Modern Makers #31 - How to Negotiate Like a Pro

💰 A $140M Series B for Webflow 🔧 Softr introduces Membership

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Hi makers,

Hope you’re all doing well! Welcome to all the new makers who have joined us since last Sunday!

This week I had the opportunity to be invited on NoCode Family, a french podcast about no-code. I was able to talk about my vision of no-code, highlight my favorite tools, mention some of my favorite resources and share more details on how I use Airtable. I also created a LinkedIn page for Modern Makers where I will be posting content about no-code, feel free to subscribe. Finally, I’m currently reading No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings, Netflix’s CEO, and I should be able to share some key learnings with you in next week's newsletter.

This week in the agenda:👇

🤝 Learn how to negotiate like a pro with Chris Voss
💰 Webflow raised $140M and is now an unicorn
🔧 Focus on Softr new feature: Membership


📚 Book of the week

Never Split the Difference - Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It
Author: Chris Voss
Release date: May 2016

Chris Voss is a former FBI negotiator. He later created his own business, The Black Swan Group, where he provides negotiation training to leading companies. He is also the author of this book that I had the opportunity to read last year during the first lockdown. I took advantage of my Masterclass’s subscription to follow the course given by Chris. It covers the key points of his method as well as some of the cases and situations he had to face during his career at the FBI. Negotiation often has a bad reputation, as people tend to associate it with manipulation. However, Chris believes that knowing how to negotiate is the basis of a happy and healthy life. You have to negotiate every day, with everyone. Whether it's with your clients, your boss, your spouse or your children. Here are 5 essential points:

  1. Mirroring - The conscious repetition of the last few words of your interlocutor. Mirroring is designed to show the other person that you are listening and that you understand them. For example, if someone says "we don't have a budget for this activity", repeat "no budget for this activity?". This technique allows you to get the other person to give you as much information and context as possible. The more he or she talks, the more information you get that will help you in that negotiation. Your ultimate goal? To have the other side offer you a deal based on your terms, while giving them the impression that this is their idea. "Negotiation is the art of letting the other side have your way."

  2. Labeling - verbally acknowledging the other person's feelings and positions. Labeling is a powerful tool for reinforcing positive feelings and disabling negative feelings. For example, you may use phrases such as "it seems like..." or "it sounds like...". On the other hand, avoid the use of “I” ("I feel like”, or "I hear that"). By not using the “I”, you can easily react if it turns out that your labeling isn’t accurate. You invite your interlocutor to rephrase what he said rather than showing that you did not understand or listen correctly

  3. Silence is gold - whether after mirroring or labeling, be quiet! Just shut up! Not always easy to do, yet extremely effective! Complete silence on your part will get the person to answer your question and give you the information you need. Remember: “He who speaks first loses.” In addition, here is a tip to detect a lie. If a person gives you an answer that is too long, with much more information than necessary, it is likely that she is lying and she may be afraid that she will not be able to convince you. Chris calls this the Pinocchio Effect. Similarly, beware of expressions like "why would I lie to you?"

  4. The 65/20/10/5 rule - also known as the Ackerman system. Set your target price for something you want to buy ($100 for example). Your first offer should therefore be $65 (65% of your target price). Tell your interlocutor that he will surely find your offer ridiculous. Make sure that it is he who asks you for your price. Then announce your offer of $65. If this offer is not accepted (which is likely), make your second offer, which will increase by 20% of your target price, i.e. $85. Your third offer will be $95. As you can see, the increases decrease between each offer ($20, then $10 increase). Always increase by decreasing increments. For your last offer, go for a random number, giving the impression that this is your last offer: $98.5 for example. You can also include a non-monetary element in the negotiation at this stage, or let your contact make a counter-offer that includes such an element (it's then up to you to judge whether or not the deal suits you)

  5. Accusation Audit - A list of all the negative things the other party may think, feel or say about you. Compiling all of these potential accusations helps you anticipate the types of negativity and objections that could hinder the success of your deal. Be as thorough as possible. For example, in a salary negotiation with your boss, start the discussion by warning that he or she is likely to find you selfish and unreasonable. The goal of an accusation audit? That the person you're talking to tells you that “you're too hard on yourself”. In general, Chris recommends testing all of these techniques on low-stakes negotiations to familiarise yourself with these concepts

Some other content that caught my attention this week:

  • 🧩 The 30 Best Pieces of Advice for Entrepreneurs in 2020 - First Round Review - an extremely dense content with advice from entrepreneurs and business leaders on several topics including job interviews, product virality, writing, UX or how to organise virtual events

  • 📵 Why You Need an Untouchable Day Every Week by Neil Pasricha - In this article, Neil explains his method to block one day per week when he is absolutely unreachable. No email, no Slack, no phone. This disconnected day allows him to go into deep work mode and focus on the most creative aspects of his work. Very hard to set up if you are an employee but I believe freelancers should try to use this method

  • 🤔 A Few Thoughts On Writing - Collaborative Fund - a list of 12 tips by Morgan Housel for those who create written content. For example: it's important to remember that your readers' attention is more than limited and that your content must have the greatest possible impact from the very first words/seconds

💰 Funding

It’s always very exciting to see new unicorns in the no-code space. Webflow announced a $140M Series B that values Vlad Magdalin's company at more than 2 billion! For the anecdote, Webflow’s founders have been rejected by the Y Combinator when they first applied in 2012. They tried their luck a year later, this time with success.

Some key stats about Webflow:

  • 225 employees worldwide

  • 2 million users

  • 100,000 customers in 210 countries

  • a profitable company since 2020

  • $215M raised in total

Among other things, this new funding round will allow Webflow to grow its Enterprise offer. As far as I’m concerned, I'm looking forward to seeing the new features that Webflow will unveil in the coming months. In particular, deeper API integration, memberships and workflows would give a whole new dimension to the projects you can create with this tool. In the meantime, you can follow the new course available on the Webflow Academy to learn how to build a portfolio: 21 lessons over 21 days.

🧰 Product

Softr announced this week the launch of Membership. You can now very easily create member spaces on your applications with Sign-in / Sign-up forms blocks. Profile pages for each user are also available as well as the ability to make some of your content only available to a certain type of users.

This new feature is available on Softr's paid accounts, so at the very least you will need to switch to the Maker plan currently available at $25 per month.

Here is a video to learn how to create membership sites with Softr:

📦 And also…

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I also invite you to contact me if you have questions or need help with no-code tools or if you want to have a virtual coffee with me ☕

Have a great week, and keep building!


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