Effective negotiation is harder than it looks. Sometimes you can be too close to your client and it looks weird and scary. Then there are times where you know too little about your client that it seems disrespectful. Knowing your boundaries during a negotiation can be difficult, which is why Brandon Fong is here to help you with that. Brandon is the founder and host of the podcast, 7-Figure Millennials. His mission is to inspire millennial entrepreneurs to pursue big financial goals that prioritize their happiness, health, and relationships. Join your host, Christine McKay as she elicits thoughts from Brandon on how to negotiate effectively. Learn several tips and tricks that help make negotiations and relationship building a lot easier.
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Effective Negotiation Begins With Marketing With Brandon Fong
We have an amazing guest, somebody who I’ve known and has blown me away every time I’ve had a conversation with him. He is incredible. I want to welcome Brandon Fong. He is an entrepreneur, author, marketing nerd, world traveler and probably my favorite part of his bio is that he’s a goofy husband. He is also the creator of the Magic Connection Method and Founder of 7-Figure Millennials Podcast where his mission is to inspire Millennial entrepreneurs to pursue big financial goals of prioritizing their happiness, health and relationships.
Brandon, I am so excited to have you. Thank you for being here with me.
Christine, I am so excited to be here too. Let’s dive in.
Let’s filth in on your journey. How did you get where you’re at?
I love diving in with my entrepreneurial journey. I want to take everybody reading back to Wisconsin Hills Middle School. Wisconsin Hills was a very affluent suburb. They call the people that live in this area Brookfield Snobs. I was lucky that I got enrolled in this school but technically, we were not a part of the “Brookfield Snobs Community.” I felt like this kid that saw my friends get whatever they wanted. My family struggled a little bit financially. My friends would ask for a video game and toys. I had these dorky clap glasses that people made fun of me for. I wanted contacts and I had to figure out a way to pay for contacts.
I’ll never forget one specific day. This was the start of my entrepreneurial journey. I was sitting in sixth grade, Mrs. Dentice’s classroom. All the kids are sitting down, staring at the clock, waiting for it to turn to 12:30 for lunch. The bell rang and all 27 kids jumped to their feet and scrambled the lunch but if you looked closely, you would see little nerdy Brandon hanging out behind everybody, procrastinating not rushing to lunch because when I would go to lunch, I have my plastic tray with the chicken nuggets, curly fries or whatever healthy meal of the day that they were serving. I’d set it down next to the lunch lady then I type in my student ID.
For most normal kids, when you type in your student ID and then up on the computer screen, it shows the price of the meal like $3.15 or whatever it was but for me, when I typed in my student ID, it would show Brandon Fong $0 because I qualified for the free lunch program at school and it showed that I didn’t have to pay for my lunch. That was super embarrassing for me because I didn’t want any of my friends to find out that we needed help. I try to distract them. That’s why I would take forever. That story was painful and embarrassing as a little middle school Brandon.
That moment was so powerful for me because that’s what made me pursue entrepreneurship because I didn’t want my family growing up to have a similar experience. I went down this path of like, “How can I start my own business?” I got to high school. There was this program called DECA. I started to compete at this competition. I took first place in the state and got to go to this international competition. I’ll never forget the advisor who sat us down. She’s like, “Congratulations. You get to go to Nationals. The cost of the trip is $1,050.80.” I’m like, “I’m making $725 an hour at a fast-food restaurant. That’s going to take me 145 hours. How am I going to afford this?”
This is when the creative entrepreneurship juices started flowing. My dad introduced me to my first-ever mentor, Brenda Campbell. She taught me one thing that completely changed my life forever that if you learn how to connect with people, money will never be a problem ever again. I know lots of us have heard variations of that like, “You’re the combination of the five people you spend the most time with,” but what was Brenda did is she showed me how important that was instead of telling me. She introduced me to local CEOs and entrepreneurs in the area. She taught me how to network because she taught me how to ask for feedback on my business plan. I asked them if they’d be willing to support my trip to this national competition.
I ended up fundraising more than enough money to go to this trip. That was a huge a-ha moment because I was like, “She’s right. If I learn how to develop the right relationships, it’s going to be a game-changer for me.” From then on, I made it my mission to start learning how to more effectively connect with people. Once I started focusing on this one thing, it completely changed everything for me. In my senior year of college, I use these connections strategies. I tested it. I reached out to several successful entrepreneurs and I ended up running the marketing and business development at age 22 for a seven-figure online education company with over 250,000 students as I cut my teeth in the world of marketing. I ended up partnering with him.
