Terri: Hi, Terri Levine here from Heart-repreneur and excited to have you here at Heart-repreneur radio Heart-repreneur TV. And I just want you to take a moment. And I want you to think about today. What is your biggest challenge or frustration in business? What’s not quite right yet as Heart-repreneurs, we’re here to keep making those things more, right. So we’re hoping past episodes have helped you. Today’s episode will help you and continuous listening to my incredible guests will continue to bring you value, value, value. That’s what Heart-repreneurs do. We’re all about passing it forward and serving each other. So I want to take a minute. And I want you to think about the day that you’re born, you’re this little innocent baby, right? And even a baby learns to negotiate what they want. Now just think about this. Just yesterday, I was observing a toddler where I am, who was going around a swimming pool and wanted ice cream and was screaming for the ice cream. And then later was just trying everything and going from person to person, but incredibly loud screaming. And the mom wanted to have the child be quiet. So what did she do? Eventually she gave into the screaming right? And you’ve probably seen this in your own life. Hopefully as we get a little bit older and wiser we go well, these toddler tantrums probably aren’t that professional probably not so cool. And so we come up with other techniques, other ways to achieve what it is we want. We’re going to talk about some of these things with my amazing guest today, I want to introduce you to Karen Green. Karen, thanks so much for being here on Heart-repreneur Radio and TV.
Karen: Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here. It’s going to be good fun.
Terri: Yeah, it’s going to be good fun. So to begin with, tell us a little bit about your journey. how you got to where you are today. I’m always very curious of that.
Karen: Yeah, of course. Thanks. Yeah, I started, I’ve always been in retail in some form or other. So my father ran a department store in England. And I think I started at five and a little fashion show. And I’ve got cute photographs of me walking up on the catwalk in little clothes and then working there as a Saturday girl learning how to fold jumpers and be nice to people. And in those days, the customer was always right. Whereas nowadays, I’m not so sure Customer Service is quite that strong, probably more in the US than it certainly is in France. And so then I went to university studied retail marketing and buyer behavior, went to work for one of the big UK grocers, Tesco then for a pharmaceutical company Boots, who also has a lot of retailing and was a buyer for a number of years. And then towards the end of my career within Boots, I crossed over and started selling back to those buyers. So at the time, that was toiletries, cosmetics, and then I moved into the food industry and spent about 10 years working on selling everything from turkeys to sushi to Christmas puddings, a real variety of different products. And then about for…it’s coming up on five years ago now, I decided I wanted to move to France, which is where I live now. The kind of roles I was doing were very hands-on. So I wanted to do a consultancy business. I’ve seen a lot of companies struggle, a lot of entrepreneurs struggle when dealing with the big corporates. So I set up my business food mentor in October ’16 to help food companies primarily although now I’m finding I’m working with a lot more, a wider range of entrepreneurs. But to help them to create profitable sales growth through learning how to sell better, pitch better, and negotiate better so that we’re getting better deals or actually making money rather than going “well it’d be nice to work you know, supply them because you know, it’s good exposure” and I’m like well that’s not really going to make us any money and we’ve all done it I’m sure I’ve done it myself we go “I’ll do that for a pro bono” and sometimes it is it’s really good exposure and sometimes you realize you’ve just worked for nothing. So yeah, I’ve been doing that for like three and a half years and I’ve got an amazing… mostly women, I have to be honest, I don’t specifically seek out women, but mostly women entrepreneurs, I think women are more open to looking for help and support. That’s not to say I’ve got some great male clients. But we do everything from pitching to supermarkets, I’m doing a massive quarter million pound raise, investment raise, with a client at the moment. And you know, trying to work with another client to keep them in the retail businesses and not get kicked out. So it’s quite an interesting mix of clients. But it all comes back at the end of the day to that kind of building relationships. With corporations how we do that.
