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Chris Voss – “Unlocking The Secrets Of Negotiation”

I’m please to welcome Chris Voss back to the show for a follow up interview.  Chris is a former Lead FBI Negotiator and dynamic speaker who debunks the biggest myths of negotiation. Chris engages all groups with captivating stories, insights, and useful tips for business and everyday life. Chris has lectured on negotiation at business schools across the country and has been seen on ABC, CBS, CNN, and Fox News. Chris has also been featured in Forbes, Time, Fast Company, and Inc. Chris’s Keynotes are based on his book ‘Never Split The Difference©’

  • You Negotiate At Least Seven Times A Day
  • The Three Types Of Negotiators
  • People Are 31% Smarter In A Positive Frame Of Mind
  • Vision Drives Decision
  • Late Night FM DJ Voice
  • The Biggest Obstacle To Closing A Deal
  • The One Hack That Will Give You 20% Of Your Day Back 
  • Why Clients “Ghost” You
  • The One Text That Will Re-Engage Clients That “Ghost” You
  • How To Negotiate Over Email

Every week, the RUN GPG Podcast aims to provide inspirational stories from people who made a mark in entrepreneurship, entertainment, personal development, and the real estate industry. It is produced by the GREATER PROPERTY GROUP to help the audience grow and scale their business and their life.

Every week, the RUN GPG Podcast aims to provide inspirational stories from people who made a mark in entrepreneurship, entertainment, personal development, and the real estate industry. It is produced by the GREATER PROPERTY GROUP to help the audience grow and scale their business and their life.

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Chris is a former lead FBI negotiator and dynamic speaker who debunks the myths of negotiation. Chris engages all groups with captivating stories, insights, and useful tips for business and everyday life. Chris has lectured on negotiation at business schools across the country and has been seen on ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News.

Chris has been featured in Forbes, Time, Fast Company, and Inc. His keynotes are based on the book, Never Split the Difference which I think is one of the most read and recommended books. For real estate professionals in the real estate industry that said, Chris, good to see you again. It’s an honor. Welcome to the Greater Property Group Mastermind this week.

Hey, thanks. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it. I’m looking forward to the conversation. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks for making time. We do appreciate it. As I was saying there, you were last on the RUN GPG podcast in December 2020. So it’s been a minute. This will be a nice addendum to find out what you’ve been up to since then the black swan group, of course, but this session, as we said in the introduction there, your book and your methods really do resonate with real estate.

Professionals for a lot of reasons. As you say, it’s a field tested approach to high stakes negotiation. Almost the people on the call who are in the industry, you know, we’re not dealing with life and death necessarily, but they are high stakes negotiations, right? Cause we’re dealing with a real estate sales, sometimes people’s biggest assets.

So before we get into the tactics specifically, I think it’s always good to get a little bit of, uh, context. So if you don’t mind for those who don’t know your backstory, how did you get involved with the FBI and eventually hostage negotiation? Do you mind giving us a little bit of a backstory there?

Yeah, sure. Um, you know, I was a police officer, Kansas City, Missouri and uh, my father got me interested in federal law enforcement. Uh, he wanted me to, you know, uh, uh, go after bigger and better things. He, he saw federal, uh, uh, that way. And, um, so I got interested initially, I wanted to be in the secret service.

Cause I heard about traveling all over the world with the secret service and they weren’t hiring. The FBI was got, uh, fortunately for me, you know, uh, got on with the FBI. First off, it’s Pittsburgh, was on a SWAT team there, went to New York City, joined terrorist task force, and was trying out for the FBI’s hostage rescue team, the FBI’s version of the Navy SEALs, tier one counter terrorist response team, and re injured my knee, and wanted to stay in crisis response, so I thought, you know, hostage negotiation, how hard could it be?

It’s no more complicated than talking to people. Well, it’s a lot more complicated than that. But I got into it, and I loved it. Like, Phenomenal to be able to change the course of events with your words, with your tone of voice, you know, by reaching into somebody’s emotionally and pressing a button that makes them change everything that they’re doing.

That was great. It was awesome. And ended up being the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI. So running our negotiation strategy and kidnappings globally traveled around the world, got to do that. Uh, but not to the nice places. Nobody gets kidnapped in Paris. You know, they get kidnapped in Nigeria or, you know, some, some tougher.

And then just started seeing the, you know, the global application, we didn’t call it that back then of emotional intelligence, but it just worked with everybody and ended up at Harvard Law School’s negotiation course. They, they talked my way in there, even though I wasn’t a student and a Harvard guy said, you know, you’re doing the same stuff.

We are the, the, the stakes are different. But the dynamics are all the same because you’re dealing with human beings and left the bureau, wrote the book, not an easy task, you know, I’m making this sound simple and easy and none of it was, and you know, here we are today. Uh, I actually recently put out a book for residents or real estate agents, a full fee agents with, uh, Steve Scholl, who’s former NFL player coaching real estate agents out of Los Angeles.

And, you know, it’s just cool stuff. We like having, helping people make more money, but more importantly, enjoy their lives more. No, absolutely. And I appreciate you breaking that down, giving us some, uh, some of your backstory, some context, right? Um, and you know, your career, um, and your experiences, they do read like a movie, you know, you were lead negotiator for some of the biggest, you know, most high profile terrorism, kidnapping cases the past few decades, that’s for sure.

