To Win, Prepare More, Skate Less


In my last post, I shared 11 ways my lawyer taught me to win critical negotiations.

One point was preparing and organizing more than you think necessary, way more.

This recommendation is especially relevant to skaters that think they can use their icy cool verbal skills to pirouette their way to winning. Significant winning, repeatable winning relies more on diligence and rigor than on smoothly talking, angle skating.


Over-reliance on smooth blading verbal skills can be more of a liability than an asset. especially when facing data-driven, evidence-based buyers who rely more on substance and facts than on razzle and dazzle.

Here's an example of what my lawyer suggested I do for my court presentation.

  1. Print my entire scope of work. 85 reports. Across 46 people, 3,420 pages.
  2. Write down every imaginable question I could be asked, then answer it.
  3. Boil down all my points to 4 key ones.
  4. Order the sequence of my 4 key points so it builds momentum toward my goal.

My deep preparation worked. Better than I though. I won, far more than I expected. I expect you'll win more than you think, my preparing more that you think you should.

Not only did I win big, but I learned more than I previously knew about the sales groups i was testing. I saw patterns emerge and I recognized relationships between those patterns, that I hadn't previously seen before. The power of my knowing was greater and as a result my presentation was more relevant and compelling - winning me greater advantage of my opponent.

There's nothing magical here. Except when you see the results your preparation brings.

So here's my two-part question for you; first, what's the next critically important presentation you'll be facing and second, exactly how will you be preparing, in ways more that you thought you needed to, to get the results you want?