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EP 236: Using Personal Strengths in Professional Negotiations with Susie Tomenchok

business marketing Jun 28, 2021

If the word “negotiation” jolts your shoulders up to your ears and immediately makes your face contort, you can’t afford to miss this episode of Spa Marketing Made Easy. Because whether you like it or not, as a spa owner and CEO, negotiation is a non-negotiable part of business.  


Now, here’s the good news, anyone can learn to be a smooth sailing negotiator, and here to show you how is my guest, Susie Tomenchok. 


Susie works with individuals and organizations to amplify their strengths and unleash their internal negotiation skills to increase professional success. 


With over twenty-five years as a corporate executive with a Fortune 50 company, Susie and her team were responsible for end-to-end agreements valued at more than $80M annually and her portfolio of clients included ESPN, Discovery, Viacom, NBC, CBS and Boeing. 


From big boardrooms to small business owners, strengthening your negotiation skill set is for everyone. 


In this episode, we discuss:


  •  Why most small business owners need to shift their mindset around negotiation and understanding its role in business beyond what we commonly think of (i.e. salary negotiations)
  • How to get out of your own way when it comes to ressisting negotiation and leaving opportunity on the table 
  • What it really means to be a good negotiator and why you don’t have to be inauthentic, but rather embrace your personal strengths to leverage negotiations 
  • The breakdown of Susie’s P.A.C.E. Method and how it facilitates walking away with a win-win situation

References Mentioned in Episode #236: Using Personal Strengths in Professional Negotiations with Susie Tomenchok




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Episode Transcript


You're listening to the Spa Marketing Made Easy Podcast where we share simple, proven strategies just for spa industry professionals to help you get more clients in the door so that you can create a life you love. I'm your host, Daniela Woerner licensed aesthetician and spa marketing strategist. 



Hello my dears, Daniela here and welcome to another episode of the Spa Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Now let me ask you a question. Are you comfortable negotiating for yourself? Have you ever asked for a raise? Have you ever negotiated terms of a least, maybe you have. But my guess is that it probably wasn't your favorite thing to do. But it is my belief that we as women, if we want to step into more leadership roles if we want to bring our companies to new levels, it's a skill that we have to master. That's why I'm so excited to have my friend Susie on the show. Now Susie is an accomplished businesswoman. She's had an incredible corporate career. And now she helps women master the skill of negotiating. So let me take a quick second here and read you her bio. And then we will jump right into the interview.



Susie Tomenchok, works with individuals and organizations to amplify their strengths and to help unleash their internal negotiation skills increasing professional success. She believes that when people learn how to use negotiation strategies every day, they create more opportunities to walk away with a win win. It matters most. With over 25 years as a corporate executive with a fortune 50 company Susie and her team were responsible for end to end agreements valued at more than $80 million a year. Her portfolio of clients included ESPN, Discovery, Viacom, NBC, CBS, and Boeing. She's now committed to helping clients, especially female executives, or business owners, to choose a better option than being the path of least resistance and letting their careers or businesses happen to them, not for them. 



It's a great interview. I love everything that Susie talks about. And I especially love, you know, what really hit me was talking about how we show up in business, when we are asking for the things that we need. When we are negotiating. We're actually teaching our children, specifically our daughters, how that skill, right because kids learn from watching as well. So that was a big piece for me that really stood out. And you know, as a way that I can educate my daughter is by making sure that I'm negotiating that I'm asking for the things that are important for me. Great episode, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Alright, let's go ahead and play that interview. 



Susie, welcome to the Spa Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I'm so excited to have you on. I'm so excited about this conversation. Because I think it is so, so important, not only I mean for women in general, to talk about negotiation to talk about how to improve that as a skill set, right and going after what it is that we want, but incorporating it into our everyday lives. But also as business owners, there's so many pieces, so many areas where women just don't have that same. And I'm over generalizing here, but we don't tend to go after things as aggressively. as men, we don't we tend to say, Oh, that's what it is, instead of asking for more or compromise negotiating on the topic. Why do you think that is?



Oh, it's such a good question. And there's been a lot of research around it. And a lot of it has to do with just that mindset that we expect to be seen. Or we expect if we work really hard, we'll get what's deserved. And so just changing that mindset, I mean, little simple things that we could do to just create curiosity, asking more and thinking about things in pieces of leverage, and discovering and just thinking through the conversation can really shift that mindset. I think just the awareness around that can help you understand and be aware of what's happening around you.



