IVZ 38 Samantha Hartley | Time For Money


People like to say that “time is gold”, yet few seem to heed these words. If time really is gold, then maybe it’s time to put a stop to trading time for money. Christine McKay gets into a conversation with the founder and president of Enlightened Marketing, a business advisor, and podcaster, Samantha Hartley. Samantha discusses why you need to transition from hourly payments to outcome-based payments and the benefits of doing so. She also discusses the need to choose clients and jobs that fit you and your skills. The need for negotiation and positive confrontation are also discussed. If you’re looking to pivot your business into a new direction but don’t know where to start, then give grab some tips here.  

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Stop Negotiating Time For Money With Samantha Hartley 

We have with us, Samantha Hartley. She came to me from a good friend named Patty Lawrence who has introduced me to these remarkable people. Samantha works with Patty as one of her clientsI have watched Pattys business go from 0 to 60 like crazy. She has grown fast. Patty signed one of our largest clients ever in history. Samantha has been instrumental in helping her do that. Im excited to have Samantha on the show to share with us some of the things that she has learned along her route. She works with consultants who are stuck, trying to grow, or trying to transition. 

She helps them multiply their revenues without exhaustion by working with perfect clients on transformational engagements so they can have profitable, joyful consultancies. She hosts a podcast called Profitable Joyful Consulting, which I was on and Im super excited about that. She lives in Marthas Vineyard, which is gorgeous if you have never been. I love that she gets to live there all the time. She lives there with her husband and their furry kids. How many furry kids do you have? Welcome. 

Thank you so much. I have a big dog, medium dog, and cat. 

No matter what time you had at your job, never burn your bridges because a lot of times that place you left will end up being your first client. Share on X

Im excited to have you on the show. I have loved every conversation you and I have had. 

Thank youIm glad to be here. 

Tell us about your journey. How did you get to this point? 

I have an unexpected beginning with leaving college, doing Liberal Arts and the Russian LanguageI went overseas to Russia. While I was there, I ended up getting hired by the Coca-Cola Company and that launched my international marketing career. That was many moons ago. I was there at their corporate offices. I didnt have a good time at corporate because its all about politics and not about work. left and went on my own. I had been an internal consultant for that company. A lot of my first clients were my colleagues who had worked there too, which why I always say, “No matter what time you had at your jobnever burn your bridges because a lot of times that place you left will end up being your first client and all of those colleagues that you had fraught relationships can turn into your clients. 

That launched my consulting business. Over the years, I have worked with many different businesses, brick and mortarmanufacturing because I came out of manufacturingI was with the bottling company with Coke for a whileAlso, all service businesses, mom-and-pop, startups because they have seen the inside of so many businesses over twenty years when people tell me their story, it’s likeI understand the uniqueness of you as a beautiful snowflakeI also see the connections to many other businesses. Im able to make observations that for some people are accurate and I’m like, “Yes, but.” The fact is I have been in the middle of insight into so many businessesIt’s like, “What you are experiencing is familiar. I have seen it before. 

People are snowflakes and so unique but companies and the issues that they face and people ask me this all the time as a negotiator, “What do you focus on? Do you do real estate? Do you do tech? Im like, “No, because the process is the same in negotiation. I don’t care what the industry is. If I donknow, then I find the resources to gain it about the industry and get specific about that but its the process. When you are in businesses, you see the overlap and its astonishing, then people say to me, “You dont understand my industry because it’s different.” Im like, “No.” 

I work almost exclusively now with consultants, whether they are working B2B, small businesses or multibilliondollar corporations. The funny thing is that a lot of consultants fear being asked, Do you ever worked with my business before?” They were like, “What if I havent? If I only had one business in twenty years, say, “Have you ever worked with someone like us before? It was a community bank. I said, “If you want to be the best bank you can be, Im sure you can bring in some banking consultant but if you want to be the best business you can bethats what Im going to help you to do.” They were like, “Sold.” It depends on what their goals are. 

Tell us a little bit about how you work with your clients? I have watched Pattys transformation in her business and it is impressiveI’m curious because there are many negotiation points along that journey that has exponential growth quickly. 

