The Silent Scissors.

by Brandon Steiner January 07, 2013 0 Comments

Getting what you want from someone - in negotiations, or out of someone - when you’re managing them, is all about using your silent scissors.

I’ve never called up an athlete to ask for something without first knowing what that person needed himself.

One time I needed Hank Aaron to tape a couple of internal promotional videos for an automotive company - we wanted him to record a couple of messages motivating the salespeople.

The first time I asked him, Hank rejected the idea outright.

So then I called his secretary and from her, I found out that Hank was working on his house, and he was having a hard time getting a certain lawnmower he needed.

I figured out a way to get the lawnmower to him very quickly, and I called Hank again. And Before I brought up the motivational video I needed, I said, “I have a way for you to get that lawnmower.”

Now Hank was interested in helping me get what I wanted, because he knew it would help him get what he wanted.

I did something similar with Amare Stoudemire this past fall. I needed him to sign a bunch of items for me, and I knew that Amare was too busy to do all his Christmas shopping.

So I called him and, before mentioning the signing I needed, I told Amare I would help obtain some of the gifts or charity items he needed to get for the holiday season.

After that, signing a bunch of items for me seemed well worth his time to him.

The ultimate motivator is self-interest. People will go along with you, and help you get what you need, if they feel they’re helping themselves at the same time - and that’s where you have to start with them.

You have to open them up with your silent scissors, find their particular buttons, and start pushing them.

So that before they realize it, they’re working for you, and they barely noticed how that came to be.

Who do you need on board with you for your next important project? What’s their personal make-or-break?

Can you expose that button with your silent scissors?

Brandon Steiner
Brandon Steiner


Brandon Steiner is the founder and chairman of Steiner Sports Marketing and Memorabilia, the largest company of its kind in America. Considered a sports marketing guru, Brandon is a permanent fixture in the media as a regular on ESPN NY Radio 98.7 FM and as host of "The Hook-Up with Brandon Steiner" on YES Network. He has appeared frequently on CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, ESPN, and in newspapers including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The author of The Business Playbook: Leadership Lessons from the World of Sports and You Gotta Have Balls: How a Kid from Brooklyn Started From Scratch, Bought Yankee Stadium, and Created a Sports Empire, Brandon lives in Scarsdale, New York, with his wife, Mara and children Crosby and Nicole.

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