May 4

Clint Babcock on Productive Sales Mind Hacks


With over 25 years of sales and leadership experience, Clint has worked with CEO’s, Presidents, and VP of Sales of various companies to help them strategically build their executive teams and sales forces.  He’s worked with and trained hundreds of teams and thousands of sales people. 

Clint’s interactive style keeps the short attention span of the top producers of every company engaged and learning.  Clint advises his clients in four areas of the leadership and sales side of their business; Strategy, Structure, Staff, and Skills.

In his book, “NEGOTIATING FROM THE INSIDE OUT:  A Playbook for Business Success”, Clint shows that negotiation is a skill, and the first thing anyone has to do to improve is to understand how they react to pressure situations.

Clint's background includes top performances in sales, business development, operations, as well as training and development.

Before joining Sandler, Clint was the Vice President of National Sales for a technology training and education organization.  Clint directed, hired, and trained inside and outside sales forces during his tenure working for small, medium, and Fortune 500 companies. 

Clint is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a degree in Finance, which helps him keep his number accurate.

[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:04
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone! My name is Umar Hameed, I'm your host on the No Limits Selling Podcast where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how you can become better, stronger, faster. Just before we get started, I've got a question for you, do you have a negative voice inside your head? We all do, right? I'm gonna help you remove that voice and under 30 days guaranteed, not only remove it, but transform it. So instead of the voice that sabotages you, there's one that propels you to much higher levels of performance and success. There's a link in the show notes, click on it to find out more. All right! Let's get started.

Umar Hameed 0:34
Hey everyone! Welcome to another episode of No Limits Selling. And today we're going to be talking to Clint Babcock, he is an expert in negotiations in training, he's an author, we're going to talk about his book, Clint, welcome to the program.

Clint Babcock 0:49
Oh! Hey, thanks for inviting me thrilled to be here.

Umar Hameed 0:51
So Clint, once in a while, I go to negotiate something, and I know exactly how this negotiation is gonna go, I'm gonna be freaking amazing, they're gonna agree with me. And then when you get to actually do it, the whole world changes when you're like, what's that quote from Mike Tyson? "Everyone's got a plan till you get punched in the mouth."

Clint Babcock 1:08
Yep. Yeah, it happens a lot and you know, the good news is you had a plan. The probably the thing that happens, a lot of that is, we don't put ourselves on the other side and take the time to really think about, okay, what's this person's week? We call it understanding the difference between somebody's position versus their mission. Sometimes they'll just take a position, but what are they really trying to accomplish? And that's Umar, that's things that just gets us off our game if we're not trying to anticipate those and have our plan down.

Umar Hameed 1:42
So that brings up a thought and thought is this, sometimes I think I know what I want, but what I really want is hidden from me. And sometimes it takes some really good questions for me to kind of go, "Oh, yeah!" so a good example would be when I ask people, you know, "So when you get a new job, what's the most important thing?" they go, "Salary." "So really, Oh, that makes perfect sense, you know, salary is going to be right but how important is learning in this new job?" "That's really important," "More important than salary?" "Yep." "How about the team you work with, how about your boss?" All of a sudden, they realize this thing that they thought was the most important is like 6 or 7 down the list? So as you're negotiating, how do you get people to sometimes get their own realization that, "Holy crap, what will my mission truly is, is this?"

Clint Babcock 2:31
Well, so think, think about it, if you're truly in a negotiations, they want you, you know, your if you've gotten to that point, so really, what we got to look at is, what's the difference between selling and negotiations, a lot of what you're talking about in that questioning, discovery process, whatever that might be, the better you are there, the more that reduces any kind of negotiations at the end. So if you ask those questions upfront, you start to learn and you start to read map out, start to understand what that person is going to want, if anything when it comes to the end and it also helps us to, to discover what is going to be our positions and how we're going to deal with it when somebody tries to negotiate against us. So, so your your curiosity, your ability to ask those questions to get prepared, is going to be able to help you leverage any of those points later on because if you skinny that process up, now, all of a sudden, now you start dealing with the negotiation points or the things that they're coming out, and you never even knew.

Umar Hameed 3:47
So one of the things you said as you started this last part of the discussion is when other people negotiate against us, and a lot of times is negotiate with us. So tell me about the because most people think is you're my enemy, and it's against, so how do you get people to realize the best negotiations are when you can get people on the same side of the table, looking at the issue from the same side?

Clint Babcock 4:09
Yeah. So let me ask you this Umar, would you negotiate harder or softer with somebody that you had a good relationship with?

Umar Hameed 4:20
Softer, of course, and if they were really attractive, even more softer?