I have been working with Patty for a long time. When she first came to me, she did one of those little home study courses that I offered. What was interesting about her and you will notice in your perfect clients is that she implements like crazy. It was a home study course but there were Q&A calls. She got on every single call and then she would implement. There were many other people with smaller businesses than Patty’s who couldnbe bothered to get on the calls and to take advantage of those benefitsI knew early on that she is somebody who’s going to be successful. 

A little while after that, she came to me and we started to work one-on-one together. One of the things that she was doing in her business was working by the hour. Shes a virtual CFO, doing services for her clients and charge them by the hour. The average client size was about $3,000I helped her transition away from hourly because when you are charged by the hour, you are penalized for efficiency. Your clients are hesitant to call you because they dont want the meter running every time they do. It costs them more money, discourages them from taking advantage of your genius. I dont understand how you bill for the time when you’ve got great idea in the shower or while you are out on a hike. Do you charge them for that? This is confusing to me. 

Hourly billing is completely inappropriate for consultants and consultancies. We began to transition and she charged for outcomes. She was like, “Heres what your business is going to be, when we are done, throughout working with us, this is what we are going to get you to.” Thats what she sold so thats an outcomeI worked with her to develop those outcomes with her clients, how to communicate with them. Now shes charging more like $10,000 or $11,000 a month to these clients who are working with her. It may sound time-based by charging them by the month but it’s charging them for the outcomes that shes getting them. That exemplifies the work I do with consultants because when they come to me, usually they are so busy with client work they will max out. 

It seems that they are successful but they are stuck because they cant grow anymoreI have had several clients come to me and say, “We are exhausted. We dont have any place for more clients to go, which is why I promise that they can grow with that exhaustion. They are like, “I know that we can work harder. We could woreven more nights and weekends but thats not going to make them happy. We transitioned the way they work. Its not always hourly but its very often. There are a lot of trading time for money. They are very often not charging for the outcomes that they can achieve for the client. They are undercharging relative to what they can get. 

I had a client who came to me, Carrie. She is an IT consultant who has a small firm, partner and with 5 or 6 employees. They were doing about 750,000 when they came to me but the same thing charges them about an hour. The problem is when you have a team of people logging those hours and showing them to the client, I was like, “Did the client ask you to show that to them? They were like, “Thats how its done in our industry. I was like, “Heres a new phrase for you. We dont work that way. Thats not how we work.” We transitioned away from that. 

They started working for outcomes and said, “Heres the outcome we are going to get for you. Heres the timeline for getting that outcome. Heres what we are going to charge you.” They have even had some clients say to them, “I wish everybody worked that way.” Instead of this tracking hours and being inside the work, they get to say, “How do we get that outcome? How can we achieve that more efficiently? Speaking of negotiation selling that to the client, thats a new thing. It takes courage to completely try a new thing but this is a courageous client and they did it. They felt it doubled their business working with me. 

Time For Money: When you’re charged by the hour, you’re penalized for efficiency. Your clients are hesitant to call you because they don’t want the meter running every time they do.


One of the things that people do in negotiation all the time and if they are working with a bigger company is like, “This is how we do it. Theres no logic behind it. I learned many years ago not to ask the question why ever in any situation. Its a horrible question. I make no apologies to Simon Sinek when you are reading this episode, dont give a damn about your why but care about your whats and hows. It’s a lot more than your why. In a negotiation, when you ask somebody, “Why?” Often the response back is, “Because.” You cant do anything with it because. No action can take place on a because then you would get into what I call faith-based versus fact-based negotiation because its a faithbased thing. You cant do anything with it. 

You take that part of it out of it and give people permission to be curious and explore other possibilities and other ways of doing business, which is an awesome thing. How do we make this relationship better? Which is what negotiation being all about. The other thing you do is you redefined what value is you have made value that’s tangible to your clients clients. How do we turn time into a product? I do that for our Venn Negotiation Pro Services. We try to do as much of our work as we can be based on the successful outcome of a negotiation. 

We charge based on that outcome, which is a very different model than what an attorney does. They are charging by the minute. What things have you encountered with your clients as you have had to give them to negotiate with themselves, to get over that hurdle? To your last example saying, “Thats not how its done in our industry.” A lot of consultants say to me, “I don’t negotiate, but this is an example right here, everybody, of what Samanthas talking about. Shes had to negotiate with her clients to get them over this hurdle to think about how to do something differently. 

