I recently attended an Influencers Brunch in Washington, D.C. honoring the CEO of Epic Records, L.A. Reid. I attended with the sole purpose of finding someone to interview for my Negotiation and Deal Making Master class assignment. The assignment was comprised of two parts; find someone who negotiates as a regular part of doing business, and build upon my professional presence in the entertainment, media, or sports industry. After 16 years in radio, I know a lot of people who negotiate and could have easily called anyone, but I wanted to be true to the assignment. As the brunch was winding down, Mr. Armstrong Williams stepped on stage to say a few words. My only knowledge of him to this point was based on the work he has done in politics. Armstrong Williams is a political commentator, author of a nationally syndicated conservative newspaper column, author of 2 booksBeyond Blame and Reawakening Virtues. He is also the host of a daily radio show on Sirius/XM channel 126 and a nationally syndicated television program called, “The Right Side with Armstrong Williams.” As Mr. Williams spoke to the audience, I learned about his business side. He is the largest black television station owner in the United States. TheWashington Post explained it as follows; “there are 12 stations in the entire country owned by women or someone who is not white. Williams holds seven of them.” After hearing him discuss his television stations, I approached him about my assignment. Owning 12 stations means a lot of negotiating had to take place. This made him the perfect person to talk to. For the purpose of this blog, we will focus on the specific assignment; discussing negotiation tactics.
Thinking back to a bad negotiation; whether the reason it was bad was the fault of you or the fault of the person you were negotiating with, what do you recall that made it a bad negotiation?
“Never had a bad deal. Why? Here is the deal about negotiations; the last thing you want to be is emotional. The best deal is the deal you can literally walk away from even if it’s a great deal. When you walk away from it, that’s the power. Most people, because of their greed, because of the stature they want, can not walk away from the deal. They feel that they have invested too much emotion, too much time, but the greatest weapon in a deal is the ability to walk away from a deal and I’ve walked away from many deals.”