How To Be A Confident Negotiator With Tina Greenbaum

by | Sep 30, 2021 | Podcasts

SWGR 582 | Confident Negotiator


What do you need to become a confident negotiator? Elizabeth Bachman introduces us to Tina Greenbaum, the Founder and CEO of Mastery Under Pressure—a management coaching program for high-performing executives who need to refine and master their interpersonal and inter-departmental skills. In this episode, Tina shares how she charged her client $1,500 a month for her services. Guess what her client said in response? “I would’ve paid you a whole lot more.” That was a great learning experience that motivated Tina to master the power of negotiation. If you want to become a confident negotiator and make the best bang for your buck, this episode’s for you. You’d regret missing it!

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How To Be A Confident Negotiator With Tina Greenbaum

This is the podcast, where we interview experts from around the world on presentation skills, leadership, visibility, communication challenges, and all the things that are involved in becoming more visible and more valued. Before I begin with this special episode, I would like to offer you an opportunity to see where your presentation skills are strong at our free four-minute assessment at Speak For Results Quiz. That’s

That’s where you can find out where you are strong as a presenter, whether it’s within your company or speaking to a crowd. Also, where perhaps a little bit of support could get you better results and the recognition that you deserve. My guest is Tina Greenbaum, who is a frequent guest on this podcast. She was one of the first people I interviewed about Mastery Under Pressure. I did an interview with her on how to be a Catalyst Leader.

In that course of the conversation, we talked about negotiation. Tina also has a course on how to be a confident negotiator and I thought that is a whole separate conversation. Not only was it a whole separate conversation, but it was also two conversations. I interviewed her live and we only got about halfway through because we had so much to say. We brought her back for a second interview. That means that this episode is going to be a little bit longer than the normal ones but it’s going to be so worth it. I urge you to hang in there. Now let’s go to part one of how to be a confident negotiator with Tina Greenbaum.

I am so happy to have you here because I have my wonderful friend and colleague, Tina Greenbaum. I’m thrilled to have Tina. Tina is one of my favorite people to interview. She’s a regular guest on the podcast. We spoke and I realized there was a big project that I hadn’t asked her about, so I wanted to get a chance to bring her on to talk about confident negotiation. How can you be a confident negotiator? Tina, welcome.

Thank you, Elizabeth. As always, we always have so much fun.

Tina Greenbaum is the founder and CEO of Mastery Under Pressure, a management coaching program for high-performing executives who need to refine and master their interpersonal and interdepartmental skills. I have taken this course, I learned a lot and I regularly go back to Tina to go, “Tina, help.” Tina is my go-to person when I need extra advice.

People buy on emotion and justify with logic. Share on X

The good thing about Mastery Under Pressure is it gives CEOs and senior-level managers the additional professional and personal tools they need to excel and to empower their teams and their associates, and operate within any corporate culture. It’s what Tina means by making your best better. Tina, welcome back to Speakers Who Get Results, Strategic Speaking for Results. Why did you create the course for being how to be a confident negotiator?

I’ll start with a story that happened to me that was the impetus in the genesis of this course. A number of years ago, I was at a conference. I met somebody and we started to talk. He said, “Tell us a little bit more about your work.” I told him a little and he said, “Let’s meet later this afternoon.” We made an appointment and we met.

In between those two times, I’m saying to myself, “How much are you going to charge?” I knew he had a successful business and I decided that I was going to charge $2,000 a month, which was more money than I had ever charged anybody before. We got to have the conversation. We were sitting there talking, and he said, “How much do you charge?” I said, “$1,500 a month.” He said, “Is that all? I would have paid you a whole lot more.” I said, “Tina, what did you do?”

As Elizabeth and I were talking about before, I had to go, “What did I do? How did I get there? How did I give my power away in an instant?” I was ready to say something and something else completely came out of my mouth. A lot of the investigation of the inner personal work is a piece of a lot of the work I do is gaining that inner mastery. This is a piece of that and an important piece for everybody.

Let’s talk a little bit about negotiation. People tend to assume it’s all about salary and negotiating your salary, which certainly is a scary thing because it’s about you and your income and putting a price on how good you are. “What do I charge?” When I started my opera company, and I had to raise money, I had to ask for money on my own behalf and that was scary. It took me a while to learn how to do that. What negotiations would you talk about besides salary?

It may be for salary, but you may also be a consultant like you and I are. We’re selling our services. You may be negotiating with your kids, with a parent or to buy a house. Negotiating is everywhere. We’re always looking to get the best bang for our buck. We have to be able to have a pretty good sense of how to do that without getting involved in some of the other feelings that may come up while we’re negotiating like fear or somebody else’s feelings. “Am I too much?” There are many other things that go on that can go on, in between you and you.

SWGR 582 | Confident Negotiator

Confident Negotiator: We’re always looking to get the best bang for our buck, and we have to be able to have a pretty good sense of how to do that.


That’s a good way to put it. I do remember when I was right out of college and moved to New York. My best friend Doug told me he had gone and negotiated to do a gig. He was a writer. He was to do a writing project for somebody. He came back and he said, “I bought myself an IBM Selectric because I asked for twice as much as I thought I would get and they gave it to me.”

I thought, “I’m so glad you have an IBM Selectric.” For those of you who don’t remember, this was pre-computers. That was a fancy typewriter. Also, I thought, “How did he do that? How did he walk in and ask for twice as much as he thought he would get without trembling inside because that’s what I would have done?” Is this gender or personality linked?