Every day theres something that we negotiate. Its like, “Can I get myself to do this difficult thing that I have to do?” Its a great point that the first people I have to convince that this is a possibility are my clients. They have to be sold on this before they can go and attempt it. In Carries case, she and her partner sat and we did this oa VIP day in a little conference room in New Orleans right before the pandemic hit. We talked the whole thing through. I was like, “The way that you are working is penalizing you.” Also, from the clients point of view, they had this like up, down expenses because sometimes there would be a month that would be $10,000, $50,000 and $25,000. 

Thats difficult for the client. I had finance say to me one time that “Even big companies hate lumpy expenses. I thought that was helpful because you feel like, “They are big. They dont care.” They dont want to have this expenditure. My clients couldnt schedule anybodys work because people were there the whole month and they couldnt be on something else. It was chaotic for both sidesI interview them about whats not working about it then when they were like, “We can’t do that. Im like, “Heres what you taught me,” then I tell it back to them and they were like, “That’s convincing.” I’m like, I know because it was what you said.” 

We worked through the reasons that what we are doing isnt working. Its not working for us and the client. There are other constituents like the people on the teams. Other people who its not working for. We get to look at, “Why is doing it a different way in everyones best interest?” People do want to have a shared outcome. They do want to be able to plan their timeRestructuring the work was good for everybodyThis client is competitive and excited about sales. Shes a good example of somebody who, when she heard she was like, I want to make that work,” and she did do it. 

I have other clients who were more reticent. My client Cheryl came out of midsize manufacturing in Chicago. In her first year, she had done about 150,000 consulting with three clients. She said, I feel like my business hat is a $2-million-year business. I said, “I think so. Lets build that.” The first year, what I wanted her to do was restructure who she worked with and how she worked with them if her clients were too small. If you donwant to talk about negotiation, this is somebody who is, “Heres what I was doing and I know that wasnt working but what you are saying is big and scary.” That’s what she told me later. 

We spent five months of the first year we worked togetherI was like, “Now we are going to do this, anI would meet with her and she hadnt been done. Every single week I was like, “How come this isnt happening? We’ve got five months in. I said to her, “Im not going to do anymore. We are doing some of the done marketing for you. Im not going to do any marketing. We are not going to do anything. Everything is stopping until you go and sell a client.” I have heard her say what was preventing her. She was like, I don’t know how to sell a client.” I was like, You do. Within a month, she had sold $200,000In the next few months, she sold $600,000 in new business with this new model that we were working on. 

We step over all of the signals that some people are not going to be perfect clients and work with them anyway. Share on X

The negotiation was that she was like, I dont know how to do it but I cant do it. Im convinced this is the right way. She had everything she needed and it was this mindset hurdle of, “Can I do this? She went to a conference for those who are like, “How did she do it? She went to a conference where she is a rock star in her industry. Everybody was like, “What are you doing? What are you working on? You glow you.” She was like, “Heres what I have going on, this and that.” She got a bunch of clients from that. The key here in the negotiation is knowing when the person is getting the individualyou, in this case, getting us to the point where we can say, I believe in this enough that I can go and take a different action than I have ever taken before. 

Thats one of the things that I talk about in negotiation is getting clear on what it is you want. Once you have that clarity, it makes it so much easier to say yes or no if its not the right fit in terms of the types of clients that you want to work with. In terms of what their problems look like, what issues and what you can do? Do you enjoy this work? Is it fun? It gives you so much power to have thatI love that you helped her think that through and get over that hurdle because its hard to sell things when you dont believe in them. For some people, they can sell anything to anybody. For most of us, we need to believe in what it is that we are selling. Even though we believe in ourselves, we may be trying to sell traditionally and that part doesnt feel right to us. How do we modify it and adjust it in a way that works for us? That gives us more power at the negotiation table because it gives us the power to walk away if its not the right fit. 

Clients have to be perfect fit for youIn Cheryls case, this one I have been telling you about, the people and clients she had been working with were too small for her and she had big ideas. An important thing to pay attention to is if you feel like, “Im never able to get my car out of second gear. I want to feel like what fifth gear feels like. That feels like being able to do the whole model of what you do and bring down all of your intellectual property and implement it with your clients. You should feel like, “Im doing all of my work and all my best work with this client.” If you are feeling like, “They needed a little tiny bit of what I do. 

