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MLB Super Agent Talks Sales and Negotiation Strategy, with Nez Balelo [Episode 797]

Nez Balelo is a Major League Baseball super agent, representing such players as Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, and many more. He’s also the co-head of CAA Sport’s Baseball Division. He joins me today to have a conversation about sales and negotiation strategy.

As you can imagine, over a career negotiating contracts for some of the biggest stars in baseball, Nez has learned a thing or two about how to connect with the people on the other side of the table to get a deal done. We’re going to talk about the how to set the stage for negotiations and the role of personal influence. We’ll dive into the 4 common misconceptions about negotiations that trip up many sellers. And we’ll dig into Nez’s 4 key negotiating strategies that he uses to negotiate multi-million dollar deals for his clients.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul: Nez, welcome to the show.

Nez Balelo: Thank you. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Andy Paul: So how’s the whole COVID shutdown been for you?

Nez Balelo: Oh, it’s a, it’s been interesting to say the least. Um, haven’t been back to the office since, uh, probably late February, cause I was traveling for spring training and um, you know, so I’ve been working out of the house ever since.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Imagine that suddenly your business got a lot more complicated.

Nez Balelo: Uh, no question about it. We weren’t, uh, we’ve learned to work remotely. Um, the whole staff has as well. Uh, we do a lot of Zoom and a lot of WebEx, so, uh, we’re communicating probably better than maybe we did even before.

Andy Paul: Well, so question for you though. Cause I mean, I would imagine part of your job is, is, you know, you represent baseball players is that, I bet you go to a lot of games you want to go to the games you’re you’re at, your clients are playing at. And so you get out, I’m basing this all on Jerry MaGuire, by the way, is that you want to spend time with them.

It is a substantially different communicating over zoom. Do you miss that in-person part of it?

Nez Balelo: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, the Zoom part and the WebEx part is the one channel that we use for the business that has been mostly the staff, but for the players, we continue to keep in touch with them through any type of, you know, whether it’s calling them on the, on the phone or doing some kind of, uh, Um, you know, face time.

So that’s how we’re able to communicate with them. There has been a lot of communication because of the, the situation going on with MLB and the PA in this negotiation. So we’ve been trying to keep in touch with them daily, but we do miss the, the human element, the contact, and being with them and watching them play for sure.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Well, this is something that obviously business to business sales has undergone in a big way, right. Suddenly work from home and you have all these people are a lot of field salespeople that were out in front of clients every day. And suddenly they have doing all virtually and they’re using zoom, but yeah, there’s a lot of people saying, yeah, it’s just not quite the same.

And, and so when we look projecting forwards or what’s the new normal? People think, well, maybe we won’t have to go visit clients as often. And I’m like, no, it’s not the same. You’ll definitely want to get out and visit your clients again.

Nez Balelo: I agree with you wholeheartedly. I, I, um, I’m a big believer in that I like to go face to face and, and, um, you know, be, be in the same room and, and talks to the client because I feel that, that, you know, I used the word earlier that humanistic touch is, is so important and eye contact and just being there and seeing the family and the kids, and, you know, the whole thing is something we really do miss and we will get back to it.

Um, I don’t think this is going to be the new norm. I feel like we were, we’re very resilient as a society, and I really do believe that we’re going to get back to some type of normalcy. It might not be exactly the same, but we’re going to be out there and we’re going to be seeing games. I feel I really am confident in that.

Andy Paul: Well, you raised an interesting point though, because I’m a huge believer in that as well. That everything starts with the human element. Everything starts with that connection you have with another person. And we have had a ton of technology come into business and sales the last five to 10 years, or there’s some group of people think, well, yeah, maybe subs, maybe technology can substitute for that human aspect of it. And then others, like, no, no, no. The foundation is always that human connection. I imagine you believe that same thing.

Nez Balelo: I do. I really do. The human connection, there’s just no replacement for it. But Andy, if we had to go there, it’s a nice alternative because you still have communication. You still could see the other individual, but I don’t think it will ever replace the human element.

Andy Paul: Do you miss being on an airplane?