But then you do write the book, which I want to drill down on, uh, specifically here, but you know, what’s the most common, um, Phrase or the, you know, the most common, um, comment you hear about the book years later from sales professionals. Well, you know, kind of across the board, um, whatever methodology people are using, there are three or four methodologies, maybe in sales, you know, you drop in emotional intelligence to it and it begins to explain how, help you understand how to, how to do your methodology better.

You know, you might be running, um, challenge yourself methodology, medic, you know, you, however you’re approaching sales. Nobody really, Field tested emotional intelligence extensively and came back with, you know, very specific set of skills. When I went to Harvard, you know, what I was shocked about Harvard was they were, they were getting into active listening also.

And they said, you, you guys at the FBI are way farther down the line than we are. You’ve defined it much more specifically, you’ve given very specific application. So it’s really how do you use your intuition and then how do you harness your intuition in a. In any negotiation to accelerate the outcome, right?

And that’s exactly what I, I do want to get into the specifics of that. Um, so let’s just jump right in. Yeah. You say that everyone is in up to seven negotiations a day. Uh, can you, yeah, yeah. Can you explain that for a listener who hasn’t read the book? Well, yeah. What’s the difference between sales and negotiation used to ask that all the time until finally I really drilled down sales is getting somebody to think I want or I need.

And as soon as. Anybody’s thinking I want, or I need, you’ve just shifted into negotiation. Sales is planting the desire negotiation sales might be uncovering the desire or revealing the desire. But then once it’s there, it’s really all negotiation. So ridiculous because negotiation is much about implementation, more about implementation.

You’re in a negotiation when you’re getting a cup of coffee at Starbucks. How do you know that that person is making it the way you asked him to? I know one Starbucks employee revealed and he said, I give decaf to people who are mean to me. So you just don’t know what the heck is going on if you haven’t seen it as a negotiation and reacted appropriately in a moment.

No, absolutely. And the most dangerous negotiation is the one you don’t know you’re in, right? Exactly. And usually by the time you wake up to the fact that you’re in a negotiation, you’ve been in the negotiation since the moment they laid eyes on you, since the moment they heard your voice. No, absolutely.

Now, uh, you do say that there are three types of negotiators, three types, right? What are those? Fight, flight, make friends, assertive, analyst, accommodator. They’re the cavemen that survived and believe it or not, the world really splits evenly into thirds. We, we have, we used to give people the Thomas Kilman conflict mode instrument.

It’s what they used when I was at Harvard to break us into groups and it puts you in five and they tossed out two of the. Five and narrowed it down to three. I asked Bob Mnookin about that one time, because that’s where I learned it. He said, well, the, the real core basic types are the fight, flight, or make friends response to conflict.

And wherever you go, we’ve talked Chinese business executives and seen them break out into thirds. Like it’s, it’s a global reaction and each one sees. The interaction differently, even though we’re using the same words, they see success differently. There’s always something more valuable than the deal to each one of the types.

You know, a fight person is time is money. A flight person is an analyst. Informationism. The make friends type is relationships are money. And so they see, they use the same words, they see things vastly differently. And we have yet to, to have our hypothesis disproved that by and large, the world breaks evenly into thirds.

How can you tell who you’re negotiating with? Like the, the, the profile type of the one you’re trying to get to an agreement with, how can you tell, is there a quick classification for that? Yeah. You know, um, nobody’s really direct and blunt. Other than the assertive natural born assertive sees themselves as direct and honest, they come off as blunt, like getting hit in the face with a brick.

My natural type is assertion. And one time I had an FBI hostage negotiator when I was being myself, say said to me, dealing with you is like getting hit in the face with a brick. You know, Donald Trump’s a natural born assertive. Um, His daughter once said, you know, people see my father is blunt and he’s just direct and honest.

I mean, that’s an assertive time is money. Let’s get it done. I get a very clear direction I want to go and time is money. So if somebody comes off as assertive, only assertives come off as assertives. Now it gets a little murkier otherwise, because The, uh, the accommodators, the relationship oriented people, the smiling and friendly people.

Assertives and analysts will masquerade as accommodators because they see the accommodators making more deals than they make. And they’re trying to figure it out and they think to themselves, wow, you know, all this person does is smile a lot and they make more deals. So sometimes, especially an analyst will come off as an accommodator because analysts, the data driven people, the thinkers, they’re introspective, they study results, they study outcomes, and a lot of times you’ll swear to God you’re dealing with a accommodator when point of fact, they’re analysts, they’ve just figured it out, they’ve figured out How much more effective you could be just by being friendly.

The analyst loves data. They love to be detached. They love to appear dispassionate. They’re very passionate about being dispassionate, which is, you know, kind of a crazy thought, but they’re very data oriented and they see conflict as highly inefficient. And a possibility when there’s so many other possibilities.

So they tend to avoid conflict because they see it as an utter waste of time, which is why at Harvard, they called them avoiders. And we felt that that wasn’t quite a really accurate title. So we redesigned the test for the three types and we designed their title. So ideally people. Get more insight into the way they tick in a way that they think, right.