That’s not as fulfilling. It isn’t thats a bad client. Its like they dont fit as well as these that allow you to do so much more. Thats what we were looking for Cheryl. She had big ideas and had begun to bring these ideas into existence. She was still getting these divine downloads about what she wanted to do. This is in the era of human resources. Shes like, “How do I develop people? Whats my model and my system for these things?” It required clients who could use these services and not be too small. 

I love working with small and mid-sized businesses but as part of why I have launched my Venn Masters program to serve smaller businesses because for them to hire me as a negotiator, it’s not, one, Im probably more expensive than they can afford but two, its not as enjoyable for me because I enjoy negotiating complex transactions. I was parking ring with a hedge fund to help them negotiate the deals that they are investing inIts such cool work. That goes to that clarityWhat do you want? What type of clients do you want? What do you want them to be doing? What do you want your work to be doing? 

Thats where you gain power because power and leverage is a conversation that comes up in negotiation all the time. People often have said to me, I dont have any.” Im like, “Thats because you voluntarily chose to acquiesce it. You gave that up willingly. You have the ultimate power in any negotiation is my second favorite word, which is no. No means no that in that situation but in the rest of the time, no is an invitation to ask a different question. Having that clarity and understanding of what that is that you want to be doing gives you that leveragethat power that you have and need to create the business that you want to create. We dont have to serve everybodyTell me about some times when the negotiation hasnt been successful when you havent been able to get either yourself over one of those hurdles or your client over a hurdle like that. 

My podcast episode is about how to fire a client. I was writing about when you are in situations where you are working with someone and it cant go on. I was saying that I advocate for my clients to work exclusively with perfect clients. If you end up firing someone, it means that at one point, they seemed perfect or as close to perfect as possible. Do you know the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell? 

Hes one of my favorite authors of all time. 

What I love about that book is you can tell in 2.5 of footage, whether the doctor is going to get accused of malpractice. You can tell if this marriage is going to last. You can tell in that first meeting with a client, whether they are going to be perfect or not. We step over all of those things and signals that we had that they are not going to be perfect and to work with them anyway. We brush those things offThere are red flags and yellow flags. Probably they didnt show any red flags. They showed yellow flags and it means that we have to use discernment and say, “Im going to stand back and hesitate but Im just going to think about it.” In my case, I chose to work with a client who I had heard some like, “Here are some caution things,” and I thought, I will keep that in mind,” then there was some the project itself like dont normally do short-term projects but I thought, “Its fun. Its interesting and I think the short-term thing could turn into a long-term thing.” 

Those are all the things that I told myself about this situation. We get into it and it’s the thing that gets out of handI wrote about examples where your contact at the client leaves and now you are dealing with the replacement. Its not a priority for the replacement, then you were like, “Now, what do I do?” The good clients start ghosting. They disappear and theres this mysterious fourth payment, the conclusion of the work and everybody is ghosting you. At some point, you have to say, Lets consider this terminated.” 

IVZ 38 Samantha Hartley | Time For Money
Time For Money: Hourly billing is completely inappropriate for consultants and consultancies.


I had that situation where I went into something with high hopes and then it did this thing that I thought, “We are going to have to call this threequarters done.” Thats all we can do because Im not more powerful than somebody elsewhatever’s going on. Self-sabotagedistraction, crisis. I dont know what that is. I feel this is the thing that all of us have to realize and recognize. To me, those are the most painful ones because I had high hopes for themI know my clients have been in the situation before where they were like, “This was a huge priority for the company and everybody was all excited about it.” Now Im the only one excited because organizational priorities have changed. 

The negotiation there is to maintain this thing as a priority like, “Remember when we started that this is what we wanted. I have also seen that in salessituations, and I have been working with some of my mastermind clients on this, whersomebody seems interested in working with you, then they have to think about it and they disappear. They were trying to figure out, “How do I call that person back? What I would say is in your discovery calls, when you are saying, “Heres your dream. Heres the thing that you want.” The only time I would ask why is like, “Why is that important to you?” How can we connect you to that thing? Heres the path to that. Do you believe in the path to that?  

