3 Negotiation Exercises to Sharpen Your Skills

By Milton “Troy” Smith | September 26, 2022

The skills we teach at The Black Swan Group can help you transform your approach to negotiation. But, just like anything else, the skills are perishable. If you want to unlock their full potential, you need to practice regularly.

Ultimately, the only way to become a more effective negotiator is by using the skills. In fact, everyone on the Black Swan team uses negotiation skills every day because it helps us stay sharp and continuously improve. The more you practice, the more confident you become—which is particularly helpful when the stakes are highest.

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Does Eye Contact Help or Hurt a Negotiation?

By Barbara Thomas | September 19, 2022

Eye contact can make or break a negotiation. 

Too much eye contact can make your counterpart very uncomfortable. If you are engaged in a conversation and you appear to be staring, you become a distraction. The consequence of this is that your counterpart may become disengaged and Instead of listening to what you are saying the concern will be about why you’re staring at them.

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Why You Should Keep Your Counterpart Talking During a Negotiation

By Derek Gaunt | September 12, 2022

At a core level, negotiation is a guided discovery process. That’s why you should always be curious in your negotiations. Otherwise, you can’t discover new information—particularly when you’re the one doing the talking.

If you’re talking, you’re probably explaining. And as Ronald Reagan once said: “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.”

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Why Explaining Too Early Is Hurting Your Closing Rate

By Milton “Troy” Smith | September 05, 2022

As Ronald Reagan once said: If you’re explaining, you’re losing. So if you’re constantly explaining at the negotiation table, your closing rate will take a turn for the worse.

Far too many of us approach the table with one thought: When do we get to tell our side of the story and make our pitch?

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3 Communication Skills to Close Deals Faster

By Milton “Troy” Smith | August 29, 2022

The Black Swan Group has a saying: It’s not a sin to not get the deal, but it is a sin to take a long time to not get the deal.

Next time you find yourself at the table, use these communication skills to close deals faster and enjoy better business outcomes.

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5 Ways to Control Your Emotions During Negotiations

By Sandy Hein | August 22, 2022

Even the most talented negotiators struggle with their emotions from time to time. 

At the end of the day, emotions are one thing we can’t fully control. We’re all human, and it’s only a matter of time before we respond to something or someone with emotion. That’s just the way it is.

Although you can’t prevent emotions from affecting negotiations, you can devise a plan to reduce their impact. With that in mind, let’s look at five ways to control your emotions during negotiations and experience better business outcomes.

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Communications Skills: Handling Objections

By Barbara Thomas | August 15, 2022

The best negotiators in the world are great at handling objections. 

When you find yourself operating in the world of high-stakes negotiations, it’s only a matter of time before your counterpart objects to what you’re saying. If your goal is making a deal regardless, you need to figure out how to overcome objections and keep the conversation moving.

In most cases, objections occur because of price. Your counterpart might not have room in the budget to cover your costs or the flexibility to give you a better deal. 

Either way, before handling objections, you must remain curious and figure out why your counterpart is pushing back. Once you’ve determined where the objections are coming from, you can defuse them using these three Black Swan skills.

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How Cultural Barriers Can Impact Negotiations

By Derek Gaunt | August 08, 2022

The most obvious cultural barrier that impacts negotiation is the language barrier. But beyond that, there are nearly 200 countries on the planet, and each has its own unique culture. 

If you were to spend your time trying to learn every detail about each culture, you would be inundated with notebooks full of material. This would keep you from focusing on the true cultural barrier: one-on-one communication.

It’s not by accident that hostage negotiators in Tokyo, Tel Aviv, London, Johannesburg, Montreal, and Colombia are all trained in the same skill set. 

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The First Steps to Becoming a Skilled Negotiator

By Barbara Thomas | August 01, 2022

If you’re new to negotiation and The Black Swan Method™, the first step to becoming a skilled negotiator is enrolling in our online class, Negotiation 9™ (N9™). This class teaches the nine core skills that are foundational to becoming a world-class negotiator.

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Navigating Language Barriers in International Negotiations

By Milton “Troy” Smith | July 25, 2022

As we continue coaching clients all around the world, there’s a tendency we see over and over again in which folks think that certain negotiation tactics only work in the United States. 

We remind these people that hostage negotiators are all trained the same way, whether they work in Tokyo, Jakarta, Berlin, Johannesburg, or Santiago. The underlying Black Swan skills are universal because human nature is the same regardless of where you go.

That said, international negotiations are not without their challenges. Chief among them is the fact that language barriers exist. Certain words don’t have the same meaning when translated into different languages. 

Keep reading to learn more about the challenges inherent in international negotiations and what you can do to get your desired outcomes.

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