Nez Balelo: You know, I never, it’s funny. I, uh, I was talking to some of my colleagues. I go, I, I just, you know, something about being on a plane that, um, I never thought I would ever say this, but I actually do miss it because it’s a time for me to detox and read a little bit and get caught up on certain contracts and certain things. And I miss that, that, that time of peace we’ll call it. And I just don’t get it anymore. Yes. I never thought I would ever say it, but yes, I do miss traveling.

Andy Paul: And I’m the same way. I mean, for the last 10 years, I’ve been back and forth between the coasts because split time between Manhattan and San Diego. So maybe once, twice a month. And that rhythm suddenly it’s like, you’re, you know, where’s, where’s like I was packing this week. We just flew from New York where we spent the shut-in or the lockdown period, uh, to San Diego just yesterday. And. It was like, I didn’t know how to pack my backpack. Right. I was telling my wife has this used to be second nature now, what do I do? I did everything seems strange. Calling Uber, it’s like, is there even going to be an Uber? It took a while to get an Uber act, even in Manhattan last yesterday I get to the airport. But yeah. Yeah, it was very, very, uh, sorry, autobody experience doing something that seems so familiar in the past.

Nez Balelo: Well, I am the you, because I would love that opportunity. Uh, to be able to do that and pack a bag and just like you said, call an Uber and get to the airport and do my normal routine. I, I forgot what it was like.

Andy Paul: Well, it wouldn’t be normal because Starbucks wouldn’t be open. Uh, none of the stores are open. You can buy a bottle of water and that’s about it. And the flight, just last story about traveling, not that people listening really care, but, but we stopped, usually it’s nonstop from JFK to San Diego, but it stopped in Vegas yesterday. Cause they’re changing all their flights around.

Literally the only airplane in that terminal when we spent like an hour and a half layover, it was really, it was really weird. I mean, Vegas, you know, you’ve been there. I’m sure tons of times it’s like that place is just thronging with the crowds and the slot machines. Slot machines are all roped off. None of the stores were open. Nobody there, it was really something. So, alright,

Nez Balelo: I can imagine.

Andy Paul: we’re going to talk about negotiating.

Nez Balelo: Okay.

Andy Paul: Which is, I’ve been talking to lots of people recently about negotiation. And so one question I was curious about, and it’s your job as an agent, you’re representing your clients. How do you, how do you distinguish sortof, yeah, part of it, you’re selling your client, the virtues and the value that they bring to that organization. How much do you think of what you do is selling versus negotiating or is there a line between the two? Is it all just one thing.

Nez Balelo: There, there definitely is. Um, a little bit of line between the two. I think that, um, to answer this question, honestly, it’s, it’s carefully. You have to, um, not sell the clients so much that the other person on the other end, which is usually an organization, feels like you’re just literally shoving them down their throat. Um, they know the player, they understand the players qualities, but they also understand the other side of it, the other, they understand the deficiencies. And so I think you have to be extremely careful when negotiating on behalf of a player, um, because you want to keep it real and you want to keep the communication going.

Um, you have to understand where they want to get to because you know where you want to get to. And the communication has to be massaged that way. Um, we’ve, we’ve had dialogue and we’ve had negotiations where you just go right at it and you’re trying to explain to them the ultimate value of your client, but they might see it differently. And if you do not get into a situation where you don’t see their side of it, it’s really, really difficult to come to terms. So putting yourself in their shoes, getting an understanding of the deficiencies, cause that’s what they want to focus on to keep the salary lower. And of course we want to look at the, all the positive things about the player to drive the value up.

So just getting on that, that level, that same level, I think makes a difference.

Andy Paul: What’s such an interesting situation because to your point you made before is because I’m trying to draw comparisons with selling a business product or service is one of the big changes obviously has been in the last 10, 15, 20 years with the internet is that your customers have more information about the product you’re selling, but in your case with a player it’s like everything’s out there. Right? I mean, all the statistical analysis, you know, the performance down to the examined 26 ways to Sunday. Their personal life, we’ve got a social it’s like, well, when they know so much about your product, how do you put together that value proposition for this player? Right? I mean, is it. I mean, it’s I know sometimes they’ve got missing pieces that they’re trying to fill, but how do you come up with something that says, yeah, they really hadn’t thought about this. Right? I mean, cause you’re trying to anticipate what they’re going to say.

