If you've ever questioned, do you ever sweat when it's time to negotiate money? Today, where speaking with Mike Lander from Piscari.com who has negotiated on behalf of major corporations and negotiated the purchase of his first business. Mike teaches the negotiation framework he uses. Take notes.
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Negotiations - Mike Lander - How to Negotiate Your Price as You Start Freelancing or Build a Business
Jette Stubbs: [00:00:00] Have you ever thought about branching out and getting a job that pays you better and then starting a freelance service or starting a business and negotiating your prices. Have you been afraid to set your price, to figure out how much you should charge? Been afraid to have that conversation to negotiate your price so you can charge what you're worth? Because ultimately it's all about charging what you're worth.
[00:00:27] Then this conversation with Mike Lander, who was an expert on negotiations and negotiated for himself to land six figure opportunities and negotiated on behalf of multimillion dollar companies.
[00:00:42]So if you want somebody who's not just negotiated for himself, but also been entrusted by major corporations to negotiate on their behalf, then you need to listen to this conversation to learn all of his insiders.
[00:01:11]You're listening to the happy career formula
[00:01:14] with Jette Stubbs
[00:01:15] where we talk about how to find what you love to do and turn it into ways to make money, whether that's a job, freelance service or a business, so you can live life on your own terms.
[00:01:27] Today we are talking with Mike Lander. Mike Lander is a successful entrepreneur and expert negotiator with a proven track record of buying, growing and selling businesses for seven figure sums. He's raised. Over 6.5 million pounds of acquisition and growth capital in his career and growing companies to over 20 million pounds of revenue and 4 million pounds of earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortization.
[00:01:55] Mike has a uniquely valuable perspective on negotiating commercial deals. Having worked on both sides of the table as a procurement director and an entrepreneur. In one of his roles, mike worked as a procurement director for what is now one of the world's largest RPO and MSP organizations worth in excess of 1 billion, where he negotiated hundreds of deals with staffing agencies.
[00:02:19] He launched in 2010 and leveraged his specialist's knowledge and experience negotiating hundreds of deals worth over $400 million and 400 million pounds in total to empower leaders and sales teams to negotiate more profitable deals, especially when procurement is involved. Today, we are talking with Mike and Mike's going to share his journey of specializing in negotiation and all the lessons he's learned along the way with negotiations, both for his career and in a job context. And then now in entrepreneurial space and coaching other entrepreneurs in how to negotiate.
[00:02:55] So welcome, Mike. Thank you.
[00:02:57] Mike Lander: [00:02:57] Thank you. Thank you for inviting
[00:03:00]Jette Stubbs: [00:03:00] Tell me a bit about how you got started on your negotiation journey? How did your career start and how did you choose this as a specialty?
[00:03:08]Mike Lander: [00:03:08] Looks at my kind of LinkedIn profile.
[00:03:10] So it's Mike Lander on LinkedIn with PIscari you'd look at my career and go, that's not a career. That's not linear. There's no connection of the dots. How on earth did this work? So I left school at 16 and didn't do a degree at that point. Let's call it 16 and got an apprenticeship in engineering.
[00:03:31] So I went off as a 16 year old doing four days a week and work. And one day we can college. And I always wanted to build businesses. I was fascinated by building businesses. Didn't know what it meant. we weren't a poor family, but yeah, neither of my parents had degrees. Were very, very working class.
[00:03:50] And I, I love my parents to bits, but we had no mentors around us. We didn't have entrepreneurs around us. I didn't even know what an entrepreneur was until much later in my life. And so you look at that 16 year old boy, and you say how did you become. This person that's negotiated hundreds of deals work with huge global corporates, private equity and worked in some of the biggest consulting firms in the world.
[00:04:13] And so one of the key messages in that, I think for anyone that's listening in your audiences, you need to find people along the path that are your kind of mentors. And these people can be. Books does not be a real person that you talk to. It could be someone that's written a book, and that can inspire you.
[00:04:31] It could be your neighbors. It could be someone in your family. It could be someone at work. It could be someone that you meet through your networking, but keeping your ears open and looking around for people that can give you. Sage advice doesn't mean you should take it, but you need to find it.
