Unfair Negotiation Tactics With Chris Voss

The power to increase sales.

To keep customer satisfaction up.

To win one of every three arguments you have with your spouse.

It’s not a superpower ripped by a Marvel hero.

It’s the power of negotiation.

That’s why today I give you the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI, Chriss Voss.

He’s taken what worked with the most dangerous criminals in the world and created a book that shows you how to apply everything in day to day life.

And in today’s podcast, he unravels how to use this magnificent power to make your business soar to new heights.


This program is brought to you by the ThePodcastFactory.com.

Hi, my name is Igor Kheifets and this is the List Building Lifestyle, the only podcast
which delivers cutting edge conversion strategies from the online trenches straight to
your earbuds. Download the transcript of today’s episode and all future episodes at
listbuilidnglifestylesshow.com. I also invite you to grab a free copy of “The Wealthy
List Builder’s Survival Guide” at listbuildinglifestyleshow.com/survival and now
once again it’s time to claim your List Building Lifestyle.

Igor: Welcome back to another edition of The List Building Lifestyle, with your
host, Igor Kheifets. That's Chris Voss is the founder and the CEO of The Black
Swan Group, and author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life
Depended On It. Chris was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the
FBI. Chris takes 24 years of intense real world negotiating experience to
every-day life. He teaches people how to negotiate as if their life depended on
it. Beat your next sale on getting your daughter to unlock her room and go to
school. I'm an avid student of Parker negotiation because I believe it to be the
essential skill for any marketer, business person and father, which I turned a
couple years ago. So I read Never Split the Difference, I put it down, I picked it
up and read it again, this time with the yellow marker and the note pad. I
immediately got a copy for each of mine team members and forced them to read it
too. As a result, our sales are up, our customer support satisfaction levels are
up, and I actually win one of every three arguments I have with my wife. Which is
why I'm excited to be hosting you today, Chris.

Chris: It's a pleasure to be here. It sounds like you really have taken that to
the next level. I'm very flattered.

Igor: Oh, yes. Like I said before the interview, I'm a huge fan boy, and I've
applied many of the lessons. I'm sure not all, but many of the lessons from Never
Split the Difference to not only my business, but also my personal life, and I got
to tell you, it's much easier to communicate with my wife at this point, just have
a normal conversation without ending up in a fight. So I'm really grateful for
that. Now, in your book, one of the first things you mention, one of first big
ideas that you kind of challenge the reader with, is that negotiations are not
logical, which I find to be interesting, because most people I work with and most
people who want to get into the business of selling and marketing, which is the
business we're in, the initial response is to try and sell in logic is to give
them the best benefits. It's to show how the offer is awesome, how it's a
no-brainer, but oftentimes it just doesn't work. So I'd love it if you could share
with us why you believe negotiations are not logical, and what are they?

Chris: Well, we make decisions based on what we care about, and care if you will,
that makes in fact decision an emotional process, emotion, and passion are brought
into our decision making. It's like it's a component of the DNA chain. No matter
how much you try to eliminate emotions, it's going to be part of that component
whether it's bigger or it's small in any given decision. I love talking with you
just in that there's a tremendous influence in my thinking in the book in the
whole negotiation I saw from a couple of Israeli psychologist, Danny Kahneman
and... I got a mental block on this. And Amos Tversky. They talk about how do
people react. When I came across their work I thought, "Yeah, that's what hostage
negotiators are doing." They are articulating what hostage negotiators have taken
into account. It's not just under stress; it's everywhere because each decision is
either more or less intense moment of stress. So let's talk about how people
actually react and let's go with it and make it work for us, as opposed to
struggling and trying to pretend that there's logic and there's reason. Logic is a
little butterfly floating in the breeze, it just doesn't exist.

Igor: Interesting. So in other words you've seen a challenge, the big challenge
which you spotted when you became a part of the negotiation team for the FBI.
Everybody was getting the same textbook advice, and then you said, "We can't go on
ignoring the fact which is, nobody in this room has ever encountered a negotiation
situation, which was not highly emotional."

