The Importance of Business Negotiation with Elizabeth Suárez

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Elizabeth Suárez is a negotiation coach, speaker, and author who empowers professionals to make big decisions.

She’s spent many years mentoring professionals and serving on the boards of multiple non­profit organizations. She’s also very active on social media, where she shares practical advice and strategies for people to consider when making decisions or negotiating for what they want.

In this podcast episode, we discuss how learning to effectively negotiate can have a tremendous impact on your career and future. We talk about the power of your network, as well as how to utilize social media for networking.

In This Episode of the Start Fierce Business Podcast:

  • We discuss the art of negotiation in business.
  • We also talk about the importance of networking to grow your business and how to use social media to network properly.
  • We talk about separating business and personal social media accounts for networking.
  • We also discuss the current tech clash of generations.

Elizabeth’s Favorite Online Apps:

(Some of the links listed below are affiliate links, and I will receive compensation for you signing up for service using my links.)

Reach Out to Elizabeth:


Note: Transcripts are created automatically and are not 100% accurate. However, they help our visitors find relevant content using our website’s search feature.

Welcome to the show. Elizabeth. Thank you, Cindy. Thanks for being on. Tell me about yourself outside of your business. Sure. I am a Latino that currently lives in Denver, but I am from Cuban parents that grew up in Puerto Rico and truly enjoy a good said Southern scene and Puerto Rican food and, and sunny days. Okay. Um, when did you know that you were an entrepreneur? It was after I spent a good 15 years in corporate America. And I started realizing that every two to three years I was getting a little bit anxious and every time I wanted to move on somewhere else. And I realized that I wanted to take more control of my outcomes and my work and then I went ahead 13 years ago took the plunge and became a solo entrepreneur which still means that I am representing myself but I do have a team of people that work for me and couple people work for me. Okay. Well, tell me about your business and how that came about. Yeah, my business is mainly are concerning negotiation and leadership and my business came about after spending all that time in corporate America and realizing mainly women were always underpaid or not provided the the promotions they needed or the opportunities so 13 years ago I decided to focus on facilitating the discussion about women and equity and also from a Latina perspective and I started that doing facilitation if means I also became mediator and then I became a coach. So for the past 13 years I’ve been coaching mainly females professionals getting everything they want which is very much the title of my book The Art of getting every

Anything you want, as well as some brave males that I have coached throughout the past 13 years and tell me more about your book. My book talks about the art of getting everything and about coaching. And my book focuses on making negotiation proactive rather than reactive. What I’ve learned through my work and through my years of being a coach is that people get into negotiating because they just have to negotiate and it’s like a second thought many times, so are the ones that truly enjoy it. They just wanted their way or the highway, but people don’t view that negotiation is actually that you need to be proactive sources, which means you need to understand what your net worth is meaning who you are. And number two, you need to understand what is your vision path where the you want to go? Where do you want to go in six months, 18 months, 24 and 36 months and once you have those two under your belt then negotiation becomes

Something more of a everyday life or currents that you’re not going to be feeling a pit in your stomach that you actually have to go and talk about a project. So you have to go and ask for a raise. And what’s been your greatest challenge as an entrepreneur, my greatest challenge is actually for people to believe that I am able to do this and help them and be patient towards it. So as a coach, many people believe that they just want to have the wonderful results within the first month or the first couple weeks. And I always correlate this to losing weight and which it is a change of behavior. It is a change of how you live day by day. And basically that change and that better understanding of who you are is going to make you that effective negotiator that you are striving to be. It’s not an overnight thing. It’s a marathon.

How do you get customers or clients to understand that it’s not going to be an overnight thing. Um, I basically walk through their life with them. They are very open. And I basically make them realize the accomplishments they have had in life have taken time. They have also taken a lot of effort from them if they have, it also has taken a lot of involvement from other people. So if they are looking for being the next Vice President of Business Development in their current company, they can’t expect that that’s what’s going to happen overnight within a week and somebody’s going to realize, Oh, you need to be the next Vice President of Business Development. It’s actually a trajectory and many times what happens that’s why I talked about the proactive versus reactive when we are wanting a new job we just become reactive and we go to job posting boards and we just like okay, I want