Clint Babcock 4:24
Well said, well said so, so that's it. So when, when in the book, and when we talk about negotiations, we talked about sources of leverage, sources of leverage and one of those major sources of leverage is your ability to create rapport, create trust through that process, and that is the process of getting on the same page with each other. And I'm sure Umar, you've always heard, "Hey, you always after the win win after the win win." Of course, the, the thing that I, that I mentioned with whenever somebody brings that up and it comes up all the time, is I said, "Well, yeah, but please understand that's an outcome, right? That's kind of like saying, "Oh, we're after a mutual agreement, we're after a mutual agreement, we're after the business or what have you." But that's an outcome. What's your process? If you can define your process through that and building rapport through that is one of them, then if you're doing that, right, you're considered that trusted adviser, they're not looking at you as an adversary and neither you?

Umar Hameed 5:28
Absolutely. I think, really defining what winning means, because I truly believe that most of the time, we don't know what the frick we're talking about but we have a sense of it. Like, I'll give you a good example, I gave you that wage example like how important wages are compensation, but when you really look at it, you realize not so much. And sometimes we get a hold of, I'm gonna hold up a pin here righteousness, like, it's the principle of the thing, and this is what I really want and it's like, "Okay, if you get that, what will that get you?" Like, what's underneath that, but you can only get there if you get into rapport with that person and get them to bring their guards down.

Clint Babcock 6:06
Right. It well, so think about the the concept of mirroring and matching, right? Think about the ability...

Umar Hameed 6:15

Clint Babcock 6:15
...to be able to say, "All right," and this is early in the book, the reason why I called the book, Negotiating From The Inside Out, is it starts with us, whereas the first negotiation is starts internally with us how we're wired towards that. And then most people, I think you're probably familiar with DISC, DISC communication styles, right?If I...

Umar Hameed 6:20
I slipped my DISC the other day.

Clint Babcock 6:41
...well, that probably was painful, right? So you're gonna go get somebody to fix that, and hopefully, it's a it's a chiropractor that knows how to diagnose first before, before they give you any kind of prescription. So DISC communication styles, if I can understand what kind of communication style you are, now, I have the ability to be able to get on the same page with you. And further that rapport, further that trust and get into that area that we're going to be on the same page as it relates to what we're trying to accomplish. I think people miss that. To me, if somebody says, "Oh, yeah, you got to be a chameleon, you got to mirror and match." If you don't understand DISC communication styles, I don't think you can really do it as well as you think you can.

Umar Hameed 7:25
There's always deeper levels, I run the Baltimore-Washington Institute of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. And sometimes in the trainings, what I do is I say, "Find someone that has a totally opposite point of view on some issue," and it could be around abortion. So we want to pick hot wired topics, where it's not like I'm for against this, like her and like Trump don't like it was really divisive issues, and you get people that absolutely would not agree, then I say, "Okay, I want you to have a, try and convince the other person to come on your side of the table." And of course, they have an argument for like five minutes, nobody agrees and is just further apart than say, "Okay, now what I want you to do is I want you to mirror and match and use gestures and really get into rapport and have that same discussion." And you know what, nobody can get mad, nobody can really get entrenched. So that connection human to human is really strong and then they get people say, "Okay, agree on stuff that you passionately agree that soccer is way better than football or whatever. And then I want you to take opposite body postures," and it's so hard for them to agree. So absolutely knowing DISC, figuring out how the communication style, using similar language connecting gets you on the same page. So Clint, how do you get people to be on the same side of the table? Because when we're looking at you and me on either side, it's like, Clint, you SOB, but when you and I are on the same side, looking at the problem together, then all of a sudden, it takes the emotions out of it. So how do you get people to come on the same side when we look at the issue? How do you do that?

Clint Babcock 9:03
Yeah, I think it's involvement. I think one of the things that if we try to create anything in a vacuum, then we are now presenting something to somebody else. And now the adversarial nature comes in, and it could be highly emotional, or it could not be it could be highly intellectual. So one of the, one of the concepts I often teach my clients is it's called the partial prototype concept, right? Never take somebody and go, "Hey, look, Umar, look, I put the I created this pen. It's just absolutely perfect,it's got this, it's got that and stuff." And now, what's our first initial reaction is it's not perfect, it could it could be better. So it's called it's called partial prototype, it's called fingerprinting, right? If I have an idea or, or a concept or a service or a product that I want to see if it's going to be a good fit for you, if I can't get you adding to that, and designing that, then now I'm just in a vacuum, and I'm trying to push it on to you. But if I can get your involvement, and now you've started to create it, and help build upon it, guess who has ownership of it now, which is another source of leverage ownership, if I can get you with ownership of this? Why would you end up negotiating against yourself when you were the one that helped designed it? So think ownership as it relates to whatever you're trying to do.

Umar Hameed 10:34
And I love that concept of modeling. This is something I'm trying to create, what do you think? How do we make it better? So I'm gonna take you to like one of the most important negotiations, like the Irish and the British have been at odds for 1000 years. And eventually they came to the table and they made peace, but it wasn't easy and it took a really long time. And some of those people hold on to grudges for centuries. So have you studied any of those negotiations that have been like, long term, deeply entrenched, Hatfields and McCoys?