[00:04:50] Jette Stubbs: [00:04:50] Yeah. I love that advice. So if you didn't even know what an entrepreneur was, what drew you to business? What was it, the idea of a lifestyle potentially making more money, just realizing you didn't want to work her regular job. What drew you to business?
[00:05:05] Mike Lander: [00:05:05] And that's so very interesting. If you look back at the kind of motivations for it, I think there's a few, so one was, I was adopted as a child.
[00:05:12] And so psychologically, I think I'm pre-programmed and pre-wired to be fearful of, of not having enough money to support myself so that pre-wiring, that programming forces you to provide for your family because you have to, and you make sure that you have the ability to build capital to generate income so that you can support your family.
[00:05:35]And so I think in life that becomes quite a strong motivator. And so that took me into getting a job working, which I did for many, many years for other companies. And I was working as a freelancer for awhile. So one thing again for your audience and this isn't good or bad, but I think it's important that people understand.
[00:05:54] Which is when you leave a corporate job the first time. So you're working for a company you've left that and you're doing your own thing. When you do that, you make a choice. You're either building a business or you're being a freelancer. Neither is bad, but they're very different. One is you want to, you might want to work on a day rate basis.
[00:06:18] You work on a fixed price basis. You work on a deliverables basis, but you're basically, you are yourself. You have an expertise. Someone wants to buy that expertise and it generates an income for you and the lifestyle you can't sell that business. Cause it's just, you. You might be able to build some online courses, which give you some passive income that you can start to sell.
[00:06:39] So there's ways of monetizing your knowledge beyond just your number of days you work, but you are basically a solopreneur and there's nothing wrong with that, but you want to build a business. You need to start with the end in mind. So Stephen Covey famously said many, many years ago, you start with the end in mind, and then you build towards that goal.
[00:07:02] And so I think it's important that anyone that's looking at leaving their jobs, going it alone has a side hustle, wants to extend it, think carefully about what am I trying to do at this stage? And you can be a solopreneur and then build a business, but it's more unusual. Typically if you're going to build a business, you can tend to start by going.
[00:07:23] I'm going to build a business.
[00:07:25]Jette Stubbs: [00:07:25] Okay. What do you see as some of the pros and cons of taking each one of those paths and which one did you choose?
[00:07:34]Mike Lander: [00:07:34] When I left I was working for KPMG in 2000, I left in 2000. I'd worked for them for years. I was a management consultant working on big transformation programs with big clients and learned some amazing skills.
[00:07:48] And it was an amazing place to work. Fabulous fabulous people. And I left there and I went freelancing and I went freelancing as a project manager working with some companies that I knew very well at one time in particular, I knew very well. And I did that for about four or five years. And I can't say it's one day I woke up, but there was a death dawning golf, and the freelancer.
[00:08:15] And I thought I was going to build a business, but actually being a freelancer. And I'm learning great day rates, and it's a great income and I'd built some capital because I'd put reserves away. So by the way, tip for anyone that's out, that's freelancing. Clearly what you build is not all your money. If you took a thousand dollars of billing and you broke it down, you should really end up drawing three to $400.
[00:08:45] Why because you've got expenses, you've got taxes to pay company taxes, then you've got income taxes to pay, or you've got dividend taxes to pay. So your actual net take home is a lot less than you would think. And it's important to build reserves as a freelancer so that when you don't bill, you've got some money to draw on.
[00:09:04] So that's a kind of different story, but it's important. But about four or five years into freelancing, I started realizing. If I'm going to build something, that's got longevity, I'm not going to do it being a freelancer. So maybe I start building a business. I thought I've tried that two or three times.
[00:09:23] It's not really worked very well for a whole bunch of reasons. So I thought, I know I'll buy something, I'll buy something that's already existing and then I'll scale it up. And it happened that one of the companies I was working for at the time was looking to sell. It was quite a big company, 50 odd people.
[00:09:40] And I was one of that freelancers and I said to them, if we can agree a price and I can raise the money, would you sell it to me? And they jokingly said, yeah, but you're never going to be able to do that. And we agreed a price and I raised the money cause it was quite a big deal. This was a big size deal.
[00:10:02] And I turned up with the bank and raised the money. And at that point, long story short, lots of dark nights of negotiating, but I, I ended up buying that business and then, and then growing it. And if you listen to my kind of friends at the time, they all thought I was crazy. They all said, it's too good to be true.
