Excellent lessons may be learned, by reading the news every day. Taking the time to analyze what we should do, and what should be avoided in our own business will keep us on top of our game. The topic of late is that of negotiation – both at the local (San Francisco) and national levels.

Although salespeople are not always admired, the consummate professional understands the concept of negotiation and how to move forward. The spoiled child syndrome of “me, me, me” has no place in seeking a settlement but unfortunately, that’s where our city and national officials seem to be today.

San Francisco BART Union plus their employees have continually failed to find a solution at the bargaining table. One of the country’s most respected mediators, George Cohen, Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service was flown into San Francisco to negotiate a settlement for the transit authority but was unable to do so.

Why? Each side is focused on their own needs, but no thought is being given to what’s best for the greater good, society.

As each side remains stuck on their viewpoint, society loses. Due to the shutdown of public transit, here is what was witnessed: Given it was Friday, I gave myself two hours of opportunity to meet with clients and return before the infamous afternoon traffic built on the freeway. Only to my horror, traffic was at a standstill by 1:30 p.m. across the entire San Francisco Bay Area.

Did people on strike and employers consider how their lack of fortitude to solve the problem might affect many thousands of others? Did anyone begin to contemplate the liability of fumes produced by all those automobiles stalled in traffic on the freeways and bridges that the entire population is now forced to breathe?

Do you believe the politicians in Washington D.C elected to office gave thought to the people and their families they put on furlough or why their constituents elected them to office? Did any of us expect the government to shutdown when we voted?

Improved negotiations will only take place when everyone is willing to look deep inside as to what their own truth is, and possess willingness to take responsibility on a higher ground. Respect for the people they are to serve should be among the top considerations.

An excellent sales model to adhere to when negotiating with anyone is to find a solution that will make everyone feel as if they have gained something, or make it a win for all. Working relentless for the greater good will find an agreement each and every time.

When we speak of “personal brand”, it is that which reflects your truth, priorities and responsibility. Those in negotiation, including our politicians, will do well to reflect upon what they are each silently conveying to us. Perhaps then, they too may have a new and better vision for not only themselves but for society too.

When you work on the behalf of your clientele, and seek a solution agreeable to all, you will enjoy the Smooth Sale!


Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, (800) 704-1499; authored “INSPIRED Business A New View for Building Business and Communities”; “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, and “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews”.