Okay. I appreciate you breaking those down. Uh, it’s important to know who you’re negotiating with. That’s for sure. Um, I do believe that now, sorry for jumping around a little bit, but it’s like, as time permits, right? Um, people are 31% smarter in a positive frame of mind. I love that. How does that relate to the negotiation process?

Yeah. Well, if you put yourself in a positive frame of mind, you’re smarter. And emotions have a contagion. So you actually want the other side to be smarter as well, because you want them to implement. And if they’re stupid in the moment, the chances that they’ll screw up the implementation, they’ll forget something or just completely fail to implement are very high.

So you actually want your counterpart smarter in the moment as well. Now the flip side of that stat, and I think it’s a very solid stat. My source is Sean Acker, Harvard psychologist, gave a great Ted talk called the happy secret to better work. I believe it’s a tremendously entertaining talk about the, the psychological strategic tactical advantages of being in a positive frame of mind.

Well, if you’re 31% smarter in a positive frame of mind, by definition, if you’re in a negative frame of mind, you’re a dumber, if you’re concerned, if you’re upset, if you’re angry, especially anger, you know, there’s a self righteousness to anger. So when you’re angry, you’re dumber. And since you’re being self righteous, you even more convinced you’re right.

Why are you simultaneously being dumber? So really understanding the impact on your intellect of your mood and your counterpart’s mood is, is really a real subtle game changing method to be more successful. Well, let’s be positive. Everybody. It’s important. Uh, 31% smarter. That’s a big number.

What role does empathy play in negotiation? I’ve heard you talk about this empathy, right? Yeah, it’s all right. So it’s a superpower. Now, if you define it is simply demonstrating understanding the tactical application of emotional intelligence. First of all, understanding is not enough. Just because you understand doesn’t make the other person feel.

Understood. And when somebody feels understood, they’re infinitely more willing to be persuaded, if not entirely persuaded in the moment because they only want to be understood. But they’re always more willing to be persuaded once they feel understood. And so empathy is showing somebody you understand, like you feel backed into a corner here.

You feel like you don’t have any choices. You know, you start articulating what’s actually going on in their brain or the things that they’re saying to themselves about you. Like, you know, I used empathy the other day to find a suitcase in the Vegas airport and there was the first time I’d hit it this effectively and a woman went and found my suitcase.

In a way that I’d never seen before. And all I did was when I walked into the office where, you know, your luggage is supposed to be lost, you know, these people, you know, that they’re, they’re watching you walk in and they’re thinking of themselves. You know, this guy thinks I got a magic wand, you know, he thinks I’m going to wave a magic wand and poof, the suitcase is going to appear right in front of all of us.

So I walk into this office where these people are taking a verbal beating every day because nobody walks into there unless they’re really upset. And she says, How can I help you? And I go in a playful tone of voice. I go, I need you to wave a magic one. And I got to tell you something, this woman ended up going down in the bowels of the airport, which looks like a superhighway of all that, you know, God knows what’s down there.

And she found my suitcase, and she put it out on the luggage carousel. And she came out about 10 minutes later, she said, How’s that for a magic wand? I have never, and I’ve lost my luggage plenty of times because I travel constantly. I’ve never seen one of those people actually leave the office and go looking for my suitcase themselves.

You know, they talk to somebody on a walkie talkie and whoever they call in a walkie talkie is probably drinking coffee somewhere with his feet up and they’re like, good luck finding the suitcase. I just articulated to her what she was thinking when she laid her eyes on me and it changed everything. I wish I knew this on my last trip to Mexico.

I lost my golf clubs for a week, you know, um, but you know, fantastic breakdown. I’ve also heard you say, I heard you say this on a recent interview, actually, that empathy can backfire, right? Because if you’re overly empathetic, or you’re pretending to be on the same side as your counterpart too much, it seems disingenuous, right?

So can empathy backfire? No, I, you know, I’m not sure exactly if I, if I, if I express, if that thought came across, I expressed it improperly. I mean, if you define empathy simply as demonstrating understanding, it does backfire. Now there’s a fine line between pretending to agree. Empathy is not agreement.

You know, it was one of the reasons that I I collaborated with guys at Harvard in the first place because Bob Mnookin wrote in his book, Beyond Winning, in the second chapter in that book, the tension between empathy and assertiveness is the best chapter on empathy I have ever read. It’s worth buying that book just for that chapter.

You know, Mnookin says empathy is not about even liking the other side. It’s not about sympathizing with them. It’s not about agreeing with them. None of those things. So empathy is like, here’s how you see things. Now, if I want to pretend like I agree, You know, faux agreement, fake sympathy, that’s sympathy, then you got a problem there because if you don’t agree, you shouldn’t let people know that you agree.

You should just be a straight shooter. And I haven’t seen being a straight shooter or the actual application of empathy backfire. If it’s fake, then you got a problem. But if you’re not agreeing, there’s, there’s no reason it should be fake. Okay. Interesting. Thanks for clarifying that. I do love this. I wanna I wanna talk about visualization because I think this is this is such an incredible thought.

You know, in the same interview, I think you talked about how people make decisions based on their vision of the future. So, let’s think of a goal or outcome and work our way backwards. I thought that was fascinating. Such a great concept. So, can you talk about how vision drives decision? Yeah, people, somebody’s vision of the future, or if they can’t see the future, then what are they afraid of losing right now?

