Sad Sales Negotiators Do a Bad Job

In the quest to do a better job at negotiating deals, sales negotiators have been known to do some pretty wild things in order to condition themselves to perform at a high level – extreme exercising, exposure to hot / cold temperatures, and even eating some pretty weird things. However, is it possible that they’ve been overlooking the most important thing – how happy they are?

The Power Of Sad

Dr. Robert Cialdini has spent a lot of time studying how we can persuade others and how they can persuade us. In fact he’s written a popular book on the topic titled Influence: Science and Practice in which he talks about what causes us to do things that we may not be giving a lot of thought to.

When it comes to sales negotiations, Dr. Cialdini and his peers have done some interesting studies that should cause all of us to sit up and take notice.

The Big Guess

The social scientist who were doing the research started with the hypothesis that when we get sad, we get motivated to do something to change our current circumstances in order to get out of our sad mood.

They took this thinking one step further. They also guessed that sad buyers would be willing to pay higher prices for a given product and sad sellers would be willing to sell a product for a lower price.Ã’Â Do I have your interest now?

The Experiment

The cool thing about being a social scientist is that you get to test your hypothesis on people, not rats. In this case the scientists had their (human) test subjects divided into two groups. One group watched a sad movie and then wrote a paragraph about how the movie made them feel. The other group watched a movie about fish (!) and then wrote about what they had done that day.

Next, both groups were once again divided into two groups and one group was asked to mark on a piece of paper what price they would sell an item at and the other group was asked to mark on a piece of paper what price they would buy an item at.

What the scientist discovered just might scare you. It turns out that their original guess was right: sad buyer ended up being willing to spend 30% more for an item than emotionally neutral buyers. Likewise, sad sellers were willing to sell an item for 33% less than emotionally neutral sellers. The really spooky part of all of this is that the sad buyers and sellers had no idea that their sadness had affected them so much.

Final Thoughts

Although we often get caught up in preparing for our next sales negotiation, what the social scientists have discovered is that we bring everything else that is going on in our lives to the table with us. On a similar note, the other side of the negotiating table does the exact same thing.

Before you start your next sales negotiation, you need to take a minute or two and evaluate how you are feeling. If there is anything that is bringing you down or making you depressed, then you have got to try to find a way to resolve it or at least make it better before the negotiations start. Learn to do this and it will allow you to close better deals and close them quicker.

Where Do You Live – Past, Present, Or Future?

What does your past have in common with Jimmy Hoffa? They are both dead!

I have a dear friend who is agonizing over a decision he made several weeks ago. He had to fire someone. It was a good decision, and one that was actually necessary to preserve his own integrity in his business. The person was being paid a high salary, and with that comes responsibility for leadership and willingness to learn new things (especially since it was a position in information technology.) But this person refused to learn anything new. He wanted to show up every day and do the same things he always did. He also had to be spoon-fed assignments. While he was supposed to be my friend’s backup, he showed no leadership potential nor desire to develop it. And, he was using company time to do his side job.

So why is my friend suffering over this? He is a good person, and he thinks he hurt the person he fired. The truth is, he did this guy a favor by giving him a wake-up call. But my real point is this:

What possible benefit do we get from reliving the past? None! After we accept any lesson we needed to learn, it is time to move on. Driving with your eyes on the rear view mirror is dangerous!

That being said, we need a healthy balance between:

Visualizing our future
Living in the present, to take action
In “Think And Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill’s Self Confidence Formula challenges you to spend 30 minutes daily thinking about the person you want to become. But he also says to transform that picture into reality through practical service and to spend 10 minutes daily to develop the factors named in his “The Law of Success” book. One of the principles he teaches is that you need definite plans and you need to put them into action. But without the visualization of where you are trying to go, “any road will do.”

I personally believe some of us spend too much time in the past because we are afraid to move forward. We think if we keep going over what already happened, the success formula for the future will become evident. But it doesn’t work that way. We need to decide where we want to go, and let the Universe show the way.

Setting forth bold intentions and burning the bridges of escape, as Mr. Hill teaches, is very scary! And yet he also teaches us that temporary defeat is to be expected and accepted. There is no reason to fear temporary defeat, as long as it is temporary. The point is to persist and never give up on that burning desire you create in your mind.

Spend just enough time in the future to know what it looks like, and reflect on it daily. But don’t spend all day visualizing! Once the picture is clear each day, live in the present and use all of your senses to get the messages the Universe sends you about the correct actions to take.

And remember, as Mr. Hill teaches, “Through the principle of auto-suggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of realizing it.”

History and Evolution of Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property may sound like a modern-world invention, but it has actually been around since the development of civilization. Many sources pin the origins of Intellectual Property rights to the year 1421 when the world’s first modern patent was awarded to an Italian inventor. However, according to Former Lord Justice of Appeal Robin Jacob, the history of Intellectual Property law can be traced back to as early as 600 BCE. This article explores the documented string of events that eventually led to our modern understanding of Intellectual Property laws, and elevates the conversation to answer a more pertinent question: So what?