Nez Balelo: Well, that’s the creative part of it. And the game is evolving as we speak, uh, back in the day when we negotiated contracts, it was different. Andy, we focused on the, the little bit of the intangibles, the fact that the player brings a lot of leadership and a lot of quality that the organization needs to help groom the young talent coming up. Like all of those things were extremely valuable and now analytics have come into play. And there’s so many ways that you can, you can look at analytics, you can find something positive about any player, but you can also find a lot of negative as well. So, so you have to be careful not to cherry pick certain statistics that they’re going to go ahead and look at like, okay, I see where you’re going but also the, the deficiencies for this player are X, Y, and Z.

So it’s all changing, but what’s interesting, the point that you brought up about trying to find a niche and trying to find an avenue to go down that maybe nobody has done before, it takes a lot of work street strategy and talking to a great team of people that we have, and that I have working for me and you have to get creative. We constantly are trying to think ahead and constantly trying to figure out ways to allow an organization that we’re dealing with on a particular player to understand their value. And, uh, we’ve had success with it. Um, sometimes we don’t have success, but uh, constantly looking at different ways to make them understand that this player is valuable to their organization.

Andy Paul: So, what are some of the ways that you do that? I mean, other than just a PowerPoint presentation, I mean, what, what are the vehicles do you guys use?

Nez Balelo: Well throughout the years, um, it depends on the player. And if a player is just all about playing ball and he has no, um, desire to do anything outside of the game, then you have to focus just on the statistics. Right? The fact that he’s just a really good player. He’s going to continue to evolve as a person player and we see a nice projection for him.

But then there’s other players that, that bring a tremendous about amount of value with popularity. The fact they’re bringing people into the stadium and putting fannies in the seats leads to, um, selling merchandise, you know? And so you have to look at all of that and what really, this individual brings as far as value. So we’ve had to think outside the box. To say, okay. Is it just about statistics or is it about popularity? Is it about driving revenue? Is it about all kinds of things… so we try to table it, put it all together and then spit out a presentation that, that is tailored specifically to that player.

Andy Paul: So in just a responding, one of your comments, this is one of your jobs then with some clients as to say, “Hey, dude, you need to get out there, right?” I mean, you need to be working in the community. You need to do these things are going to help you sell more shirts or, you know, whatever the revenue sources as you can, you can work with. Are they open to that?

Nez Balelo: They are, they are, if you explain it the right way, but again, you don’t want to force a client to do something they’re not comfortable with you. You do not want to go there because then they’ll push back and then, then that’s not a good conversation. So we try to open their eyes and let them understand what does bring value to them.

Uh, the charitable component is really big. Like we believe in it, I would say most, if not, all of our clients are involved in some type of charitable component and that does bring value to an organization. They do want their players supporting their foundation, but also the community that they live in and play in. So we, we definitely made sure that that is something that they understand. It’s not only valuable, they should be doing it right, Andy. I mean, this is something that they’re in a really strong, powerful position. They’re influencers in their sport and in the community. So they should be giving back and we really pushed for that.

Andy Paul: So, is there a difference in how you approach, um, you know, resigning somebody versus pitching a free agent?

Nez Balelo: Uh, yeah, absolutely. And the way we word it is, is trying to create an extension on a current contract versus a free agent. It’s a completely different look because the, the discussion on an extension is just with one club. And you’re talking to that one particular team about the value of the player that they already have under contract.

Those are fun discussions. And I actually enjoy those because you just get really down to the nitty gritty. They have a desire, if you’re having communication about an extension, they have a desire to do it. We obviously have a desire to do it, unless the player has just absolutely said, “Hey, I’m at the tail end of my contract. Um, I would really like to explore free agency. I really don’t have an appetite to get involved.” Then you, you cut off those negotiations, but for the most part they do, um, they do have an appetite for it because that’s one of the 29 other clubs that are going to be talking to you in free agency, but free agency, it’s a whole different, whole different animal because you have access to all of the organizations and they all show their interest and then you kind of narrow it down. And then if you do have a choice, then the player will then look at the opportunity for his family. Is this the right community? Is this the right place for my kids to go to school? Is this the right place to live? There’s a lot of factors that come in, uh, come in on a decision, uh, when it comes to a free agent.