Clint Babcock 11:09
I would say I've read about them, have I studied them, now, I don't you know, there's, there's a lot of things that, that as you can imagine, with writing this book, I tried to get pulled into, "Okay, Clint, if you had five democrats and five republicans in the room, that aren't agreeing, what would you do to try to negotiate those kind of things?" And, and, and there is a lot of books, there's a lot of academia, books written about those kind of, those kind of things. What I would say is, well, if you're going to be put in that room, you better have a process, you better have a system and that's where I'm focusing more on the business aspects. So, you know, I get asked a lot "Hey, Clint, why'd you write this book? There's enough negotiation books out there." The thing that I see is there's a lot of books written in there good stuff, absolutely, please read them. Chris Voss with negotiate, never split the difference, awesome book, great concepts and such. Where I want to drive it is, what do you deal with it when it's a business negotiations? How do you deal with that? And how do you deal with the differences there? And do you know what the gambits that are played in that kind of world, do you know? Well, here's an example Umar, think about this in your world are some of the clients you work with? If I were to go into a into an organization say what are the top three to five gambits that are used against your organization when it comes time to negotiate? Do you think the sales team or the executive team could come up with a top three to five? I think they could, do you think they have?

Umar Hameed 12:44

Clint Babcock 12:45
Yeah! Do you think they have a playbook, a system in place to be able to deal with that when they come up? They don't, they don't have that playbook. And that's where this really hones in is giving them the playbook of how do you, what's your place? If I can steal, if I can steal the playbook of somebody else, I can go, "Oh, wow, I recognize that negotiation, here's my playbook for that." Now I got a better chance of being able to work through it because let's face it, people were, you know, what's the number one thing, "Oh, your competition is cheaper," right? If they don't know how to deal with that, then you've got a discounting culture within your organization, instead of a negotiation culture.

Umar Hameed 13:27
Absolutely. Kind of reminds me of a friend of mine, an ex-boss of mine, we were Microsoft partners, we had hardware that created firewalls and protected systems and there was another Microsoft partner that had some software that did that. So my boss, when I'm going to talk to those guys, and get them to join our company, give up their company and join our company and I'm thinking, "You're a frickin idiot, I don't ever want to do that." Sure enough, within two months, they were part of our company, and they brought a lot of value, they became the CTO of our company and so he saw a vision of, "Hey, we're chocolate, your peanut butter together, we're gonna actually kick-ass and I could not see that at all. And that's what negotiation is, I guess, seeing a solution that doesn't exist right now.

Clint Babcock 14:13
Yeah, it is and that's the, and that's the whole 1 + 1 = 3 idea. And, and which goes to this, think about, think about this, in that situation if your boss would have pulled you in and had that discussion, and then you got on board and you you as a team strategized about it, what could it become and such. Now you're, now you're doing strategy work around then when he makes those calls and gets face to face and starts going through that now, he's got the tactics that can follow the strategy. And that's part of it too is most people don't spend the time to have a strategy and see that, that ultimate big picture, because imagine, I can only imagine that conversation that he had when he made those, those phone calls and he didn't get into negotiation tactics, he probably talked big picture strategy, what could we become together, and that allowed that person to enter into those kind of conversations and it, it took its natural progression all the way through. And those are the wonderful things when you've got somebody that can think outside of the box and bring together two different things that's going to make a bigger opportunity, it's called, in negotiations, it's called create making a bigger pie, right? Think about it this way competitive negotiations Umar you and I, we've got a pie, and we're all looking to get more pie than the other, right? And when we look at that, we look at it too small, we look at it too little, because you're looking for your slice, I'm looking for my slice, who's going to end up with what, instead, your boss said, "Forget that, let's just make a bigger pie." So it's specifically called pie negotiations when you come together and you say, "You know, something, let's just make the pie bigger." And that's where I think your boss really headed down that path.

Umar Hameed 16:09
So there's this organization called the National Speakers Association...

Clint Babcock 16:14

Umar Hameed 16:14
Kevin Roberts was the founder, when speaking wasn't really an industry. So he was at the forefront, and he had this really weird, psychotic concept that we're not going to split the pie, we're going to make the pie bigger and I know how to do this and if you join my organization, Clint, I'm going to share everything I know on how to be a great speaker and how to build my business. And so this guy is dead and buried but if you go to any NSA chapter, and you find someone that's making a million dollars in his speaking career, and you got a newbie, the person who's the successful person is going to open up his playbook because he's going to share emails, and he created this culture of making the pie bigger, that transcended his life. So I think yeah, absolutely, we can actually get that mindset of how do we grow this? So now, Clint, I'm gonna ask you a question and this is gonna put you on the hot seat, are you ready?