It’s frequently gender-linked. For those women who perhaps haven’t done the personal work of how do I empower myself? Women are relational. We are empathic by nature. We frequently worry about how other people are going to feel and what they are thinking. Men don’t do that quite so much. They have an idea. It’s not that men are always confident because I have three sons and that’s not necessarily true but they have a different angle. They go for it. They go for what they’re looking at. Because we have lots of pathways that go on both sides of the brain, and we’re thinking about this and that. “Who am I? Why am I good enough?” These are so many of the issues that women deal with growing up.

We are socialized that way.

There’s been a whole movement, certainly. Young girls, up until the age of maybe 12 or 13, were equal to the boys. We can excel in Math and we can excel here. Around pre-adolescence and adolescence, the peer group becomes important. When the peer group sometimes takes over, the girls sometimes go underground. That seems to be the area where we become conscious about our appearance, our weight, and all kinds of other things. A lot of insecurities come up and we take off from there. That’s a piece of it. It’s a complicated thing. By nature, we are nurturers, gatherers, and we take care of people. We want to take care of the person who we’re negotiating with.

I have never thought of that. The big reframe I found, and I found that in speaking, is I always thought if I was going in and offering something and asking them to invest in themselves through me, I would be taking something from the client as opposed to offering them a gift that. My services are a gift and this is a gift that they are going to value more if they invest in. That’s the refrain that I use now at my age. I certainly couldn’t do that in my twenties.

That’s why people hate salespeople. When we come from a place of desperation, and I talk about this in the course, whether you say it or not, people can pick it up. “I need you. I need the sale. I need the salary.” It feels yucky and sticky. In a non-verbal way, they don’t exactly know what they’re picking up but it doesn’t feel good. Part of being that confident negotiator is coming from that place, “I have something pretty special and I can help you get where you want to go.”

You brought your slides. Why don’t you take us through and I’m going to ask you some questions?

We start with, what are the signs of a good negotiator? We’re looking at the big picture. Problem analysis, we have to know and be able to look, listen, and analyze, what exactly is the problem? We have to prepare and we’re going to talk a lot more about that and go into that in great detail in this confident negotiator course. You have to be an active listener. I call myself a professional listener because that’s what I am. It is a skill that you can hone and grow into, so people will want to hear what you have to say.

Know your bottom-line price when you'll walk away, no matter what. Share on X

Emotional control is the other area that is incredibly important because if you’re negotiating from that place that feels desperate and you cannot control it, you may feel it but you want to make sure that the other person doesn’t feel it too. We have to know how to control ourselves. Verbal communication, being a good communicator, not a lot of uhs, ahs, and ums. That has a lot to do with confidence. You are a speaker that can speak energetically and you know what you’re talking about. If you’re part of and collaborating as a team, you have to be able to be a good team member and work together as a team.

The problem solving goes pretty well with the problem analysis. I can analyze the problem and I know how to solve it. When the other person on the other side knows it and feels that you are the answer, this is a huge key to getting the position that you want, you have to be able to make decisions quickly. Negotiations move quickly. Somebody may shift and you have to tweak yourself, so you have to be present and not get lost in some of the thoughts about what you thought you were going to say about ten minutes before. You have to be quick with that.

Interpersonal skills. A good negotiator has somewhat of a poker face but they also can be warm at the same time. They can make eye contact. They can let you know, “I care about you. I care about what it is that you’re doing and that we’re working on.” Ethics and reliability speak for themselves. The work that I do and the course that I’m working on are preparation, active listening, and emotional control. Those are the three areas that are perhaps a little bit different than most negotiating courses because I’m not going to teach you all about negotiation. It’s how to be confident when you’re negotiating.

The details of the deal may always be different but it’s what we’re doing inside that matters, which is why of course, you come to Tina, who is a trained therapist to do all of that. Where do we start?

We start with preparation. For every sale, whether you’re selling your services, whether you’re selling yourself, whatever it is that you’re selling, there are some great things to think about. People buy on emotion and they justify it with logic. What does that mean? One of my favorite examples is when I was looking for a new house.

Over the years that I was married to the person that I was married to, we liked real estate. We were always thinking about moving. We love to go in and look at houses. I would go into a house and I would feel excited. I could see myself there. Early on, I would turn around and say to my husband, “I like this place.” He would look at me again with that poker face because he knew that my emotion was not necessarily the best way to buy a house.

He had a rule for himself that he would never make a major purchase unless he knew it was exactly what he had been looking for a long time. He would never make a major purchase without sleeping on it because once we get through the emotion, then we start to justify it with logic, “Does this make financial sense? Can I afford it?” All the other things that have to come in. If you have a tendency to be right on your emotions and be somewhat impulsive, sometimes we make some not-so-good decisions. This is a huge piece.

The emotional decisions.

How many of us have made emotional decisions and turned around and said, “Excuse me?” Your job is to identify the problems that the person in front of you has and the desired outcome that they want. In sales, this is what we call the gap. The bigger the gap, the greater the possibility of how you can insert yourself as the person who can be that one that can give them the outcome that they desire.

SWGR 582 | Confident Negotiator

Confident Negotiator: When you come from a place of desperation, whether you say it or not, people can pick it up.


I would love to hear your definition of the relationship between negotiation and sales because this is indeed sales.