Go for this job, and they know how great I am. And they’re going to set me for the job. And many times that doesn’t happen. Because many times if we have not done our work about our network and figuring out our vision path, we really haven’t really shared or grown our networks and our networks are the ones that are actually going to also guide us and help us in getting that job we want. I love that. And yeah, I can say that the best jobs that I’ve had has have been because of people that I knew and not because I just went out there and applied for them. And you know, Cindy, you’re right there. This is another example. And normally what people say when they’re frustrated when they’re calling me and they say, I just need this fix. And they say, I just need to get this job. So I want to hire you for the next month so I can get this job and I do you called me several months too late. I mean, it’s not about this job. It’s about what you’re going to do in six months, 18 months, 24 months.

36 months and I can tell you I’ve lost some clients because they roll their hit their eyes and they do. I don’t have the time and I actually have a current client that said that to me last year around May around this time spring last year and and he said to me says I don’t have the time and I’m like, okay, he came back to me in March and said, You know what, I’ve wasted almost a year let’s and you know, and and we’ve all been there I have been him when I was in corporate America, I was him. I did that multiple times. And then I wonder it a year later, two years later, why am I still not fulfilled? Why am I still so this, you know, so this solution and it’s because I did not take the time of being proactive of figuring out my net worth of figuring out my vision path and then saying, okay, what’s out there now for me? Yeah, I love that advice. I love that way of looking at things because too many people I’ve seen too many people.

Upset about their jobs. And then for me an easy fix is like, okay, let’s start a passion project for you, or, or what do you love to do? Let’s start doing this. And then I talked to them several months later. And I’m like, so how’s your blog going? And it’s like I started it, but they still hate their job. Exactly. And the end, that’s the problem. And many times what happens and that’s what I want to share with you concerning the net worth. The net worth is three main pieces, and it’s called career family and interests. And I can tell you that basically what is happening with individuals is that they just focus on their career, I need this job and once again, this job or once I get this promotion or once I get this salary increase of 20,000, whatever it is, everything else will fall in place. And your example is like, Well, no, it then fall in place. You’re still not happy. You are still having some issues, maybe with family or personal you’re still trying to figure out how can you fulfilled as a human being and you have the office and the title and now what so that that’s where I say to people we need to figure out our network which is that career family and interest and then from there like what’s my vision path and my vision path takes into account those three ingredients or pieces well aside from not wanting to work for someone else and aside from your family what’s your why what what is my Why is I’m actually passionate to have the time that I need to actually fulfill the desire of dancing so I dance and dance and Sam ensemble here locally and Denver and we dance boom bada and seeing which is more on indigenous type of dancing from the island of Puerto Rico and I need the time and the flexibility to be able to a do the practices be go to the different performances and seeing that getting paid just a hobby so so basically, and it takes a lot of time.

So if I was in a corporation or in the jobs that I used to have a set of Corporation, many times my practices on a Sunday afternoon many times when I was in corporate America, when would I leave for a business trip on a Sunday afternoon. So many times, some of the performances are during the week what was happening in corporate America during the week I was working until eight o’clock at night if I was in town, or I was out of town on business. So it’s not that I’m saying I’m working less hours because actually, I’m not sending him working hours. So I’m going to be honest about that. But I’m doing them at my time when I wanted and on my terms, so I have had very long nights like last night I was up working on till midnight writing a proposal and writing a report. But today I you know, I’m talking to you today and I was in corporate America, I bet you my administrative administrator would have been like.

What is this, we need to unblock that. Because we need your CEO needs to see you. Or, you know your your boss needs to see you. So that’s why the why of why I do this. And also, it fulfills me and makes me who I am. That’s awesome. I love that. I love that you you do it not because you work less because there’s a common thing that says an entrepreneur will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else. And that is so it’s so right. But those 80 hours you decide how you spend them. So if you have a competition tomorrow, you can say, Well, I’m going to take tomorrow off and I’ll make up for it on the days around it. Or maybe you’re not going to make up for it because it’s your business and you do what you want. Exactly, exactly. And obviously I respond to myself, I answered to myself, I do not answer to somebody else. So it is my agenda.