Clint Babcock 17:03
Let's have it.

Umar Hameed 17:05
Are you married?

Clint Babcock 17:06

Umar Hameed 17:07
So tell me Clint about having, you don't need to go into the details, having an argument with your wife, and having all these amazing skills, and either A not using them, or using them and feeling guilty for out thinking her what's reality, like for you when it comes down to that stuff?

Clint Babcock 17:25
Well, she's in the other room so she's going to hear me, should I pull her in and we can have a dual conversation? Here, here's the thing, and you're going to find this surprising, we rarely, if ever, argue, rarely 22 years, this June, 22 years this June and, and and if anybody ever, you can look me up on LinkedIn, you can shoot me a note said, "Hey, I hear you guys rarely ever argue," I'm calling BS, and I'll have my wife get on the phone with them and have a conversation. And here's why, is we, is we both know, communication is cause and effect, communication is cause and effect so therefore an argument is caused by one of us causing something and then an effect happening, if you get an effect you don't like or you weren't expecting, you caused it. So when I do that, and I say something not appropriate or wrong, and it's all tonality, right? you know, NLP, it's not what I said it was how I said it because of my emotions at that certain point. I have two choices at that point, I can either continue on and now we're in a discussion, which I've long since choose not to, because it's not going to end up well, and it's just causes stress and stuff instead, I got to rewind it and I got to ask her permission, if I can restate that and just put it in a different way. And when I do that, it saves us so much time and energy and effort so it's that emotional quotient that picks in. And I don't I, I get asked a lot of times, especially in my Sandler career, "Hey you turn that stuff off at home, when you get in your garage." I'm like, "What stuff, what do you mean?" You know, really what we're teaching is human relations and communications, and if I've got to try to do something to somebody, I'm probably approaching it in the wrong way. So, so I hope I answered your question that we don't we you know, we don't really get into that now, it's fun when her and I are facing a situation and we get to team up because she's sharp is is all get out and she'll be able to help help strengthen anything that I would do.

Umar Hameed 19:29
Brilliant. Because I think very much at the end of the day, it comes down to making it a way of life. If you are negotiating or connecting or communicating what is what we're really doing in a way that gives you so much reward and so much better outcomes, then it just becomes something you naturally do because that's the human instinct. If you have to do something, you've still got this set of beliefs that are actually dictating who you are. And ultimately at the end of the day, it's about when I can respect you as a human being, whether agree with you or not, and connect with your humanity, it allows us to go on that journey together.

Clint Babcock 20:03
Yeah, it sure does. It sure does. And, and in our, in our sign of business, we call it being a product of the product, and that's all human relations and communication skills.

Umar Hameed 20:17
So Clint, before we part company today, I want to ask you a question and the question is, what is your favorite mind hack, that little shortcut you use to get better results? I'll give you an example of one of those, it's sometimes I use the, we stole it from the Christians, what would Jesus do? It's like in negotiations, I might go, "What would Clint do in this situation?" And I get an insight that I wouldn't have had, without thinking that thought that allows me to kind of just solve this problem. Is there a mindset hack that you use to be more productive, or connect better? Or just show up strong more strongly in what you do? What's your favorite mind hack?

Clint Babcock 20:55
Well, yeah, I'll give you two real quick number one, I'm an over prepare that that helps me to make sure that whatever I'm going into, I've got, you know, I am ready for it. But really, in the, in the situation, my mind hack is, slow it down, slow down things. Because things tend to happen pretty quickly in a conversation in a sales call and in underneath pressure. So my number one mind hack, there is, hey, I, you know, and this is my term that use, "Hey, hold on a sec, hey, can we can we back up a moment, a little bit." And that's my my terminology to get things to, to slow down. And then I can either continue down that thought, or redirect it, because we're going in in an unhealthy area of some kind, or an area that just, we need to put it on pause. So my mind hack is if I can slow that movie down, if I can slow that down, it gives us all a chance to to, to respond better than we would react. And that has helped me tremendously to think, look, time is a source of leverage also, time that we're looking to do something, time that we have with people and I'm always looking to make that a source of of leverage that, hey, if I can slow things down here, then I can speed things up later. But too often, we try to rush things way too fast before things are really ready and that set has saved me a ton of time. It sounds kind of weird, so Clint, what you're telling me is you slow things down, and it saves you a ton of time, you betcha, absolutely, because I don't get caught into the rush sometimes that people are looking for.

Umar Hameed 22:45
Brilliant. Clint, thank you so much for being on the program, I learned a lot, I took some notes, can't wait to have you on the show again.

Clint Babcock 22:52
Hey Umar, thank you so much for inviting me really appreciate it. Sure, our paths will cross again soon.

Umar Hameed 23:02
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.


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