[00:10:22] They all said, you're going to lose all your money. So you need friends around, you need to listen to them, but don't always do what they say because friends have a habit of holding you back. People like to be with people who are like themselves. If you're going to build a business and all your friends don't build businesses, now don't be surprised when they're not that keen on you building a new business when you might become removed from them another stage up in life because they can't help you because they haven't built businesses.
[00:10:56] If they're really great friends, What they should be doing is saying, have you thought the risks to be thought the upside, have you balanced it? Have you talked to few people that have done this before? As opposed to you're crazy. Don't be mad just come out with us tonight instead. So another important point in life, I think.
[00:11:15] Jette Stubbs: [00:11:15] I think that's amazing advice because it's so true. People like to be around people who are reinforcing their ideas or their beliefs of how they're living their life. And when you start to step outside and say, okay, I want to imagine something differently. You're basically making them look internally and say is this life I'm living all I could be doing?
[00:11:33] Like, why are you making me question all of my life decisions right now by you going out and saying you can dream bigger and it creates this huge friction. That's a lot to be dealing with. If your friends aren't extremely like supportive and you are they're negotiating this deal of a lifetime, what were some of the things that you did to like both.
[00:11:56] I guess, manage your own emotions and make sure that you were thinking clearly, because I've been in situations where I feel like, okay, I didn't have any friends. I could turn to, to ask for advice because it was outside of their realm of expertise, anything that they had experienced. And I had to think through how to make decisions effectively.
[00:12:13] And sometimes I didn't, sometimes I made horrible decisions because I was doing it on my own without any feedback or guidance. So how did you go about making those, like knowing how to negotiate then to have a back and forth banter to make. Probably one of the biggest deals you've probably made for yourself at the time.
[00:12:29] Mike Lander: [00:12:29] So there are a few things which will take as long to the story about how I became a negotiator and how I now coach other people to be negotiators. So on the negotiation side, I'd, I'd read a lot, quite a lot of materials. I'd do an MBA which gave me a great theoretical grounding in all sorts of aspects.
[00:12:46] One of which was bits of negotiation. So I think I had some basics there's a lot, but now what I did. There were bits of that deal that I would change now, but that's because I'm now much more experienced. Interestingly, at that time I met now who's my wife and she runs her own business.
[00:13:03] She was an entrepreneur run her own marketing agency. Her father, very successful investment banker had worked on many, many deals and it was at the time I was starting to negotiate this deal and think he was one of the people that didn't say you're mad. She said, sounds like a good idea. It's got risks in it.
[00:13:21] That sounds like a good idea. Cause she knew she was an entrepreneur. She builds her own company. She knew what it was like. She knew what the path, what the path was like. I spoke to her father and her father gave great advice because he's bought and sold companies. And so it was fortunate at that time, I had people around me, a small group who actually had been on that kind of journey before and had advise companies on acquisitions and divestments.
[00:13:45] And so that gave me another sounding board. Ultimately, I had to decide myself. I have one of the skills of a negotiator by the way, is that you have to be able to detach what I mean by that is imagine if we're negotiating over something. So let's say you're selling a business. I'm thinking about buying it.
[00:14:04] If you get very emotionally charged about this deal, because you're passionate about the service, you're passionate about the team you've built, you're passionate about your clients and the danger is you'll start to get emotionally charged. If I'm a rational buyer and I'm emotionally detached, I can use that to my advantage because I'll find things in the negotiation, which are hugely important to you, which you don't want to give up.
[00:14:30] Maybe it's the brand. So maybe you say, I really desperately don't want to give up this brand because it's part of me and I go, okay, maybe it's part of the deal. One of the assets you get to keep is the brand name. Maybe that's part of the deal, because what I want is access to the clients, your people, the IP that you've developed, all sorts of things.
[00:14:50] But in exchange for that, I'm going to change the commercial terms. So I'm going to take 25% out of the price. I'm going to pay you, not all cash over the life cycle of the deal, but I'm going to pay you some paper in my company stock plus some cash. And I'm going to defer the payment over a five-year period.
[00:15:09] Is that okay, Je tte And all of a sudden you've got this and you had going on saying, I really value the brand and this rational thing, and you had going on same, but I want the money.. And that's why when you're negotiating detaching, emotionally is really important. You've got to empathize with the person.
