitamin ones. I want you to worry about nothing on your wedding day. I want to take worries off of your plates. That is an offer that is something you can give. I'm going to do a whole folder of special holiday photos that you can print out. In fact, I'm going to talk to your mom about a list of every single family member and I'm going divide the photos by those family members so that when you have to print out photos for their birthdays or for their holiday parties, you will have them already ready to go, printed up. I've just now paid for my wedding photos and all the different organization and coordination for the next few holidays and birthdays. That's a different thing you can offer. And, of course, that vitamin is, photos last for a lifetime. I want to take a photo that is perfect for your mantle. Give me the size of your mantle. Would you like black and white, or color? You never ask those kinds of things but that is solving a future pain point for her when she's trying to print out photos to decorate her house. The best negotiators are creative, strategic thinkers. Most people think of negotiation or the best negotiators as being aggressive or being forthright. No, the best negotiators are creative. They're extremely strategic in thinking about how can I solve every single pain point? And how can I unbundle, we're going to be talking about unbundling, how can I unbundle my assets? How can I take all of my skills, left- and right-brain thinking, my knowledge, my experience, and break those out into five, six, 10 different assets? That's a very strategic and creative way of thinking and, hopefully, I'm going to help you with it. If you're having trouble, so if you had a little trouble with the worth audit, if you're having trouble filling in one of these columns in your negotiation cheat sheet, I have tons of examples of assets and pain points beyond just wedding photography that can kind of get your creative juices thinking, and this is just one example. If you're having trouble, look in the workbook, and you'll see all those examples and see which ones resonate with you. Another option here if you're having trouble is try to do an informational interview with one of your previous clients and ask them to help you fill out your assets and your pain point column. Or you could even tell them, I took a negotiation class, I loved working with you, I want more clients like you. Could you let me know what problems did I solve for you? Before we met, once we met, after we worked together, would you help me fill out this column? One, that's great for the Franklin Effect, which I talked about in the book and we talk about it in the Master People Skills. It's great to ask for advice. People love to give advice and help. And second, they will probably say things that you never even thought of, so you can also ask clients, previous clients to help with that. If you're talking to your boss or your manager and you want to go in for a raise, you might go in and ask them. What problems do I solve for you at work? What assets do I bring to the team? I'm trying to make sure that I'm being more helpful at work. What do I help you with? Asking a boss or manager that, if someone asked me that, one of my employees asked me, I'd be delighted to tell them all the things that they help with. Also, this kind of research can prep you for raising a rate, if you know that a client contract is ending, you could have a session where you say, hey, can I take 10 extra minutes of your time? No charge, I'd love to ask more questions on what problems I've solved for you. Then they literally list out all the things you solved for them so in three weeks when they're contract goes up, you can say, well, I know last time we talked about all these different pain points that I solved for you, here's why I want to do even more. Here's what I can think I can do even more. So you can also pre-prep or prepare for negotiations by doing your research in this area. Special note, so a lot of the time before I go into negotiation, I'm sitting, I've printed this out or I'm in my little notebook and I've drawn my columns and I'm brainstorming and I'm writing, I'm guessing. Sometimes you before you meet you don't exactly know what's going to come up. You haven't heard about the mom liaison issue yet. What I say is put it all down, guess as much as you possibly can and then circle those things later. What I will often do is when someone hits upon a pain point or an asset that I've brainstormed, I then circle that or I highlight that on my sheet. This was it, right? So guess as much as you can and then you can circle or star or highlight the ones that actually came up. Eli Broad, the best move you can make in negotiation is to think of an incentive the other person hasn't even thought of. That's the best prep we can do. Remember that their job is not to creatively think for you. The biggest mistake that happens, people email me all the time and they say, Nessa, I'd love to talk to you, I'd love to pick your brain, or I'd love to work together, I'd love to work with the Science of People, but they don't give me any reason. They want me to do the strategic thinking for them. They'll often say, here are all my skills. I'm a creative writer, I'm a designer, I love body language. How can I help? That's great but then I have to go through the pain points and I have to do the strategic thinking, so the best thing you can do is try to think of all the ways you could help. It would've been better in all those emails if people say, I'm a creative writer, I love body language, I have noticed that you post articles every Tuesday and Friday. I've noticed your Tuesday articles are usually fun news tips. I found these 10 stories I would love to write for you, 500 to 1,000 words for your blog. I would be like, pain point solved, right? Amazing but I wouldn't feel comfortable writing back and saying, well, about those blog posts every Tuesday and Friday, I don't know you but would you ... I'm not going to write back that so, this part is the creative part of thinking about a sentence where the person goes, whoa, I didn't even think of that! Bingo! Right? That's when you have a lot of work that's there. Let's talk about pain points. At home I want you to tweet me your partner's paint points if you tweet me @Vvanedwards and then mention who you partner is and kind of what their pain points might be. I would love to ask you in the audience, so your negotiating partner, what are some pains, some non-obvious pains you want to solve? What are the kind of secret pains that are underneath the obvious one that you can bring up or brainstorm with me? Yes, yes. Don't forget the mike. Um, Fear? Mm-hmm, tell me your name and your client. My name is Jessica Gunderson, I'm a public policy director. And so, I'm negotiating with a lot of folks that have a lot of pressure to be successful and so there's a lot of fear for them around success or winning so I think that's something you have to empathize with. That comes up often as a pain point, underneath, maybe, their aggression or assertiveness or other things. So fear is a great pain point because there's actually two ways you can solve for it. So one is empathy, right? I feel you, I know how stressful this is. I know how scary this is. The other one is reassurance. So, how can whatever you do help them solve that fear down the line? You can also be a pain killer and a vitamin for fear. That's a really, really good one. That fear that's lurking underneath. No? Yes, yes! So I have a question first-- Yeah! and that is, when we're doing these pain points, obviously we're meeting our client where they're at, and we're identifying the pain that they would say they have-- Yes. and then I know that with my clients, there's things that they don't know they need-- Yeah. but they need it. Yes. So if I brought up, for example, right off the bat, I'm going to, we're going to identify how you want to feel, so I work with women who have a bad relationship with food and body-- Yeah. so if I bring up, right off the bat, we're going to identify how you want to feel instead of how you don't, that is not really going to