Sometimes when they said, “I want that, and now that has fallen away. To me, the negotiation is between saboteurs likwhere they sabotage by this, “Did the idea of achieving that freaked them out and then they had to go away. Did they make a different decision? This is the thing that we always have to deal with. They feel like, “I dont mind that you didnt choose me as much as I mind that you dont pursue that dream that you said was so important to you. I can accept that they went with another choice and/or this is always my concern, “Did someone get to them? Meaning, someone in their circle said, “That seems hardI would hate for you to do that. That seems scary. Arent you scared? Other people then talk them out of their dreams. Those are the times when things slip away. 

One of the things that I often say is that, “A bad deal for you is a bad deal for me. I may not know it yet.” I have seen it when I worked at Deloitte Consulting. I would be excited about a project, about working with clients, then a client had changed. The priorities would shift. My enthusiasm then would get impacted. I enjoyed the project lessIwould get into this downward spiral and then it would be like, “This doesnt feel good. Why am I getting on a plane and not coming home for this project? 

You see it in marriages all the time. “A bad deal for you is a bad deal for me. I may not know it yet, being open to that. Acknowledging that. Its then permitting yourself to say, “That’s okay.” That’s okay in any negotiation. Separating and relationship is still a relationship. How you do that then how you manage that istill importantI love the firing client conversationI have turned clients away from that this project doesnt feel right or I have had a feeling about a person to Malcolm Gladwells. His book Talking TStrangers is also fascinating. I like it better than Blink. 

Trusting that intuition more and listening to that inner voice because when we engage with people, we engage in emotion before we engage in logic. People would like to think it doesnt work that way but it does work that way. We always think we are emotional creatures before we were logical creatures. When your gut is telling you something, that emotional piece is connecting with your logic because you have built all that experience over time. As Malcolm talks aboutyour got are saying, “Based on all those experiences that we have had, Im telling you right now this is not going to be a good outcome. Yet, we do, step over itkeep goinglook back and we go, I should have listened to that boy. 

That’s the real learning opportunity. This is why business is so much about personal development for the owner because you get to look back and say, “Why did I do that in this situation? Did I feel like I needed the money? Was I won over because it was referred to me by someone important to me? Did I feel like it’s a challenge? What were the things that caused me to not discern it?” In this case, I feel like, “I knew that it had the potential to go south,” and it did. Its not that much of a surprise. What were my learnings and takeaways from that? That, to me is the key piece so that I dont do that same mistake again in the future. Thats what I want to make sure of. Other than that, I want to be honing my intuition. As business owners and decision-makers, thats the thing that we need to be doingIm a no blame, no shame personI dont blame myselfmy team or my clients. Im always like, “Lets figure out what happened and why that happened without blaming or shame.” That way, we can make different choices in the future. 

A reasonable client doesn’t want you to be overextended. Share on X

Thats something that people are not as effective as they could be iI always have said that people are like, “Tell me about a time you made a bad decision.” Im like, I have never made a bad decision. I have had many bad outcomes or less than desirable outcomes but at the time when Im making the decision, its the best decision I can make at that given point in time with that informationIm not going to sit in here, go back and beat myself up over the decision that was made. Im going to make a new and different decision, create a different outcome. We get so stuck focusing on that path stuff we try to bring it with us everywhere we go. We do that in negotiation. When negotiations get angstyemotional, I have been screamed that I don’t scream but I have had a lot of people yelling at me in negotiation and thats a clear indicator to me that they were stuck in a path in their past. 

Theres something about what was said, what was proposed and their life experience because we all bring our humanity and our life experience to the negotiation table, it’s something about their past life experience they are stuck in. One of the awesome parts about negotiating is being curious about that counterpart to figure out where they stuckHow can we figure out? Can we figure out a way to get them unstuck? Moving forward in the relationship. No negotiations, a hope flat. We negotiate at the moment based on information from the past, trying to divine the future. The future doesnt ever unfold the way we think it doesNot only can you sometimes fire a client but you can always renegotiate the deal with them too if its not working for you. Is there another way of making that deal more effective and work better for both of you? 