If you walk into a store and there’s a price tag on something, particularly in our culture, we don’t negotiate. If it’s $100, you can buy it or not. When a price is not set, that’s where the negotiation comes in. My son is teaching tennis. One of the women that I played with was interested in hiring his services. I gave her the price that he charges and she said, “How about $5 less?” She’s already negotiating with me. It’s not my job. It’s his job. Her natural tendency was to try to get away with less.

People like to think they’ve got a deal.

We have to understand in negotiations, most frequently, neither party will get all of what they want. It’s part of negotiating, “I have to give a little, take a little,” and so on. A successful negotiation is everybody walks away feeling that they got something.

It is a dance. You could say it’s a game if you like games. You think of it as a dance and everybody winds up happy.

You have to be able to think a lot of things while you’re talking, “What’s going on? What am I willing to do?” This gets into more of some of the skills around this. Know where you’re going to start the negotiation. Like what you’ve talked about with your friend, Doug, he was willing to come in high. One of my sons and I watched a negotiation course. The guy was English and he said, “Wait for someone to go into a flinch.” “That’s too much.”

When you come in there, you know that you’re coming in high and now this is a good place to start. They go, “I can’t ever afford that.” They’re not willing to afford it or maybe they can’t afford it and your job in the sales negotiation is to be able to handle the objections that people come up with. That’s another skill. Know where you’re going to start the negotiation.

If I go back to that example of my first negotiation with this guy, let’s say I had wanted to end up with $2,000. I could have and should have started at $2,500, knowing full well that there was a possibility that he was either going to take it as, “That’s what she charges,” or that he would attempt to say, “Could you do it for a little less?”

When I’m quoting a price, I like to think of the high range as more money than they want to pay and more work that I want to do but I’ll take it if they say yes. The low range is less money than I want to get and less results. It’s not as much as they want to get as they need. Between the two of them, you get to the middle, which is where the price I’m expecting.

It’s where most people end up. If you remember, you and I took a course together and the suggestion that you have gold, silver, and platinum or whatever the colors were, the low, medium, and high. In general, when you have those options, some people will take the low, a few people will take the high, but most people will take the middle because they feel they’re getting enough. Maybe not the gold standard, maybe not all of what they would love but they’re getting enough. When they look at the lower one, it’s like, “It’s not even worth my money. I’m not going to get what I want.”

Thank you. That’s helpful. We did have to mention the S-word that this is in terms of sales even if what you’re doing is you are selling your worth to a person who can authorize your paycheck.

Years ago, I remember my ex-husband did the first International Art Fair in America. He had galleries that came from all over the world and they were representing artists. He had a small area where the artists were representing themselves. It was tough to listen and watch because many of them are so insecure and so self-identified with their art and work, “If you don’t like my artwork, you don’t like me.”

You never give yourself away for free. Share on X

When you are the product, that’s a hard separation to make. We’re probably only on slide two and I know you have more. I’ll stop asking you questions because I can ask you questions for hours. What’s next?

To finish this part out, know your bottom-line price. You’re going to walk away no matter what. What we do frequently is if somebody doesn’t want to pay and we feel well like, “I need the sale. I’m going to walk away and I’m going to feel bad afterward.” It’s hard to walk away when you’re hungry and at the same time, it sets a tone and a precedent. If somebody is going to refer you and they go, “How much do you pay her?” “I pay her this.” “That’s not what I want to charge. I want to charge this much.” You have to think strategically for yourself, “If I give this bottom price, how am I going to feel afterward? Is that a good representation of my work and my efforts?” You’ve got to be willing to walk away.

Sometimes I feel called. Let’s say I’m talking to somebody and they don’t have the money but I hear their story and I know that I can help them. I know that if I help them, they’re going to help so many other people. There are going to be some great impacts that they’re going to be able to make. I never know exactly who or what it is. I know it’s a feeling. If they asked me, I might say yes.

From many years of experience, like Robin Hood, I say, “If there are people that can pay my full fee, then I can give it to the person in need.” Let’s put our own oxygen mask on first. Make sure that you’re not giving away the bank that you are getting and what you feel good about. To be happy with your work, you have to be doing something that you enjoy and you have to be getting paid a fair price.

Instead of sacrificing yourself for the sake of everybody else. What’s next?

This is another big thing. What else can you offer without caving on your price? You and I are speakers. Let’s say there’s a speaker fee that we’re asking for. The organization says, “I would love to have you but we can’t afford your fee.” A wise woman said to me, “Never give yourself away for free. It’s not like you’re speaking for free. You are speaking in exchange for something.”

If you can’t pay me in dollars, what can you do? There’s a whole bunch of things that they can do. They can send it out to their mailing lists for you or they can pay for your books and give the books out. They could do any number of things that you can exchange. I have an exchange with an organization where I did something for them and they are now putting me in front of their high-level people.

One thing to notice, if we ever get into live meetings and conventions again, is things like books to give to everybody. Buying your book comes out of a different line in the budget than the fee for the speaker. They could probably do that. The great Laurie Guest told this story of asking them what the menu was. If they’re serving cheesecake for dessert, cheesecake is expensive, ask them if they could maybe have a plate of cookies on the table and buy your book instead with the money, they’re saving from not giving a cheesecake to everybody. She talks about it and she sells books that way in the days when we were meeting. We will be meeting live again.