Yeah, I, you know, I didn't really have awareness around the, you know, you always hear about like, women get paid less than men. It's like 76 cents on the dollar or something like that. You know, women are not in leadership roles, like all of these stats, but I didn't really understand the mindset piece or how, how it was affecting me as a woman every single day of my life, really until probably about 10 years ago. And because you think I don't feel Like I'm being discriminated against, or I don't feel like this or that, you know, but when you realize that as women, I wouldn't apply for a job if I didn't have every single criteria. Right? Where I think there was a study that men, if they just have three, they'll be like, great. I'm qualified. Right? So, really like, I don't know if that's because of the way that we're raised or because like, I have no idea the why behind it. But I think just being aware that sometimes things are so ingrained in who we are, as people, we don't even see it. We don't even realize that pretty much everything can be a negotiation. If it doesn't break the laws of physics, right? I mean, yeah.



And yeah, for sure. And, and one of the things another mindset shift is, the research does show that women are great negotiators when it's not for themselves. So how do you reframe that, you know, if you are negotiating something that feels very personally, personal. How do you reframe that for advantage for your family? Without feel, you know, like, how do you do that? Or it's for your team, or even as, as a woman, doing something different just to show other people another way? So how do you it's a very personal but reframing that in a way, and then thinking, the other stat to that is really interesting, as men are really good at negotiating ambiguity, where women need to know the details. So like, if you're told, you know, this position is $120,000 value, then the woman's going to fight for that, because she has a reason she has the facts around it. So even if you make up the facts as business owners, about what you're willing to have, having that clarity, can also lead you to the end. Because if when women have that power, how do you leverage that to get what you want?



What are some? So, you know, I read your bio, in the beginning, you've had a really impressive career. How do you, can you just give us the highlights of how negotiation helped you build the career that you have? Like, what where were you using it in your life and your business in the day to day? Like, it's not always just I'm negotiating for my salary. It's, you know, everyday conversations, how did that help you create this incredibly remarkable career?



It's, it's such a great question, I had some aha moments for myself. One was being a mom of three girls. And seeing that even early on, they started asking more and advocating for themselves because of, they kind of mimicked me, there was one situation where my two daughters were on two computers and other parts of the home. And she was saying, you know, I understand your proposal, I appreciate it. But we need more strategy, less tactics, do it again, and come back to me. And then they have since admitted they're all in their 20s now that they used to have a target strategy about getting what they wanted at Target and thinking about timing and asking and who has relationship equity and, and knowing you know what to present to me. So that was an aha for me around how important it is to show others and that happens every day. And then, when I was at corporate, one of the big aha moments for me, my coach, my peer was a man. We had been were pretty high up in the organization. We both were given new offices at overlook the mountains had a conference table, that both offices were exactly the same size. And I was so happy that they gave me this great office on executive row, you know, I was just appreciative. And my coach said to me, you know, the difference between your office between yours and Dean's is his isn't at the end of the hallway. So he has the corner office. You need to ask for the corner office. I was like, Oh, I don't want to ask for the corner office that's so selfish. And he said, you know, for other women you need to so I went to my boss said I wanted it she was just like she kind of knew me and she was like seriously, but she went to the COO and said, you know, she wants to corner office blah blah blah took like a week later and they and she came back to me and said the seat, COO had thought about that, but they like you better so they want you closer to them and they intentionally just put them on the end of the hall. And I was just like shoo you know, like done and Just because I did it, I was proud of myself for doing it. But my coach said, Do you know why they didn't give you the corner office, because they knew you wouldn't say anything. And they knew he would fight. So I thought, don't be the path of least resistance. And so I that awakened my awareness around, it happens all the time around us. And if we're not aware, we're opting out of an opportunity, maybe don't get that project or those things. So it happens all the time, in retail as business owners, so...



What I'm thinking about so much as you know, a lot of aestheticians, they'll start out solo, a lot of times, they'll be in solo suites, which are these kind of one person, one organization, or a franchise owns all these different rooms, and there's all these independent businesses within there. So they'll start out there, build their books, and then they go out and do a storefront. So they're renting a space. And there's so much that goes into opening a storefront. And it starts with, you know, negotiation around ti dollars, right, and negotiation around price per square foot, and all of these things. So many just go in there and say, what's the, how much does this cost per month? Right? And sometimes that can make such a huge difference in the like, if you're doing a build out, you know, what type of improvements is the landlord growing to pay versus what you can pay the landlord's paying it, then you automatically have that extra money for advertising, marketing, hiring, right? But if you don't ask, it's not going to just be given to you.