Thats a great point because I have had clients come to me and say, I made this deal with the client then I said, I would write these extra five web pages for them. I thought it was a little bit of work but it turned out to be much more work than I thought it was going to be. Now, what do I do? Im like, “Go to the client and explain the situation.” I call these grownup conversationsmostly to try to make light of them. Its like, “Lets have a grownup conversation. It means I have to go to my client and say, “When we talked about doing this, I was excited about it I thought it was going to be about thisWhen I started doing the work, I think you will agree that it ended up being like this and probably that was my fault. Nevertheless, I would like to request an additional payment of this to cover the work that I did.” A reasonable client doesnt want you to be overextended. This is a great opportunity to find out if they are reasonable or not. In this case, my client said that her client was reasonableI was like, “Heres what I would do. Go ask for more money.” She did. That relationship continues. They have since made yet another agreement and continue to work together. 

Its not how I grew up. It’s not how I was when I was twenty. Now I have been in business for a while, I will go back to the client and say, “We need to look at the scope of this change. Renegotiate is not what we necessarily would say but its like, “Can we sit back down and reconsider how this is working?” That can feel super scary as all grownup conversations do, like, “We have been working on this for a while. I noticed that the organizational priorities have changedI dont think its in our best interest to continue working together. Thats a grownup conversation. They can have a fit about that, however much they want or they can say, which they probably will because usually if theres discontent on one side, theres this discontent on the other side like, “We have noticed that as well. Lets suspend. How do you imagine that would look? You then go from there. 

I feel like we avoid conversations and avoid people who want to do this by email? Im like, “You dont break up by email. No, you dont renegotiate by email. We are going to say, make an ideally face-to-faceZoom to Zoom call and have a grownup conversation. People are reasonable. If you are working with clients who arent reasonable, then you need different clients. I dont work with clients like this anymoreI have gone to clients before and said, “We need to reevaluate how this is going. This is turned out to cost us a lot of money from my sideI want to request that we do more money. I have had clients say, I dont think we need all these services anymore. Can we redo this? All things are possible and can happen. One thing I would say and thought for a while that I was naive and doing things this way is I dont have all these 50page contracts in my business I have signed to be part of other peoples programs before. Why? Lets be honest, this is an intimidation tactic to have a 50page contract for someone. If somebody wanted out of it, do you think that your lawyers are going to go to court to figure this out? I don’t think that thats whats going to happen. 

I have a thin little, usually, 1 to 3-page agreement for $50,000 and $100,000 engagements with other small business owners and I say, “Heres the deal. If something comes up and you are unhappy, come tell me about it. I have had clients say, “Can we add this paragraph here? I will say, “Yes, we can add that paragraph there but lets have a conversation about it.” I feel that energy can make a more peaceful arrangement. I know that you are working for very large companies. They have cadres of lawyers. They are going to havmuch more than 50page contracts. Its a different situationI come from the South and they have gentlemans agreements there. It’s two guys give a handshake thing. I will call it a ladies and gentlemen agreement. People are like, “What does that even mean?” Im like, “It means that you and I read these things to each other. Heres what I agree to do. Here’s what you agree to do. We get a little handshake because we are professional. Please sign it and send money, then we agree together. 

The thing thats interesting to me about that is that I talk a lot about informal and formal contractsI have worked with large multinational companies that spend $1 million on something and dont have a contract for that $1 million spent. Im like, “What are you doing?” They quickly then have a contract but a lot of my clients are small too and different types of clients use different types of contracts. Also, informal contractsIt’s something thats done on a handshakewritten on a napkin. Those are still legally binding agreements that are defensible in court. Dont make the mistake of assuming that because you have written it on a napkin or in one client of my clients case, they did a bunch of stuff while on a napkin and over Facebook Messenger that its not a legally binding situation because it is. 

When you start behaving as if that agreement is the agreement, then its even that solidifies. It reinforces that it is legally binding. The thing about contracts is that contracts are risk mitigation tools. That is their number one thing that a contract is supposed to do. A lot of big companies will attach operating manuals, tons of operating procedures and crapping in an agreement. I try to pull that stuff out because it changes too much, too often, over time to make the contract becomes inflexible in those situations. If a big company wont get rid of all of that detailed operational stuff, I negotiate the hell out of it because a smaller business often cant adhere to a lot of those operational requirements. 