So, um, Some of them have choices. Some of them it’s just narrowed down to one club and it is what it is. You have to take it if they want to continue to play.

Andy Paul: And just wondering how much of your time do you spend, uh, on averages is dealing with club executives where you don’t have players. So, future relationships, how much time do you spend cultivating that? Cause this is really relevant to sales because a lot of times sellers, you know, they talked to some and they’re not a, not a prospect right now.

They don’t do a very good job of continuing to nurture that relationship for what could becoming all the future.

Nez Balelo: We’re constantly networking. And, um, the beauty of being in the business, as long as I have been in the business for 35 years is you, you cultivate these really strong relationships with all the personnel and organizations. The game is a little different now than it was before. Uh, it seemed like players were a little more loyal and they stayed with the team that drafted them. But now trades as, you know, go on left and right, the minute that you have a player, uh, or you’re dealing with an organization that you don’t have one player with and then all of a sudden, you just wake up the next day and you have three over there. Like it just happens like that. So, So, uh, you know, I would say right now, I think we represent close to what we have players in every organization. So there is always a reason to talk. On the major league level I believe that we are just about there, maybe 95% of the, of the organizations we have players playing for them.

Andy Paul: So when you’re in a negotiation, when you’re approaching a club about a player, or maybe as sort of an extension, as you talked about how much are they selling you?

Nez Balelo: They, um, if they initiate the conversation, they’re selling is pretty hard and they’re basically telling us that they have a strong desire to sign our player. And they would really like to engage in a conversation. We run it by the player, make sure that he’s fully aboard. And we would like to sit down and have a discussion.

Those are great conversations and those are great calls, but it doesn’t always work that way. Um, there’s many times where a player will come to us or we’re, we’re having dinner with a player and he says, “Hey, listen, I love it here. I love everything about it. I love the staff. I love the city. I love the foundation and the work that my wife and family are doing, like, I want to be here for a long time.”

Okay. Well, would you like us to approach your organization? I really would. And so then it’s up to us to then initiate that conversation carefully because you don’t want to sound like you’re desperate and you know, you’re just, Hey, you know, we, we want to get this done. We want to be here for a long time. And if you show that, that, that anxiousness, I guess you could call it, then, then they start going. Okay. Yeah, sure. We would love to engage. And then you’re just starting to shave off years and starting to shave off money. So we’re very careful how we approach it.

Andy Paul: Well, so how did you learn how to negotiate? Because, you know, we’ve been sharing information and, and, uh, yeah, I think your, your belief is, is… very sort of mirrors… Dan Pink wrote this book called To Sell is Human, where, you know, surveys show that fully three quarters of white collar workers, believe that influence is part of their job, you know, influencing others, which is a form of negotiation. And I think you use the two thirds figure that people in their jobs involved in negotiation and you make a point, which is absolutely true is no one’s ever trained how to do it or not trained well. So how did you learn?

Nez Balelo: Well, I bet I’ve been asked this question many times, Andy and I have to tell you that, um, I got to tell you a quick story. I’m 13 years old, I’m fishing with my father and, um, we’re

Andy Paul: a commercial fisherman.

Nez Balelo: Commercial fishermen. Yes. And tuna. So is it tuna fishermen? So I going meet my father in Africa, where the boat is, and I’m in a port in called Abidjan and we’re, we’re, we’re in Abidjan here and it’s the Congo region.

And so we pull up to the dock and I’m 13 years old and I see these. These, um, people on the dock and they’re selling, uh, woodcarvings, they’re selling these great boxes. They’re selling these mass like really neat things. And I’m thinking, gosh, I would love one of those. So I don’t have any money in my pocket. So I go onto the dock and I’m talking to them. And one thing leads to another I’m back on the boat, grabbing some stuff, a shirt that says California. Some ivory soap that I had, just some, anything that would show any value. And so I bartered my way into this grabbing items that I brought home and I still have today. And so my dad says to me, Oh, I see it coming. You’re you got that entrepreneurial mind. You’re going to be a negotiator. I can already see it. So, I go back to my roots that I think it started in, but I really do believe that it was just in me and I love to, to have dialogue. I love to, to embrace conversation and we’ve used the word before earlier, and I’ll continue to use it that humanistics feel and touch when it comes to negotiating and just creating a dialogue and a relationship.