However, I will always alert people that since I’m dealing with clients, I’m also having to manage their agendas and some times their agendas is not something that I like. So then comes the situation of, should I keep them as a client? Or should I not? So even working for yourself? It’s not all, you know, red roses all the time. But, you know, not only the hours, but also that Oh, you answer to yourself. Yeah, I answer to myself, but I also insert to my client and that’s true. Yeah, and you have to know when to fire a client. Exactly. And I actually had to do that this year at the beginning of this year. And even though it was you know, it was hard experience. It was the best decision I made actually, once I fired that client and I don’t like to use the word fire but once I both decided that it was in the best interest of both of us to.

Move on to other opportunities came in front of me without me even even seeking out those opportunities. I love that. Yeah, I guess I don’t use the word fire either. I broke up with a longtime client a few years ago when I decided to stop doing graphic design. And it was really like a breakup to me because we weren’t together for like five years. And it was really like a breakup, I think to the both of us. It was for mine it was as well I was with this client for six and a half years but my interest as well as their interest grew apart if they were very different. And my client wanted me to do some stuff that I did not think that my client should be doing. So since I was not my client, since I did not have the decision making if my client that’s when I knew that I needed to move on because it wasn’t my business and that’s anything.

People have to realize, especially when you’re negotiating the aspect of being proactive is the fact that the only person you can control on at the negotiation table is yourself. So trying to control the other individual trying to change the other individual. Don’t waste your energy on that waste your energy, use your energy, place your energy in actually finding your net worth finding your vision path and negotiating proactively and controlling your feelings. And knowing when you say that’s it. I don’t need to negotiate any further.

So that’s why I call it the proactive approach of negotiating what advice you have for someone that’s just getting started in business. Great question. First of all, I would say know what networking is all about. And I’m not going to say networking from a perspective that you have to go to every you know, gathering to every lunch to every you know why tasting to everything It’s not that I said networking of Who are the people that you know you can go to who is that first level of your network those people that have your back those people that will listen to you those people that will be real to you and tell you the truth even when the truth hurts. And then from there, learn from that first level up networking people and see what is the second level what is your second level of networking and what is their you know, their second level of networking and seeing if you can actually subset each other and basically grow your net and networking not only the just doing it, seeing the person but also helping the individual and also do it digitally. It’s somebody that is starting in corporate America somebody that’s starting in their business and they’re young I would say get that LinkedIn profile brush it up keep it updated. be extremely Active because nowadays I can tell you, my last several clients, all of them came from a LinkedIn connection. It wasn’t, it was because people knew me on LinkedIn. So many young people, they’re more into Snapchat and Instagram. And I’m not telling you not to do those police. Go ahead. But that’s more yourself interest. When it comes to a career perspective. You need to look at a platform, a social media platform that it is professional and career driven. And that’s where LinkedIn falls and I know it sounds old and I know it sounds boring, and all of that, but that’s where the decision makers are hanging out. Oh yeah, absolutely. And I also like I actually love Twitter for business and I see a lot of people a business people on Twitter. So I think like a combination of having a good engaging LinkedIn and posting about your industry on Twitter.

Is a really good way to connect with like minded people whether you want a job whether you want to start a business and you know and that is that’s a great point and that’s something that I also have I’m quite active in Twitter as well and I can tell you I always say this too. I am I have coach and Milenio young woman. And I told her that she says well she’s just you know long like Twitter. So what is it that you don’t like about Twitter? So you know, an Instagram I get like 250 hearts in less than like 10 minutes. I’m like, right? She says in Twitter. I’m lucky if I get one or two. I said that’s Twitter. Twitter’s like reading a newspaper. But people will remember what you’re posting. So if somebody is going to engage with you. Normally they engage with you because a you’re a famous person or be you. I don’t know, you’re the weatherman. I don’t know whether people get a lot of like ridiculous, it’s unreal. But I mean all kidding aside, it’s like you know your bill gates, so.

