1/“What would need to be true for you to….X”

Why is this the most powerful question you can ask when attempting to reach an agreement with another human being or organization?

A thread, co-written by @deanmbrody:

2/ First, “X” could be lots of things. Examples: What would need to be true for you to

- “Feel it's in our best interest for me to be CMO"
- “Feel that we’re in a good place as a company”
- “Feel that we’re on the same page”
- “Feel that we both got what we wanted from this deal
3/ Normally, we aren’t that direct. Example from startup/VC land:

Founders leave VC meetings thinking that every VC will invest, but they rarely do.

Worse over, the founders don’t know what they need to do in order to be fundable.
4/ So why should you ask the magic Q?

To get clarity.

You want to know where you stand, and what it takes to get what you want in a way that also gets them what they want.

It also holds them (mentally) accountable once the thing they need becomes true.
5/ Staying in the context of soliciting investors, the question is “what would need to be true for you to want to invest (or partner with us on this journey, etc)?”

Multiple responses to this question are likely to deliver a positive result.
6/ Positive answers/outcomes include:

A) straight answer that includes a set of conditions that you can reasonably meet (e.g. a reasonable equity ask).

Positive outcome: clear criteria to establishing a deal.
7/ B) straight answer that includes a set of conditions that are not realistic to meet (e.g. renounce leadership position).

Positive outcome: get out of the deal pursuit and save your time OR counter propose with more favorable conditions.
8/ C/ no straight answer and uneasy body language. They struggle to give a clear/concise response.

Positive outcome: bail!  Save your time and money as they are not ready or willing to do business.
9/ Note: The Q should come from a place of seeking mutual benefit. Or else it’ll ring hollow and manipulative.

When asking for a raise, it's less: “true for you to feel I deserve this?"

More: “true for you to feel it’s in all of our best interest?”

And you genuinely mean it.
10/ Put differently: The Q below isn't phrased “buy my product, be my employee, etc —

https://t.co/Yo6jHbSit9

it says “be all in”—be a partner.

Seeking win-win.

Like any conversational framework, use somewhat sparingly, and only when genuinely seeking mutual benefit!

More from Life

“We don’t negotiate salaries” is a negotiation tactic.

Always. No, your company is not an exception.

A tactic I don’t appreciate at all because of how unfairly it penalizes low-leverage, junior employees, and those loyal enough not to question it, but that’s negotiation for you after all. Weaponized information asymmetry.

Listen to Aditya


And by the way, you should never be worried that an offer would be withdrawn if you politely negotiate.

I have seen this happen *extremely* rarely, mostly to women, and anyway is a giant red flag. It suggests you probably didn’t want to work there.

You wish there was no negotiating so it would all be more fair? I feel you, but it’s not happening.

Instead, negotiate hard, use your privilege, and then go and share numbers with your underrepresented and underpaid colleagues. […]

You May Also Like

Making a thread of makers & entrepreneurs who inspired me, and what they taught me.
#thread
👇

Strong marketing game, super hard work, can stream for 24 hours and currently leading a new streamer movement with the #24hrstartup challenge.
Make it bigger than yourself.
👉 @thepatwalls

Made the awesome
https://t.co/lBYn9nP3KJ which works perfectly and saved me hours and hours.
Make a simple, helpful product.
👉 @gvrizzo

Making the stylish @threader_app looking for maximum integration with Twitter (it might even become part of Twitter one day...)
Raise the bar for quality, look for seamless integrations.
👉 @marie_dm_ + @yesnoornext

Successfully monetized a tiny social network @wip without screwing his users, focusing on the maker community.
A small engaged community is enough.
👉 @marckohlbrugge