One of the things we talked about in our Venn Masters program is we teach people how to read contracts differently, taking this risk lens because there are five types of risks in contracts and only one of them is legal. You have legal risks but then you have four business risks. You have profitability risk, cashflow risk, operational risk and strategic risk. When you are reading contracts and you want to look at the contract from those lenses to say, Which of these risks am I more willing to accept versus others?” In some classes you might have hit three of those risk factors as like, I better negotiate this class. These class matters are a lot to me now because its attaching. Its hitting profitability, cashflow and strategy. What am I going to do right now? 

It’s an easy way of starting to narrow how you think about the contracts. The other thing about contracts is I have negotiated contracts that are 1,000 long. There are still usually less than ten major sticking points. No matter how big the contract. There are 6 to 10 big things that matter to both parties. When you focus on those 6 to 10 things and you realize what all that legal mumbo and jumbos doing in the contract that helps you to break it all down into bitesize components, the other thing on contracts is that if you can conceive it, you can contract it. You can get creative but you also can go back and renegotiate. In your contracts, make sure you set up timeframes that say, “We are coming back to reevaluate this. Do not do automatic renew contracts. I hate autorenew contracts. 

IVZ 38 Samantha Hartley | Time For Money
Time For Money: At some point, you have to say, “Let’s consider this terminated “


Go back, make sure you are evaluating. Is this relationship effective or ineffective? Is it how we are working effective or ineffective? Does the contract reflect how we do work together? If the contract doesnt reflect how you are working together, then you need a new contract. Make sure you create gateways in your relationships so that you are sitting downhaving those conversations and evaluating them. One of the things I love about what you talked about in terms of grownup conversationsI have a mentor named Blair Dunkley and he calls it Naming and Labeling. It’s like, “Lets name and label what this is. Lets call it what it is. Iis what it is. Name it, label it and sometimes you find that you label it differently and its like, “Whats your label mean? What I thought wasnt working isnt the thing thats not workingWhats so now? Lets figure it out. 

I love it, especially the naming and labeling. You give people language to have a conversation about something. Grownup conversations can be scary. It can feel like a confrontation, which Im sure you are familiar with negotiating. All of these things where it would be more comfortable for me not to ever go there at allEspecially women suffer from this where we are like a conflict of women, don’t want to ruffle feathers, dont want to be seen as being a problem and also asking for extra money once we have already decided something that feels outside of our comfort zone. Taking the charge out of the words is the big opportunity in this. 

Can we take the charge out of the words so that we can talk to each other? I have noticed so often if I can give my client the language and we can practice saying things like they can practice saying, “The investment is $25,000 a month,” and then they dont die, then we practice saying that over and over again until when they are in front of the client. They can say the investment is $25,000 a month. That naming and labeling is the caution of that. It is reducing the charge and permitting people to say things. 

I love that you have practiced that with your clients. Thats spectacular because that goes back to the negotiation we have with ourselves. When you are practicing that near, you are articulating it to another person out loud. You are doing that negotiation with yourself and then you can sit and have those conversations that are challenging. You are right about confrontation. One of the other things that Blair talks about is comfort versus safety. You use the phrase. Its like, “Am I going to die? Did I die? No, I didnt die. This is not a safety issue. My safety issues are Im super uncomfortable but growth only happens when we are uncomfortable. Our brain grows, the nerve endings grow to meet each other. We will only when we are uncomfortable. Once we are comfortable with something, we stop growing. We start improving. 

If I gave you $600,000, would you be willing to be a little uncomfortable or maybe a lot uncomfortable? The opportunity is when people see like, “Thats what I want.” I’m like, “Heres the road to get there. I tweeted, “What if the thing that you have been avoiding is the thing which will get you to the place that you want to be?” I said that because I had five clients come to me and say, “Heres the thing I dont want to do.” Im like, “Do you know what you need to do?” Heres where I want to be but heres the thing I dont want to do. Im like, “Thats nothing you need to do. Its like you probably know what it is and you need someone else from outside to say, “Thats what you need to do.” A little uncomfortable. 

It drives my husband crazy because he cant be that outside person in those months. 

Dont take your consulting skills home. That doesnt get received well. 

This thing about confrontation is an important component because I speak all over the placeI have talked and worked with thousands of people to help them improve their negotiation skills. The thing that I get so often, “Negotiation is so confrontational.” Im like, “All relationships have confrontation.” My husband and I have been married for many years. We have conflicts in our relationship. We are two different human beings with two different perspectives.  