We launched a successful product together. That’s also when my mentor I was working at that time got into this high-end mastermind group called Genius Network full of 7, 8 and 9-figure entrepreneurs. I was the youngest person in the room at age 22, networking with all these people. All that to say, I truly believe that anybody reading this, we are talking about negotiation. It is all about relationships. That’s all Christine talks about. For me, that’s been absolutely true in my life. It’s learning how to develop relationships with the right people. I always say, “You’re just one connection away.” That’s why I love this process that I now teach called The Magic Connection Method that opens the doors to those relationships.
The other thing that I’m focused on is the 7-Figure Millennials component, where it’s all about prioritizing your happiness, health, and relationships to make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality. I’m sure plenty of people have all the money in the world, but they are miserable. How can we negotiate for the life that we want or are we building successful businesses but we are doing it the right way? That was a long version of my story but I’m happy to dive into any component of that and we can go wherever you want.
I love your story. One, it shows initiative but it also shows how we get imprinted with the things of our youth and how they can move us in one direction or the other. People ask me, how long have you been a negotiator? I’m like, “If you asked my mom and dad, probably my whole life.” I was in high school, I had teachers who were doing things that they shouldn’t do in terms of how they were teaching in class. I wasn’t allowed to participate in a class. I had sexist teachers teaching Math and I wanted to take Math and Science and I wanted a Science teacher who I could learn from. I’ve made the school. I figured out ways to get the school to make massive policy changes in order to get what I wanted what I thought was best for my education. I think that you took all those zeroes moments. All the zeros are great as long as you have got a number in front of them.
I liked that story because it informs us that we develop a view of ourselves when we are very young. Tell us more about how you negotiated your way into the Genius Network. I’m not hugely familiar with Joe Polish and his work but I know a lot of people from the Genius Network. Brandon and I met through a group called Tribe For Leaders, which is run by Kevin Thompson and Jewels Duncan. Both of whom come out of the Genius Network. There are a lot of people in that group out of Genius Network. At 22, I had three babies, so I wasn’t doing any of that stuff, but how did you get into that?
First of all, I want to highlight something that you said. One of my favorite quotes that I have been thinking a lot about and I think this is important for your readers. It’s by Carl Jung, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will control your life and you will call it fate.” What you said about those unconscious narratives that are programmed, anybody who’s reading this, if you haven’t explored your childhood, there are so much to dive into. The story I shared about the free lunch program thing, I used to never share that. I was so embarrassed by that but until I examined it and realized what the unconscious narratives that were created as a result of that story, I turned it into a powerful experience. When it comes to negotiation or learning how to be more effective in entrepreneurship in general, learning how to understand what those programs are running in your mind and how you can understand them is a huge thing.Plenty of people have all the money in the world, but they're miserable. You need to negotiate for the life that you want. Click To Tweet
That was part of me learning how to connect with successful people and train myself with that mindset was shedding some of those subconscious beliefs, simultaneously whether I was doing that intentionally or unintentionally. Going back to your question with Genius Network, it was my senior year of college. I was working with this entrepreneur running his marketing operations. He got into Genius. He had his first meeting and he was pumped by it. He said, “I want Brandon to come.” I was like, “What?” It’s because of a relationship that you have. I knew Jonathan was trusted in Genius Network and he’s like, “I want Brandon to come supporting my company and learning from these people.”
It was as simple as that. Once I had the right relationship, I connect with Jonathan. He got in the group because of Cameron Herold, who is a successful COO Alliance. He wrote the Vivid Vision and Meetings Suck. He was one of the original founders of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. He is a big entrepreneur and he knew Jonathan. Jonathan got his Genius Network that way then Jonathan is like, “I want Brandon to come,” then I got it. At the end of the day, knowing how to meet the right people is the secret sauce to everything, in my opinion.
One of the things that we talked a little bit about is how marketing and negotiation are nothing more than a conversation about a relationship. You cannot win a relationship but you can get more value out of it. Marketing is the initial part of that conversation. What you say to your customers in your marketing efforts and how you choose to show up and build your relationships or not is going to impact your ability to negotiate a specific deal incredibly because you are developing your reputation, how people see you because of what you think about yourself as not how other people think about you.
