We’ve all heard the clever, catchy truisms tossed about in corporate environments that sound like sage advice:

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

“You get what you pay for.”

“You can’t switch horses mid-stream.”

They sound good on the surface. Some of these witty aphorisms may even hold a kernel of truth. But dig a little deeper, and you begin to discover that these widely-held and unchallenged beliefs can cost companies lots of time, money, and opportunity.

My guest on this week’s episode, best-selling author and negotiation expert Jack Quarles, calls these toxic statements ‘Expensive Sentences.’ Left unchecked and unexamined, these simple little proverbs or phrases have the power to drain valuable resources from companies, keeping them from reaching their full growth and potential.

Jack co-authored “Same Side Selling: A Radical Approach to Break Through Sales Barriers” with me. In his latest book, “Expensive Sentences: Debunking the Common Myths that Derail Decisions and Sabotage Success,” he looks at the destructive nature of commonly held beliefs and statements that have the power to shut down conversations within organizations, and lead to bad decisions and missed opportunities.

“These ideas set in pretty deep in an organization,” Jack says. “They become company lore. They become things that people really believe, but they’re often not true.”

Listen to this episode and discover:

· How one simple statement cost a company millions of dollars in unnecessary expenses.
· What are some of the most commonly-used ‘expensive sentences’ to watch out for in a buying-selling environment?
· How not to a respond to an ‘expensive sentence’ situation (and what to do instead).
· Three ways to tell if you’re in an ‘expensive sentence’ environment.
· Three important questions to ask yourself and others that can turn an ‘expensive sentence’ situation around almost immediately (plus a bonus question from Ian).
· And so much more!

Episode Overview

Back when Jack was the Director of Procurement for a multi-national company, he discovered that a million dollar buying decision was being made on a faulty assumption that was never questioned or challenged.

“We’d spent probably millions of dollars more than we should have over of several years, and what was the reason? The reason was this distorted idea that had taken root,” he said.

In other words, an expensive sentence had reared its ugly head.

That discovery led Jack on a quest to find out why these assumptions were being made and, more importantly, what could be done to change them. He wanted to help buyers shift their perspectives to allow for more healthy, robust competition.

“The tricky thing about these ‘expensive sentences’ is that there’s almost always some kernel of truth in them,” Jacks says.

Sellers will know if they are in an ‘expensive sentence’ scenario if they have one (or all) of these three elements present:

· Stuck
· Scarcity
· Special

“Whenever you encounter a situation where you feel like you’re stuck, or you feel like the resources are scarce, or you feel like somebody’s special (where we’re dependent upon someone or they’re irreplaceable) those are warning signs,” Jack says.

For more in-depth explanations of Jack’s three-step formula – Engage, Examine, Enlighten – for turning an expensive sentence scenario from a negative to a positive, make sure to listen to this episode.

Jack and I also talk about the shift that’s happening in the procurement world toward better overall value (and away from cheapest prices), and the biggest fear a procurement agent faces (it’s not what you think!). Tune in for all of that and more on today’s Grow My Revenue with Jack Quarles.

For full show notes and other resources, please visit: http://www.ianaltman.com/podcast/jack-quarles-expensive-sentences/