First Family of Sports Management to Speak at MIT

Jeff Cochran


What does the agent who has represented more Hall of Fame baseball players than anybody in history, the President of the Cleveland Indians, and the former head coach of the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns have in common?  They’re all in the same family.  Ron Shapiro is the baseball super agent who represented the likes of Cal Ripken, Jr., Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Kirby Puckett, and Eddie Murray.  He currently represents, among others, Minnesota Twins star Joe Mauer and is a special advisor to professional teams outside of baseball.  Mark Shapiro spent 9 years as the GM of the Cleveland Indians before assuming his current position as President.  Eric Mangini, who is married to Ron’s daughter, Julie, was once the youngest head coach in NFL history.  It’s no wonder that the Baltimore Sun referred to this triumvirate as the “first family of sports management.”

All three will be speaking this weekend, March 2nd and 3rd, at the MIT Sports Analytics Conference.  Ron’s session is called “A Systematic Approach to Sports Negotiations”.  Mark will be part of a panel that discusses “Baseball Analytics”.  Eric will partake in two panels: “Football Analytics” and “Coaching Analytics”.  It should be an exciting weekend for everybody.

For more information on the conference, go to

Ron Shapiro to Speak at 2012 MIT Sports Analytics Conference

Jeff Cochran


SNI Chairman, Ron Shapiro, will be speaking at the 2012 MIT Sports Analytics Conference.  The conference goal is to provide a forum for industry professionals (executives and leading researchers) and students to discuss the increasing role of analytics in the sports industry.  He will be presenting at 5:00 PM in room 302 at the Haynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts on Friday, March 2nd.

Ron’s session, A Systematic Approach to Sports Negotiations, will focus on a
systematic approach to negotiation that Ron has developed.  It will include examples of, and ways to, practice this methodical approach. The session is based on over 40 years of experience from representing, among others, more baseball Hall of Fame players than any other agent, serving in other sports as special advisor to team owners and executives respecting negotiations, and training and consulting business departments of teams on sponsorship, media, suite, and ticket sales.

To learn more details about the conference, go their website at

Unlocking Deadlocks

Jeff Cochran


The room is dark and hazy.  The man across the table from you puffs on his cigar.  A cloud of smoke slowly plumes out of his mouth and rises towards the low-hanging overhead light above the table before dissipating into the air.  A small bead of sweat begins to trickle down your forehead.  Without unlocking your eyes from his, you slide a piece of paper across the table with another new proposal.  He grabs the paper and stares back at you.  The small bead of sweat finally slides down your face and drops onto your shirt.

Okay, maybe your negotiation is not this dramatic or intense.  Still, a deadlocked negotiation can be a difficult thing to get around.  Perhaps you can’t agree on the price or timing.  Maybe it’s an issue of control.  Whatever it is, a new approach needs to be taken so that the deadlock can be broken and a deal can be reached.   So how do you do this?

Change Locations

If you’ve been meeting at your office, offer to go to theirs.  A change in scenery can be good for both parties.  Sometimes a setting can be intimidating, stifling, stale, or negative.  Staring at the same walls can become boring.  Imagination and energies can wane.  Maybe the negotiators have begun to subconsciously associate the surroundings with a lack of progress.  By switching locations, both parties get a new perspective.  They’ll be in a different room, in a different seat, facing a new direction.  It may not seem logical, but attitudes can shift with locales.

Change Negotiators

Maybe you’re the problem.  It may not mean that you’re negotiating poorly, but that the other party isn’t hearing you anymore.  (You may be guilty of the same thing in reverse).  They are frustrated with how the negotiation has gone and may have tuned
you out.   Instead of being stuck at this impasse, bring in a substitute.  Let your partner or associate take over.  A fresh face with a new style can jump-start the stalled negotiation.