resonate with them at first. Agreed, yeah. For this assessment, is it really coming up with the pain points, meeting them where they're at, and what they would say? I actually think that it's both. Okay. So what you're talking about is a vitamin. I'm going to help you feel how you want to feel. That's a vitamin. They might not be like, oh, there's my vitamin C, I gotta take my calcium. That's how people feel about vitamins. However, I would actually challenge to break that vitamin even more specific. Maybe that vitamin is more of a pain point, which is, wake up with energy, or feel full after you eat, or get really restful sleep. Those are all, feel the way you want to feel, but, boy oh boy, does that sound more like a pain killer to me, right? If I just woke up tired or I feel really bloated right after I eat, you could say, eating foods that don't make you feel bloated. Eating foods that don't make you feel like you have less energy when you go back to work. Making sure that you don't have a 4 PM slump. Those are all the way you want to feel but I'm like, yes, yes! But I might not say it to the first one. So, two things. One, yes those are vitamins and I write them down. Second, can you break them down even further to make them like, man, I want that. I want that pain killer. Yeah, thank you. Yeah, yeah. Any more pain points? This is a hard one. Someone over here? I haven't heard from you guys yet. Yes! Yes! So tell me who your partner is and what you're negotiating for. So I'm Michelle Gibson and I'm negotiating with some tenants for some real estate that we own. Wonderful. And some of their pain points are their fear of missing out. Why should they get our property versus all the other ones out there? Yeah, yeah, I love that! So far of missing out is interesting because it's a two-play, right? So you're saying I'm going to provide this for you but you're also saying there are other people waiting, right? This could go away. This is not a constant offer. So I love that one. I want you to think about those at home, too. When we talk about breaking things down, I want you to get as specific and nitty-gritty as possible. Big, large promises, as much as we like them, they do not usually work. So think about what are the bullet points underneath this promise or this offer. Ideally, before you walk into negotiation, you have at least five or 10 for each, at least. And if you only have two or three, they need to be broken down further. You have to find ways to break them down into smaller chunks, which we call unbundling. This is also how we tackle the question, what to charge? This is how we do it. This is how I like to price out. Some of you all ready have a price in mind, right? Especially if you're working with tenants, real estate, there's other things going into this, but if you're like, what do I charge for a service? Or I'm having trouble justifying what I charge, this is how I want you to approach it. First, if you calculate all of the items in the pain column, what is the total saved? It can be money but it can also be goods. What are you saving them? If you calculate all the assets in your asset column, what have you invested to get those assets? For 100-plus weddings, or 15 years of service, what have you invested, right? When you're pricing out your services, how much have you put into your education? How much have you put into your gear? How many different experiences have you had? I want you to put a number on those things, either hours or dollar amount. When you break down what you're offering into small pieces, it becomes easier to see how much value you are providing. So when we're talking about, I don't feel like I deserve this much, or this number feels too big to me, when you're looking at 10 items in each column and putting a number item beside each of those bullet points, you're like, wow! This isn't just one wedding. That's how people think of it. Oh, $5,000 for one wedding. No, it's not $5,000 for one wedding. If you measure all the different things you've done, and I actually have a slide for this, which I'll show you in a second, that makes it a lot easier to qualify the pricing for you and for them. The great thing about doing this, by the way, you have to do this on your sheet unless you want to, this is more of a thing you can do for generalizing your rates, this also becomes the rationale for when they ask you what went into your pricing, right? So when someone says, where did you get this number? I just can't imagine spending X-amount on X. You can say, let me break it down for you. You can say, for this service, for this, for that, for this, you don't have to put a number amount because they might add it all up. But you can say, it's 15 years of this. I've upgraded my gear three times in the last four years with $10,000 to $20,000 worth of gear, right? All those line items, they're right at the top of your head. You've already gone through what went into it. It helps both you and them. So just a quick example. I've made up these numbers just so we can get an idea. If you took some of the assets and pain points for the wedding photographer, if you're giving someone about 1,000 photos per shoot, maybe $3 per photo, at the very end of the day, if you had to put a number on it, the engagement shoot is usually $1, if that was going to be separate from your package. An extra shooter is $500 per hour, and $7,500 worth of gear just on your body alone, that you're bringing there, not including your editing software, you've done 2,000-plus hours of weddings, you've gone to 15 years of school, either real-life or not, right? You bring 10 hours of calm, it's a 10-hour wedding day, you want to be that calm anchor for every single hour. It's priceless, right, to have hidden moments that they don't know, how do you even put a number on that? You're going to have, you're only one of 12 vendors but you love to coordinate other vendors with you. That's another offer that is, of the 12, you're the one that's going to be the anchor point. I'm making up these numbers so you can see that you can always add some kind of value. What happens is we then break these down, okay, if you're talking about seven hours of time for $3,500 with experience and a second shooter and customization, my goal for this wedding is to charge for a $5,000 package. It helps you, you don't have to share these with them, it helps you figure out your pricing for what to charge. So you touched on something that you don't necessarily say this to them -- Ah, yes. but I guess it is very helpful to go through that exercise to be able to justify in my head, Yes. but I guess the question that popped up as you were saying that is, that would be awesome if I could explain all of that and talk about the 15 years experience, which I do have, you know? Yes. But if they never give you that opportunity because it's so much emailing and a lot of times you just send out your pricing and then you follow up, and they're like, oh, we went with someone cheaper. And you never have that opportunity, so I guess how do you negotiate when you don't even get to have that conversation? Okay, I love it. So that is part of the props. So whether you're doing email or in person, we're going to get to those in a little bit, if I don't directly answer that, remind me again when I get, I think it's two more steps. I think that that is a big thing, people ask for rates and this happens all the time. So one of the ways I negotiate a lot of my business is someone sees our info on the website, a company emails me and says, hey, Vanessa, we'd love for you to come into our corporation and do a workshop. Do a training for us. What are your rates for a two-hour training on July 2nd in Toronto, right? That happens all the time. So I have a very specific set of emails that my team sends out before and along with rates, before we even give them the rates. I don't make them get on the phone with me for rates. Some people do that. I know that if they're trying to get as many rates as possible, that's not really going to help. So I actually have things that I send them ahead of time, which I'll show you. I actually have templates for you, too.