I can speak in front of a thousand people and say what Im going to say. Every single one of those people will have a different takeaway. They will have heard my message differently. Some will love the sound of my voice and it will be like nails on a chalkboard. You can only control the intensity that you have with what you are communicating. You cannot control how somebody interprets what you have said, which is an important thing to understand in negotiationThis is why I hate gamesmanship in negotiation. Treating negotiation as a game instead of a relationship because that’s making it a game and playing at it, it doesnt build a long-term relationship. In business, we are trying to build relationships, not transaction after transaction because the transactions come when you have the relationships. 

What if the thing that you’ve been avoiding is the thing which will get you to the place that you want to be? Share on X

Christine, do you feel I agree with you that we cant control how other people receive what we are going to say? One of the things is if we can manage our intention a little bit better, then we can make things easier for another person. Somebody will say to me, How do I ask for referrals without feeling awkward or without making people feel awkward? Im like, “You dont feel awkward.” “How do I close the sale without making that person feel nervous? Im like, “You dont feel nervous.” If we can have more clean energy and I dont clear the energy fell, I dont know how to put it in a way but let go of the idea of like, “Im nervousI feel awkward. This is so confrontational. If you have that thought, then everything you say is going to be confrontational even though it probably isnt. If you think, Im building a relationship, then the things that you say that might have even sounded confrontational, I can come across as not confrontational. Am I being too rude about that? 

I agree with that. Mahatma Gandhis quote, “Be the change you want to be in the world.” Be the person who you want to be doing business. For me, its very much about relationships and only want to be doing business with people who want the relationship that I want to have. We do that by mirroring. Its even subconscious mirroring. Chris Voss talks about mirroring in his book, Never Split the DifferenceIts not mimicking. Theres a difference between mirroring and mimicking. Its mirroring the behavior that you want to be and you see things in people that are part of who you are too.  

When you connect well with somebody, theres something about that persons personality and behavior that mirrors yours because you have connected in that way. Becoming aware of what that is, is very useful in negotiationI donlike tactics with negotiation except when it comes to how I behave versus manipulating my counterpart to behave in a certain way. Tactics are about focused on internal in terms of what we do. I agree with you. I liked that a lot. Samantha, this has been amazing. How do people find you? 

IVZ 38 Samantha Hartley | Time For Money
Time For Money: You cannot control how somebody interprets what you’ve said, which is an important thing to understand in negotiation.


People can find me, [email protected]I welcome readers to my podcast, which is also on YouTube, whichs the Profitable Joyful Consulting podcast. I have a super guide that I put together for helping consultants to close sixfigure clients. Do more transformational engagements and in it, there are links to case studies about Patty and Carrie and other clients, some of the ones I mentioned earlier and other clients that I have worked with and you can find that at, 6FigureClients.com. 

This has been great. I have enjoyed this conversation especially because I have so many consultants who say to me, I dont negotiate.” If you are one of those consultants reading this who thinks you dont negotiate, I hope that reading about Samantha shows you how much you do negotiate both with your advisors but with your clients as well as with yourself. This has been super valuable and informative for me. I have learned a lot. Thank you for being here, Samantha. To all the readers, thank you so much for being here and giving us your greatest gift, which is your time. I appreciate that. Remember that negotiation is nothing more than a conversation about a relationship. You cannot win a relationship but you can get more value out of it. Happy negotiating and until next time. We will see you soon. 

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About Samantha Hartley

Samantha Hartley works with consultants who are stuck trying to grow or transition. She helps them multiply their revenues without exhaustion by working with perfect clients on transformational engagements, so they can have profitable, joyful consultancies. Samantha’s clients typically add $150,000-$600,000 in their first year together. (Other results include crossing the million-dollar mark; turning a $22K offer into a $200K engagement and adding $400K to a contract in 24 hours.)

Samantha hosts the Profitable Joyful Consulting podcast and the Facebook group of the same name. Before starting her business, Samantha worked in international marketing for The Coca-Cola Company in Moscow, Russia, and its Atlanta headquarters. She lives on Martha’s Vineyard with her husband and their furry kids.