That’s a wonderful negotiating tool. Look for the things that they can do and that you’re willing to accept. That becomes a win. This is what I’ve done in the talk that you saw that I did with Watermark, we do a roleplay. People can think about how they might respond to this since we don’t have the time and we don’t have partners and all that good stuff. Let’s imagine that you are negotiating with somebody and you know that they don’t have much money but that you know that you can help them. We have a way to do this. What does it feel like? Where does your mind go when you are selling yourself and you know that person doesn’t have money?

Would we be thinking about where do we feel it in the body as well? That’s a big part of what you teach.

That’s where we get into the emotional control of starting to recognize how your body speaks and gives you information. Those things that you and I are talking about, I go back again to that original story when I was talking to this guy about what I was going to charge him. This was the most money that I ever charged anybody. I was nervous and anxious. He didn’t know the difference and that was the good news but I knew the difference. Had I known what I know now and followed my advice, I would have been better prepared. I would have been able to hold on to myself in a way that I didn’t.

If you’re negotiating with someone you know and you can help but they can’t afford you, how do you feel about that?

Are you going to give it away? Is your empathy so great that you will give something that afterward you’re going to be sorry? Are you going to hold a boundary? I remember there was a gal at a conference that I went to and she was the workshop leader. She had her book and all this stuff and I would have loved to work with her. I asked her how much money she charged. At the time, she said it was $500 an hour. I didn’t say a word. She said, “If you can’t afford me, I have other people that I’ve trained that charge less than I do. You could buy my book or you could come to the next workshop.” She didn’t blink. That was a great model for me to put some of those pieces together that we talked about.

SWGR 582 | Confident Negotiator

Confident Negotiator: Bring yourself up to where you are and the way that other people perceive you.


One of the things that have been helpful for me is whenever I’m raising my prices, I start saying it to lots of people. Talk about role-playing. When I’m talking to a client or a potential client, I’ve had practice saying that number. Early on in my career, I would go up by $25 an hour because that was all I could manage. I then started going up by $100 an hour to get myself up to get used to hearing it come out of my mouth.

One of the things that helped me as I was dealing with this and growing into myself and I say to myself, “Tina, how many years have you been doing what you’re doing?” Maybe I was on to 30 or something like that. “How much time and energy and money and effort have you put into training?” Hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time I remembered to add it up. “Do you think you’re worth it?” I would look around and the people who were much newer in the field than I am and what they were charging, it’s like, “I have to level up. I have to bring myself up to where I am. I’m a professional. I’ve been a psychotherapist and trainer. I’ve been in the workshop for over 37 years now. How much more training do I need?”

You still may feel twelve inside.

At times, we do. The more that you start to talk to yourself that way, level up and bring yourself up to where you are and the way that other people perceive you because if I get the feedback that what I was doing was worthwhile, I wouldn’t have any business at all. My business has always been successful. This comes back into the emotional stuff. Whatever your blueprint is or how much money you think that you can make or you deserve, you will create that level. As you begin to start to expand your horizons, those of you who can see me, it’s an energetic thing. If I’m expanding energy, then everything expands. The people, the money, and all of those other wonderful things that I attract expand.

Where can we find out more about the negotiation course?

Mastery Under Pressure is my brand and my company. You can always reach me at You can pre-buy the course. It’s in production. We’re giving a discount of 20% to anybody who buys it through you and the code is CONFIDENT. You can go there and you can buy it. What will we be in the course? We’ll be talking more about preparation. I’m going to be teaching about active listening, assertiveness, and we’ll delve into emotional control. This is your game, the inner mastery of negotiating.

Emotional control, I want to have a whole session with you about this. We’re going to do a whole other broadcast. We’ll have to do that.

That was the first conversation we had I had with Tina Greenbaum. That was so interesting that I decided I needed another session to get through her material. To be honest, we talked about active listening. You’ve learned the part about preparation. We also talked about active listening and how to recognize when you are losing your emotional control. That part is coming up along with more stories. There is still a great deal more to be learned from Tina. This is a taste. Here is part two of How to Be a Confident Negotiator with Tina Greenbaum.

Tina Greenbaum, thank you so much for coming back to Speakers Who Get Results. We had way too much to talk about when we first made this conversation. I would like to welcome all of you readers to Speakers Who Get Results, the podcast, and the Strategic Speaking For Results Facebook page. Welcome back, Tina.

Elizabeth, thank you for having me.

We talked about how to be a confident negotiator. Before that, I interviewed Tina on how to be a catalyst leader. We had started the conversation about how to be a confident negotiator and I said, “That’s a whole separate conversation.” This is an adjunct. For those of you who are reading, go back and look at for my earlier message with Tina about how to be a catalyst leader.

To get to the point where you can be a catalyst leader, you need to negotiate. Negotiation is such a huge part of all kinds of business. Tina, we only got partway through what you were talking about. You have a course about how to be a confident negotiator. I think about all the ways I have sabotaged myself in negotiations over the years. I want to learn more. Would you please do a quick review of what we talked about last time?

Your job is to identify your clients' problems and the outcome they desire. Share on X

We looked at what are the skills of a confident negotiator. There are many skills. This course emphasizes the emotional skills of what goes on inside, between you and you, that the person that you’re sitting in front of may or may not have any idea what’s happening. We want to help you to be confident inside. What are the skills of a good negotiator? Problem analysis, figuring out what the problem is, preparation, active listening, emotional control, and this is a lot of what I do, verbal communication, collaboration, and teamwork if you’re working with a team to be able to negotiate amongst you.