[00:15:26] You can't be a robot, but I can empathize with you without me being emotionally charged. And it's one of the cornerstones of negotiation. A guy called Jim camp built a company years ago. And he was saying, you've got to act like a blank slate. You have to have a blank slate walking through a negotiation.
[00:15:43] You must prepare exceptionally well. So again, another tip for anyone negotiating. Over half the value of a negotiation is created outside of the negotiation. That's what I mean by that. If I know I'm going to negotiate with you Jette and it's this evening. I just spent the last two weeks preparing not fully, but an hour or so every day, writing out my templates, filling in my templates, working out what the objectives are, working out, some criteria, working out some deal structures.
[00:16:18] So when I come to meet you, all of that preparation is in my head. It makes it much easier to negotiate with you because when you respond to something, I know how to counter. So you've got to prepare really well and you need a framework to prepare.
[00:16:34] So I built something called the negotiating wheel. It's very simple.
[00:16:38] It's got four steps in it.
[00:16:40]So very simply you start with, what are the objectives? What am I trying to achieve?
[00:16:46] Then you write down what they're trying to achieve. Because you can't write down just one side of the story, you have to write down both sides of the story. Yep. So you guess what they might be trying to achieve,
[00:16:58] and then you work out what some criteria might be by which you could agree to a deal together.
[00:17:04] So that kind of stage one, then you work out a process. How are we going to negotiate? How long is it going to take? How many steps are there going to be? What are the decisions between each step? So now you've got a process and some timings.
[00:17:18] Then you do a deal design. You work out in that deal. What are the negotiating variables?
[00:17:25] Several instance, what it's price? Yeah. This price, but it's price and it's payment terms and it's who owns the IP and it's the length of the contract and it's the termination period of the contract. So all that good stuff. So you write them down and then you work out.
[00:17:40] What's my ideal and what's the worst I'd accept.
[00:17:44] Now you've got two extremes. What's the ideal. And what's the worst I'd accept. And then you negotiate between those two. And then the last thing you do is you keep track of the issues. So when you start getting emotional and angry about something, I've got to find out what the issue is. And then when I've found out the issue is I'm going to write it down.
[00:18:02] I'm going to resolve the issue. So it takes the heat out of the negotiation to close a deal around what I've prepared in. Step three, it's very simple four step negotiation process. It works every time. It's very simple.
[00:18:16] How do you think, how do you think through the steps? So I'm thinking like, One scenario people can often relate to is like salary negotiation.
[00:18:25] Let's say there, I have a few clients that I'm working with who are now negotiating, like in the six figure salary ranges, their last job just brought them to that hundred K mark. And now they're in that the next job is going to be like somewhere between like usually 130 to 160,000 ish. And now they're like, okay People are really asking them, what do you want?
[00:18:47] And I, and I tell them, negotiation goes beyond just the salary and you figure out, do you want to be able to work from home? How much vacation time do you want? But, so how do you think about the steps when you're having that kind of conversation? Because so many people can relate to that scenario. So how much, how do you think about those steps?
[00:19:05] So take that simple framework again, about the objectives, the process and the timings, the structure and the issues where you start is you sit down and you say, if I'm, if I'm the candidate negotiating this salary, in fact, on SPI pro, I gave someone some advice. I wrote it out step-by-step for the day for them.
[00:19:26] You start off by writing down. What's important to me. So the objectives are well. Yeah, what's important to me. And then just say one thing, salary, but. You might trade a bit of salary from say, say your ideal on salary is 150, but you'd accept 125 on the condition that you can work from home three days out of five, one condition, another one could be, they put you on a development program, a leadership development program, because you want to be a chief exec.
[00:20:00] And you're currently a functional director. So you say if they'll put me on a development program at Harvard say or MIT, it they'll pay for that. I might take one to five for that, because I'm going to invest in myself for the longterm and that 125k that I've agreed to in exchange for a 12 month leadership development program for aspiring chief execs will generate for me in the next five years, half a million dollars of salary.
[00:20:30] So you think through not the, what's it going to look like on Monday when I sit in the room and finalize the salary, you think about where am I going over the next three to five years? What's important to me during that time period. And now you anchor the deal to 160. So you say, when they say what salary do you need?