Call in a Mediator

This is a more dramatic suggestion to changing negotiators.  If both sides are stuck without a way out, a mediator may be the best option.  This person must be an expert in negotiations, but not necessarily in the specific topic.  They only need to understand the fundamentals well enough to facilitate progress.  The mediator does not need to get bogged down with the small details—something that has probably happened to both sides.  Instead, the mediator should be focused on the broad goals of the deal.

Mark Jankowski to Speak in Upcoming Training and Expo

Jeff Cochran


Come see  SNI President, Mark Jankowski, speak at the Training Conference and Expo 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. His presentation is at  9:45 AM – 10:45 AM on February 13th at the Georgia World Congress Center.  Hear about Gen Re’s 3D training, which won the Federal Virtual World Challenge for innovative development of instructional programs. Learn how instructors interact as avatars in dynamic environments and take an active role, such as walking to a letter to indicate their multiple-choice answer.  Discover how they offered negotiations training inside the Sistine Chapel, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, at the North Pole, and on Mt. Everest.  The result?  A program that costs dramatically less, avoids time out of the office, and delivers effective new skills that can be implemented immediately.

Mark is considered one of the leading experts in the application of virtual technology for training and development of employees around the globe.  Mark’s accomplishments include: Winner of Federal Virtual World Competition; Author of “Virtual Expert” column for Training Magazine; and Featured Company in Second Life’s @ Work Column.

Mark has conducted training in Virtual Worlds since 2008 and participants in his program have been from companies such as: IBM, Michelin, Nationwide Insurance, IGAF, SkillSoft, Northern Trust, GrantThornton, Walgreens, and Abbott Labs.

We are excited for the opportunity to speak and hope you are able to come see us. For more information about the
conference, check out their website at

Jeff Cochran Speaking at Training Conference and Expo 2012

Jeff Cochran


Make sure to check out our colleague, Jeff Cochran, as he speaks at the Training Conference and Expo 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  He will be speaking on Wednesday, February 15th from 12:15 PM – 3:15 PM at the Georgia World Congress Center. His presentation is based on the award-winning book, The Power of Nice: How to Negotiate So Everyone Wins– Especially You!, and will focus on a systematic process for negotiating deals will suppliers, vendors, and customers that helps to maintain an ongoing relationship long after “the deal is done”. You’ll learn how to negotiate in a way that is profitable, while also satisfying the needs of the other side so that negative ramifications down the line are minimized. You will:

  • Learn habits and tools that can be applied immediately to achieve greater negotiation success
  • Undergo Real Deal coaching
  • Participate in interactive exercises
  • Be able to train others in your organization in this process

We’re excited about the opportunity to speak and hope you are able to come see us.

For more information about the conference, check out their website at

Ron Shapiro Receives Highest Speaker Rating at the Association For Finance Professionals Annual Conference

Jeff Cochran



Ronald M. Shapiro ranked 1st out of over 400 speakers at the Association of Finance Professionals (AFP) Annual conference this year. Other speakers included CNN senior political analyst David Gergen, 11-time NBA Champion and Celtic legend Bill Russell, and former President Bill Clinton.

The AFP annual conference, held at Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, has been providing world-class education covering current issues to finance professionals for 30 years. This year was the second highest rated in the conference’s history. The AFP annual conference hosted over 6,000 treasury and finance professionals from over 1,500 companies.

Ron Shapiro, Chairman of Shapiro Negotiation Institute, led an educational session on “Negotiation and Influencing Techniques for Getting the Deal Done”, which taught a systematic process to negotiating with suppliers, vendors, customers and peers that helps to maintain an ongoing business relationship long after “the deal is done”.

“Of the over 400 speakers at the AFP Annual conference this year, Ron scored the highest, both for the session and for the individual speaker scores. Ron’s speaker score, on a 5 point scale, was 4.89 and his session scored a 4.83 on the same scale. Extraordinary”. Says Mary Ellen Saunders, the Managing Director of Education & Training Programs for the AFP. Sponsors of the AFP Annual conference include American Express, Barclays, BB&T, BBVA Compass, BMO Harris Bank, BNY MELLON, Capital One, Deutsche Bank, Fidelity Investments, Fifth Third Bank, Planview, PNC, Scotiabank, Skylight Financial, SunTrust, and Wells Fargo.