This goes with problem analysis. Once we analyze the problem, how are we going to solve it? Decision-making ability, which sometimes has to happen quickly, when you’re negotiating and you have to be able to tweak, twist and move with the speed of what’s happening. Also, your interpersonal skills. People talk a lot of times that they want to have this poker face, which is good that somebody doesn’t maybe know exactly what you’re thinking, but you want to be warm and friendly.

You can smile in a negotiation. I always say that ethics and reliability speak for themselves. Last time, we got a lot through preparation. We’re going to talk a little bit about active listening and emotional control. I don’t know how much we’re going to get through. I go into this in deeper detail in the course. In the course, I also added assertiveness training, which is important.

Let me quickly say for the decision-making ability, there are people who make decisions in a snap. They know instantly. There are other people who, especially for major decisions, have to think about it. It’s two major personality types. Knowing which one you are and, if you can, knowing the person you’re negotiating with and what they’re about is important.

I love what you said about preparation last time because what I find is, I’m best if I think about something or if I can go away and think about it if it’s new. When I’m prepared, when I’ve thought about what are all the possible scenarios that I can come up with, I can make the fastest decisions because I’ve prepared myself. For me, it’s not good walking in the cold.

The truth is, not only do you know yourself but your body gives you information. It lets you know immediately, “I’m not ready to make this decision.” Knowing your style but also knowing what signals you get from your body will give you that quick feedback as to, “Maybe this is not such a good idea right now for me to give a final decision.”

This is also important for the people you’re working with. I’m working with a team and about half of them are fast decision-makers. They decide instantly. If they have to change something, they’ll go back and change it later. The other half are the ones who want to think about it, so when they make a decision, they can stick with what they chose. If you’re a fast decision-maker, the person you’re trying to convince sometimes needs to go away and think about it, which the fast negotiators don’t always appreciate.

It gets back to a lot of times on sales when they say, “We give rewards to people who take action.” This line here is exactly what we’re talking about. People buy on emotion and justify with logic. You have to be aware of where your emotion comes into a major decision. My ex-husband taught me a lot of good things. He was a good negotiator but he would never make a major buying decision without going away and sleeping on it and coming back the next day. Even though he might have wanted it, he wanted to make sure that all the numbers worked and everything worked before he would sign on something.

This is such an important subject, this one little piece right here when you’re negotiating, how you know yourself, and how much room you give yourself. I always like to think about how my brain works. My brain gives me certain information sometimes quickly. It comes in pictures and thought fields. I trust that. I also trust that feeling of like, “Don’t step your foot into this one. Be cautious.” These are things that are going on between you and you that somebody might not know. If you haven’t prepared and gotten to know yourself at that deep level, you may make some not-so-great decisions.

One of the things that I’ve learned from working with you, when I’ve taken your Mastery Under Pressure course was how to recognize the signals that my body is sending me to trust my gut since I tend to be someone who trusts my head more than my gut. You taught me how to notice and trust my gut when the decision comes along.

You may trust your gut that you’re feeling a certain way and logic may tell you, “I might have to do this anyway.” We want communication between the two. Sometimes we’re going to act on our feelings. Sometimes we’re going to act on our logic. Sometimes we’re going to have to know which is which and why we’re choosing something. There’s a lot of meat to this.

Your job is to identify their problems and the outcome that they desire. Once you have an idea of who you’re dealing with and what you’re dealing with, the purpose is to build the gap between where they are and where you know that you can take them. Also, how you are that person that can help to get them there, there’s a lot of creativity in this as well.

SWGR 582 | Confident Negotiator

Confident Negotiator: Be warm, friendly, and don’t forget to smile during negotiations.


Quickly know where you’re going to start the negotiation. You can start high. We talked about a fellow that did a course on negotiation. He would talk about the flinch when they go, “That’s expensive.” When you know that somebody goes, “That’s so expensive,” you know that’s about as high as they’re willing to go, and then you have your range in between.

We did an exercise last time about thinking about negotiating, if you’re looking for a job, the salary or you’re charging for your services if you’re a consultant like Elizabeth and I are. You know that the party is struggling financially. What does that do to the way that you approach the negotiation? We can do this one. Elizabeth, we hadn’t done this one. I was thinking about negotiating for a salary or charging for your services if you know that the other party is thriving financially. Think about that for a moment. How would you enter that negotiation? What questions would you ask yourself?

Perhaps money is not the key objection.

It may be time. Time and money are the big ones. “I don’t have time for this. I don’t have money for it. I need to talk to somebody. I need to check with my boss. I need to check with my husband or my wife.” There are a lot of crazy things that people will come up with. If you have in your mind things that you’re willing to trade, I call it in-kind services. Let’s say that you’re doing a speech and you would like them to sell your book. They say, “I can’t afford your fee of what you’re offering, but we are willing to sell your book.” There are a million different ways that you can negotiate for something that’s going to benefit you.

For that matter, saying, “I want to do this. Will you commit to sending three referrals?” You’ve got to be able to follow that up. You’ve got to bug them to do it because most people will say, “Yeah, of course,” and then never do it. You do have to follow up on that one.