You know, it’s their, it’s their vision of loss. It’s, and the principle, the biggest impact on decision making is loss, not the only impact, but what do I stand to lose here? A friend of mine once told me that 70% of purchase decisions are made to avoid a loss versus accomplish a gain. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some decisions that are made for gain.

Just a minority. You know, the biggest decisions are all revolving around loss. You know, what do I stand to lose? How does this impact my future? How do people see the future? Which is one of the purposes of tactical empathy in the first place and empathy. Let me, let me say how you think. You see things to you because I need to know what’s going on in your head and you’re either going to confirm or you’re going to correct.

And then I’m going to see how you see the future and comparison the present. Now, if I can see that, then I might be able to offer some ways to impact you. You’re thinking of the future. For example, somebody’s making bad decisions. They’re in a bad cycle. You know, this is sitting on a house and it won’t sell for what they want to sell it for.

And they’re steadily losing money month after month after month by not selling. Well, how do you get them to see the future a little bit differently? Because they’re thinking about their loss today because. The price is not what they want it to be. Maybe they’re in a declining market. Maybe their brother in law got more for a different house.

You know, who knows? You say to them some of the effect of what happens if you do nothing. That causes them to shift their view of the future to the impact of the bad decision making that’s going on now that they’re trying to close their eyes and cover their ears to. What happens if you do nothing? You got to ask it nicely, because that’s a powerful question.

And the more powerful the question, the gentler you need to ask so that it lands. And that’s a question designed to get somebody to shift their vision of the future. Yeah, I love it. It’s such a fascinating concept. So vision drives decision, uh, the importance of visualization. I think it’s critical to think about.

I love that. Think of a goal and work your way backwards. Um, I’ll be in trouble if I don’t ask about one of the more popular concepts in the book, which is the late night FM DJ voice. The late night FM DJ, but you get asked about this all the time. I know that, but for those that haven’t read the book, can you tell us where using that type of voice is necessary and how you go about implementing that in the negotiation?

Well, in in depend upon the stress level of the negotiation and A colleague of mine, Derek Gaunt, says every conversation around a real estate purchase, residential real estate purchase, is a difficult conversation, every one. So if you’re talking to a buyer, seller, owner, residential real estate, the late night FM DJ voice is probably your default voice.

Most of the time, and I’ve just got a calming, soothing voice. Calm is contagious. There’s actually some solid neuroscience behind it. My tone of voice is going to impact neurochemicals in your brain. The reason calm is contagious is not because the other person chooses to calm down. Sound of my voice is actually going to have a smoothing, calming effect.

And it’s all it really is. You can have a high squeaky voice if you downward inflect. You can be a woman and you don’t need to have, um, you know, the radio announcer’s voice drop your chin. When you talk that automatically downward inflects your voice and that sort of calming helps smooth people out when they feel panicked, when they’re in a negative frame of mind and dumber.

So use a calming voice to take them out of this frame of mind where they can’t think. From the man himself. We heard the late night DJ FM voice. Fantastic. Thanks for that. Biggest problem or hurdle to getting a deal done or what do you think is the biggest problems or hurdles to an effective negotiation that you see?

The amount of emotional friction that’s picked up through the process, people feel shoved, feel pushed, they feel like they’re losing their autonomy. And a thing that a lot of people do very inadvertently, but it’s it is a problem. Is the more focused you are on yes, the more people feel pushed, shoved, like they’re using their autonomy.

You know, there’s something out there called the yes momentum or momentum selling. Get somebody to say yes, you know, each yes is a micro agreement. Each yes is a tie down. Well, that takes away people’s autonomy, creates friction. Now, you might be trying to do something that’s good for them. But the problem is my hypothesis is, and I believe it to be true.

Everybody’s been bamboozled with the yes momentum at some point in time in their life, probably in their late teens, no later than the early twenties, somebody asked them into a deal that they utterly regret it. Now they don’t remember how they got there. It’s like eating food that made you sick, but then you’re sickened by it for the rest of your life.

And once you’ve been bamboozled by the yes momentum, you got a bad, sickening feeling as soon as somebody starts trying to get you to say yes. And I think everybody on earth has been bamboozled by that. So when a good person comes along, tries to do something good for them, the problem is they’re engaged in a behavior that somebody who cheated them engaged them in and their instincts are pushing back hard on it.

Yeah, no, that’s a good thought again. Talk about being disingenuous, right? That you run the risk of that in a negotiation if you push that. Um okay, speaking a little bit more about real estate specifically, I’ve heard you talk about uh value propositions in a negotiation value propositions uh why it’s important.

Why should sales professionals articulate their value proposition? We say unique selling propositions, USPs when dealing with, let’s say, leads and clients. Why are value propositions so important? Well, whatever your value is, it’s often like beauty. It’s in the eye of the beholder. You know, you’ve got to diagnose.

Whether or not the other side sees the beauty, the way that you do. And so getting them to recognize your value proposition, but what aspects of it? Let’s say there are 10 reasons to do business with you. You don’t know for sure, which of those 10 jump out most at your counterpart. So you get started on the thing that you think is most valuable stuff that matters to them is actually five or six on your list.

You’re going to lose them before you get there. So how do you diagnose that along the way? You know, the label is this. Simple tool that is a primary diagnostic for gathering information and developing a relationship simultaneously. So how would you label it? Seems like you get some reasons for talking to me.