Chris: [laughter] Exactly. And I can remember, if you will, the poster child for
logical, reason-based negotiation is a book Getting TS, which is intellectually
sound book. As I was training hostage negotiators, not when I became one, but I
was training one, I used to get my guys, I used to get them all Getting TS, and
they would read the book, and I would say, "This makes sense." And not one of them
got any better as a result of it. [laughter]

Igor: [laughter]

Chris: Not one of them was ever able to actually apply it. So this is what we got,
so let's make it work and then, like I said, I started applying my business in
personal life. Brought my batting in average, I think maybe with the women who've
been in my life; it brought me to about winning about one in every three
arguments, like you said. [laughter]

Igor: [laughter] That's the average for guys even skilled negotiators. [laughter]

Chris: Yes. I think I'm almost getting to your level on that, so I think I may
need to take to look at your notes on my book, see what I've missed.

Igor: [laughter] Alright, well, alright Chris. So, our audience is mostly people
who are members of business opportunities, people who are trying to make it, who
are trying to build a lifestyle business, so if you perhaps read a copy of The
Four Hour Work Week, if you heard about that book, that's really the ideal
lifestyle that our audience wants to live, and the way they want to get there is
by promoting business opportunities and helping other people get rich. And so one
of the situations they counter constantly, is they introduced their business
opportunity, which to them seems like the most amazing thing since the microwave.
To other people, and all they get is just rejection, rejection, rejections, some
more rejection. So can you perhaps suggest a couple of behaviors or habits, or
just you actions we can take in order to get either less rejection, or to get more
compliance from the prospect?

Chris: So counter-intuitively. Ask someone why would you ever change from what
you're doing now. Because you're trying to get him to change. Now the world wide
provokes defensiveness. Why is a surgical strike? You should never ask why unless
you want them to defend the position you like. And what it does in a very
non-threatening way, it sort of wakes them up and makes them think, "Well, why
would I change?" Since you asked why, they're going to defend the idea of change.
So you've opened their mind in a way that they didn't realize that you did.
Because your lifestyle change, why would you ever do that? "Well I would do that
because reason, reason, reason." Whatever it is. Now that probably just listed of
reasons that you want to pitch them, but of course, if it comes out of their
mouth, those reasons don't make sense. As opposed to trying to sell those reasons
though. If they said it, it must be true. And that begins to trigger the process
of their circuitous route, the delay that saves time, the straightest edge between
two points in a negotiation is not a straight line, straight as distance and
agreement. There's little side trips to understand what is important. The other
thing it does is, if you ask why would they ever switch away from the status quo,
what they're doing now, it also begins to give you a look of the profile of how
they think, what matters to them, instead of you speculating. It's a hostage
negotiators' trick. I learned, around the world, every culture on the planet is a
hostage negotiator first of all. Every hostage negotiation team, whether in
Israel, New Jersey, Tokyo, or Cape Town South Africa, all use the same eight
skills, because we're all human beings. Human-based negotiation, it's more than
cross-cultural, it's not cultural, because under culture, we were human beings
before we were Americans, before we were Israelis, before we were Africans. We're
human beings first. And then, so that in using these eight skills, nine skills, in
every culture on the planet, I know how every person on the planet reacts. I know
because I've been on every culture. And hostage negotiators learn it the hard way,
that we ask someone “why", it triggers defensiveness. Usually makes them angry. We
used to say "never use why". Now we say "sometimes use why". Rarely, occasionally.
Surgical strike. And which is when the defensiveness makes them defend you, "Why
would you do what I want you to do?" is what you're really asking, but you're
putting it another way which preserves their freedom and autonomy. And that's how
you open up the lifestyle change approach.

Igor: Interesting. So what I'm hearing is, we must ask questions and not pitch

Chris: It's a combination of, first of all, why do you ask the question. You ask a
question because you're trying to gather information. I'd reframe it a little bit
more like that, but I would definitely say you're not pitching. You're not
pitching a gain. My heroes, Dan Kahneman and Amos Tversky, they prospect that says
that people are more likely to make a change in order to avoid a loss as opposed
to make a change to accomplish a gain. And they said that avoiding losses is worth
no less than double what achieving gains are. So it would be like if you were
playing a game. If you had a choice to take one strategy that was worth no less
than double what the other strategy was. You would, if you became a master of the
game, or after the high-value strategies. So pitching, avoiding a loss. Making
them see you're avoiding a loss is more powerful then accomplishing a gain. Most
sales try to deal with only gain and they don't understand how maybe the
strategies are actually avoiding some other kind of a loss. It's very
counter-intuitive, and that's why only the best people know how to do it. It's how
the A players, the A+ players, I'm just saying. There's other school of thought
that said a loss is worth three times a gain, and yet even another school of
thought that says a lost is worth nine times a gain. And so if you understand how
to reframe, doing this will stop you from losing that. You now have anywhere from
2 to 9X points with that, and that's more power than pitching gain.

