Samuel P.N. Cook | Life-Saving Negotiation Skills (Episode 383)

If you have options and resources, negotiation is easier.

“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” -Desiderius Erasmus via Sam Cook

The Cheat Sheet:

  • Why there’s no such thing as a safe and secure job.
  • What’s the hardest part of negotiation?
  • He who cares the least ____. Sam fills in the blank.
  • What does Sam say is the secret to life?
  • How he doubled his team’s productivity.
  • And so much more…

Our guest for today’s show has negotiated with some of the most militant insurgencies in the world, and some of the most dangerous members of those groups.

Sam Cook is a former officer in the US Army who spent 13 years serving, including two tours in Iraq. He joins us to share how negotiation skills helped him when dealing with opposing forces. All of this and so much more on this episode of The Art of Charm.

(Direct Download)

More About This Show:

Sam Cook spent 13 years in the armed forces, but when he was just seven years away from retirement age, he left. He knew he had been passionate and dedicated to his service for those previous years, but he wasn’t feeling the same way about the next seven.

Sam had always turned to digital content and websites throughout his career, so it made sense to go into that arena as a civilian. As the head of Prism Communications today, he is on a mission to help experts with powerful messages get those messages out into the world. His key to success is using the networking and negotiating skills that served him so well throughout his military career and bringing them into the business world.

Today we talk about the tactics and strategies of negotiating and networking as he’s learned them, whether in a hostile environment or simply a business deal.

One of the most important skills, he says, is to always be networking. It’s something we discuss at length here at The AoC, and Sam reiterates this belief. People skills and soft skills helped him fight insurgencies in Iraq, and they’ll help you whether you’re asking for a raise, negotiating a buyout, or building a network to advance your career.

A powerful perspective Sam recommends is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. When you’re talking to them, be sure they know you understand their position and where they are coming from. By doing so, you’re showing empathy and respect, which will go a long way towards creating a solution.

He also says it helps to keep things in perspective. In your negotiations, no one is going to die; most likely you’re just talking about money. In the grand scheme of things it isn’t that big of a deal since no one’s life is on the line. So keep that in mind. Remember: you have options and you have other resources; these two things merge to become one of the most potent combinations you can have in your corner when negotiating.

And you’ll have options and resources because you’ve continued to build your network. Spend the money to meet people face to face — it’s completely worth it. Sam has done this in his business and he knows people value the relationship they have with him because they’ve met in person. In fact, his team’s productivity doubles every time he meets with them!

In today’s digital age, face to face has become a novelty, so set yourself apart from everyone else and break bread with people — it’ll go a long way towards creating lasting, powerful relationships and partnerships in your professional career.

Sam also shares some tips on taking your emotions out of the negotiation and some fascinating stories from his negotiations with insurgents. Special thanks to Sam for being here, and thanks to you, as well. We’ll see you next time on The Art of Charm.

THANKS, SAM COOK!

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AJ Harbinger - author of 1049 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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