Terri: That’s really why I was so excited to have you on the show, because Heart-repreneur is all about ending transactional sales, and doing business in a heart to heart way, which is relational, right? And so I just love this. So, you know, the tantrum thing, right? It’s so funny, because I knew you were coming on the show today. And here I am observing this little child. And I mean, it was a full on high pitch framing. And eventually there, she was off getting her ice cream, and I was just laughing. So I do know sometimes in my experience, business owners almost do have tantrums. I’ve seen them take out tantrums on social media. And it’s sort of different than a screaming child, but it is screaming, pay attention to me buy my stuff, buy my stuff. What do you have to say to those business owners who might be watching and listening?
Karen: I think one of the problems with negotiation, and one of the reasons clients bring me on actually, is when it’s your business, you become very emotional. So if I compare how well I negotiate for my clients, compared to sometimes how well I negotiate fees, and definitely better when I’m not emotionally involved. So the toddler tantrum is probably brought out of the psychology of insecurity and not knowing how to do it. And I used to be that child, I mean, my mother used to tell me, I would lie on the floor in the hall and kick my legs and scream and scream and scream, and nothing would happen. And then I would write a little note saying sorry. I get under the door, which I thought was quite cute actually. So I think what we have to do is to take a step back as entrepreneurs and not do the screaming and the shouting. And there is a degree of dues you would be done by so think about how you would like to be approached. But and this is the really big button, this is what I kind of focus a lot of my energy on. And I’ve done a little mini book on negotiation. And this is what my little matrix, which is, we all receive information in different ways. And I think we kind of miss out on that thought process. So you’re a guy who’s going you know, “buy this buy this” is going to be coming from his point of view, so he’s going to be very outgoing, it’s going to be very extrovert, he wants to shout about his product. But if you’re actually quite an introvert person, you’re quite a quiet person, you’re not creating rapport. And that first thing you’ve got to do is create some form of rapport. I think from an advert that’s really difficult if your ad is just going out to everybody. If you can’t target it, you can’t message it in the right way each time. So what would my advice be, it’s to take a step back, start to look at the person that you’re selling to. And I do, I suppose, in a lot of ways, specializing one to one. So I tend to look at this three by three matrix, which I just came up with one day. I love it. I think it works really well to explain it. So if you think of a spectrum on the bottom, where you’ve got the buyer, and then you’ve got their Corporation at the bottom, and then at the top, you’ve got what is fixed and what is changeable. And within that if you start to think about how the buyer or the person that you’re selling to could just be an individual. And I’m sure some of your clients and some of my clients are individuals so you’re just selling to an individual, if you’re selling to someone who’s part of a corporate, the corporation’s values and requirements and KPIs are really key, as is the buyer’s personality. So you’ve got those interactions to start thinking about. And then some of those things are fixed. So for example, and I know I’ve studied a lot of psychology and all psychologists on here are going to go “no, we don’t agree.” To some extent your personality is fixed. And in probably the timescale you’re going to negotiate a deal with with a buyer, it’s fixed. And I know that it can’t be adjusted. Let’s go with it. So one of the things that I am a massive fan of, and I don’t know if you’ve come across it is DiSC profiling. So DiSC profiling is, you know, Dominant, Influencing, Creative and Steadiness. But the great thing that I found is this tool called Crystal Knows. It’s CrystalKnows.com. Okay, we can supply it in the show notes. It’s a really, really good little tool. It goes on LinkedIn, and it profiles you, or the person you’re after. You don’t have to do anything with them. So for example, and I will take you as an example. And you tell me if I’m right, or if I’m wrong.
Karen: Crystal Knows sees you as an initiator. So if I came along to you, and I was going to negotiate something with you, maybe a deal, I would not give you a fixed deal. I would say, “well, what do you think? What kind of things are you interested in? How can we make this work together?” And they’d be using this softer language appealing to your creativity? If maybe we got into conflict again, I think, “do you think we could try something else. Do you think a different angle might work? What do you think?
Karen: I thought…I didn’t know you. I’ve never met you before.