Igor: Well, I just want to make sure we haven't lost anybody because there was a
really big, really profound concept that you just shared with us. So first of, the
concept of fearing a loss being more powerful than wanting a gain is called loss
immersion, and it tells us that people will do almost anything to avoid losing
$100, but they will do very little to gain a $1000.

Chris: Yeah. Even half as much.

Igor: Yeah. So now, our job then, as somebody who's a part of a business
opportunity, whose income relies on getting other people into this business
opportunity, we now first, before we can pitch anything, whether benefit or gain
or some loss, we have to identify exactly what these concepts mean to the person
we're talking to, which means our job, if we are to be effective in that sales
conversation, is to ask questions that will allow us to understand what that loss,
the precious thing that they're afraid to lose means to them. And leverage that
ammo, if you will, to guide them on making the buying decision.

Chris: And here's the other pivot I'd like to see your listeners understand also,
because you make a great point, and I'm going to make a distinction. You're trying
to gather information. Now, about half the time asking questions is the best way
to gather information. About that information gathering strategy but the other
half of the time asking a question is not the best way to gather information,
which seems really counter-intuitive, but instead you make an observation. We have
to call these, in my business system, a label, and instead of saying, "What's
important to you?" you do a little bit of a cold reading you say like it seems
like XYZ is important to you. There, the second one, the label, the observation,
about half the time is the best way to gather more information. So you've got to
gain your feel for the person in the situation, whether you're going to trigger
that information by asking a question, "What's important to you?" or by saying,
"Well, it seems like being able to make your own schedule is important to you."
Particularly say it's a benefit of what you're talking about, what you're trying
to sell, you say, "It seems like benefit A is important to you." Now, they'll
answer that either affirmatively or negatively. If they say "no", here's a crazy
idea. When they say "no" they'll say "more". They'll say "No, and..." It might
even say "yes". What you're driving at in sales is getting at the “and” which is
why you want to get out of a straight "yes-no" conversation. That's the problem
with closed-ended questions. They drive for a simple "yes" or a simple "no". And
we never want either. We want "Yes, and..." We want "No, and..." The "No, and..."
tends to be much longer than the "Yes, and..." And that's why the "No, and..." is
a great response to the "no". I don't want that. That doesn't matter to me at all.
What I want is this. And bang, bang, bang. You've got solid gold information.

Igor: Interesting. And this is really counter-intuitive because most people, just
like you mentioned earlier, they are conditioned to seek out that "yes", even I.
I believe there is the strategy in sales where you're told, "Get your prospect
saying 'yes' just about anything really." It's like, "Is your name John?" "Yes."
"Do you poop when you wake up in the morning?" "Yes." "Do you like the idea of
making a lot of money?" "Yes." And so you kind of get them into the habit of
saying “yes". And so, now you're saying that, no, we don't necessarily want that.
We want the "no", so that will spark them, giving us way more information which we
can then use to build, if you will, a profile, and then leverage that data in
order to get the moving forward by being able to show them that moving forward is
within their own interest.

Chris: The point that you just made indirectly was, everyone sales training is to
get them saying yes, and there was a time when that was an effective strategy. Let
me draw the analogy to medication against a disease. What happens when you use the
same approach on a disease, when you use the same medicine over, and over, and
over, and over, and over again? The medicine is no longer effective because they
built up a resistance to it. And actually, a lot of doctors around the world that
caused very specific types of medications that they prescribed to every disease
for children, and those medications no longer work. The "yes" medication no longer
works. People around the world have built up resistance to it. It's less effective
than it ever was. And that's why getting out of it is stop using a medication
that's no longer effective.

Igor: Wow. So the "yes" medication doesn't work. I actually know that you can't
use the same medication over and over again but it explains why I had to change my
exercise regimen about six times now in the last six months for my lower back
issues. And every time I did, it just got a little better. So well, thank you for
that. That was pretty cool side effect of this interview. So now, the other thing
you mentioned in the book, again guys, this book has so many insights you
absolutely have to grab it, by the way, if you still haven't got the idea, but the
other thing you mentioned in the book is that there's no such thing as fair. So in
other words, when you're trying to build a deal or get to that win-win situation
that's supposedly fair, that's also not the right approach towards negotiation.