Seems like you have some reasons for entertaining the steel. If they have them, they’ll tell you. There’s something about that that gets people to talk. It bypasses many of their defense mechanisms, which is really what the prefrontal cortex is, you know, covering up for the reptilian side of the brain.

You want to come in on an angle where they don’t feel threatened, where they feel like they want to share, you gotta know. What’s important to them about you and that you can’t, you want to watch your assumptions. So you get them talking about it with something labeled. It seems like there’s a lot of other things you could be doing right now other than talking to me, throw that out there and see how they respond.

It’s a great diagnostic. Fantastic breakdown. You know, um, we think of USPS as a utility belt. Like you said, something might be more important as someone that is important to someone else. So, it’s good to, you know, use wording like that, questions like that to figure out what it is. Um, what is The one hack that will give you 20% of your day back right away.

And how does that apply to real estate agent? Oh, wow. Well, you know, first of all, there’s a couple that will do a lot for you. But really finding out whether or not you’re the fool in the game is a critical issue. The challenger sale came up with this. I believe the number is actually low. Somebody’s talking to you.

They may be doing due diligence. They may want free consulting. They may just want to satisfy themselves that inaction is the best course. That’s at least 20% of the people you encounter probably more. So we teach residents, real estate agents, uh, and, and, uh, we call it the full fee methodology. You know, ask him why they’re doing business with you.

Ask him, you know, how do they make the decision? How do they take on board trusted advisors? How do they make a decision? You need to know whether or not you’re due diligence or free consulting or a reason to simply not change the status quo. You’re not going to change their mind if you’re not the favorite.

You’re not. Unless you want to take a 90% cut in pay, because that’s how long it’s going to take to change their mind. If you ever can, it’s not a sin to not get the deal. It’s a sin to take a long time to not get the deal. So get a diagnostic going early on, whether or not you’re the favorite. You’re not the favorite.

If you don’t know who the fool in the game is, it’s probably you. There are a lot of other people that want to do business with you. The people that are causing you to spin your wheels. Are holding you back from the people who want to do business with you. And it’s at least 20% of the people you encounter.

If you can knock them out of your world, you don’t have to actually get any better at what you do at all. You can give yourself an automatic 20% pay raise. Yeah, that’s, that’s fantastic. I think, I think that’s true. When you gain experience, you know, who you’re going to be working with or not. And you will get, you know, 20% of your day back for sure.

If you know who you’re working with or not. Um, here’s a question for you. Uh, I don’t know if this ever been posed to you, you know, in sales professionals, real estate agents, you know, sometimes they talk about. Clients and leads ghosting them, right? Like maybe you’ve made a contact with them, initial contact, and now they’ve disappeared.

Why might that happen? And how should someone follow up? Yeah. Well, you know, first of all, if they’re ghosting you, there’s a pretty good chance that you were the fool in the game to begin with. They got what they needed out of you and they moved on. I didn’t want to tell you that they don’t need it anymore.

Nobody ghost someone. While the conversation is productive. So if they’re ghosting you, they’re telling you the conversation has lost all productivity for them. Now, what are the reasons for that? Number one, they might have been playing you for a fool. They pumped you for the information. They got all the free consulting they needed.

They don’t want to fess up to that. They’re just hoping you go away and they’re going to ignore you forever. The other thing then might be you didn’t listen to them. Why should they talk to you if you don’t listen to them? There’s absolutely no reason for them to be on the phone with you where you continually pitch the value proposition that you believe is your convincing argument for why they’re doing business with you.

You’re pitching one, two, three, four on your value list, and they only care about nine and 10. They’re not going to sit there and listen to you the whole time. They, people run out of patience fast, so you’re not listening to them. The third reason is they have no power to make the decision, or they’ve lost all power to make the decision, and they’re embarrassed about admitting that.

So that’s why they’re ghosting you. Now, what do you do? What you do to find out is shoot them a one line text. Or one line email. Do not add to this. Like, I’m not kidding. One line and one line only. Have you given up on an insight, whatever it is that you’re working on? Doing business with me? Have you given up on using me as your agent?

Have you given up on whatever it is? X. Nothing more than that. I’m not kidding. Don’t all start by saying, Hey, how are you? Don’t. Sugarcoated, you send that baby out there, word for word, have you given up on X? If they haven’t given up on you, they’re going to fire back immediately. No, because saying no makes people feel safe and secure.

It doesn’t make them feel threatened. You know, it, it isn’t harsh. It lands well. So if they haven’t given up on you, they’re going to get right back to you. But understand that if they were ghosting you before you got one of those three problems, you got to find out what it is when you, cause if you go back to your value proposition right away, which is the reason why they were ghosting you to begin with, then you’ve just blown a one shot reset.

There was a woman I was coaching. She was selling, um, uh, promoting a wealth, uh, investment program. She’s got a guy that’s not getting back to her. I said, all right, cool. Send him the one line text. He’d be giving up on it. She said, it’s not going to work. He hasn’t responded to me. Texts, phone calls, emails, three weeks.

He gets back to her five minutes later. What does she do? She goes back to the value proposition again, pitching. She goes back to her pitch, totally destroyed the reset, ignored why he was ghosting her in the first place. And that was the conversation. So the one line text will give you the reset, understand how you got there.