That’s something I have learned. Your brand is what people say about you and you are not in your room. It’s not your logo or anything else. It’s what people say about you. The connections you make drive your ability to expand, grow your business, puts you in situations, and borrow power from your connections, which is an important thing that people don’t think about. Your connection with all the people that you mentioned elevates you. It adds to your credibility because when we’re meeting people, we’re borrowing credibility from the people who are introducing us. We don’t consciously think about that very often. What are your thoughts about that?
I couldn’t say any more. You said everything there. I have this thing that I call the Law of the Buffalo and I will explain where I’m going with this, but you are a new podcaster. I started my podcast in November of 2020. Honestly, when you were talking about borrowing credibility from people, the podcast is the best way on the planet to do that. I’m obsessed with podcasting because you have a public list. People can see that you’ve had the person on the show or you have relationships with those people. I came up with this idea of the Law of the Buffalo. I was researching and I heard some stories about how native Americans hunted a Buffalo. They didn’t let anything go to waste.
The brains, they used it to treat the leather. They used the hooves and ground it up and turned it into glue. They use the manure and literally, nothing went to waste. I’m always thinking about how can I make one move that impacts a million other things and for me, my Buffalo is absolutely the podcast because it is a perfect way to have a conversation and develop a relationship that is a long-term relationship with someone, add a ton of value to them, and then whether or not, they become a client or a strategic partner you can refer to them. It’s a great way to start because you’re showing up, adding value, having an engaging conversation, then if you do it right, there are lots of other things you can do with the podcast.
I had hired a content creation company that’s going to take my transcripts, write a blog post, and then I’m going to take those blog posts and I’m going to write a book every 50 episodes. If you think about it from the guest experience. It’s like I spent one hour with Brandon. My style is I spent 2 to 12 hours of research on someone before I bring them on the show. I show up and I know what I’m talking about. They have fun then they see their content multiplied all over the place. You can get more referrals and introductions to other people. As a little plug, read the episode I did with Christine. She killed it on my show. She was an incredible guest. I’ve referred plenty of people to Christina as well as far as getting her on the other shows. She recorded that episode with Andre Norman. Andre was on my show, so it’s a great way to add value. In negotiation, once you can have an asset that you can leverage to add more value to people, you become more referrable in general and you can open the door to even more conversations.
I feel the same way about podcasting. I’m having so much fun. I was featured in Daily, they did a huge interview with me, but I spent a huge chunk of it highlighting a bunch of the guests that I’d had on my show. That’s exciting to be able to take some of my guests and elevate them in the market too. We are changing how we are promoting the shows so that we are moving to one episode a week because we want to focus an entire week on that guest. To use your term, it’s my Buffalo too. I want to be so focused on making sure that my guests and their readers are getting so much out of this as well as my own readers. That’s very exciting because that synergy matters and it’s intentional.
Both of us are saying is that we are very intentional about who we have on as a guest. From a negotiation perspective, I had somebody reach out to me on LinkedIn. She’s a coach. I don’t know how successful of a coach she is, but she’s like, “I would want to be on your show.” I responded back and I said, “What is it about my show that interests you so much?” I guarantee I will never hear from her again because she just wants to be on a show. I’m very careful about how I curate the show because it’s part of my negotiation with all of my readers. With every one of you, everybody reading, I want this to be the best show possible for you and I want you to get the most out of it. It’s part of my negotiation with you is to be intentional about who I’m bringing on.
There are several things I can add to that as well. We could dive into my Magic Connection about the process if you want to talk about that. I reached out to a batch of like 75-ish podcast completely cold and as a result of direct responses and also some referrals, I was featured on over 25, at this point, of them. That’s from cold to being featured in front of these audiences and then multiplying a little bit. I’m sure that will continue to pay off, but there is a right way and a wrong way to reach out to people to establish a relationship. We have already covered the fact that if you have a podcast, you are more valuable when it comes to reaching out to people to get other people on your show, but it works the other way too. As a podcaster, you have a little bit more clout when you are reaching out to be a guest as well. Whether or not you have a podcast or not, there is absolutely a right and a wrong way to reach out to people. I would love to share my insights and experience on that if you want to dive into that.
In Venn negotiation, one of the things we do is we talk about negotiation and communication styles because how we ask for things matters. It impacts our ability to get what we want. You can want something but if you ask in a completely jackass way or without intense and care then you are not going to get what you want so dive into that. I’m excited to hear about it.