[00:20:55] I go, it's 160 K a year. And they go, snow will fall. We can, we can afford that. And I'll say how far away from the maximum that you'd pay us that, and they'll go the maximum was 155. I'm like, okay. So 155 is the maximum you'd go to, they said, yeah, but we're not going to go there with you for that, but that's not going to happen.
[00:21:17] I'm like, okay, fine. I'll say there's a few things that are really important to me. And let's say, okay, so what are those? And I'd say working from home two days a week is really important for me and my family Monday and Friday. So they go, okay, so we'll agree to that. And I'll go, , that's one thing it's I've got about five things that really important to me, salaries one, and I've told you 160 and they go, no, no 155.
[00:21:45] And I go, yeah, I know we said that, but. 160 I'm working from home two days a week. It's really important to me. Development I want to aspire to be a chief exec, so that's on the table. Okay. Is there anything else Mike I'm like yeah, actually at, other than how it works in the states, private schooling, for example, for kids, our children going to go through private schooling.
[00:22:09] I know that that we, as a business, have a connection with three of the local, big independent schools, private schools. And what would be great is if you can help me get a better connection with those schools. Cause that's one of the schools where my child wants to go to and they're like, okay, now that introduction to a local school cost them nothing but could mean a lot to me, the trick of a negotiation is find something that's really valuable to your counterparty.
[00:22:38] That costs you nothing. And use that at the backend of the negotiations to close the deal.
[00:22:43]And now you've got five variables on the table and if they say, okay, we, we're not going to pay you 160, we'll pay you 130. You go, I can't do on 30, but I could do one 40. If you give me this one, this one or this one, and they'll go I can't do that because I can't afford to give you these four of the things.
[00:23:03] But what we could do is 145. We'll give you the development program, but we'll give you access to the schools because only work from home one day a week. Not 4. Now, you have the basis of a negotiation.
[00:23:14]Okay, that might, that's so helpful. I know that's going to help so many people who are thinking about that.
[00:23:20] Are there,
[00:23:21] does it make sense? Does it kind of like, does it
[00:23:23] Jette Stubbs: [00:23:23] resonate? Absolutely. It resonates so much with. I think so many people get afraid though, when they're throwing out that initial high number that it's just going to throw people off and they're gonna say no, and it's going to end the discussion.
[00:23:38] So are there any common mistakes like that with people, people are afraid to throw out that high number, any common mistakes like that, that you frequently
[00:23:46] Mike Lander: [00:23:46] see? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. There's a lot of theory done on this on anchoring. So anyone that's listening to this if they just go online and look up anchoring.
[00:23:55] In negotiations and what the research says is people we feel afraid to anchor high, to put behind them on the table, but the research tells us anchoring high, the people that do anchor high generate the most value in a deal. So number one is don't be afraid of anchoring height, anchor high, but number two is you've got to know what, what we call the zone of possible agreement.
[00:24:20] And the zone of possible agreements. Again, look it up. It's called Zopa online Zito P eight. That's end of agreement is when you anchor high, it's got to be at the point whereby it's just within reason. So that's salary negotiation. If you anchor at 250 K and the role in the market never pays more than one 60.
[00:24:43] You've over anchored the price. It's outrageous unreasonable, and you've done yourself, a disservice. Because your counterpart is going to go. You don't know the market, you don't understand. So you have to anchor at the highest point based upon market data, you do your research. So if you were looking at negotiating this job, you do your research on job sites.
[00:25:07] And with headhunters, HoloLens is great at that level of salary, call up four or five recruitment people that you know, that recruit at that level. Have a coffee with them or a virtual coffee, have a chat and say typically from my kind of experience, those kinds of roles, thinking of moving, not sure might Storium might leave.
[00:25:25] Don't know what would they pay? And they'll tell you what the packages and four people you'll now get an average of where the prices and what the comp plan looks like. So now you've got some market data.
[00:25:37] Jette Stubbs: [00:25:37] That's amazing advice. And I, cause I think some people struggle with getting that market data especially if you try and go online, depending on where you are, like if you're in Canada or the us, it's pretty easy.
[00:25:47] Depending if you're in a pretty common role, common title, you can go online and Google that. But if you're in a niche that. That step of reaching out to those recruiters because those recruiters in your niche will have that insight. That's amazing advice, Mike, so thank you for that.