Expert Insight: Many people shy away from studying history in general, believing that it is just tedious memorization of events based on evidence. While partly true that historians are essentially walking historical records, a significant portion of the practice involves many social applications, sociological methods, and anthropological theories.

Recognition, But Not Quite Possession: 600 BCE

The earliest records relating to Intellectual Property dates back to the 6th century BCE, from Sybaris in Ancient Greece. It supposedly granted a yearlong exclusivity for bakers to make their culinary invention. In a manner of speaking, the rise of Intellectual Property originated from the rising of bread.

Granting exclusive rights is a culture our modern society was born into. However, knowing that it has existed for millennia tells us of our valuation of individual talents. Although the ancient Greeks still considered their inventions as gifts from the gods, recognizing the human part of the innovation process proves that we are very similar to our distant ancestors.

Expert Insight: In the absence of written texts from prehistory, we can learn social values through artifacts. For instance, remains of animals bearing early forms of branding indicate that early humans attributed produce quality with the method of growing. This idea of adding a separate value on the maker – and, in extension, on how they care for their animals – starkly emulate the modern trademark and patent virtues.

Backstep Into the Dark Ages

However, the resemblance of our values to ancient views would pause for a long time with the rise of the Roman Empire. Religion came to the fore, and so the individualistic view on creatorship took a backstep and remained there since. At around 480 CE, Emperor Zeno overthrew the whole concept of sole proprietorship on artistic and agricultural produce. The Church gained absolute control over the entire Empire.

Nevertheless, through the centuries, religious influence over society waned as humanism reemerged through ancient texts. This movement, which in many ways is traceable to Aristotelian and Platonic worldviews paved the way for the Enlightenment. During this period of human appreciation, the first genuinely recognizable iteration of Intellectual Property appeared.

Let There Be Light

As we collectively emerged from traditionalism during the Renaissance, our appreciation of scientific and technological developments overtook the prevailing dogma. With the influx of revolutionary models of thinking came radical advancements in the field of engineering.

Expert Insight: There was a more significant premium placed on innovations with industrial applications. This is evidenced by the first patent with legal protection granted in 1421 to an Italian inventor. The 1421 license also closely resembles our current patent protections.

However, equal recognition towards works of art would receive legal protection much later during the European Reformation. While publishing guilds were already present before the Reformation, licensing of the written word was an often lopsided agreement.

In 1623, the Statute of Monopolies emboldened select groups of individuals to control their industry. Thus, publishers owned most of the rights associated with authored works. And with the author assuming the losing position, amendments were placed to arrive at the modern version of written word license: the copyright.

It was the year 1710 when the Statute of Anne empowered writers with renewable 14-year protection for their original works.

Polarizing Intellectual Property

Free thinking gave our society the agency to return ownership of inventions to inventors. But it also opened doors for other schools of thought, and often with cascading ideological implications. For instance, as we learned to value individual talents, we also saw how these talents are made through, and for, society. Whereas previous beliefs invalidate ownership by virtue of religious faith, newer ideologies either:

call to consign the rights to the general public, thereby removing profit from the inventor; or
advocate for private ownership of an invention.
While equally valid in their own right, these polarized approaches to Intellectual Property are to become the pillars of modern debates. The latter eventually evolved into legislation, while the former defined alternative social ideation.

From History to Current Reality

During the early 1800s, the idea of global protection of Intellectual Property rights floated among legislative bodies. And it was in the year 1883 that the Paris Convention brought clarity and cooperation among international jurisdictions. Three years later, the 1886 Berne Convention extended the same protection to written expressions. Within half a decade, trademarks were also granted international protection through the Madrid Protocol.

Resulting offices from the conventions later merged into a central governing body, the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property. This then became a United Nation office we now know as the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The transformation of Intellectual Property from Divine providence to valuable human talent took complicated detours and pitstops. However, the history of Intellectual Property reveals an imprint of how we evolved as a society. It tells us of our past values, of our collective thought, and of our remarkable capacity to strike a balance among individuality, society, and spirituality.

Although the roads we passed were pockmarked with glaring mistakes and surrounded by dark alleys, the fact that we do recognize the imperfections and reinvented today’s Intellectual Property tells another thing about us: we can change.

From History to Herstory

And we do change. As we diverge from misinformed beliefs we inherited from our old world, our growth accelerates on all fronts. Modern philosophies enable us to see past the borders and beyond colors. The movement is to take down the great walls dividing us as a society.

Being a bastion for innovation, the Intellectual Property industry also aims to bridge the gaps between sectors of society. World Intellectual Property Day in 2018 addressed the disparity between men and women in the field. This led to world organizations consolidating empowerment efforts for women in the field of innovation and development. Within a few years, the involvement of women increased by over 53%.

After all, the law protects equally. Hence, this move toward equality. Learning the history of Intellectual Property law highlights the value we place on innovations. And this value can be transformed into economic value.