I would love for you to jump in and highlight based on your experience of negotiation and reaching out. We can co-create this part here. Let me say that the first part of this whole Magic Connection Method process that developed is simply to get them to respond. That’s it. There are so many people when they do an outreach, they are trying to do way too much in a call. In an email, they are saying, “Book a call with me, go check this out or attend this.” I want to keep it very simple.
We are wanting people to lean in and say, “I’m interested in developing this relationship.” That’s the whole goal of this thing is to get them to respond. There are three parts that I teach people to do that. It’s the hook, irresistible offer and the no-oriented question. It’s the three main components. Diving into the first part is the hook. The biggest mistake that most people make when they reach out is they make it 100% about them. As in like the person that is reaching out like, “My name is Brandon Fang, I have done all this cool stuff look at me I’m super cool. You should talk to me.” I understand why people think that way. You feel like you need to position yourself and make yourself important so that they want to listen to you.
I would ask anybody reading like, look at your LinkedIn messages, anybody that’s sent that to you, how does that land with you? Even if they are a cool person, it feels icky. It doesn’t feel right. We want to do the exact opposite of that. When we reach out to someone, we want to make it 100% about them, the person that we are reaching out to. I have been very grateful that Christine and I met through some mutual connections, so I have never reached out to Christine but if I were to reach out to her, I would say, “Christine, I read The Venn Zone episode. I loved episode 23, where you talked to this person and specifically love this point. Thank you so much for sharing this content. This is the impact that it’s made on me.” You don’t get sick of those messages.
If somebody took the time to research your bio, find out what you’re doing, and you make it about them, they are going to lean in. There are several things you can do to hone in on this part. If you have a mutual connection with them, that’s an incredible thing you can do. You can search on LinkedIn for mutual connections or you can search their name on ListenNotes.com. If you have been on other shows, you can see other shows that they have been featured on if you have been connected with any of them. You can mention that so that you’re not a random person on the internet.
They are like, “I trust this person.” A mutual connection, a genuine compliment is another way of doing it. You can read their bio that you can consume their content. Talking about what you find impressive. One thing I will say about this, I call this thing The Stalker Line. Don’t cross the stalker line. The stalker line is bad. The stalker line is where it’s like, where you have somebody that sends a message then it’s like, “I love you so much. You did all these things. I saw on your Instagram that you had that delicious-looking breakfast.” This is getting creepy now. It’s 1 to 3 sentences mentioning that you care about this person, that you took the time to research them and then we move into the other components but I can pause right there if you want to add.A compelling offer is 10 times more powerful than a convincing argument. Click To Tweet
I want to add, if you are a guy and you are reaching out to a woman, please do not comment on her appearance and what she’s wearing. The creep stalkers that we have, there are groups on LinkedIn. Deal about how women have to deal with men inappropriately approaching us on LinkedIn. I have had people write me tons telling me, “You are so beautiful and smart.” I’m like, “It’s disgusting, creepy and gross. Don’t do it. Please, don’t.” That’s my public service announcement to all my guy friends out there. Don’t do that but now, they are legitimate groups and we report. It’s bad. The horror stories are real. I’ve had somebody send me a dick pic on LinkedIn. It’s happened. Don’t cross those lines. A genuine compliment on what somebody has done, their contribution, and what makes them great about the work that they have done.
I will plant a future seed. I was planning on mentioning this later, but I put together a little gift for you guys. It’s BFO.ng/venn. What I did is I created a bunch of these emails. I wrote them for you. If you want to follow along and grab that so you can see what I’m talking about here, you can grab that. I will say one more thing because I always want to over-deliver. I find it’s easy to give people like bumpers. Let me give you a formula on how to use this hook part so you could make it easy. I have developed this after testing a whole bunch of different variations, so this one works. I call it the loved plus specific formula. It’s two sentences. It’s like, “Christine, I loved episode 149 of the show. I love the blog posts and this part of your bio.” That’s the first sentence, very short, loved this. Specifically, likes this component. Loved this specifically liked when you talked about that or specifically like this part when you highlighted that. Ended there. Loved plus specific and those are your two sentences. It makes it even easier for people.