Class Materials

Free Bonus Materials

Vanessa Van Edwards - Worth Audit
Vanessa Van Edwards - Why Negotiation is a Life Skill
Vanessa Van Edwards - Quotes Cheat Sheet
Vanessa Van Edwards - Negotiation Goal Worksheet
Vanessa Van Edwards - Mistakes Cheat Sheet
Vanessa Van Edwards - Best Books on Negotiations
Vanessa Van Edwards - Sample Videos

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Vanessa Van Edwards - Negotiation Cheat Sheet
Vanessa Van Edwards - Laws Cheat Sheet
Vanessa Van Edwards - Proposal Templates
Vanessa Van Edwards - They Say, You Say
Vanessa Van Edwards - Raising Your Rates Swipe Files
Vanessa Van Edwards - Money Scripts
Vanessa Van Edwards - Gotcha Moments
Vanessa Van Edwards - Deadlock Cheat Sheet
Vanessa Van Edwards - Cold Pitch Swipe Files
Vanessa Van Edwards - Case Study - Wedding Photographer
Vanessa Van Edwards - Case Study - Corporate Speaker
Vanessa Van Edwards - Asking for a Raise Swipe File
Vanessa Van Edwards - The Power of Negotiation Workbook

Ratings and Reviews


Vanessa is such a life changer. I feel so priveledged to have discovered all the wisdom that she shares. My dream is to be able to afford an in person training course with her. In the meantime, I watch the courses and purchasing them so that I can listen over and over. Wish my mom, who is now on life support would have been healthy and alert to have listened with me since my mother is my inspiration to seek how teachings from people like Vanessa. Mom, hoping that you know that I am continuing in your footsteps. Thank you Vanessa and hoping one day to learn from you in person.

Michele Gibson

What a valuable course! I appreciated Vanessa Van Edwards turning negotiation into a learnable skill. She lays out, step by step: * how to prepare for a negotiation, including a comprehensive worksheet, * what to say (and what not to say) during the negotiations, and * how to follow-up in the most effective manner. I learned skills applicable to complex work situations as well as getting my kids to do more chores. She teaches you how to turn an adversarial negotiation into a "partnership" which not just sounds good, but it is good and she gives you detailed, insightful guidance for how to do this. The 116 page workbook is crammed with practical insights. The 3 hour class and bonus materials are jam-packed with information I can use right now. So worth the investment.

Kaeli Sweigard

This was the perfect course at the perfect time for me. I have a lot going on right now and I know these skills are going to help me out every step of the way. They are transferable to so many situations! I can't believe how much awesome stuff there is in the workbook. Every question I have is answered, and there are so many examples, it's insane! Everyone should do this course.

Student Work