For more information about the AFP annual conference, please visit

About Ron Shapiro
Expert Negotiator, Sports Agent, Corporate Attorney, Educator, New York Times best-selling Author, Civic Leader, and Founder of Shapiro Negotiations Institute, Ron Shapiro has developed his Negotiations philosophy on four decades of deal-making experience. He is best known as having represented more Major League Baseball Hall of Famers than any other agent, including Cal Ripken, Jr. USA Today called Ron “an effective behind-the-scenes negotiator.” His negotiation and influencing techniques have resolved a national symphony orchestra strike, facilitated solutions to human relations problems, and reconciled disputes in government, corporate, and major biotechnology challenges.

About Shapiro Negotiations Institute
SNI is a premier global provider of training and consulting in the following areas: Negotiation, Influencing, Sales Optimization, and Conflict Resolution. The focus of SNI is on maximizing our clients’ ability to create mutually beneficial and profitable long-term relationships with peers, vendors, and customers – both internal and external to the organization. Our success is built on helping professionals at all levels use a systematic approach to get more accomplished, faster, and with a higher degree of effectiveness. By taking over 30 years of lessons learned in real-life situations, we dig into specific industry and client challenges, so our tools and techniques can be used immediately and repeated with precision.

About the Association for Finance Professionals Annual Conference
The Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) serves a network of more than 16,000 treasury and finance professionals. Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, AFP provides members with breaking news, economic research and data on the evolving world of treasury and finance, as well as world-class treasury certification programs, networking events, financial analytical tools, training, and public policy representation to legislators and regulators. AFP is the daily resource for treasury and finance professionals.

For 30 years, the AFP annual conference has provided relevant world-class education that covers a variety of challenges, best practices and issues important to finance professionals. Current topics span from payments to risk management, treasury operations to financial planning and analysis. With an unbiased agenda and an abundance of business networking opportunities, this is the most important event for treasury and finance.

Learning WIN-win Negotiations from a 2-Year-Old

Jeff Cochran


One of the key philosophies we believe in at SNI is that both sides can win in a negotiation.  This does not mean that both sides can get everything they want.  Rather, it means both sides can walk away from a negotiation satisfied.  One side will always “WIN”, but the other side can also “win”.  To be an effective WIN-win negotiator, you have to be able to identify what you really want and what the other side really wants.

The following is an excerpt from the book “The Power of NICE” by Ron Shapiro, Mark Jankowski, and Jim Dale. Mark likes to tell a story about his niece that shows how a clever 2-year-old was able to utilize Win-win negotiation to get what she wanted. 

Adrienne, my 2-year-old niece, displayed one of the more effective uses of the WIN-win maxim: “The best way to get what you want is to help them get what they want.”  Adrienne likes nothing better than being carried around, all day long, every day, but her parents, wanting her to realize that when you grow up, you don’t get carried around, wanted to break her of this habit.  When her pleading, “Pick me up!” began to go unanswered, she modified her approach.  In no time, she was looking up at her parents, offering her outstretched arms, saying, “Hug.  Hug!”  Who could ignore that affectionate request?  Then, when her father bent down to give his little princess a hug, Adrienne would latch onto his neck, he’d straighten up, and guess what?—she was being carried around.  She got what she wanted—being carried—by giving him what he wanted—a hug.

Negotiating for a Used Car – Step 3: Propose

Jeff Cochran


The third and final step in our three part series on negotiating the purchase of a used car is to propose. After you have done your preparation by determining the “standard” price for the car you want to purchase, and after you have asked the questions listed in our previous post on probing, it is now time to enter the proposal phase.