Yeah, completely. And if I was going to coach, somebody that was looking at those things, I would I, I have a framework, and I'm going to give something to your audience to help them think this through. But it's all about preparing an understanding that the negotiation starts at the first conversation. And so asking out of curiosity, before you get to the specifics, understanding the lay of the land, asking questions to understand what is negotiable.



So let's use let's use a storefront. Okay, as an example, and can you walk us through your framework? And how someone would negotiate renting a space? Like what are the what types of questions would they be asking? Out of curiosity?



Yeah, so as so the framework is, is four parts, it's just a way of thinking. One is, its pace, prepare, aware, close and evaluate. Okay, so the most important part of negotiation that's often overlooked, is preparing. And that's because we don't like to negotiate. So we don't want to spend that time we just want to get in, get it over with. But preparing is really important. so in this situation, I would say, who can you ask who's rented from this person before? Or this organization? How does it work? How do they make decisions? Get the lay of the land, ask what had worked before? What are some of the terms that they use, you know, if you're new to negotiation, just ask a lot of questions, ask other people around you, then find out and understand who the decision maker is. And what are think through what's important to you. And what's important to them. Maybe timing is important to them. Maybe those adjustments and things that you want to have control over that you mentioned, is important to you. But really being clear about all of the pieces of leverage that they have, and that you have. And then being clear about what you want making a list of all the things that are important to you, in the short term and the long term. Because the key is going to aware is being as objective as you can. So being really clear about what you want to get out of it, and what their interests are so that you can really adapt and change in the moment. Does that make sense?



It does. And I think also like, being able to think clearly, and without emotion during the negotiation piece because we can get we all have our own triggers. We all have our own stories. And, and just knowing what that walkaway point is, like, you know, for me, I'm thinking about this situation when I bought a car and I was like, Okay, well, I'm just, this is my walkaway point. I knew that in my mind. And if I didn't get the price down to that particular point, then I was just going to walk away. So it makes so much sense that you know that ahead of time and I'm not going to go in and be like, Oh, I really want the car. And it's this much. Like I, I did not let my emotions get in the piece get in the way, because I had made that I had thought it out and looked at my budget and did all this stuff ahead of time. And I think that's so important in in business, right to know, like, okay, there's so many opportunities, if this one doesn't work, if this one doesn't get you what you need, there will be other opportunities. 



Absolutely. And there's the emotion does cloud your thinking, positive and negative, both ways. So you should never make a final decision without it. And I love what you said, have a walk away, and be ready to walk away. And the way to make that really comfortable is have options, even if it's not what you want, have looked at other places that you could go so that you feel more comfortable, because that will drive you to be more objective. So having those those pieces is absolutely important to think about how do you get objective, and also framing it as you know, this is benefit to them, too. So this is a win win, how do I make them feel like they got what they needed. But I have to ensure that I get what I need to.



And I will say I mean, this is a little bit off off topic. But I think that it's relevant. You know, we talk about removing the emotion, and all of that, I do believe that emotional intelligence and having emotion around our team and team development can be a really beautiful thing that women are so good at. But it's understanding and like on the Myers Briggs, I'm an F, like, I am an emotional person. But I have had to train myself to how do I think of objectively about this decision? How do I any decision that I'm making in business, for my business for my company, for the company of my clients that I'm, you know, coaching. How do we look at that from a purely objective standpoint, and make that decision?



Mm hmm. And you can become more, it's so important, it's you can become more objective by having more data. Like, I know, you like data around how things go and looking back at that, you know, for your business to say, Oh, yeah, negotiation, all the data, even if you have options, and you know, square footage from other places, comparatively, and you look at the story, and you frame it, right. If you have that plan, it is all about managing your reaction, your emotion, even pacing, because you can come across really confident. And knowing your position, which can give you power just by applying silence. And sometimes when we're nervous, understanding, we're going to be nervous, sometimes we just have to say Okay, and now I'm going to be nervous, because this is a high stakes negotiation. How am I going to leave that in my body and just get through it? But knowing that having that objectivity having those decisions already made about your walkaway, then in that moment, you don't have to think about it, you've already made that choice.



Okay, so let's continue through the framework.



