Blog: The Negotiation Edge

Chris Voss

Christopher Voss is the CEO of The Black Swan Group, a firm that solves business negotiation problems with hostage negotiation strategies. Chris founded the Black Swan Group, in 2008 upon his retirement from the FBI where he was the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. Chris is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business where he teaches business negotiation in both M.B.A. programs.
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Recent Posts

How You Can Handle The #1 Most Common Lie in Negotiations

"Maybe"

I remember hearing a few years ago a businessman saying he started moving his business forward much more successfully when he started treating every “maybe” as if it were a “no”.

The #1 Negotiating Rule For Getting The Most Out Of The Holidays

 

 

This rule will make this an even better holiday season for you and everyone your words touch.  

3 Ways To Make “No” Work For You

Is “Yes” really always “yes”?

“No” is protection. “Yes” is commitment. “No” instantly makes people feel safe while “Yes” makes them worry about what they’ve committed themselves to. Nearly every “Yes” at best is a conditional “yes” and often is a counterfeit “yes”.

The #1 Sign Their Position is Weak And How to Handle It

One of my students at USC Marshall recently made this observation during a negotiation: “When he said that, I smelled blood in the water. I knew I had him.”  

What did the counterpart say that was such a telegraph of a feeling of weakness?  An inadvertent “announcement”? A “tell” if you will, that he felt he had no leverage?

The 1st Deadly Sin of Negotiation and How to Defeat It

The #1 Sin -  The Lust for “Yes”

Lust.  One of the 7 deadly sins of life and the first Deadly Sin of Negotiation.  It’s a powerful poison for a reason.  Lust is the dangerous alchemy of love and fear combined.  You love, yearn, crave something and at the same time you fear losing it so much you close your ears, eyes, and mind to everything that threatens it.

How to Get The Upper Hand In Any "Take It Or Leave It" Offer

A “take it or leave it offer” signals a great deal of insecurity on the part of the other side.  If they weren’t afraid to negotiate, they would.  They’re either afraid they might give in too much, or they’re under some external pressure that’s got them spooked. This gives you leverage.

How to Identify Leverage In A Negotiation

Last week, I answered questions via a Quora session. One of the great questions I was asked was:

What ways do people signal weakness or strength during negotiations?

The 5 Critical Moments in a Negotiator’s Journey to Excellence

Do you want to make the transition to being an excellent negotiator? No matter where you are on the journey, here are 5 critical steps that you'll need to take along this path. 

A Black Belt Negotiation Tip: How To Reach Into Their Mind and Begin To Tip The Scales

This particular article is for you if:

  • You want every edge and you want to protect your good working relationships
  • You can wrap your mind around the idea that deference is not submission
  • You want to become a truly dangerous negotiator

3 Ways To Find The Space Between "Yes" & "No"

In a Q & A session I did for the internet based forum Quora: I answered the question “What’s the worst mistake you can make in salary negotiations?” with this answer: “Simply saying “yes” or “I accept” to an offer.