In the first place, don’t go back to the behavior that got you there in the first place. Oh, it’s fantastic. Breakdown. I hope everybody’s taking notes. Hope everybody’s taking notes. I listen, the less is more, and I don’t think agents listen enough. I really don’t. I don’t think agents listen enough sales professionals.

You need to listen more, just stop and listen, find out what’s really important to your clients. Um, simplifying the communication, uh, negotiating and communicating over email. Any best practices you can suggest? Yeah, first of all, don’t, you wouldn’t, if you were playing chess over email, you wouldn’t send seven moves in one email.

So don’t send seven moves in an email when you’re negotiating. It’s silly. What happens to you over and over and over and over? When you send that long email, anything more than five lines is a long email. They pick something out that they don’t like and then they go off on a tangent and you wasted all of your time.

And then they send you a long email. And then if you read it, you do the same thing. You pick something out you don’t like, you ignore everything else. If your emails are more than five lines at a time, they’re probably too long. You try to make one point in an email, one and only one. You open honestly. So if the point is bad news, how do you open honestly?

You tell them you got bad news. You close positively. The last impression is a lasting impression. Many times I will write an email. Well, I start out, you know, Hey, listen, I’m hoping to work this out. You know, we’ve had a great relationship up to this point, loved, loved to have a long term relationship. I say at the beginning, when I’m typing it, all the wonderful things that are true.

What do I do? I delete. the first part and put it at the end. I at least copy it and put it in both places. How you finish positively is far more important than whether or not you open positively. So the last impression is a lasting impression. It seeds the next conversation. You know, don’t throw at the end, most people put in some sort of a cheap shot.

I would remind you the promises you made when we first started talking, that’s a cheap shot at the end. Don’t put that at the end. The last impression is a lasting impression. Make it short. Land one point. Finish positively. Yeah. Great suggestion. Less is more, everyone. Again, that theme keeps coming up.

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Um, I have heard you talk about the importance of constant communication. Obviously when you’re negotiating or you’re involved in, you know, hostage negotiation, constant communication is important. But how does that apply to someone in sales, a real estate agent? Uh, well, let’s change the word constant and let’s make it predictable.

Okay, it is. It should be continuous, but it should be predictable. Most people only communicate when they have good news or bad. When are you going to have good news or bad news? You don’t know, which makes your communication unpredictable. And then if you got bad news, you sit on it for a day, two days, three days, hoping it’ll disappear, hoping that you’ll come up with a better answer, hoping that the angels will come down and save you.

You know, the cavalry is going to come over the hill. I hope it goes away. Again, you’re unpredictable. So set times, specific times as to when you’re going to talk, no matter what. And if they’re sitting back there waiting on you while you’re waiting on good news, you’re increasing the anxiety and the friction and the negativity in the relationship.

So reach out to them and say, just want you to know there’s nothing new. You’re going to hear from me Wednesday at 10, by at 10 AM. Don’t say you’re going to hear, hear from me by the end of the week. You’ll hear from me to close a business on Friday, make your communication eminently predictable because what you say and what they hear are two different things.

I’m, I’m coaching a guy through a negotiation a couple of years ago. He said, the client promised to get back to me first quarter. So I’m expecting to hear from them in January. And I thought they’re not going to talk to you until the last day of March. That’s the kind of anxiety that vagueness gives in communication.

Tell people exactly. When do you expect to hear from you and then stick to that? And if you don’t have anything to report, no progress communicate, say, look, just so you know, so you’re updated. So you’re informed so far, no progress. They’re going to find that tremendously reassuring. Yeah. Fantastic suggestions.

This is fire, you know, information. I appreciate it very much. Um, in dealing with, uh, The negotiation process, particularly in real estate, um, people can become emotional because they are, you know, uh, you know, the biggest assets you’re always dealing with money. Uh, at times, negotiations can become, uh, contentious.

I guess you could say, uh, adversarial, right? Uh, When dealing with that, when, when something becomes emotional quickly, um, what can you do to diffuse the situation? You know, the late night FM DJ voice to start with. Yeah. First of all, it calms both of you down. I mean, there’s a neurochemical calming reaction.

It’s involuntary. As you’re calming them down, smile when you get the opportunity, because you’re looking for a couple mental shifts. You’re looking to shift them out of anger. You know, Jordan Belfort, uh, I study everybody. Wolf of Wall Street, the way of the wolf. He’s got great tonality. You know, he’ll say, well, match, match their emotion.

And, and once you match it, then, then bring them down. And my thought is… Why waste time matching them? Why don’t you just go ahead and bring them down? You know, just go ahead and start with the late night FM DJ voice. So we used in a hostage negotiation, we didn’t have arguments with terrorists and kidnappers.

We started out that way. You know, imagine somebody found Qaeda screaming at me on the phone and I start screaming back to try to match him, show him I’m like him. No, we didn’t even bother with that. We just went ahead and went to the late night FM DJ voice and brought people down. There are fewer arguments with terrorists than there are in business.

Wow. What does that happen? Yeah. We we started with the late night FM DJ voice from the very beginning. Interesting. Yeah. Late night. I’m telling like we gotta implement it. Listen more. Slow down. Use the late night DJ FM voice to diffuse the situation. Uh how do you know when it’s time to walk away from a negotiation?

