4 Steps to Winning a Negotiation
A lesson from the FBI
Happy National World Gratitude Day! Today’s the day to call that prospect that opens every one of your emails but never responds, and let them know exactly how much you appreciate them… 🙃
In today’s Follow Up:
How to win your next negotiation 🗣️
A simple sales tip 💡
Sales on the internet 💻️
Sales jobs for closers 🤑
LinkedIn, sales meme, & review 😂
How to Win Negotiations
Today we’re giving you a sales lesson, FBI style.
That’s right, we’re bringing in the master of negotiation, a terrorist’s worst nightmare, the king of hostage situations.
His name is Chris Voss and he was a member of the FBI crisis negotiation task force for over 20 years and a New York Times best-selling author.
From negotiating with kidnappers to releasing hostages to closing massive deals, the dude knows how to negotiate.
Negotiation is the act of communicating with another party to reach an agreement or resolve a dispute - it’s a basic building block of sales. But you don’t win negotiations by putting on a fake macho man persona or using sleazy sales tactics.
According to Chris, the key to winning a negotiation is to make the other person feel like they have control (when they really don’t).
In negotiations, information = power.
So your goal when negotiating is to obtain as much information as you can → while giving away as little information as possible.
Give the other person the illusion of control.
Get information > give information.
But how can you do this?
Let’s take a look at the 4 steps 👇️
In this first step, you’ll make an assumption about the other person’s statement and “label” it.
Typically labels begin with: “It sounds like…” “It seems like…” or “It looks like…”
If you say yes, you give them control of the conversation.
If you say no, you’re going to come off combative.
By labeling it with a “sounds like…” question, you’re now forcing them to provide more information that will help you navigate the negotiation.
2. Effective Pauses
This is the easiest step…
The only thing you have to do here is shut your mouth. For real, that’s it.
Once you’ve responded with your label in the step above, let them answer.
It might get a bit awkward with the silence, but if you wait long enough, they’ll give you your answer.
3. Calibrated Questions
A calibration question is like an open-ended question, but even better. (Chris refuses to use the words open-ended.)
Instead of leaving the question wide open, use “What” and “How” to guide a calibrated question.
“What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing?” or “How do you plan on solving that problem?”
Chris will ask the same exact question in 3 different ways to get even better answers out of his counterpart.
It seems reductive but it helps the other person think, makes the issues 3 dimensional, and gets you better answers.
4. Tone of Voice
The artist’s touch to negotiation.
There are only two demeanors you need in sales:
Upbeat & positive = 95% of the time.
Confident & firm = 5% of the time.
Smiling is your secret weapon in negotiation. Data shows that our brains work up to 31% more effectively in a positive setting. So when you ask a question with a smile, they’ll give you the answer and enjoy doing it.
But every once in a while, you’ll need to pull out the firm voice. Chris refers to this as the “late-night FM DJ voice”.
When prospects hear this voice they should know they’re in good hands. You’re patient. You don’t talk over the other person. You just say it how it is.
And if they show hesitation with what you say, repeat yourself again, but add a bit of encouragement in your voice. Use a “smile” in your voice to bring them out of their hesitation to your voice of authority and get them back into collaboration mode.
TLDR 4 negotiation tips:
Label your prospect’s question.
Effectively pause after you label.
Ask a calibrated question.
Add the finishing touch with your tone of voice.
Which is your favorite step in negotiation?
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