Terri: First of all, I’ve never heard of this. So checking it out. CrystalKnows.com. The second thing is that really does nail me because I really do prefer to like, have a conversation and figure out how can we work together, best collaborate, be creative? That is exactly me. So that’s fantastic. Because if I was talking with someone, and I have that information, I would know their style. And I’d be able to negotiate with them. I’ve never heard of this tool. You don’t know. I’d love things like this.
Karen: Well, I I found about a year ago. And I have to say it’s worked for me for winning business, because where I’ve had clients and I said, “well, you probably struggle with buying/selling because of this” and they’ve gone. “How do you know?”
Terri: Brilliant. You know, it’s so fascinating. We’re having this conversation. And there’s synchronicity. My team talked to somebody maybe a month ago, who they felt was a good fit for a program and fixed and what I’ll call regular offer. And the person came back and kind of tried to negotiate something else. And a couple of members of my team were like, “Oh, my gosh, no, he’s trying to negotiate something else.” And now that I understand more about myself here, thanks to you. I said, “Well, wait a minute, let me have a conversation with him. And let me see why he’s trying to negotiate and what he’s looking for, and if there’s a value proposition in it”. And in fact, there was he was willing to literally give my company 50% of his revenue growth, if we worked with him in a creative way. And it was interesting to me, my team was like, all of them threw their hands up and let him go, he wouldn’t want them. And I said, Well, there’s a reason he’s trying to negotiate. So let me chat with him and figure it out. And it ends up being you know, he feels this is in his favor. We feel it’s in our favor. So it’s a great coming together of how can we do this together. And I didn’t understand that about my style. And why I was so willing to “no, let’s get on the phone with him.” I just learned something. Karen. Thank you!
Karen: Oh, it’s a pleasure. I think the challenge is when you come across…I used to have a buyer. I really didn’t like him. I really struggled. And it was during some tough negotiations and it wasn’t only after I’d stopped working with him that I found Crystal Knows and I actually did the analysis and worked out what the problem was and why he and I…I’m actually quite a red personality and straight to the point I want to get it done let’s do it now. This is the numbers. “Why are you not agreeing with me now because it’s obvious it’s the right thing to do.” He’s an analyst, a blue personality. He wants to look at all the details. He got me to analyze the daily temperature and weather correlating with sushi sales over a three year period. I was like “Why?!”
Karen: Anyway, it’s just an example. But that’s the first…that’s the most powerful tool for me to have a look at how you analyze somebody you’re going to be selling to. And, you know, we’ve only got a half an hour here. So we can only do a snapshot of that. But that’s the first piece because I think there’s other techniques that I teach. And there’s another way in which I’m sure you’re aware of where people learn in different ways. So there’s visual, auditory, kinesthetic, gustatory, I can never pronounce it. But the difficulty we have now is a lot of us are working in this environment where we’re on Zoom, or we’re in, we’re remote. And it’s, so we can’t hand over something for them to get hold of, I can’t give you a product to taste because you’re thousands of miles away. So we have to think of other ways to get that rapport. And whilst yes, auditory, the use of language is saying, this, this baby is my favorite. So that forms one chunk of it. So the first thing is, and that’s the piece, which I think you can’t change. And then you start to get into the other stuff. And that’s all about research. We’re so blessed. Now there’s so much information around and you can start understand who what that buyer is looking for, that person is looking for how they’re interacting with that corporation, life is changing so quickly. At the moment, there’s so many opportunities, but so many challenges. So the more research we can do, before we get into a negotiation, the better because knowledge is power. And I can assure you, most of my clients, I’m going to say not all because actually the buyers certainly in the UK are very highly trained, will go in much better prepared to make a negotiation and do a deal than the buyer is, especially your regular person. And you can use this technique in buying cars and all sorts of things if you work on it.