You always want to think about, “If I have to negotiate on my price, what else can they offer or I can offer?” In a good negotiation, everybody walks away feeling like they’ve got something. Also frequently, given up something. That’s a good negotiation. “I didn’t get this, but I got that.” Lastly, think about how you would negotiate for either a salary or a fee if you had no idea how much that person charged or what their financial situation was. You’re blind. Unfortunately, we don’t have the feedback from the audience, which I frequently do this exercise in a group.

Different people are sometimes all over the place. “I felt sorry for them. I don’t know if I could charge them all this money,” all different kinds of things. There was a woman that I met and went to a training of hers. I liked what she did and thought, “I would love to have an individual session with her.” I asked her how much her fee was and she said $500 for an hour. She didn’t blink an eye. She didn’t know me or anything about me. She said, “If that doesn’t work for you, then I have other trainers that I can set you up with or you could read my book or come to another workshop.”

She had a whole bunch of things that she was already prepared for if I were not that person that would jump onto that fee. She didn’t blink an eye. That was a great lesson for me, watching her. You charge what you charge. Sometimes I feel called to give away my services or to lower my fee. It’s my choice. It’s my business. I can do that, but I don’t do it out of desperation. Desperation is the worst feeling of being on the other side. “I need you. I need your money.” It feels sticky and gooey, and then you walk away and you feel crappy about yourself.

Speaking of that, do you have any exercises or tips for us if we find ourselves in that needy, desperate spot?

Yes. I would like to tell the story of when I started out as a therapist. I was needy, desperate, and hungry for money. I was going to set my boundaries carefully about my hours, especially cancellations. I got a cancellation at the last minute from someone and I was on the phone with her. I said, “I charge for these cancellations.” She said, “I’m sick.” I hadn’t had my policy. I couldn’t figure it out at that time but I went too much for that, “I’m sorry but I charge for this.” I lost her as a client. It got so sticky and gooey. I can picture her right in front of me. I made a decision that I would never talk about the money in that situation unless it was either person-to-person because I used to see people in person.

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Frequently, there was something behind it. There was some therapeutic issue. People cancel at the last minute because they don’t want to come or they think something else is more important. I started out working with women with eating disorders and they were bingeing on the money that they were going to spend on my session. I made a decision that I’d rather have a conversation around the money, write a text or send somebody a bill. My husband had a visit with a chiropractor and he had shingles shot and got sick. He canceled the appointment. She didn’t say a word and called him. She sent him a bill and he never went back.

If we find ourselves in this needy situation, how can we get out of it?

Number one, you have to recognize what’s happening inside. Everything that you’re going to hear today from now until doomsday is always about what’s happening between you and you. Recognize that feeling of what I call stickiness. It’s like I’m begging. It’s like in relationships when somebody calls too many times or is overbearing. Recognize what’s happening within you and stop.

One of the things that I do is try to focus on the other person and go into active listening, which I know is one of the things you’re about to talk about. I make a point of getting out of my own head and all the things that my voices are telling me, which may or may not be true, and focus on the other person and how I can solve their problem. That helps a whole lot because it gets me away from all the voices that are yelling at me.

We, as service providers, whatever it is that you’re providing, the customer is the person we need to pay attention to. This goes back again to preparation. Did I research who I was meeting with? Did I have a starting figure in mind? We talked a little about that. Did I have a figure in mind to walk away? This is important. That’ll keep you out of that desperate thing. I know that this is my bottom line and I always think about, “It’s not the only job. It’s not the only person. It’s just not the right one for me.”

I like to call myself a professional listener because I have worked on this skill for many years. I have some tenets that I work with. The most basic tenet of human nature is that we all want to be heard. We love to talk. I like to talk more than others. Some of us don’t like to talk at all. The most important thing is that I can listen and hear what you’re saying with my whole body. When I say listening with your whole body, it means I’m present. I might get distracted over here. There might be sounds, a phone call, or something that comes up.

If I miss what you’re saying, I’m going to come back and I’m going to ask you to say it again. My whole body and my whole mind are connected to you. I have an open body position because if I’m sitting there with arms folded, that says I’m already closed off to what it is that you’re saying. When somebody leans in, that means that they are listening to you.

If you do that and somebody will come back to you. Smile, be personable and listen again. If something makes you feel warm, then give somebody a smile, hold your head high, and your back straight. Your posture is important. If I’m leaned over, I’m not giving you much of my attention and that other person is not going to want to talk to me. Make eye contact.

It’s often harder than one thinks.

All these things that we’re talking about, our practice, you have to be aware of. When you’re learning a new skill, “How is my body? I can lean in with my back straight. I can smile.” All these things will have to be conscious. That’s what mindfulness is all about. Mindfulness is being aware of the present moment without judgment. I know we do this for speaking. Videotape yourself. Imagine yourself. See how you are and get a feeling of how you might be coming across to somebody.

Make eye contact and with your words, stay on the same wavelength, which means listening carefully. I have a mantra or a commitment to myself that when I’m talking to somebody, I don’t ever move on without making sure that I have heard what they said. Many times, if you’re not aware of this, you’re already thinking of the next thing that you want to say. It’s the most common and most natural. If I do that, then I’ve already missed what they’re saying.

SWGR 582 | Confident Negotiator

Confident Negotiator: Everything you’ll say from now until doomsday is always about what’s happening in you.