I diagnosed that real early on. Like I find out, are they playing me? Everybody in my company within, within the first 10 minutes, we’re going to get a good feel for number one. Are you, are you, are you playing me for the fool entirely? Or are you just only going to do business with me? If you can cut my throat, I can figure that out really quickly.

It’s not a sin to not get the deal. It’s sin to take a long time to not get the deal. It’s also a sin to take a long time to get a bad deal. So when there’s friction early on, when people are super hyper focused on only one aspect of the deal, if they are overboard. With how great the opportunity is. I know where this is going.

You know, I listen to my gut. And so we pull out of deals conversations really, really early. We let people know that we will always be there when they want to collaborate. When they want to make a commitment. When they want to have a long term relationship. We always end positively. I always end positively.

But we pull out of deals early, conversations very early on based on a diagnostic of whether or not we’re getting played. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. You’re gonna have to read the situation and be good at that. Um can you explain the 738 55 rule? You know, let me, let me go back because, you know, in your comment and be good at that, you know, start looking for the yellow flags, a friend of mine, Joe Polish says, you know, the red flags are obvious.

It’s ignoring the yellow flags. That’s the problem. And if you’re hopeful, or if you see a path, you tend to ignore the yellow flags. We’ve come up something that we’re working on called the 12 commandments of negotiations. And one of them is effectively thou shalt not ignore yellow flags. That’s what will get you into a lot of trouble.

So your gut instinct, start listening to your gut early on. Maybe if you’ve got your alarm bells are going off and you want to proceed because you’re not sure, go ahead and proceed, but remember that your alarm bells were going off. Confirm your gut instinct. You’ll find that your gut is a lot more accurate and a lot more powerful.

It doesn’t take that long for it to get really good. Once you start listening to it. So, so I’m going back over that ground. No, no, it’s important, right? Uh, experience will do that though. Like, the more experience you get, the more you’ll learn to trust your instinct. I think that’s important. Um, I did ask you about the 7, 38, 55 rule, which I find very interesting.

Do you mind breaking that down? Yeah. Alright. So, 7 plus 38 plus 55 equals 100. And there are three components of communication. The words, the meaning themselves, the delivery, and the body language. And we subscribe to. The concept that the words hold 7% of the true meaning. The delivery is 38% and the body language is 55.

Now, a lot of people want to argue over those ratios. I’ve never seen anybody put the value of the words at higher than 20%. The real issue is if they’re out of line, if the delivery is out of line with the words, like I can say to you, that was a great question. Or I can say. That was a great question. I used the exact same words, and the first was a compliment and the second was an insult.

Yeah. Just by changing my tone of voice. So the words aren’t quite as powerful as a lot of people would want them to be. Really pay attention to the impact of the delivery and how they look when they’re talking. Yeah. Very interesting. Think about that. Everybody read body language, learn to become an expert at that.

Um, speaking of that, reading body language, et cetera, and the new reality we face, you know, many sales pitches, sales meetings that take place over video, right? They take place over video. So when negotiating or, or pitching over a video call like zoom, is there a best practice or technique you can think of to be more effective?

And is it as effective as being in person sometimes? Well, I think I think the real big issue is there’s an energy that’s felt in person that you don’t get over zoom. I don’t I don’t think it’s a lack of visual information. Like you guys see my face. I got a massive amount of information given you based on a look on my face.

What the real problem is, is not paying attention to the person in front of you and then not confirming what your read is in the moment. Like you look distracted, something just crossed their mind. Did it make them angry? Were they concerned? Were they afraid they couldn’t do the deal? Were they mad at you for what you proposed?

Like, you don’t know what that body language is. If you’re paying attention, you see it. And then if you see it, then just throw a label on it to, to get a diagnostic on it. Seems like something just crossed your mind. Seems like, seems like there’s something bothering you. Seems like something else is there that I’m not touching on.

These are all labels that are, that are reactions to just body language shifts. Yeah, well, calling it out is important to like, you know, you talk about that. So I think that’s good. I did want to ask you about this cause this is really interesting. Everybody’s talking about technology and AI. I mean, we’ve got the mastermind coming up, you know, with AI, what are your thoughts on how, you know, the new technology is affecting human interactions and maybe even deal closing?

I think it’s helpful. Um, um, So far, what I’ve heard, I listened to a panel talk about this a couple of weeks ago, and they said, think is the new AI’s as a really great intern, that’s going to get something for you about 80% right. So ideally, you know, it solves some problems. It stimulates your thinking, the human interaction to make the decision on the best call for your circumstances.

And in the moment is always going to be you, but you know, give me somebody that helps me create a first draft. That gives me 10 ideas. really quickly that I could scan and I can go through and I can use my gut and my understanding of the circumstances to pick out the best. So I, I happen to like it. I think it’s, it’s an advantage.

You know, people are afraid it’s going to replace us. I got plenty of reasons why the AI is never going to replace us. You know, just AI just does. And get context. Somebody was that I was listening to the other day was think of those pictures where you don’t know if it’s you look at the same picture one way.