Terri: So I’m going to throw a scenario at you because a client asked me this a couple of weeks ago. So she was offering her high ticket program, which I think is 20 or 25,000. And the person she offered it to said “I only have”…I think it was 5000. I don’t exactly recall, “I only have $5,000. So I’d like to put down $5,000. And then you can prove to me that you can do what you say you’re going to do and then I’ll pay you based on a contingency fee.” And she was so turned off by that and opposed to that. And I wanted her to be more open to the possibility. How would you have handled that? I’m curious.
Karen: It’s an interesting one that we get quite a lot actually, I’ve got a couple of people I collaborate with and we get this kind of “we’ll pay you at some retainer, but we want to see it on results.” I think to some extent, there is a view that if you’ve got to that point, you probably haven’t sold it well enough to get the person to really understand the value that you’re delivering. But if you’re trying…I don’t particularly enjoy doing it. But if I find a client who I really rate their products, I might actually do some hands on work for them. And there, it’s unproven. So, you know, “are you going to sell my stuff? Or you’re not going to?” I don’t know. So sometimes I do a deal. So sometimes I’ll look at an opportunity to say, “okay, a lot of my businesses are quite young.” So I’ll say, “well, you can pay me a retainer.” And that retainer is enough in my heart to say I’m being paid enough. And then the rest of me is…it’s what I should be paid, in advance. So I offered… and if you go back to the first principles of negotiation, have you got anything that’s valuable to them that’s cheap for you? If he’s saying, “well, I’m going to give you $5,000, that’s great. That’s cash, I wan’t cash.” But what can she give to him that this maybe more value that he might be prepared to pay for or like your other client, what could he do for her? And I’m not a great believer in bartering.
Terri: Me either. Good.
Karen: Sometimes, negotiations are not just about money. There’s all the other elements that you have to drop down into. So that would be my advice to you.
Terri: I’m glad you said that.
Karen: Sometimes you have to stick to your guns and go, “the deal is the deal.”
Terri: I love that. And while I’m also in agreement with you, like, I’m not the biggest fan of bartering. I know very often people aren’t all in in a barter. There have been some situations over the course of doing business, where I really wanted what the other person was willing to provide me. And in that case, it made sense. Sometimes it’s, you know, I’ll give you an example, I had a client many, many years ago, she said, “Well, I want to be in your $15,000 program, and I’ll barter you a massage a month.” And I’m like, “a massage for $125 isn’t close in the value proposition.” So for me, it was a no. And we had to come back and take a look at how to turn that no into a yes. And change the value proposition. So let’s just take a moment because we have a little bit more time. And I want people to know how can people best connect with you and follow you? And who is your ideal client family members? So if someone’s listening, they go “This is me!” and then they connect with you, Karen.
Karen: Okay, so I guess my ideal client is probably an entrepreneur turning over probably about half a million US/UK, it’s all about the same at the moment. Who’s gone so far in their business, they’ve got an established offer, they want to grow it, they want to take it to the next stage. I’m very good at going into businesses and looking at how someone can take it to the next level, so it’s thinking through where’s the growth opportunities, where’s the products and services that they can develop, and how they can then sell those on and teaching them and coaching them on how to sell them on and drive businesses through? As I say, a lot of my background is food. I’m passionate about the food industry. I love food. So food businesses, definitely. And I have worked with some in the US, UK in Europe, but other businesses as well, where they just need to be inspired to go out and sell better. Where can they find me? My website is is morphing actually, but at the moment, if they go to foodmentor.co.uk it will be the TheKarenGreen.com, but I’m not sure how far we’ve got with that change that will go with foodmentor.co.uk. I’m on Twitter, I’m on Facebook. I am a massive fan of LinkedIn from cooperation points of view. So if they want to link in with me, that’s the best place to find me. And yeah, put Karen green food mentoring and I come up everywhere. Everything lights up.
Terri: Brilliant, beautiful. So what is the number one problem or challenge that you would typically help someone with? So if someone’s listening, what struggle, challenge, frustration do they typically have when they come to you, Karen?