That’s the hook. Now, we have clearly researched them and they are interested because they saw that we are reaching out from a place of respect for them. We care about them. The next part is creating an irresistible offer for them. This is the step two, where we want to show that we have something super valuable for them. I would love to dive into this example that Christine even gave earlier about this person reaching out to be on her show. The mistake that they made is they didn’t explain to Christine what the value was of them coming on the show. They wanted to be featured on the show. What we want to do is we want to do the opposite of that. We want to make it 100% about them and create an irresistible offer that makes them salivate over wanting to take the next step, which is responding to us and developing the relationship. There’s a big difference between a normal offer and an irresistible offer. I heard this analogy from somebody else that’s in our group. Have you ever seen those mattresses that are being sold online these days? Christine, have you seen those at the purple mattress?
The reason why I bring that up is because if you think about what they did in their marketing, they created a truly irresistible offer and broke the model of how mattresses were sold because if you look at it in the past, you step into the store, there’s like a fleet of mattresses and some salesperson walks up to you and says, “Try this one.” You lay on this mattress fully clothed with your shoes on. It’s weird then you have to determine whether you are going to drop a few thousand dollars on this mattress and sleep on it for many years, a shitty business model, but what these guys did and these online people is they are like, “Take our sleep quiz. We will figure out what you need then we will ship you your mattress. You can try it for 100 nights, get naked however you want to sleep and get cozy. If you don’t like it, you can return it. No problem.” Look at the components that they did there. It solves a huge problem for them. It made their lives easier and it made the whole process.
It was easy for them to say yes and minimize risk. They knew that they could get their money back and position it that they have a lot to gain. That is what we are talking about with an irresistible offer. My favorite quote of all times when it comes to creating an irresistible offer comes from Dean Jackson. He says, “A compelling offer is ten times more powerful than a convincing argument.” How can you create an offer that people want to lean in to and hear about? What I do when I reach out to a show, if I were reaching out to Christine again, I use the hook. I showed that I read the episode, then I would say, “Christine, I know you are busy, so I created a customized Google Doc that has three topics I know your readers will love along with a gift that I think would be relevant for them.”
What I did is I created this irresistible offer where it’s like, “I have done the work ahead of time. I have researched your show.” Here are topics I think would be valuable for your audience. Maybe here’s a list of the other ones that I have been on so you can see my stuff, but basically, it made it easier she knows that I have already done my research and wants to add value. That’s like the irresistible offer is like, “I will frame around a Google Doc. I show that I did work ahead of time like I put this together for you.”
I want to go back to the purple mattress example and what you do when looking to get on other shows. In the purple mattress example, they looked at the competition. They said, “This is how this is being done.” I have to go to the showroom. They have a huge amount of inventory cost. The majority of mattress companies is a 30-day warranty. Can you figure out if a bed is comfortable in 30 days? What if I bought a bed and then 35 days in, I went, “This bed sucks?” Now, I’m stuck with it for ten years, so they solve that problem. They had an understanding of their numbers to be able to do that. They had a plan and strategy. When we talk about negotiation, we are always talking about the importance of getting clear on what it is that you want, what’s important to you, and understanding if it’s doable for your counterpart.
All of what Brandon is talking about contributes to that entire conversation about getting clear. As my grandmother used to say down to the gnat’s ass level details, frivolous details, but that’s what the purple mattress company did. That’s what Brandon is doing and being so specific because people can’t do anything with general information. Brandon posted an episode with Blair Dunkley. All of you who are reading the show, I’m like a walking billboard for Blair Dunkley. He talks about general versus specific. You can’t do anything with general. You have got to be specific. You have to be specific in your own goals and objectives. You have to be specific because you cannot expect a counterpart to understand something general. It raises more questions. If you are general in how you approach somebody, it raises so many more questions that you have to answer. Be specific first, and that helps you to pre-empt and eliminate objections before you even engaged with them formally.
If you read the episode I did with Christine, we dive into her story. I’m sure you have told it on the show some episode about negotiating for two cars for the price of one plus $5,000, I think it was. We break that down, and that’s what I always love about when Christine talks about negotiation is she’s always thinking about it from their perspective. What is it like to have this offer given to me? What are they looking for? What are the unseen variables that should be brought into play? Always think about from their perspective, how can we make it an irresistible offer from their perspective? If we are reaching out to be on a show, they want good cast, and good content with topics that are relevant to the guests. Somebody that has the right energy levels and vibe for their show. Those are the things that they are looking for. That’s what we are baking into these irresistible offers.