You know mean you are I mean, whoever you are, those are the people that are going to get more engagement and Twitter’s on Twitter. People like you and me what you will get, you will get people seeing your tweets, but they’re not going to engage. They’re not going to heart. You know, if you want hearts, go to Instagram. If you want chats, you know, go to Snapchat, right. And then in LinkedIn, LinkedIn, when the people that comment is that they want to say something, and you know, it’s a platform to comment, but it’s not it’s not going to be all these wonderful comments that you get an Instagram and that’s one of the things that I have been coaching a few millennials and that is the biggest struggle of me, coaching them and social media. They just look at me they’re like you and understand is that adrenaline kick, and I’m like, that’s great. Get it in your personal one, but don’t get her in your professional one. Your professional one is about advertising. It’s about being a billboard on the highway. Exactly. A team bad people are not like calling him into the TV station saying I love that ad.

Right. So so that that is the key thing, networking. Anybody young starting in business starting professional learning networking personally in person, you know mean life and then that networking on social media from a LinkedIn perspective and also a Twitter perspective. Yeah. And here’s one way to look at it. When I go to networking events or when I go when my startup presents somewhere, there will always be someone that looks me up and adds me on LinkedIn. Or they look me up on Twitter, and they send me a direct message or they send me a private message on LinkedIn. And they personally know me and they’re reading my tweets or I’ve met I actually come across people and I see like this one good tweet term across my timeline. So I’ll go and I’ll go look at their whole private profile and look at their tweets. I may not like them, but I’m like, Oh, this is somebody that I should connect with. So it’s the likes

And the shares is just kind of like a vanity thing and when you have a business they don’t really mean anything because you know 1000 likes on link on Instagram doesn’t mean anything if nobody’s clicking to go to your website and you cannot click to go to your website from Instagram and that and that’s the part it’s interesting you say that Cindy be so I do have an Instagram account which is like a joke. I call it like, I’ll just put pictures of me on make when I have makeup on. And that’s what I do. Because Instagram really doesn’t give me I haven’t got some one client one lead from Instagram and I work with several millennials, you know where I’ve gotten them from LinkedIn.

And some of them started in Twitter that they saw me in Twitter because of some of the hashtags I’ve used. And I do very limited hashtags but you know, negotiation hashtag or salary then they look at me in Twitter and they’re like okay well let’s go and check her out and LinkedIn.

And then they follow Me. They connect with me and LinkedIn. And that’s how I’ve got to my clients. So that’s interesting because they’re millennials, but they’re still not reaching out to you on Snapchat or Instagram. No, they’re not. Because they have realized. And I’ve asked these millennials, and I’m actually today I had a coaching session with one of them. She’s 29 years old, doing well, I mean, this is her eight year, second year, we’re starting second year in coaching. We started she stopped it. And then we started again. And now we started again, she comes and goes, and when, you know, different things meeting and I asked her, I said, Why do you come back to me? I mean, what, what is that? What’s going on? And you know what? Interesting, which she said, I said, Why did you pick me from LinkedIn? And what you know, I’m not an Instagram, I’m not cool. I mean, I’m not she and she basically said to me, she started laughing on the other side of the phone, and she says, Look, I know that the people that are empower the baby boomers and the Generation X, you think I’m going to go and act like a millennial. I know I have to get a generation X like you.

Help me out which was quite eye opening hearing it from her I was like, oh that’s interesting. She’s yeah she said I tell that to my millennial you know, peeps, like come on get off Instagram. And by the way, she’s on Instagram and she has a great Instagram account. Then she gets hundreds and hundreds of hearts and likes and all that stuff. But when it comes to business, she separates it and and everything. So that’s what I advise anybody that’s young entering into corporate america entering into starting your own business entering into a small business network correctly in off big time, five years from now, 10 years from now ask your network increases this it’s all about increasing your network. Right. Exactly. And by the way, we’re only talking about increasing net work like you should definitely be on Instagram for your business especially.

If you have a young brand, if you’re a makeup artist, if you’re selling things, you should definitely be on LinkedIn, not LinkedIn. You should definitely be on Instagram. Probably Snapchat, because you are going to hit your target customer there. We’re talking. We’re just talking about networking, though. Yeah. Networking. Yes. And if you’re looking for like, and that’s the reason I’m on Instagram, because I do have a lot of millennials as clients so they can see that I’m an Instagram but in reality, when they want to engage with me, they come to LinkedIn, which is an interesting concept, which is very, very interesting. But you know what, I go ahead and follow them on Instagram because I want to make sure that they’re doing the correct thing. There’s a protocol you need to fly on any social media platform that hits a server. So if you could have lunch with one business thought leader, who would it be right now you know who I would want to be the guy that is being groomed right now and washing the CEO and founder of

