March 3, 2015

5 Minutes with a Leader – Lance Seach – Expert Negotiator, Deal Maker, SVP at TruCode

Expert Negotiator and Deal Maker Lance SeachWhat do you get when you combine an amazing personality with a mind that’s creative and focused on building relationships and negotiating deals – where all parties walk away winners? The answer is Lance Seach.

Lance is Senior Vice President at TruCode, a Georgia-based company that is a leading innovator in the medical coding software market. Lance’s job is to penetrate targeted partnerships, build relationships, and develop “WIN/WIN” strategies that drive revenue growth, increase market share, and enhance profit margins.

In short, this guy makes it happen. Lance is an recognized as one of the leading experts on negotiation primarily because he has the unique skill set of pulling the right people together, diagnosing and solving issues, and then putting plans into action where everyone wins.

But how did Lance develop his talents for uniting people and making things happen?

Perhaps this skill set was formed during his time as Number 39 – a fullback for the Texas Longhorns at UT/Austin. Maybe it was honed while he was the founder and CEO of one of the largest ROI outsourcing companies in Texas, and then a litigation support company. Possibly, it was cemented through his active role as a board member for a number of advisory groups or via his in-depth experience as a high-ranking executive at healthcare corporations, where deals had to be
made… and Lance was the guy who made them.

Or maybe, he gets his inspiration from his wife Tammy and their three children. An active guy, it’s possible that Lance finds further insights while skiing with his family or jumping out of planes.

Crazy? Perhaps. But the question is: How does Lance lead people into building relationships that overcome issues and obstacles, so that all parties walk away feeling victorious? It’s not easy, but Lance makes it appear that way.

Let’s take a peek into the mind of one of healthcare’s (and other industries, as well) top deal makers.

Question 1: How did you learn to become a great deal maker?
Patience, time and tenure. You can’t rush meaningful partnerships that must result in measurable results.

Question 2: When you’re building relationships, what is the biggest challenge you face and how do you deal with it?
The biggest is getting in front of that person. If you have done your homework on them, then it makes it easy to find common ground that unites the relationship and moves the ball down the field.

Question 3: When building relationships, do you ever meet the “other side” and wonder, “How is this going to work?”  
Every time. You can’t GAIN anything without identifying the PAIN first. You have always heard “no PAIN no GAIN” in athletics. Always locate the pain and show the prospect the gain.

Question 4: Have you ever come to an impasse when negotiating and what do you do to overcome it?
You have to ask the hard questions and figure out why this is not moving in a favorable position. Somehow the business case and the value are not aligned with the prospects expectations. As we say in Texas, “Let’s get around a fire and talk about it.” Plus, the theory of “shut up and listen” is critical to ALL negotiations at work, with your friends, your wife and others… just shut up and listen and you will win the deal often.

Question 5: How much “homework” is involved in beginning a project?
I always ask my kids if they have homework and, often enough, they say “Nope!” Homework is not something that your teacher/employer gave you to bring back the next day; homework in school, business and life is preparation at all times. My football coach, Coach Akers, always said “Get competent and know your assignments and plays. Knowledge equals competence. Once you know your assignments, it becomes second nature – muscle memory kicks in – and you become confident and comfortable. Once you knock out those first “3 C’s,” you become COMPETITIVE and can’t lose!

Question 6: What excites you about your job?
I look at all jobs and new opportunities the same way. I have to be able to get out of bed everyday and love what I am doing and have a passion for it. I have to trust and love the people that I work with and then relatively everything else will fall into place (compensation, opportunities, promotions).

Question 7: Do your negotiation skills work as well as home?
I mean, who wins the arguments – the wife, the kids? I have learned 3 things from being married for
24 years in negotiations: First, what’s hers is hers and what’s mine is hers; secondly, your wife is ALWAYS right – no matter what and, thirdly, a happy wife is a happy life!

Question 8: Who in business, sports, or elsewhere inspires you and why?
The coaches that have been in my life from high school throughout college have all inspired me in some form or fashion. My previous employers and colleagues have also all inspired and taught me much.

Question 9: What are you reading? Do you have a favorite business (or other motivational, etc.) book?
I am actually in the process of writing a business development and motivational book – one that inspires and teaches the art of fundamental relationship selling and closing (hanging paper).

Question 10: What is your top tip for being an effective negotiator?
As my coach use to always say, “Head up, Hit hard.” You can’t hit what you can’t see. You have to always be paying attention to opportunities that come up in a strategic business development opportunity and leverage that into a position that brings a WIN/WIN to both companies.

You can see from this interview that Lance is an expert on negotiation and making deals happen. When he releases his book, I am sure that anyone who is even slightly interested in negotiating and making great deals – and who doesn’t negotiate every day either at work or home? – will find a treasure trove of powerful ideas and strategies, uniquely blended with Lance’s charming personality and wit. I will be one of the first to pick up his book and cheer him on to the top of the best sellers list.

To contact Lance, email him at: lanceseach@gmail.com.

Recognized as an entertaining motivational speaker who actually has something to say, Bob Garner travels the world on behalf of his Fortune 1000 corporate clients sharing usable information on personal and professional development in a fun and entertaining way. A busy writer, Bob is the author of books, as well as countless articles that have been featured in various magazines, blogs and sites.

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