And keeping it real and humbled I think is, is the key. And, um, I think it’s just my nature. It’s in my DNA that I’ve always had, and that is now starting to come out. And it does take a lot of trial and error. It’s not like in the beginning of my career, I was just sticking all these great negotiations and things were working out wonderfully, but you just learn as you go.

And it is a lot of trial and error and I’ve been able to. To really, uh, document in my mind, the things that work and the things that don’t. And I think it’s made a difference.

Andy Paul: Did you have a particular mentor?

Nez Balelo: I, uh, my father was an amazing man. He, um, he was uneducated. He came over from the old country, uh, the Madeira Islands in Portugal, but he was just so full of wisdom. But the thing that I learned from him was lead by example, but he, he did it, he, excuse me, he did it in a very humbled way. And I saw that he was able to get results through this and it’s a trait that I’ve always embraced. And I, and I, and I I’ve always believed in it. And I think people that are out there pounding their chest and look what I did, look what I, it, to me, you just don’t get anywhere with it. And so that humbleness and. And that, that purity that he had about him, um, I use today.

Andy Paul: I’d love to hear more about the fishing trip because the boat was based here in San Diego.

Nez Balelo: It was, it was, yes. We talked a little bit earlier about, um, You know, living by the Embarcadero and that’s where the boats would come in. And they were all stationed at a San Diego at one time, and then they would head out. But once the industry dried up in San Diego, uh, they all had to go to different countries to be licensed to, uh, to fish.

And so one of the trips I was describing earlier, my father was working out of the Congo government, uh, in, in Africa. And so every summer, wherever my father was, I would go in and work and fish with him. And, and I learned so much just about everything in life, from different cultures to appreciating the dollar and how hard these people work to earn it. And it was just a wonderful experience that I would never take back. And I learned a lot from

Andy Paul: Yeah, well, they’re going to be building a little a museum, the tuna fishermen over on the Embarcadero. Yeah. That’s part of the redevelopment plan. So, uh, you can still see still some boats over there. Um, all right. So you, you have four strategies for negotiation and we want to talk about, because I have to admit I’m sort of a mixed mind about in business to business sales is I think we, we, I guess we were really clear about who should be negotiating and, and we certainly don’t give them the training to do it. And so I just want to go through some strategies you had and, and talk about that because, I I think some important things that are so. First of a, llI think you gotta get your head in the game, which I, to me is I was interpreting that as you got to know, you got to know the market, you got to know the customer’s business. This is where we saw them fail in sales. We don’t know the customer’s business. We don’t know how they make money, uh, which is just so fundamental. So we don’t bring the requisite acumen to the negotiation. Cause we were at a disadvantage. We don’t know enough about what they do.

Nez Balelo: You have to know the product. For an example, if an organization reaches out to me and they have interest to do an extension on a player, we have to do our due diligence and we have to do our homework. But if I’m reaching out and being proactive with it, you have to be even more buttoned up. And, and I feel that just understanding who you’re dealing with.

Uh, all the way down to the P’s and Q’s of the organization where they’re going direction, ownership down, all of that has to be, you have to know this. And so I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m talking in my world right now because this is what would I do. So if I’m approached, um, I have to know everything about my player. I have to know that, um, where I feel he’ll be based on projection. I have to really bear down on the analytics and, and, um, look at comparables, which are other players that have done certain things in certain contracts based on his age and his performance. And so just being buttoned up and knowing the product, I think is so important because once you gain this knowledge, then you’re speaking with conviction instead of doubt.