I mentioned this when it came to the Magic Connection Method but I think podcasting is even more relevant to Magic Connection Method because it’s a noninvasive way that you can reach out to somebody and create an irresistible offer for them to come on your show. These are the other people that have been in my show. This is the exposure that you are going to get. This is the blog post that I’m going to write. The audio that I’m going to create from it and the videos and the social media content from you. That’s the irresistible offer. It’s like, “This one hour is going to be worth my time from being on a podcast’s perspective, then that can turn into a long-term relationship for many other components.” I went all over the place but it’s important to always think from their perspective and how you can look at the variables to make it a no-brainer for them to lean in and move forward with the negotiation.
Step three, at this point, we have shown that we cared about them. We created something that they truly are salivating over and they want. The last part, remember going back to the very beginning is we wanted them to respond. We are not trying to get them to commit hardcore to this. We want them to see if they are interested in this. I know Christine, you have different opinions, but you can highlight me on this, but one of the other thought leaders in negotiation space is Chris Voss. He wrote this book called Never Split the Difference. One of the things he talks about is this concept of a no-oriented question. That’s where I borrowed this from. The way that I always like to explain a no-oriented question is that, every time you say yes to something, you are giving something away.
You are giving away your time, energy, effort, something. The exact opposite saying no makes you feel more secure and in control. Remember, we use the irresistible offer. I put together a Google Doc that has all these different things. I did some work in advance. The last part of this email that I would send if I was getting on a show is, “It’s 100% up to you, but would you be opposed to me sending over this Google Doc for you to check out?” Now it’s like 100% up to them. I remind them of their choice that they have. I’m not pushing it or shoving it in their face. It’s simply it’s like, “I created this, I add this value for you, but I’m not going to send it over to you because lots of people will send the link ahead of time. I want to get them to lean in and see if they’re interested in it.”
That’s what I will usually say is a no-oriented question at the end 100% up to you but would you be opposed to me sending this over for you to check out and that’s it. Don’t add anything else. If they are skimming their email, they see it ends in a question that, and they know how to respond to it. It’s very simple to respond to this email because it’s simply, “Yes, I’m interested. Please send that over.” When you think about the emails that are all sitting inside of our inbox that we haven’t responded to, it’s because they are complex. It’s because we have to think about how to do something. We have to get back to them and do some work, but the ones that are easy to respond to are the ones that is a quick decision like, “No problem. Send it over.”
That’s why these reply rates come so easily. When you have thought of it ahead of time, made it valuable for them, and then gave them a choice, that’s when they can lean in and reply and move forward with the relationship. That’s in a nutshell. The hook, irresistible offer, no-oriented question. If you want to see examples of these again, the resource BFO.ng/venn that has a whole bunch of these that you guys can take, borrow and model for your particular circumstances.
We talk about Chris’s book on the show a number of occasions and there are things that he does that I like. I was on a show, and we had a conversation about the no-oriented question and how it can be used negatively. People who have more aggressive negotiation styles, which in my vernacular, we call those champions. They see a negotiation as a battle. They go in fully armed, fully armored and their objective is to annihilate you, so that type of question, they then use as a battering ram.
They are trying to see how they will push you far and it becomes less about choice. Chris’s objective is making it about choice and that’s something Blair talks about too. That’s the whole thing about effective negotiation. You think about effective negotiation as being a conversation about a relationship. To be in an effective relationship, you have to have a choice in that relationship. It’s all about figuring out what choice do I make to improve the relationship, get the most out of the relationship, and allow the relationship to grow. Chris’s concept in that regard is intended to be focused on how do you create a choice. I have started seeing people and I have listened to the people on Clubhouse go and talk about it. I’m like, “That is not what the intent of that concept.”
It’s always about intent. You can use this to be manipulative or add value to people. I think that the no-oriented question in this particular circumstance is pre-framed by you showing that you care about them, you created something that is valuable for them, and making it easier for them to say yes. It’s absolutely can be used to be manipulative and it could be a battering ram but if you do it with the right intentions, it’s a tool for good.The way you ask for things impacts your ability to get what you want. Click To Tweet
I love the irresistible offer concept because it does matter. We all get stuff on LinkedIn all the time and it’s telling us something. It’s not asking us something. When you are being told something, it doesn’t feel good. It sounds like your mom or your dad telling you to do something when you were a kid and you are like, “Screw you. I don’t want to go do that,” unless you caught me at the right moment. it’s like, “I’m not interested.” Your success rate and communicating when you are telling is not as great as it is if you are asking because if you believe that negotiation is a conversation about a relationship and the improvement of that relationship, then inviting them to participate and developing that relationship elevate the quality of that emotion.