Facebook and you know why? Because I’ve been watching his hearings and it’s a clash of generations that obviously I’m older than him I’m younger than those senators senators and I do what my god but it is a clash that I just I and it’s a clash that this country is going through that you know the people right now that are supposedly empower politically and also empower with money etc They are that older generation that a lot of them do not feel comfortable with social media do not understand what data sharing is all about and watching mark a 33 year old millennial stay calm, drink a lot of water and answer the questions so simple Nike he doesn’t sugarcoat anything very straightforward.

And then seeing the senators that get it I would love to take mark out for a drink and say tell me really how you feel how powerful are you I mean forget the money for Facebook forget all of that the power he has right now being interviewed and now he’s controlling them and he is maintaining his school that’s priceless that for me oh I would love to sit down with it now so that that is one um. Another one at that I would love to talk to one day and she’s older she’s no longer in politics was the senator from New Hampshire Olivia Stowe she I don’t know who she is I don’t know if you know who she is but she was one of the Republican senators that was always considered a moderate middle of the road that cited with Democrats a lot and you know cited something.

Times with her own party and she very at her peak walked away from being a senator said I’m not going to run for reelection because where the country’s going to help people cannot sit down with a posting points of views and discuss this is not healthy I will live in my on my terms in other circumstances I am not going to go into a bloodbath on Twitter or on TV just going against the other party just because there are they are the other party so it will be great since I’m you know, trained as a mediator be able to have the opportunity to sit down with somebody like her and see her thought process and how she came about to say I am doing it my way I’ve been able to have the conversations and bringing two opposing points of views to the table and being able to see if we can you know, put the conversation forward move the conversation forward.

What’s your favorite internet resource or app that just makes your life easier? My favorite dinner okay for since I live in Denver, and it’s a lot of bad commute ways,

forgetting places because I always have to go and see people wherever I go. I travel a lot and I depend on getting to the place on time. So that is one of the apps that I really liked. Another app that I actually use for my first level of networking is group me in which I put together groups of individuals that should know each other or should interact with each other and it’s a private setting that we can comment and we can ask for help from each other without being you know mean without being seen by the entire world of Facebook or others like that. So as you can see, and then another app is that I do all the cloud that I actually Because I basically use Dropbox in terms of being able to have access to everything I want anytime of the day, any place in the world without having to lug everything with me. So as you can see my apps, I’m very much about productivity, about efficiency and about simplicity. So hopefully that describes you who I am. That’s a good way asked me how to describe in some apps. There you go, my three apps and then I have a velocity SAP that I can work out wherever I am in the world. It looks like you also look for apps that allow you to get around or to travel light and quickly Oh, yes, yes, it’s all about efficiency for me, and it’s all about access. I am not into dragging myself down because some full of clutter or I have to drag these three suitcases with me, actually, Cindy, I love when I travel. I was in California for keynote speaking and I know land that and in the airport with a couple other of the speakers that happened to be men and they’re like lugging this huge stuff and they were like they literally when we got into the Uber, they looked at me and they said, How on earth do you travel? So light? I’m like, first of all, why do you have your laptop? Second of all, why are you bringing binders? I mean, and they were like, they’re like, well, I had need access to this and that. So I’m showing them my apps. And they were like, like, they never thought about it. I said, it’s all about efficiency and lightness. You have to be like, you never know where you end up. So you always have your phone on you. And you always can find the way somewhere with a GPS with something where can listeners find you online? What’s your website What are your social media usernames, sure so I am Elizabeth Suarez. Also negotiation unleashed. com. That’s my product offering Elizabeth Suarez calm is my general website and then I am extremely active and

Twitter under Elizabeth Suarez as well as LinkedIn on their Elizabeth Suarez and then also an Instagram under Elizabeth SWAT is and then Facebook as Speaker and less so that is in a nutshell where they can find me and where can we get your book my book on Amazon. com and it’s called the art of getting everything okay Awesome. Well Elizabeth, thank you so much for sharing your story with us today. Well thank you Cindy for the time and your interest. Have a fabulous day.