And I feel that that really does play a part because after a while, if I’m dealing with an organization and I truly believe in my player and I’m, I’m, I’m not, I don’t, I don’t like to use the word selling, but if I’m, um, if I’m giving this, if I’m selling the player to this organization, um, I really, and I’m speaking with conviction and that he will hold up. He will be a front part of your rotation for the next three or four years. And they start believing in it because the thing about business that people go wrong is that they, they, they they’re shortsighted on certain things, especially in negotiations. They always want to win. And if you really, really win and you take advantage of a negotiation and later you try to go back and negotiate with those same people, they remember.

And so I’ve always tried to honestly deal in a way that people will respect my opinion and respect what I’m trying to sell to them. And that goes a long ways as well, because I’m not selling a bad product and I’ll say, Hey, listen. Yeah, you know, if, if a player is light in certain aspects of their game, you don’t ignore it. You talk about it and you talk about improving those things and we will do everything we can to help improve let’s work together as a partnership to improve this player so he can improve your organization and start winning more ball games. Once you take that approach with an organization, then they feel that it’s not a negotiation. It’s more, you’re creating a partnership on that individual. And that makes a difference.

Andy Paul: Well, and that’s, that’s how you become influential with them, right? That’s, that’s exerting influence as opposed to just selling. Well, and so the question I’ve had, and this is, this really bugs me with negotiations is that, and I was just reading a book recently where someone said, you know, win-win is bad. And I think what happened is now people think about win-win is just splitting the difference and it’s not splitting the difference. I mean, you can have a negotiation where both parties feel good about it. And you didn’t split the difference.

Nez Balelo: Yeah, no, no question about it. I think the best ones at the end is when you can just hug it out with the organization, you’re there at the presser and everybody feels great about the results. And sometimes you have to give in a little bit, they have to give in a little bit in order to meet a common ground, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you just split the difference because there’s other ways to bridge the finalization of a negotiation, you just have to get creative with it.

Andy Paul: And so in, in your negotiations, interesting, and how this compares to serve product and service sales is, is how much of it is based around sort of the big number, like, you know, salary and so on, and how much of it is, you know, terms and conditions that can trip you up but at the end of the day, generally don’t hold your back.

Nez Balelo: Yeah, I think, I think when it comes to the end result of the negotiation. I believe that, um, an organization knows what they’re capable of, what they can afford, right. There’s a limit to everything, but you have to know your end goal as well. And so we “try to educate the player ahead of time.

Because we worked for the player. It’s not like we’re just on our own. And we go into negotiated, we call them three weeks later and say, “Hey, by the way, I got a deal done.” You have to educate them along the way and show them what their ultimate value is, but not always do they get their ultimate value.

And so you have to then say, are you comfortable with this based on these comparables and these comps of other players and other deals that have been done, how do you feel about being in this category? And they say, look, I’d really like this there’s there’s a few different things that players like when it comes to, whether it has to do with their family or making these a little more comfortable, if they’re on the road or just, you know, little, little parts that kind of can polish up a negotiation and they’re valuable. Um, but knowing your end goal and making sure the player is, is on the same page with you, then you have the green light to go. Those are the best ones,

Andy Paul: Do You do find sometimes those, those I’ll call them ancillary, but the things about that are still important, but you know, taking care of the family, uh, you know, things relating to perhaps, you know, working with the foundation of the organization or the things I call sort of the non-monetary, can those sometimes mean the difference between signing or not?

Nez Balelo: Yeah, bad. You’d be surprised how many people value those small. We’ll call it little intangible things. Stay. They really do a family is very, very important to the players. Very, very important. And so if it means that we’re trying to, uh, create an upgrade for the, uh, the area where the kids can play during the game or the, the, um, you know, the family room or what it means to travel on the road and have your family accompany you and making sure that when you get to that city, that things are taken care of.

So there are those little ancillary things that you mentioned that, um, are very, very important tp the player. And it does create the bridge. And that could be the difference if you didn’t quite get to where you want to be. Well, if you get X, Y, and Z, let’s do the deal.