Chris: Right. We actually call fair the "F" word. [laughter]

Igor: [laughter]

Chris: Or we say "Somebody dropped the F-bomb in the conversation." when they drop
the word "fair". It is so ridiculously emotional and it's so insidious that "fair"
comes up in every negotiation. And it always knocks people off their game. And
what it is, it's a sign of frustration and really assertive attacking negotiators
like to use it all the time against this. And who is the world champion of using
that word now? Who would you imagine launches it on a regular basis to push people
around and trigger their unconscious reaction. I bet he does it at least once a
day, if not four to five times a day.

Igor: Trump?

Chris: Trump. Donald Trump, exactly right. Every time he's got a complaint against
someone, he tweets that they did this, they did this, they did this. "Very
unfair." And look at the subtle effect it's having. He's got and maintains on a
regular basis the world's attention. Nobody's pushing back on his use of the
F-bomb. He uses it all the time. Why does a guy like Trump use it? Because it
works. And there's no such thing as fair. What's fair about anything? It's like
beauty, it's in the eye of the beholder. So it's something for people to really
watch out for, and that's why you call it the "F" word, because it gets so much
attention or it's such a fiction.

Igor: You just mentioned something just as if it's a commonsense thing, however I
believe that the concept of accepting the idea that fair is subjective, that the
situation will always be different in the eyes of different people, I think that's
a big concept we should invest a little bit of time discussing, because after
connecting with my customers for the last eight years, I clearly can tell that
very few people understand that fairness is a relative concept. So can you share
with us perhaps either an example of your career or maybe a story that really
allows us to understand why being fair is not helping anyone?

Chris: Right, and the misunderstanding of the term, so one of my instructions from
Harvard who's an extraordinary woman, she was talking about the sale of her home a
number of years ago. And they wanted to sell their home, move out of the city,
move out to the country, to have a beautiful place for their children. They had a
wonderful vision, and they ultimately accomplished it. Have a phenomenal place for
the kids to grow up. Now, when they were living in Boston the economy had shifted
and the real estate market had a dipped and it dropped, external circumstances. So
they had a buyer that was getting ready to buy the house, to help them accomplish
their dream. But the marketer dropped, and the buyer came in at a price that was
much lower than the house had been worth just a year early. And in that
negotiation with the buyer, she inadvertently... And this is how a good person, a
good decent, honest, there is no one that has more integrity than this person that
I'm talking about. She's my hero in terms of her integrity and her genuineness.
She said, "We just want what's fair." And the buyer raised their price. Now, how
is that fair to the buyer? They got no control over what happened in the real
estate market. They're bidding based on what's happening in the market. The market
dropped. And it was... How is it fair to them to have to raise the price? Because
they've got their own hopes and dreams in their life too. They're approaching the
same moment in time from very different approach. Maybe they hope for this
marvelous house in Boston where they can start their life over. They've got their
own hopes and dreams also, but somehow them accomplishing their hopes and dreams
is unfair for somebody else at the same intersection. It's a samosa reaction. And
you know what? They raised the price and they sold the house at a much higher
price. And that really got me thinking about the "F" word, if you will, because it
can come up from a counterpart who is not trying to hurt us personally, they just
blurt it out, but it still has this incredibly unfair effect on the other side. It
makes people feel accused; it makes them feel like they're doing something wrong.
It appeals to a sense of justice that we have; all of us have in some way or
another. And the other thing it does is that it hides weakness. When she said, "We
just want what's fair." She felt out of control. She felt like she couldn't do
anything about it. She felt like the universe was against her. And she didn't know
what else to say. I will tell you that when Donald Trump uses this word, it's
hiding a feeling of weakness as well. So it's actually, when someone uses the
word, you feel a lot of insight into where they're coming from at them moment.