They may have gone off into some other completely different wavelengths and I’m over here answering something that’s a disconnect. How well can you stay on the same wavelength? If you miss something, feel free to say, “I got distracted from it. I didn’t catch what you said. Could you repeat what you said? Let me make sure that I understand what you’re saying.” These are counseling skills. As a counselor, coach, or any one of these things, you learn these skills of active listening. It’s important.

When you’re listening to somebody, also listen to their words. Those of us that are familiar with NLP, which is neuro-linguistic programming, people are either visual, auditory, or kinesthetic, or a combination of these three. There are five senses, but these are the ones that we want to listen to the most. Don’t move on until you’re sure that you understand each other. Be careful in thinking about what you want to say.

If I’m listening to you, Elizabeth, and you say to me, “I hear what you’re saying, Tina,” this is going to give me an indication that the auditory skill is something that is highly developed within you. I’m going to come back and say, “I hear you, too,” or I’m going to use words, “The sound of something makes me like, ‘Blah, blah.’” I’m going to use the words that you used. If you’re a visual, you’re going to say, “I see what you mean.” I may use visual pictures. “Can you imagine?”

Imagine yourself. Somebody who was auditory, generally, the visual is not as strong so I wouldn’t go there. Kinesthetic is I sense, I feel. I might use feeling words. It’s the same thing as mirroring somebody’s posture sometimes, it brings you into what we call rapport. These are little tricks and tips of things that might help you become a better listener.

The thing that I keep going back to is rule number one when you’re presenting yourself, which is to make it about them. If they are visual people, then you’re going to respond with visual language. Even though you might be an auditory or a kinesthetic person, you want to be on their wavelength.

These are what we call clarifying questions. “Do I understand you correctly?” Repeat what you thought that you’ve heard them say. Another danger is making assumptions. I happen to be intuitive and yet, what I learned is my intuition is a great hunch. I could no sooner go on and say to you, “Elizabeth, I know exactly what you’re thinking,” because I don’t. I might have an idea of what you’re thinking. I might ask you, “Is this what’s going on? Is this what you’re thinking?” You’re going to say either yes or no. That helps me know whether I’m on the mark.

One of the things about the people that we’re drawn to, they’re authentic and real. They’re also usually perceptive on our wavelengths. There may be two people that I could never enter the conversation or it’s just not my thing and yet, they’ll come together wonderfully. I want to make sure that I’m always with you, so I’m going to ask these questions. I can repeat it enough times to make sure that you’re together with the person that you’re talking with. Here’s another wonderful question. “I’m wondering if this might be going on.” “I wondering if this might be what you’re thinking.”

It works well in a negotiation when you’re trying to understand what they want.

When somebody gets us, it’s like heaven. You’re talking to somebody and if you’re talking about something that you’re trying to figure out or you don’t know, and somebody nails it for you. That’s what you want to do in a negotiation, you want to be able to nail what you think that they’re thinking and what you think is important to them, so that you’re drawing out all those things.

Remember, they’re over here and they have a problem that needs to be solved. What’s the gap between where they are and where you can take them? All these things come in here. “Would this work for you? Would this be helpful?” You want to be the one that’s also asking most of the questions. That’s how somebody controls a negotiation. Notice when you get distracted. If you’ve missed something that they’ve said, come back and ask them again. Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat.

Give people the opportunity to be who they are. Share on X

They may not know exactly what they mean or what they need until they’ve talked about it.

One of the other wonderful things that you can do is to synthesize what I hear somebody is saying. People say, “I’m all over the place.” No, not really because I’m following your train. You’re going over here and here, but I’m finding a thread. That’s from the act of listening. It comes to you. You see it and then then you can pull it together and say, “Is this what’s important to you?”

Can you solve their problem?

Yes. If you can’t solve their problem, be clear that you may not be the right person. It goes back to that desperate. You’re willing to walk away. Not the right client, job, and situation.

I find that with speaking gigs. When I say, “I would love to speak on your podcast,” and then it turns out that I don’t fit what they’re looking for. They want me to speak and I look at it and say, “I don’t think I’m the right fit.” One of the great ways to get a benefit from that is to recommend somebody because then you’ve still given service. You still helped them. If you’re asking, “I would like to be on your podcast,” and they say, “We’ve had three speaker trainers in a row. I can’t bring you out.” You then say, “Here are some people you’ve been talking about. When should I get back to you? When are you ready to hear my take on it?” Go back from there.

You’ve talked a lot, Elizabeth, about follow-up.

Follow-up is huge.

Let’s say that you have this one conversation and somebody says they want to think about it. Like you modeled, “When can we talk? Can we put something on our calendar? Can I get back to you when such and such a day?” Closing it up, making it tight, and not giving people the opportunity to be who they are because people get busy and all of that stuff.

One of the statistics about sales negotiation is if you’re the person who wants to get something from this, only about 8% of people follow up after the first conversation. It’s one of the things I’m constantly reminding myself to do. I’m not always perfect. If I’m talking to somebody, whether they’re going to hire me or not, then I say, “I’ll send you a proposal. Let’s book a call for tomorrow so that you can ask me any further questions that come up.”

You’re taking care of the detail for them. That’s also part of being a good business person. You want to make things easy for people. You have contracts ready. You have this ready, you have proposals, and all the kinds of things to make it easy. We’re going to get to the emotional control. This is another exercise. For your readers, they could do it right now if they’re on and if not, you can do this in your own time. Bring up the most uncomfortable feeling that you had during those three scenarios.