Karen: I think most entrepreneurs cannot see the wood for the trees because of their personality, they have so many ideas and so many things they think they can do. And they can and what they need to have is the help to say, look, this is the one. And it’s not so trendy anymore to talk about making money. But I think you know, we all are in business. It’s partly for love. And we do know our why but actually, we want to make money. And what they need to do is to have that focus. And that’s what I do for people I go in and I say right, this is the area that’s going to make you money. This is the area that’s going to enable you maybe to do the things you want to do that maybe are not so financially rewarding, but this is the one that’s in your business that will make the money and I can help you do it. And then I put a 90 day program in place to help them do that. And then we go from them. We’ve had some great successes. We’ve built factories, we’ve negotiated deals, we’ve sold millions. It’s really exciting, and it’s really inspiring. So yes, please get in touch. I offer a half hour discovery call. So it’s on my website just as book a coffee. So if you want to come along and have half an hour free chat, that’s fine. And you know, I work all hours. I live in the south of France, so I’m on Central European Time, but I’m around.
Terri: Beautiful. Would you give your website one more time before we end?
Karen: Yeah, it’s foodmentor.co.uk
Terri: Karen, you’ve been awesome. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve had fun. And thank you so much. You’re definitely a Heart-repreneur. And one of the things that I really want to speak to before we conclude is I talk to entrepreneurs all the time and say something people quote me on all the time, which is “one focus, one goal”, I find entrepreneurs, we have like a little bit of ADHD, maybe not diagnosed, but shiny object syndrome. It’s, you know, “this looks interesting. And that looks cool. And maybe I can go post here and be here and be there.” Even with social media, you know, find where your audience is, you don’t need to post on every social media platform. Be at the one where your audience is really speaking on that one. So getting taken to heart with Karen, she’s offered so much value. Connect with her. And then in closing out the show, I want you to take a moment and I really do want you to think about what is your biggest business challenge or struggle or frustration. It’s time to figure out what it is and then to get some help in overcoming it. Whether I can help you, whether Karen can help you, whether one of our other guests can help you. It’s very important that you right now, get some help. This is not a journey to do on your own in my experience, and I’ve spent over a million dollars hiring coaches, consultants, mentors and trainers, forget coursework, PhDs and all that stuff. The truth of the matter is, entrepreneurship is not a journey to be on alone. You will make a lot of mistakes and you could spend a lot of money making them or you could make fewer mistakes and you can actually learn and earn from someone else who’s made them; been there done that. So we invite you to connect with Karen. Stay tuned here at Heart-repreneur Radio and TV. Share the show. You know if you’re on a platform that can give reviews, we love our five star reviews, and then just subscribe to the show. So we thank you for tuning in. Thank Karen for being here. And we will see you again here at Heart-repreneur Radio and TV.
- Official Karen Green Website
- Crystal Knows DISC Assessment
- Karen’s Recipe For Success: Ultimate Guide to Negotiation
About Karen Green
Karen Green is a motivational speaker, business mentor and author with a PASSION for helping entrepreneurs get their best results through a better understanding of their target customers. She has a unique perspective on how the buyer’s mind works, having been both a buyer for major UK Grocery Retailers – Boots and Tesco and also Commercial director successfully selling right back at them.
She has worked with some of Europe’s biggest food businesses enabling them not only to win new business and grow their sales but also to negotiate better deals. She now runs a consultancy business working with SMEs and entrepreneurs who want generate profitable sales growth and delivered training programs for various UK universities
Karen is author of the best-selling book Recipe for Success which was shortlisted for Business book of the Year and talks about her experiences in the food industry and key take out on how to create a profitable food business. She has also published a short book Ultimate Guide to Negotiation which is available on Amazon.
In her spare time she is a keen runner and dedicated to finishing her village house renovation in the south of France (three and a half years and counting!) She is the very proud mother of two children Jack who does something she doesn’t understand in banking IT and her daughter who is the penultimate year of medical school – both of whom taught her much about negotiation!
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