Blog: The Negotiation Edge

Brandon Voss

Brandon Voss is the Director of Operations and an Instructor/Consultant with The Black Swan Group. Brandon has been instrumental in adapting the FBI’s hostage negotiation techniques to the business world. In addition to training clients, Brandon has guest lectured at USC Marshall School of Business and Georgetown McDonough School of Business.
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Recent Posts

How to  Answer All Their Questions

Having an individual or a team of people ask you questions is an easily foreseeable part of negotiation. Knowing that negotiation is an information gathering endeavor, you need to be prepared to make sure you take every opportunity to make yourself smarter. Sometimes these moments are when questions are asked of you. They are trying to piece together the puzzle for themselves which is why they would ask the question in the first place. In these moments they are focused on something about you that directly relates to value-driven directives for them. No person will ever be able to articulate their entire thought pattern that caused them to arrive at a particular inquiry. Which means chances are what they asked you has holes in it. Where have you left yourself and your counterpart by answering?

2 Key Ways To Make Your Counterpart The Problem Solver

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We all know at this point, as quoted in Never Split the Difference, the key to negotiation is giving the other side the illusion of control. Turning your counterpart into the solver of problems is essential to making this happen for 2 reasons. First, we know that human nature tells us people feel in control when they are doing the talking. Second, buy-in is paramount to great execution. As a negotiator, your task is to with presenting moments for the other side to do some contemplating. Facilitate an interaction where they are considering things they feel the need to collaborate with you on directly, have to check with their team on, or both.

3 Ways to Influence Behavior

How can you close deals without influencing the other side? You simply can't. Influencing behavior is key to success not just in business, but in life. It's important to remember when trying to influence behavior is that human nature reaction is the beginning of decision making. Here are 3 ways you can use human nature to help influence behavior. 

3 Keys to Negotiation

No matter who you talk to there is an agenda. Even if that agenda is on a personal level and it happens to be catching up or shooting the breeze. 

How To Continue to Maintain and Build Your Negotiation Competency

The standard answer is practice, practice, practice. Repetition; however, is the mother of skill, but what you are practicing is just as important. If you want to be better at basketball, you aren't doing yourself many favors on the golf course. If you want to be better at negotiation, you aren't doing yourself much good reverting to bad communication habits like "tell me more" and trying to convince the other side by exposing them to your logic.

3 Guidelines For Negotiating Like a Pro

Traditionally speaking negotiation is seen as a focused comparison of ideas/results, in some circles, this can easily be construed into an argument over points.  

Typically a negotiation begins with one side stating what their issues are and what they want. Next, the other side does the same thing. In the end, if a deal is made both sides feel like they could have gotten more or they stuck it to the other side. Here are 3 guidelines for negotiating better outcomes. 

3 Ways To Uncover Black Swans That Will Boost Your Deals

However you get into an interaction, whether you have had ample time to prepare or you have been thrown into the fires of Mount Doom, it is always good to have basic guidelines to abide by. Here are three we tend to lean on because of their influence on human nature reaction.

3 Negotiation Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Deals

People always want to increase their odds of success. It's simply human nature to want to do everything you can to avoid failure. Here are 3 common communication mistakes that are hurting your deals. 

3 Ways To Create Space For Yourself In A Negotiation

It is always nice to have breathing room in a negotiation. Not monetary breathing room, breathing room in the conversation. What we refer to as breathing room is this moment or space in time, during the interaction, where you can collect your thoughts and refocus your attention.

How to Find Fairness In A Negotiation

The old saying – “the first step to solving a problem is being aware that the problem exists.” On that same token, the first step to finding fairness in a negotiation is understanding that the other side’s view of fairness doesn’t even remotely resemble yours, their view of what is fair will probably seem crazy and illogical to you.

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