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Why You Want to Master the Art of the Schmooze, Ep #183

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How do you develop the ability to close deals? According to Cody Lowry, it’s by mastering the art of the schmooze techniques. It isn’t about your creative strategy. It isn’t about how you can save someone millions of dollars. It all comes down to your ability to do THREE things. What are they? Find out in this episode of Negotiation Ninja!

Cody Lowry AKA “Mr. Schmooze” is a Tampa Bay native and the President of Intermark Automotive, based in Birmingham, AL. He recently released his book, “Schmooze: What They Should Teach at Harvard Business School.” Cody takes storytelling to a whole new level in this engaging episode—don’t miss it!


Just what is “Schmoozing?”

The term “schmooze” is often given a negative connotation and looked at as manipulative. But Cody has redefined the term and applied his own meaning. There are 25 different attributes that Cody associates with schmoozing.

Schmoozing certainly encompasses engaging in friendly conversation with others. It can definitely be persuasive. But Cody points out that you can’t schmooze without strong relationships and a winning smile. It includes looking out for the little guy and mentoring others. It’s about building trust and laughing at yourself. It means staying relevant. You need to be well-spoken and quick on your feet.

Cody got a baseball signed by the pope. He carried a torch in the Olympics. He was the recipient of a Super Bowl ring from an NFL coach—and didn’t even have to negotiate for it. He got the opportunity to audition for Saturday Night Live. All because of his ability to schmooze. Cody has been negotiating since the age of 11 to now, anything from five cents to multi-million dollar contracts. How did he realize it was his superpower?

How Cody realized schmoozing was his superpower

Cody came from a broken home with no father, a single mom, and three other siblings. Before his dad left, his mom had never had to work a day in her life. They came to Florida when he was just 5-years-old. Throughout his childhood, they moved 32 times. At age 11, he started selling papers for the Miami News. He learned some important life lessons from that first job—like no doesn’t necessarily mean no.

If someone walked by without buying a paper, he’d say “Would you buy a paper if I told you where you got your shoes, what state you were born in, and how many birthdays you’ve had?” Nearly everyone bit. So he’d proceed to say “You got your shoes on your feet, you were born in the state of infancy, and you’ve only had one birth day—the day you were born.”

The three keys to success

What is the true secret sauce to mastering negotiations?

  1. Build relationships
  2. Be trustworthy
  3. Never let them down

The automotive field is very competitive. There are three levels: manufacturers, associations, and tier-three dealers. If you aren’t continuously taking them to the next level, another agency will get their ear. Cody has had tier 3 accounts on the books for 30+ years. Just to put that into perspective—a 5-year run is considered pretty good.

How do you build a 30-year relationship? How do you differentiate yourself from the competition? Listen to the whole episode to hear Cody’s success story. Plus, Cody shares a story about a business relationship that changed his life. Don’t miss this one!

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