Virtual Mentoring: becoming a successful negotiator with Guy Potel, White & Case

June 03, 2020 | Mentoring

Written by FinTech Alliance

Virtual Mentoring: becoming a successful negotiator with Guy Potel, White & Case

At FinTech Alliance, we believe mentoring is vital to career development and builds relationships that are mutually beneficial to both parties. We want to encourage networking and knowledge sharing in the FinTech ecosystem, as well as helping develop the talent of the future.

That’s why we introduced our Mentoring Hub to connect mentors and mentees in the FinTech space who might otherwise never have met. We were looking forward to launching the platform and encouraging everyone to meet up and network – but then the world changed.

So, while we can’t sit together over a coffee, we decided to launch Virtual Mentoring – a way for you to gain the advice you need or share your own experiences without having to leave your home. We’ll be sharing advice from mentors over the coming weeks and we’re open for you to send us any questions or problems you’d like answered.

In the meantime, be sure to sign up as a mentor or mentee (or both!) on the platform. We can’t wait to launch!

This week’s mentor is Guy Potel, Partner at legal firm White & Case LLP, a principal partner of FinTech Alliance. We spoke to Potel about how he has built trusted relationships with clients and become a skilled negotiator.

 

How do you build trusting relationships with clients?

By being honest, commercial and responsive. Clients also need to have confidence in your ability to navigate complexity and distil it into simple language that works in the context of their business. Keep emails short. Keep the advice pragmatic.

Relationships can take years to build. You need to build a level of trust and empathy with the client and his or her business. They need to know you will deliver for them.

 

What makes a good negotiator? 

The best approach to negotiation is open dialogue and getting to grips with the drivers behind requests – emails back and forth simply don’t allow that level of understanding. Once the ‘ask’ is fully understood, look at it in the wider context of the deal… too often people take very hard positions on points that don’t count much in the grand scheme of the transaction – in effect, wasting everyone’s time.

You should also be fully prepared to justify and explain the asks you are making. Rehearse your arguments and anticipate objections. Manage their expectations as you go.

Lastly, always remain polite, level headed and leave the theatrics to others.”

 

What’s the most important thing a mentor has taught you?

 

The road is long. There will be highs and lows. Try to build in some emotional distance and resilience. Even the most glittering careers will have periods where things weren’t all going according to plan. Try to control what you can. There’s an awful lot that influences your career that you can’t control.

 

 

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