Igor: Interesting. Yeah. Thank you for that. Thank you. It really kind of brings
the perspective around to show the listeners how being fair is not really a fair
thing to do if you are to get the best deal in your business, if you are to be the
most effective in your business. Now, I want to take you to one more potential
scenario. And that is, let's just say we got someone's attention. Let's just say
we got them to get interested in our business opportunity. But now we're saying,
"Okay, so it's just going to be $297 set-up fee, and then another $1000 to qualify
for the $1000 commissions or something. And then they tell you something like,
"You know what? Let me think about it." So how would you respond to something like

Chris: I had a business person a long time ago that said, "Treat every 'maybe; as
if it's a 'no'." And so, let me think about it is a 'maybe', and what you do to
tease out more information is... Now you've got someone who doesn't want to answer
questions, what we call "avoider mode", and they're trying to exit, but there's
still some ambivalence there. So that's when you come in with this tool called
"labels" and you say something in effect of, "Sounds like that's a no." That's a
gentle way of bringing them back to their decision and having them decide whether
or not it really is a no. Now, the crazy thing about that is, no one wants to say
"yes" to that, because "yes" is what the people are afraid of. Because "yes" is
commitment. And "no" is protection, and when someone... The psychological
dynamics, again, emotional intelligence on steroids. This is why hostage
negotiators understand emotional intelligence. It's easier to say "no" because
"no" is protection, and it's harder to say "yes" because "yes" is commitment. So
when he says, "Sounds like that's a 'no'." they're more likely to respond with
"No." Because they feel protected in the moment. And that begins to draw it out,
so in a follow-up is another label, which would be, "Sounds to me like what you're
going to lose is just not worth it." Again, you're getting at someone's loss. What
you want to ultimately get out is what do they lose if they don't do this. What's
the loss they're trying to avoid? And you're trying to tease them back to, gently
walk them back to that, slowly but surely. And what you also need to know is if
it's a lost cause. So if someone says, "Let me get back to you." what you really
need, your most valuable commodity, is time, if you're really wasting your time
with this person, you need to stop wasting your time and go move on to the next
person. So if someone says "yes" to that question, you know you've done everything
you possibly can do to land that sale, and you're now leaving that individual in a
positive frame of mind, with a lot of respect for their position. And you move it
on. He’s actually leaves the scene for the next interaction. But you do need to
know when to move on and that's how you find out whether or not to move on.

Igor: Wow. So guys, just to kind of recap, when you've got someone telling you a
''maybe", your job is to illicit an "no", because people take "yes" as commitments
and "no" as protection, so by listening "no" you will then gain more information
about why they're saying "maybe" and thus have a chance to get the sale. And if
not, and they have to say "Yeah, that's a no." then you've done your job and
you're moving on to the next prospect on the list, and you're not wasting your
time with somebody who wasn't going to say "yes" in the first place. So Chris,
thank you very much for that. Now, I do want to mention this before we wrap up.
First of, this has been highly educational, for me as well, not just for the
listeners. I took a ton of notes and again, I just want to go ahead and reread the
book one more time because of it. And second, guys, you're listening to this,
you've just seen the kind of knowledge, the kind of expertise, the kind of
efficiency you can get by studying Chris' work. Therefore, you are obligated, if
you are somebody who wants to profit in your business, somebody who wants to be
more convincing in real life, somebody who just wants to win more arguments with
their spouse, just go to blackswanltd.com and grab a free chapter out of the Never
Split the Difference. And if you like it, and you will like it, trust me, grab the
book either on the website or go to Amazon and type in "Chris Voss Never Split the
Difference" and you'll see it. It's the one with the yellow and red cover. So
Chris, thank you so much for taking time to sit down with us. No, thank you so
much for not forcing me to put a gun to your head to make you show up.

Chris: [laughter]

Igor: [laughter] I really appreciate it. This has been amazing. And until next
time we chat, have a great one.

Chris: Thank you, Igor.

Thanks for listening to The List Building Lifestyle Show, make sure to subscribe on iTunes
or Google. Play to never miss an episode because who knows just one conversion tactic
we share on the show might double your list and double your business. Download the
transcript of today’s episode and all future episodes at listbuilderslifestyleshow.com and
don’t forget to claim your complimentary copy of “The Wealthy List Builder’s Survival
Guide” at listbuildinglifestyleshow.com/survival . This is Igor Kheifets until next time we talk, have a good one.

This is the ThePodcastFactory.com.

Who Is Igor Kheifets

Igor Kheifets is the 3rd highest-earning super-affiliate in the internet marketing niche.

Igor’s 2-step system has helped him consistently rank as the highest-earning and the highest-converting (measured in commissions earned per click) for industry’s leading vendors including but not limited to Matt Bacak, John Crestani and Anthony Morrison.

Igor boiled down success in affiliate marketing to a set of predictable easy steps anyone can take to generate commissions.


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