There are a few things I can say on that. I usually talk about this in the context of mentorship and developing a relationship with someone. There is this study called The Ikea Effect. They studied the impact of you co-creating something on how you perceive the value of it like. If you think about Build-A-Bear, why do they charge $40 for a stupid bear? It’s because you pump in the thing, you put a little heart in it, you create an experience around it, 2 and you have invested it. It’s the Same with Ikea furniture or Ikea products. You had to assemble the damn thing. You have invested more into the things, so it’s more valuable. That’s usually where that conversation ends for the Ikea Effect.
The more you invest in something, the more you value it, but I think the same goes with relationships. The more that you have invested in a relationship, the more time that has elapsed. The more you trust, the more you can add value to people. Again, not to beat a dead horse with this podcasting thing but there are so many touchpoints when it comes to developing a relationship with someone with a podcast about allowing them to invest in you, whether it’s the experience of the episode being released or sharing them the blog posts that you created or the video content. Those are all ways that they are investing in and you are investing in them. I think that’s very important to consider. The other thing I will say about the no-oriented questions that I was thinking about too and Christine would love to get your pique on this. Something as simple as for me getting reviews on the podcast, instead of saying, “Will you review the podcast?”
I asked them for permission for a favor first. Instead of asking outright for something, I will be 100% up to you but I need help with something. Would you be opposed to me asking you a quick question? They would respond to it and then I say, “I need help for this.” It’s more of a conversation than like, “Can you do this thing for me?” I found that it’s a softer way and engages more of a conversation back and forth then like, “They are requesting something I’m done with it.” That’s another way that I have used it to have a dialogue as opposed to shoving something in someone’s face.
It is on the review side. Certainly, anybody who’s reading, please, I would be honored if you would rate and review the show. Please check out Brandon’s show too, 7 Figure Millennials because it’s an amazing show and he has some amazing guests on it. Encouraging people to rate and review even I had a friend, she’s like, “I rated it.” She goes, “I haven’t had time to write the review yet.” I have a link on my website. That I have pinned to the top of my Venn Zone page on how to write a review so that I can give specific instructions because what I also found is that people don’t know how to write a review, some people have never done that before, so they’re like, “I don’t know how to do that. How do I do it?” I appreciate that.
You and I can talk forever. We had this probably on my show or we could have done a twenty-hour episode or something like that. Going back to the hook. This is another ninja strategy you can use. If you want us to reach out to Christine, you could pre-emptively write a review and include that in the hook. Like, “Christine listened to this episode, thank you so much. Here’s a screenshot of my review.” To have that sent to you without being asked. I will say this. I even did this with Tim Ferris. Tim Ferriss released Tools of Titans and I was one of the first people to leave a review on it. I didn’t end up having a conversation with Tim Ferriss, but he literally took a screenshot of my review and posted it on his LinkedIn, social media, and Facebook.
He’s like, “Thank you so much, Brandon, for this review.” Even one of the biggest names in podcasting with 600 million downloads, they read their reviews. That’s another way if you want to add value to a conversation. Another smaller version of that is a comment on someone’s video or something like that. Adding that additional screenshot of like, “I took the effort. You didn’t ask for it but I know this helps you. Here’s this glowing review or comment that I left for you and people eat that up.”
What I have started doing with my show is I review and rate every show that I’m on. For guests, it’s one of the things I’m doing because I want to make sure I’m creating people who are invested in me, my audience, and my other guests. We are all elevating each other. If they say they have been on so-and-so’s podcast, I’m going to go check out so-and-so’s show. I will read their episode but I also am going to check to see if they rated, reviewed it, and if they promoted it on their social media. Every podcaster wants and asks you to promote. If you didn’t promote, that’s a red flag because then you are relying 100% on me to build your audience but you are not giving anything back. I’m starting to pay attention to that. I think your episode is almost 40 that I have recorded. Especially now that I have people reaching out to me to be on the show, that’s something that I’m paying very close attention to.
Another thing I learned as a marketer and as a negotiator is it’s always about how you can reduce friction on making it easier for people to do. If you wrote them sample copy like, “I wrote these sample posts for social media or for your email list.” That’s another way you can make it easier on them to reduce the friction of them taking action and helping you out. There are lots of things that you can play with too.
My team builds the graphics. We do an audiogram. We do the blog. We embed like Twitter. Things in the blog. Shareable things so you can share it easily from the blog. All that stuff. We try to make it frictionless. You will get all that. How did people find you?