[00:26:03] Mike Lander: [00:26:03] Yeah, it's a pleasure.
[00:26:04] And they'll want to talk to you cause all recruiters want to find people who want to change jobs. So it's an easy way to make a phone call. The other thing that makes a big difference in any negotiation is confidence and confidence comes from Preparation. So if you prepare it will reduce your level of anxiety.
[00:26:25] Anxiety is a real killer in negotiations. So find techniques before most people don't like negotiating. I happen to enjoy it, but it's because of how I made up. And because I've done it for many, many years, but most people find it unpleasant difficult and it raises their anxiety levels. So what you do, so how do you reduce anxiety?
[00:26:46] Yes. Do some yoga. If that's your thing, do some yoga, do some mindfulness exercises, calm your mind down, do some preparation work, make sure you're really well prepared. Do some breathing exercises. So before you walk into the negotiation, just take three or four breaths, nice and calm, and then just walk in the other.
[00:27:07] There's another big tip which your audience is going to find. I think pretty hard to accept I suspect, which is this. And it was told to me by a very old friend of mine many, many years ago when I was training to, to sell Matthew said, the moment you become wedded to the outcome is the moment you've lost the deal.
[00:27:30]What that means is if you walk into a negotiation and you're desperate to do the deal, the other person will know the moment they know. They know you are weak. And when you are weak, they will take advantage of the position, not in an aggressive way, but they'll know that the balance of power is on their side.
[00:27:54] So the key thing is when you walk into that negotiation, you need what we call a BATNA and which is a William Yuri from Harvard concept the best alternative to negotiated agreement. So let's take this salary negotiation again. So you're in the current job you're being promoted. It's got a bigger salary, bigger responsibility in this job that you want.
[00:28:19] If you walk into that interview, which is the kind of promotional interview with the extra salary and you have no alternative, they'll know that. And therefore it's in their hands, whether they give it to you or not, they'll likely say to you keep doing the role you're doing. We'll give you more responsibility.
[00:28:38] We'll try you out for a year on the same salary. If you walk in and your BATNA best alternative to negotiated agreement is you spoken to four recruitment companies. And two of them said, you know what? I've got clients that are looking for exactly your skillset. Ideally go for an interview before you have this interview with your current employer.
[00:29:00]And have some conversations going. That means that you've got an alternative. So the conversation, it will come out and they'll say what you going to do with your crew? And what are you doing? And we're not sure if you're ready for this yet. Or you can say it's, it's interesting I I've been looking around, so let's say Jette, you're my boss.
[00:29:18] And you're looking at promoting me, but you're not sure actually I've been looking around and it, it's interesting. I've, I've taught three or four companies and. They seem really, really interested in my skillset. They seem to be paying a lot more than we're paying here. Let me in different states, so I'd love to move, but I dunno.
[00:29:38] I thought I'd just, yeah. As you asked, I thought I'd let you know what all of a sudden you're like, I don't want to lose Mike. That's a bad idea. He's clearly talked to a few people that's not good. So you start to get more serious about negotiating with me, cause I have a real BATNA, so you're not wedded to the outcome emotionally.
[00:29:59] You've got an alternative in your back pocket, which you're quite happy to exercise if you don't get what you want.
[00:30:05]Jette Stubbs: [00:30:05] I love it, but sorry. Did I interrupt you? No
[00:30:08] Mike Lander: [00:30:08] Carol, no Carol, that's it not even keeping it nice and simple. Nice and concise because people have sat there listening, going. He said about five things.
[00:30:17] What did he say? What did he say?
[00:30:19]Jette Stubbs: [00:30:19] Oh, that's amazing. Mike. It's so helpful because you break it down so clearly. So I know when I, when I'm talking to people about Like negotiations, whether it's salary negotiation, or negotiating contracts with a company for their business they often think. You need a bunch of credentials.
[00:30:42] And I think like you said, you didn't go straight out of high school into university, but you did also meant you went and you got an MBA. And so many people like I've sat people down before they were about to go and get an MBA. And I'm like, this MBA is not going to teach you everything you need to know to run a business.
[00:30:57] It's not, it's going to teach you how to be a good employee for a company. You're still going to have to learn a ton of things on the job, but it's going to give you a piece of paper. That's a 100 K to open a door into a few opportunities. And as somebody who, as somebody who's went through that process, can you give me your perspective on that and the idea of credentials being necessary in negotiation?