Yep. So awareness is is getting in there, you already have your prep done, you really know what you're, how you're going to get through it. It's being aware of those triggers that you have being really clear about your frame, like really thinking about what is your story, and what is important to you and how you want to walk that person through the negotiation. You want to continue to have them look at it from your perspective. So that awareness is about what is happening to them. You also don't want them to go through emotional ups and downs. Don't make them frustrated, if you feel like they're getting a little bit out of control. How can you take a break? How can you keep them also objective because that's the key. And then understanding where you are in it don't oversell when they've agreed to it, know that it's time to move to close. And then in prep, you can also anticipate all of those relationship things along the way. And there's awareness around that even personality types. You know, there's a lot of data around salespeople and with introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts and they found that ambiverts, the middle between extroverts, introverts are actually better at negotiation. extroverts talk too much. They don't know when to close, they don't have that awareness, the other person doesn't feel heard. And then introverts sometimes don't speak up enough to tell the story. So I think about that is how do you think about your personality and give equal time? or allow that to happen? This is a relationship. So how do you do that? That's all about awareness.



I love that. I love that and you have a little handout or download for everybody



Perfect, that'll be so helpful. Because I'm like, trying to like go through all the steps. In my mind, it's so helpful to have something visual that as you're because anything that does make you a little bit nervous or uncomfortable, like, the more you do it, the better you get. But for me, I find that if I have a checklist, or I have a resource or something, it just makes it so much easier. That's like, Am I doing this? Am I doing this? Right? Absolutely. I love that. So any other advice? for aestheticians, for business owners, in how to incorporate negotiation just in their day to day lives?






Yeah, that's such a great, I love to talk about silence. And the thing about negotiation, if you practice it every day, you do find those tactics that work for you, or you get comfortable doing it when the stakes are high. So you really want to have that. So like you said, the more you do it, the more you understand how to get better at it. And so the key is how do you practice those things? So some of the things that people practicing silence with somebody that you know, and changing the pace of a conversation, it's just interesting to see what happens.



Well, and I know with when we're recommending homecare products, so often, like I say, a confused mind always says no. So if you're making recommendations and and for us as aestheticians, we're, so I'm interested in ingredients, and the technology and the science and all of this kind of stuff. But if you're talking to someone, right after they have a facial, and they're in facial fog, and they're all blissed out, and so happy, and you're talking about glycosaminoglycans and changing..., they're gonna be like, what, what is this going to do for my skin? And so sometimes just saying, here's the homecare that I recommend, this is what I want you to do, and the am and pm, you know, just making the recommendation and then being quiet, and letting them make the choice or letting them answer the question. And I think knowing that their decision, if they say no, they're not saying no to you as a person. They're saying, No, that doesn't feel like the right fit like that homecare, or whatever. It's, I think a lot of times in negotiation, just my personal belief. We take it personal. If someone says no to us, and it really has nothing to do with us. It's we either haven't communicated the value of what we're offering in a clear way. And we need to work on how we can communicate that in a better way. Or it simply just wasn't the right fit, right? 



Completely. Clarity and that awareness around the know, like and trust factor, because after you've given a service like that, the trust is really high. So they don't need a lot of information. If you say this, you know, either. And if they're not ready to say yes, just have that awareness around how where the relationship is.



Mm hmm. Yeah. No means not yet.



 Yes, it's a starting point in this. 



Yeah. Very good. So Susie, tell us where people can find you follow you stay in touch with you. I know, we're going to include our links below this. And we're going to include your resource, but what's the best place to kind of stay in touch with what you're doing?



Yeah. So all the places where you can find me is my Susie Tomenchok , which I have to figure out an easy way to dispel it. But the good thing is, it's the one I use everywhere. So you can find me on Instagram, and I'm very active on LinkedIn. And because I work with a lot of corporate people as well, and then we will have that resource. And if there are any questions for your audience, I would be more than happy to, if they reach out to me, help them guide them and help them figure out what negotiation strategies they can start to use.



I love that. Thank you so much for your time, Susie. This has been incredible and I know it's going to help some of our spa owners, all of our spa owners, right anyone that puts into practice just advocating for yourself. You know, knowing that no means that yet right it's just the start just the start. I love that. All right if you want to keep this conversation going head on over to the spa marketing Made Easy Facebook group. We love to talk strategy we love to talk business, we love to talk all of those things. So hang out in there join us and we'll catch you on the next episode. 



As always, if you want to keep the conversation going, I want you to head on over to the Spa Marketing Made Easy Facebook group. The number one free resource out there for aestheticians focused on business building. We've got weekly marketing tips, a monthly goal setting and planning session monthly, aesthetician business book club, plus a community of thousands of aestheticians committed to business building in the spa industry. I'll see you there.

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