Credit: Flylice
Credit: Flylice

I used to work with this biz dev guy who was a negotiation genius. He also used to say how his ability to understand the other guy’s position was both his biggest strength and his biggest weakness.

On the one hand, he could anticipate where the other guy was coming from, and craft his pitch around that. On the other hand, being able to empathize made it that much harder to press his own point when he knew that the deal he was trying to strike just didn’t make sense for the other guy.

More recently, I worked with another biz dev guy. He was kind of an unlikely candidate — polite, soft spoken, and respectful.

He also had an unlikely philosophy: no matter what, always keep pushing until someone says no.” After pitching, he’d keep following up, over and over again, letting nothing discourage him until the other guy said “no, we don’t want to work with you.”

Advertising uses both of these approaches. First, it tailors a campaign around a particular demographic. Then it repeats its message over and over and over again until it sticks.

But I think the lesson extends to a lot of other things in life — whether you’re a marketer, an activist, or just someone who’s trying to cope with office politics.

Understanding the mindset of the people you’re dealing with lets you anticipate their reaction and tailor your approach accordingly. But it’s just as important to never stop pushing. Because even if someone means well, they have their own sh*t to deal with. So if you want to get things done, you just have to keep pushing for it until you either get your point across or they tell you to f*ck off.

One thought on “Fighting for Every Inch

  1. Naturally. Evaluating the mind set of a potential employer is as critical to a successful job interview as it would be to a fruitful negotiation. Life is always a horse trade and requires getting the potential buyer or seller’s attention. A very useful gem of knowledge. Spread the word!

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