[00:31:22] Mike Lander: [00:31:23] I'll answer two parts of the question. So the credentials piece and the MBA piece, the MBA piece, I did my MBA back in 1994. Back in the day I did mine at Cranfield university in the UK. Great place to go. I had a great time met some amazing people, learn loads. If you wind forward to today, whether it's Cranfield or Harvard or MIT or wherever it is I'm not sure that an MBA these days.
[00:31:50] Is worth the money that you pay for it, unless you want to go into banking or do you want to go into mainstream consulting? Yeah, I think it's still probably one of the necessary cornerstones of getting into those roles in investment banks and consultants. If you want to go off and be an entrepreneur and leave your firm and be an entrepreneur.
[00:32:16] Do you not spend your money on the MBA? Don't do it. If you've got $50,000 to spend, that's amazing seed capital for your new business, do not spend it on a piece of paper over two years, you can get lots of advice you can learn. There are lots of skills out there. Lots of training courses now that are online, that will cost you a 10th of that.
[00:32:42] A 10th. And you, you should access the skills when you need them. So if you're starting a business and you need to know about cashflow management or buy a course on cashflow management, buy some books, do a course, spend $500, you'll learn 80% of what you need, and then find a great finance person who is a qualified accountant and pick their brains.
[00:33:02] Do not spend $50,000 or a hundred thousand dollars on an MBA. So that's the first part of the question. The second part about credentials is credential. Academic qualifications. I believe are important in life. I wouldn't say to anyone don't get the degree, don't finish your high school. That'd be crazy.
[00:33:21] But they're not, if you look at it, lots of very successful entrepreneurs, a lot of them don't have degrees. Yeah. A lot of them have tough backgrounds and fought their way up and their own businesses in terms of building it and making it work. So credentials are really, let's take a scenario whereby one of your clients is a freelancer and they're starting out and they sell a particular service.
[00:33:49] Let's say it's copywriting and they are looking for clients. And they're really worried about their credentials. They're like I can't sell to. I can't sell to McDonald's copywriting because I haven't got, I've got a degree in copywriting and I've not been a journalist and I've not worked for the wall street journal.
[00:34:09] And you say, just calm down this whole bucket. Second credentials are, can you prove to McDonald's that your copy converts twice as well? As most copy that you see out there for direct email campaigns offer social ads or whatever it might be. And they go yeah, I run a campaign recently and I wrote this copy.
[00:34:32] It was amazing. It converts really well. Let's say that's all you need. You need proof points that what you do is better than everyone else. And the batter is referenced by a company that have bought your services and said, that's really good. You should do more of that because you're brilliant at it. And we'd employ you again as a contractor, as a consultant.
[00:34:55] So proof points come in many, many forms. It's certainly academics is merely one aspect of credentials.
[00:35:03]Jette Stubbs: [00:35:03] I love that advice. Thank you so much, Mike.
[00:35:06] I think there's so many people who are listening to this who will think this, this will help them the next time that they go walk.
[00:35:14] And walk into a negotiation. I think I'll even be giving this episode to my clients to listen to right before they go and walk into negotiations. But they're not just hearing it from me. They're hearing it from someone else. So I love it. And the final question I'll ask you is what do you, what would you say if somebody felt like they were under-qualified and they wanted to walk in and negotiate into an opportunity or negotiate, like when you were negotiating into For your business and negotiating the amount that you would pay.
[00:35:47] A lot of people thought, yeah, this is crazy. What are you doing? So when you feel like you were a slightly in over your head, how do you go about approaching that negotiation?
[00:35:57] Mike Lander: [00:35:57] I think it does come down to preparation again. So I know I keep saying it, but it's really important. And if you are going into, if you, if your.
[00:36:07]Let's take a job scenario. So is it quite common that most of the audience are looking for? They're looking for a new job. They're moving into a new job. What, what, what kind of people listen to this podcast? Chat? Just give me a kind of like a, a bit of a
[00:36:20] Jette Stubbs: [00:36:20] they're usually in their twenties or thirties, some may be in the early forties, they are looking to take their next step in their career, but they're also exploring entrepreneurship and may already be freelancing, but don't necessarily have the full confidence to step out fully into entrepreneurship yet.