You should point out to the dealer the areas where the car or the dealership is lacking and ask what price reduction the dealer is willing to provide. For instance, if the vehicle history report demonstrates frequent repairs, then what discount from the offered price (or the Kelly Blue Book price) is the dealer willing to give you? Likewise, if the dealer is not willing to provide you with information of services, how much of a reduction in price are they willing to offer? For instance, if the vehicle is not certified, or if the dealer does not provide services like Free Oil or Free Towing like other dealers, how much of a discount are they willing to offer you? As we teach in all negotiations, remember, let the other side make the first offer, do not accept their first offer too quickly, and when you are making an offer “aim high” (or in this instance, “aim low”).

As with any negotiation, the more alternatives that you have, the more effective you will be in the negotiation. If the used car you are looking to purchase is a one of a kind Jaguar and there are no other dealers that sell this type of vehicle, then you may not be in a good position to negotiate. But if you are looking for a BMW that is less than 5 years old and you are willing to choose from different colors and models, then you will be in a stronger negotiation position. Likewise, if you limit yourself to shopping at one dealer, you alternatives will be limited.

We suggest that you look both at Franchised Dealers who sell new and used cars, as well as Independent Dealers who sell used cars only. You will likely find cheaper prices at the Independent Dealers, but they will not provide you with the same amount of information prior to the sale or the service after the sale that a Franchised Dealership would. One tactic would be to play the Franchised Dealership off of the Independent Dealer, asking the Franchised Dealer to provide all the services at the same price as the Independent Dealer, or asking the Independent Dealer to lower their pricing even lower to make up for the lack of information about the car prior to the sale, or their lack of service after the sale.

Ultimately the decision will come down to whether you want the absolute lowest price with very little service from the Independent Dealer, or if you would be willing to pay a little more from a Franchised Dealer based on the fact that you have more knowledge and after the sale service. Either way, you can use the Three Ps and the tips in this article to negotiate your most effective deal when purchasing a used car

Negotiating for a Used Car – Step 2: Probe

Jeff Cochran


In the second part of our three part series on negotiating the purchase of a used car, we will teach you how to effectively probe. After preparing for your car purchase, you need to dig for information behind the other side’s position– determine the real interests or needs of the private seller/dealer– this is what probing is all about.

The following ten questions should always be asked when purchasing a used car:

i. Why is this car priced above (or below) the Kelly/Edmunds Value?

ii. How long have you had this car on the lot?

iii. Do you have the factory report? (indicates recalls or warranty repairs)

iv. Do you have the vehicle history report? (indicates history based on VIN #)

v. Do you have the repair history report? (indicates major/minor repairs)

vi. Can I see the actual inspection ticket? (indicates who/what where/when of inspection)

vii. Is the vehicle certified? What is the extended warranty?

viii. What is the dealer warranty? 30 days? 60 days? 90 days?

ix. What additional services do you offer? Free towing? Free Oil?

x. Have you offered or are you planning to offer any specials? Holiday Sales?

Asking these questions will help you in three ways: 1) it will help you understand the condition of the car; 2) it will help you determine what support the dealer is willing to provide after the sale; 3) it will help you establish reasons for price reductions moving into the Propose phase of the negotiation.

Negotiating for a Used Car – Step 1: Prepare

Jeff Cochran


Purchasing a used car, like any negotiation, is a “process and not an event” and at the Shapiro Negotiations Institute, our process is based around the Three Ps: Prepare, Probe, and Propose. In a three part series we are going to walk you through how to effectively negotiate the purchase of a used car.

The first step in this process is to prepare. The best source of information in your preparation to purchase is used car is Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds, both of which are available on the internet. These services will tell you the “standard” value for the make and model of car you are purchasing. The key item to remember, however, is that these services will provide you only with the “standard” value. Depending on the condition of the particular used car you are purchasing, it could be worth substantially more, or substantially less, than the value stated by these services. Regardless, in preparing for negotiating the purchase of a used car, Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds is the first place to turn.

Attached is a copy of our Preparation Planner, a tool that you can use to get in a systematic preparation habit to make sure you’re ready when you sit down to negotiate. Click here for a copy of the Master Preperation Planner.