Andy Paul: Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s true in B2B sales as well. So there’s a category of things we call tiebreakers or tie-breaking that are the intangible, you know, it could be, yeah. We’ll extend your warranty for a year. I mean, proximal, reliable, nothing breaks. Anyway. I mean, things you can give that have value to someone else that, that yeah aren’t let’s give an extra 10% off the price. Right. Which is the default way that most people go, yeah, let me discount it more. It’s like, you don’t have to discount it. There’s other things that can make a big difference. So you, you talk about sort of red flag. that was interesting. So I wasn’t really clear, you talked about beware of condescending remarks and body language. Um, and I presume you’re talking about coming from the person you’re negotiating with.

Nez Balelo: Right.

Andy Paul: And so

Nez Balelo: Yeah.

Andy Paul: What do you encounter with that?

Nez Balelo: I just feel that when you would do encounter that? I think it’s a, it’s a form of disrespect and I’ve never disrespected anybody in a negotiation if anybody hears this podcast and if I did please call me because I don’t feel I ever have, but I feel that in any type of negotiation or any discussion or, or any, um, conversation you’re having with somebody, I just feel that you need to be respectful and you shouldn’t be condescending and you shouldn’t create bad body language because I think it just, it just takes the whole conversation south in a bad way. And it’s never fun dealing with people that are just one sided and went and they, they, they look and view only things the way that they want to view.

And there are certain aspects of our business that we have to get into and one of them is what we call, Oh, through threes and then arbitration eligible players. And so when, when players become arbitration eligible, this is a negotiation between you and the organization. And they try to look at all the deficiencies that the player lacks, and we always try to focus on all the strength and then you come to some type of too happy, medium. And, um,

Andy Paul: Trying to avoid going to arbitration.

Nez Balelo: Correct. And this is where I think things get a little hostile and things get a little testy and, um, I’ve never tried to go there and I’ve had knock on wood, tremendous amount of success dealing with, um, organizations, because right away, I feel that if you show them the respect, then you expect the, the respect back as well. And it’s reciprocated. So, um, or if it is reciprocated, then you feel like you’re, you’re often you’re going in a good direction. So these are, to me, things that I try to deal with. And squash right away in any type of negotiation. Because if I feel that I’m dealing with somebody on the other end of the phone and they are doing an acting with some of the red flags that I’m talking about, it just doesn’t sit well with me.

And now I’ve considered myself, a veteran guy again, been in the business for 35 years and it’s like, “Hey, listen, let’s put it all aside. I understand. You’re trying to win on this line. I get it. Okay, but you’re never going to just completely win because if you do, we have an alternate venue we could go do, and it’s called arbitration” and we literally allow three people in a panel to, to hash it out and we go, and we never want to do that.

We end up having to go sometimes what we don’t want to. And so for us, It does make a difference to have an amicable and nice conversation moving forward. So I try to squash it most of the time. They understand, Hey, my bad, I’m sorry, let’s start over again. Um, but it’s one little pet peeve of mine that, that I just won’t tolerate.

Andy Paul: Well, it sounds also in this business and it’s true. I think it’s true in all businesses as people. They don’t forget. Right? I mean, it’s, it’s one of the things to see happen all the time on sales is Salesforce has been trained. You need to go out and tell the customer we’re here to help. We’re here to serve, but then you get to the last day of the month that you’re trying to meet your number.

Hey, what can I do to get you to close today? And this idea that you’re there to help them. So I’m just flying the window cause said, yeah, you’re just there for the commission

Nez Balelo: Right, right.

Andy Paul: don’t forget that.

Nez Balelo: They don’t, they really don’t. I don’t.

Andy Paul: No, I don’t either. That’s why I said I want to go back into business again with them. So yeah. I don’t want to tip my hand about that, so.

Nez Balelo: Exactly right.

Andy Paul: Well, good. Well, unfortunately we’re running out of time now, but it’s been fantastic to talk with you and, um, if people want to learn more about you and what you do and how could they do that?

Nez Balelo: Well, they could reach out, you have the information to Rhonda, so you can go ahead and share that to anybody that does have interest, but I really enjoyed my time and hopefully we could do it again. And, uh, Say hello to San Diego for me?

Andy Paul: Yeah, your hometown. That’s what I’m looking. I’m looking where you grew up, but when I look out my window, so, alright. Thank you.

Nez Balelo: Thank you. Andy. Take care.