[00:36:37] So they're building out that confidence. But they are often incredibly qualified, have a bunch of skills, but don't actually recognize their own skillset and value. That's the type of people that tend to work with me. Yeah.
[00:36:51] Mike Lander: [00:36:51] Okay. Being an employee versus being a consultant. Yeah. Freelancer.
[00:36:57] Yeah. It's very different selling yourself as a freelancer than selling yourself within your existing company that you're an employee of. And the big thing is if I'm a client and I'm looking for a particular skill copywriting skill and buying one of three things. I'm buying activities and buying outputs or I'm buying outcomes.
[00:37:23] There are brilliant any free things that you buy if you're buying services. So if you're that person and you are doubting yourself, but you actually do have the credentials, the critical thing you've got to do. Is, if, if you're going to try and sell to me something, you've got to prove to me that you can deliver the output as a minimum, I don't buy activities.
[00:37:44] I don't believe in it. I buy an output on the whole, I buy outcomes occasionally, but on the whole of outputs, if you can demonstrate to me that you've delivered the output that I need, and you can show me an example, here's what I did before. So let's say it, say that let's say someone writing a business plan.
[00:38:01] So let's say one of your audience is good at writing business plans. And they've done it in their organization and they're going to do it for clients. If you show me an example, business plan of here's, what you did earlier, you can redact it, take away the client names, take away sensitive stuff and show it to me and show me the structure and the thinking and the models that were in it and the structure.
[00:38:25] If that's what I'm looking for, that's all I need. You've just got to be able to prove to me that you have done it. What you can't do is fake it. The biggest mistake people make, I think often is when they're negotiating is friends, say to them, it doesn't matter what your experience is. Just be confident, be confident in, go for it.
[00:38:48]And I'm like, that's the worst advice I've ever heard in my entire life. Be confident and go for it. My word.
[00:38:54] Jette Stubbs: [00:38:54] Subscribe and leave a review if you are enjoying the podcast.
[00:38:58] Mike Lander: [00:38:58] Yeah. That is the route to disaster. Because if you're being confident and going for it and you meet me and I know what I'm buying. You might fall foul of the negotiation because I'll take it apart because I'll find out really quickly.
[00:39:13] You don't know what you're doing. Yeah. So the key thing is you've got to be able to demonstrate really clearly, but it's no different. If you're going for a job internally within a business is no one gets recruited into a position on the hope that they can deliver the job. And you said like a hundred K plus salaries.
[00:39:32] No one gets promoted off the back of. Since we've done quite a good job so far, maybe there'll be okay at the next level. You wouldn't do that. What companies do is they text you in that new role, on the existing salary, within the existing terms, they find out if you're any good at it. And when you are good at it, then they often give you the title and the salary.
[00:39:53] They try you out. Yeah. So it's not about just being brave and being courageous. Yes. You need to have be courageous obviously in life, but you need to show and demonstrate that you know what you're doing. It's really simple.
[00:40:10]Jette Stubbs: [00:40:10] Thank you so much, Mike. This has been so helpful. Where can people find you and learn more about you?
[00:40:18]Mike Lander: [00:40:18] I'm on LinkedIn. So Mike Lander on LinkedIn, they can find me there. My company is called Piscari, P I S C a R I piscari.com. And you can go on there and find me yeah, I'm always happy to connect to people on LinkedIn and and have a conversation.
[00:40:34] Jette Stubbs: [00:40:34] Okay. Thank you so much for your time, Mike.
[00:40:37] Honestly, the information you gave today was so valuable and I really appreciate it.
[00:40:41]Mike Lander: [00:40:41] Real pleasure being with you, Jette.
[00:40:42]Jette Stubbs: [00:40:43] You're listening to the happy career formula
[00:40:45] with Jette Stubbs
[00:40:47] where we talk about how to find what you love to do and turn it into ways to make money, whether that's a job, freelance service or a business, so you can live life on your own terms.
[00:40:58]this is a career and business podcast, but my two main goals for what I want to offer you are: one the tools to build a career that aligns with who you are.
[00:41:09] So you can make money in a way that funds your life goals and the lifestyle that you want to build for yourself. Two, to have healthier relationships with yourself and others.
[00:41:20] Because I think that if you have your financial resources together and you have good people around you, you can live a happier life.
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