The True Power of “Yes”

A flat-out “yes” is a scary thing to say. “Yes” is commitment. People are constantly trying to use it to trap you. That’s why when someone asks you the set-up “yes” question, your gut tightens and you ask yourself, “Where is this going? If I say ‘yes’, then what have I let myself in for?” So let’s recognize that and use it. I was coaching a film-maker here in LA. She’s got a deal-killing attorney...

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Like Seeing A Unicorn

Sebastian had spent most of the late morning into the early afternoon, one day in July, being exposed to the Black Swan method of labels and mirrors. Having already read “Never Split the Difference,” he was anxious to see and hear the practical application of the skills. Turns out, Sebastian was a quick study. As soon as the class concluded, he was chomping at the bit to see if the skills would...

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Do You Get It?

At the Black Swan Group, our instructors have been spreading the gospel of empathy and the techniques used to demonstrate it for years. We have trained thousands of people all over the globe on how to apply techniques developed in the world of hostage negotiations to business and other personal interactions. Of those thousands, as an instructor, I wonder at times how many don’t get it? 

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How to Negotiate A Higher Salary

What happens when you trigger “That’s right” several times in a salary negotiation? How about getting a salary offer 41% higher than you expected?

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How to Use a Cold Read and Accusation Audit to Achieve Success

In September 2016, I attended a meeting where I was the lone hostage negotiator in a room full of SWAT guys. The meeting is held quarterly for SWAT guys by SWAT guys. I was an interloper in hostile territory. The purpose for my attendance was to request a piece of their pie. The SWAT group had a training operations cache of about $78,000.00. Since they had spent none of the money on several...

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Bargaining vs Negotiation: Do you really know the difference?

Two weeks ago, I attended the SaaStr 2017 conference in San Francisco.  It was a collection of Software- As-A-Service start-up CEOs, CFOs, COOs as well as marketing and sales geniuses.  They meet once a year to network, listen to speakers and view/sell the latest products.  These attendees, by my limited observations were all 30 to early 40-somethings; all wicked smart and extremely successful....

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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”.

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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.  

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Negotiating When They Are Not Talking

Sam Felder (not his real name) had barricaded himself in his home.  Suffering from hellacious migraines and post-traumatic stress, he told his wife he could not take it anymore.  Sam loaded his handgun and told her to leave.  She complied, ran to a neighbor’s house, and called the police.  Police attempted to negotiate with Sam for close to 10 hours.  It was the end of June and sweltering out....

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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.

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