It’s an old woman. You look at another way. It’s a young lady like a I doesn’t know which one of those to pick, but human beings can look at him. We can toggle back and forth at will and put context on it. And so you know, I has its shortcomings and it’s it’s a great tool. Yeah, we’re excited about it again.

I did want to ask you about attention spans new generation, right of sales professionals and clients and whatnot. Shorter attention spans, right? They move on quick. They don’t kind of focus on the task at hand necessarily for long periods of time. So how does that affect future negotiations? If you’re dealing with shorter attention spans?

Well, there’s a lot of stuff packed in there. I mean, people have short attention spans because they don’t get listened to. Like, if I’m really listening to you, I don’t have any trouble getting you to pay attention. What you’re annoyed by is the superficial communication that’s not worth paying attention to in the first place.

And in point of fact, the, that’s a great advantage that so many people don’t pay attention to you. Because when I come along and I actually listening, listen to you, I’m engaged, I’m interested. I get your attention like nobody else does. So I happen to like it because people really understand the value of proactive listening and actually listening have a huge competitive advantage.

Listen more. That comes up again. Okay. Personal development wrap up here in french. We call it the Daniel mall. We call it the denouement which is I think I’ve got that right which is the wrap up the denouement. Uh what does your daily routine look like Chris? Um, I’d like to start out my day with a gratitude exercise.

Um, I write down things that I’m grateful for. And I think if I, if I do that, I listen to music that makes me feel good. I music is very carefully selected. There’s uh, some vague, but Information that I believe is reliable that, you know, we can, we can affect our physiology with the right kind of music. I use music, I use exercise, you know, I’m, I’m working on, uh, Andrew Huberman talks about the basic pillars of health being diet, exercise and sleep.

I’m throwing all that together. If, if my energy level is low, you know, power 13 minute nap. Um, so I’m constantly managing how I can stay in a positive frame of mind because our default mechanisms put us back into survival mode, which is negative. So a combination of everything along the way to keep me in success mode versus survival mode.

I love that. I don’t think there’s anybody like Huberman who’s affecting people’s everyday lives more than him right now. We got to get him on this mastermind. He says something. We just do it now. I think, you know, he recommends a supplement or something. I take it. So that’s a good breakdown. Okay. What projects are you working on right now?

Chris, I know you referenced the documentary. Is that out yet? Or no, we’re, we’re, we’re actually, we’re holding it back for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is when I have private events where people have no access to it. Got it. We got another, we got this cool thing. There’s a new social media platform called fireside.

That’s basically an interactive podcast and it’s a subscription podcast tool. As it turns out, it fills this great gap after you’ve read the book and you’ve taken masterclass, where do you go? Yeah. And this is hitting that gap. And so we’re actually the, the episode we’re doing on the 30th where I’m interviewing Cuban and people get to ask him questions if they want.

Um, that’s free. It’s, it’s going to be open to everybody so they can see, uh, what the fireside platform looks like. I’m pretty excited about that because it’s really filling a knowledge and learning gap in an area that we knew was there, but we didn’t quite know how to get at it. Well, how’s that for a first guest?

Oh yeah, yeah, no, you know, yeah, yeah. He’s a fascinating dude. I think he’s one of the world’s great entrepreneurs. Oh yeah, absolutely. Um, so tune in Friday to a fireside for that. Uh, Fireside chat with Chris Voss and Mark Cuban. Um, you, you, you mentioned, uh, another book. We’re working on something we refer to as a tactical empathy operations manual.

It’s basically meant to be a companion to never split the difference. It’s going to be a while before we get it out because finding the right writer, the correct writer is a key is the magical, mystical, the algorithm. And, you know, Tal Roz was the fourth writer that I engaged for never split the difference.

And he was perfect. And it really brought home to me the issue of getting the right writer. And this book that an operations manual is not in tall’s wheelhouse per se. So finding somebody that will do an effective job on what we’re trying to do to make a companion book is, is where we’re at right now.

Awesome. Uh, well, we’ll eagerly await the companion book. Uh, final question, uh, Chris and I want everybody to think about this question. Chris, you’re opening a bottle of champagne 1 year from now, uh, celebrating something you’ve accomplished. What would that be? Yeah, that, uh, uh, we got an office open in Dubai.

Oh, wow. Interesting. Okay. Well, we’ll watch for that. Uh, an office in Dubai. Um, anyways, uh, that’s been absolutely amazing, you know, breakdown of negotiation tactics for agents. I really appreciate you joining us today. All of us, I’m sure got so many takeaways. We’re very grateful for your perspective on, uh, negotiations and human interaction.

So many takeaways, Chris, thank you so much for joining us. Before we let you go, where do you want the people to go and find you, follow you on social media, maybe the black swan group, where do you want people to go? Yeah. You know, the best way to keep up on everything we’re doing, and we’ve got a menu for you, you know, we got to pick what works for you off the menu is really to subscribe to the newsletter, which is go to the website, black swan, ltd.

com, you know, common spelling on all those words, not no extra hands, no crazy vowels, none of that stuff. Black swan, ltd. com. Yeah, subscribe to the newsletter and you’ll find out about the fireside platform. You’ll find out about classes. You get an actionable, complimentary, concise article every Tuesday morning at 7 30 in the morning that can help you get your negotiations going and you learn about everything that we’re doing.

So subscribe to our newsletter. Perfect.


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