I’ll go back to those scenarios of, you were offering your services to somebody who had no money or a company who had no money. The other one was they had a lot of money and the third one was you didn’t know how much money they had. Can you find the sensation or the discomfort in your body? We’ve talked a lot about this body-mind connection. The discomfort in your body gives you a clue that you’re uncomfortable. Something is off. Something doesn’t feel right. Can you describe the feeling and put it in words and the location of the sensation?

For me, it’s always in my stomach. When my stomach starts to turn, then I say, “Something’s going on. I better pay attention.” It might mean I’m hungry.

You might not even know what it’s saying or why that’s happening, but you know it’s putting your system on alert. I had a client who canceled at the last minute and I always meet with her once a month. I waited the whole month to bring up the policy. She’s like, “I wasn’t sure.” Anytime that I thought about sending her a text or sending her a bill or something, I got that feeling inside like, “No, we need to talk about this.” It stopped me from doing something that I didn’t feel good about. The feeling is what I’m most connected to. The feeling then brings up a lot of old experiences, where I’ve gotten myself into trouble.

When you get to the end of this list, “Does the feeling feel familiar? Yeah, absolutely.”

That gives me information. “I know this feeling. When else have I experienced it?” There’s so much more here, Elizabeth. This is a good part of the whole course. These are tidbits of things that you can learn about yourself and our negotiation.

The next one, for those who are reading, is to know thyself because that’s important.

In the process, did you get anxious and give in or give up?

What else do we know about that?

SWGR 582 | Confident Negotiator

Confident Negotiator: If you can’t solve your clients’ problems, be very clear that you may not be the right person.


What did you notice about your body? Can you recognize how your body gives you information? This goes into the whole, do you know how to regulate your nervous system so that your body is calm and your mind is clear? That is the essence of Mastery Under Pressure. One of the things that I think about a lot is we all have recipes. “How do I get from here to here? I’m in this negotiation. I do this, and then then I do that.”

We can only prepare, but we don’t know what’s going to happen. The skills that I teach here are the ones that prepare you to be able to be agile and think clearly on your feet. My son and I were talking and he said, “Mom, what you teach reminds me of what they teach in the army. It’s how to improvise, how to adapt, and then how to overcome whatever it is that you need to overcome to get to your goal.”

Tina Greenbaum, this has been awesome. How do we find out more?

You can get in touch with me. If you’re interested in learning more, you can make an appointment with me. I’m generous with my 30-minute consultation. This is You can get an appointment on my calendar. You can text me at (631) 988-1109. is a quiz that you can take on your own. Find out where you are at this level of peak performance and keeping your body calm and your mind clear. You’ll get a good sense of the skills that go into helping you to that.

We’ve all had negotiations where we blew it and screwed up. For instance, I can remember in my twenties when I insulted that guy and things like that. I may still be beating myself up for a bad negotiation when I was 25. How do we move forward, if indeed you think you did a terrible job?

As we say, the only thing that is a failure is if you don’t learn from it and there is no such thing as perfection. We’re all human. I love the term beginner’s mind because it allows for mistakes. I don’t call it a failure. In the last talk that we did, I might have shared the story of how I had a figure in mind, and then when it came out, it was lower. I said, “Why would have paid you that much more?” That was a classic one. I studied how did I get there?

The only time that you fail is if you don't learn. Share on X

How did you sabotage yourself?

The other thing about the term mindfulness that I love is being aware of the present moment without judgment. I can go back and look at these situations and not judge myself. I can learn from them. There’s also another wonderful saying that helps me. “We make decisions based on the best information we have available at the present time.”

That sounds like a tweetable tweet.

If I only learned up to here, I couldn’t know any more or I didn’t see that was happening. I didn’t pick it up or it hit my blind spot. At 23 years old, I married a person that was not the right person. Based on the best information I had at the present time, that’s how I made the decision. That helps with regrets.

Let it go and move on because you can’t change it. Tina Greenbaum, thank you for having been on the Speakers Who Get Results podcast and Strategic Speaking for Results broadcast.

We also have our Confident Negotiator course. I have a 25% discount for anybody that signs up from your podcast. The codeword is CONFIDENT. It’s a lot of what we talked about. $197 is the retail price, so it’s affordable. My goal is to be able to give these skills to as many people that want to take advantage of them.

Thank you, Tina. It’s been a delight to have you here on the broadcast. For everybody else, thank you for reading. I will see you on the next one.

That was a lot of fun for me. There’s so much information on how to be a confident negotiator. Don’t forget that if you’re interested in hearing how your presentation skills are strong and where you might need a little bit of help, you can take our free four-minute assessment. This is especially good before you walk into a negotiation. Go to and that’s where you can see where you’re strong as a presenter and where a little support might get you better results and the recognition you deserve. This has been Elizabeth Bachman. I’m so delighted to have you as a reader. I’ll see you at the next one.


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About Tina Greenbaum

SWGR 582 | Confident NegotiatorTina Greenbaum, M.Ed., LCSW is the Founder and CEO of Mastery Under Pressure, a management coaching program for high-performing executives who need to refine and master their interpersonal and inter-departmental skills.
Mastery Under Pressure gives CEOs and senior-level managers the additional professional and personal tools they need to excel and to empower their teams and their associates—and to operate within any corporate culture. It’s what she means by “Make Your Best, Better.”