I’m building a brand new site. That’s 7FigureMillennials.com. It’s tricky with a number in your domain because I have the number seven and it spelled out seven and I’m making it so that you can go to either, but right now is set up on the number seven. If you wanted to check out those resources, that will go to my page and then find out how you can get more into my world with a Facebook Group, but that’s BFO.ng/venn.
I’m always happy to connect with people on LinkedIn. My personal site, which also needs some updating is Brandon-Fong.com. Those are all some ways you can check out what I’m working on or the podcast. That’s the biggest thing. If you are already a podcast reader, hop over, read the conversation I had with Blair and Andre Norman. Who’s also been on this show, with Christine. There are some great starting episodes if you want to dive in. We had some great conversations when Christine was on the show as well. If you want to find Christine and her native in her zone talking about what she’s passionate about.
I have loved having you on the show. What’s next for you?
It’s funny because I’m thinking about simplicity. I’m doubling down on the Law of the Buffalo, the podcast and my Magic Connection Method. That’s literally all I’m focusing on. I have been taking a top-down, bottom-up approach with the business. I left Jonathan’s company in May of 2020. It’s combining this Magic Connection Method approach with developing relationships with super high caliber people, adding value to them, introducing them to other people, acquiring them as clients and helping them with this Magic Connection Method process I’m developing at the same time that I’m building up the audience and then going to be creating products for them to help them support the Magic Connection Method process.
I’m grateful I wake up at 3:00 in the morning, excited to start doing stuff and I realized I need to sleep more. I’m excited and blessed that I get to do what I’m excited about as I said in the very beginning with the sixth grade Brandon wishing that I had stuff. Learning how to connect with people was the most valuable skill I could have ever learned. I can see myself doing that in the next 10, 20, 30, the rest of my career. I’m going to focus on simplifying and sticking inside of this lane here.
Brandon, I appreciate you. I always judge a year by the quality of people that come into my life. I met you in 2020 and you are one of the highlights of my 2020. Some others out of our Tribe For Leaders group that fall into that same category but I loved your energy. I love the direction you are going and you have added a lot of value to me. I appreciate you being on the show. To everyone who’s reading, thank you so much for giving us your greatest gift, which is your time. We appreciate that. Again, remember, we will see you next time on another episode of In The Venn Zone. Remember, negotiation is nothing more than a conversation about a relationship. You cannot win a relationship but you can get more value out of it. See you next time. Thank you.
- Magic Connection Method
- 7-Figure Millennials Podcast
- Brandon Fong
- Genius Network
- Vivid Vision
- Meetings Suck
- 7-Figure Millennials
- Christine McKay – From Homeless Harvard, 2.4 BILLION Dollar Deals, & Negotiating With Nearly Half Of The Fortune 500
- Andre Norman – Previous episode
- Daily – The Art of Negotiation: An Interview With CEO Christine McKay of Venn Negotiation
- Blair Dunkley – Adding $757 MILLION To His Clients’ Bottom Line By Using Mind Models How YOU Can Re-Wire Your Mind For Wealth
- Never Split the Difference
- The Ikea Effect
- Tools of Titans
- LinkedIn – Brandon Fong
About Brandon Fong
Growing up in the government-provided free lunch program at school taught me many things.
But the most valuable lesson came from my incredible parents when they taught me that resourcefulness is a FAR greater asset than having resources.
My early memories go back to watching my dad create systems in his restaurant, staying up late with my mom to create the winning projects for school, and learning from both of them how to love and authentically connect with people.
Since then, I feel so blessed to say that I’ve used my superpowers to publish a book by the age of 21, pay for college using scholarships, deliver the commencement speech, run the business development for a 7-figure company with 250,000+ students, network my way into an elite $25,000/yr mastermind, generate $44,738 on my first online product launch, get featured on TV, and travel to 23 different countries with my beautiful wife… all before the age of 25.
Today, I’m on a mission to change the global conversation around what “success” means for an entire generation of entrepreneurs through my newest brand, 7-Figure Millennials. The movement’s focus is to inspire millennial entrepreneurs to pursue BIG financial goals while PRIORITIZING their happiness, health, and relationships.
But the most important thing to me right now?
Connecting with you (yes… YOU) to find out the #1 thing you most need help with right now…
… so that I can connect you with resources or people to best help you on your journey.
Please reach out by connecting with me here, or emailing me at [email protected]. I look forward to getting to know you!