Brandon Voss

Brandon Voss
Brandon Voss is the President of 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 Get Buy-In With The 3 Most Effective Communication Techniques

By Brandon Voss | May 16, 2022

This blog was originally published on 03/6/2017 and updated on 7/16/2020.

Negotiation is an information-gathering process. It’s not about getting your points across. It’s about using Tactical Empathy™ to uncover the information you need to understand exactly where your counterpart is coming from—and then making sure they know that you understand them.

The best negotiators never sit down at the table hoping to get the other side to understand them. Just like Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, suggests, “Seek to understand before being understood.” 

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What Type of Negotiation Are You Walking Into?

By Brandon Voss | April 18, 2022

At a high level, The Black Swan Group believes that all negotiations are the same. Whenever you find yourself in a negotiation, regardless of the circumstances:

  • You and your counterpart will both need something from each other. 
  • Both of you will also need to manage negative emotions. 
  • You’re going to look like a threat when the negotiation gets started.
  • Ultimately, you want to get to a place where your counterpart is solving problems for you.

These concepts apply to every single negotiation. 

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How to Improve Your Sales Performance with Thought-Shaping Questions

By Brandon Voss | March 21, 2022

A Thought-Shaping Question™ shapes your counterpart’s thoughts and makes them realize things they might not have thought of otherwise. They are different from Calibrated Questions™ (e.g., What challenges do you face? or How do you handle this process internally?), which are designed to uncover data.

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How to Use Negotiation Tactics Over Chat Apps

By Brandon Voss | January 24, 2022

Just because you can negotiate through chat apps and text messages doesn’t mean you should. Ultimately, every exchange you have over text should be designed to drive people to a verbal conversation—especially when the stakes are high.

That said, we live in a world that’s increasingly driven by technology, and that doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. 

Next time you find yourself engaging with a counterpart over text, chat, or email, keep these negotiation tactics in mind to increase the chances you get the outcome you’re aiming for.

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Components of Emotional Intelligence in Negotiation

By Brandon Voss | November 01, 2021

The best negotiators and most effective leaders possess high levels of emotional intelligence, or a high emotional quotient (EQ), meaning the ability to manage your emotions and effectively communicate while empathizing with other people and seeing their perspectives.

Although your IQ is mostly fixed by age 16, you can improve your EQ through your 80s. 

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When to Focus an Accusation Audit™ Internally and Externally

By Brandon Voss | October 18, 2021

If you’re new to the term, an Accusation Audit™ is a negotiation technique used to proactively address the negatives likely harbored by the other side and defuse them before they blow up the conversation later on.

But when should you use an Accusation Audit internally, and when should you use it with an external counterpart? Let’s find out.

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Communication and Negotiation Techniques When Dealing with a Board

By Brandon Voss | October 11, 2021

When you deal with a board, you’re in a high-stakes negotiation. Whether your goal is buying a company, getting investment in a fund, or encouraging a pharmaceutical company to pivot from one drug to the next, there is a lot on the line, so you need to bring your A game to get the deal you’re after.

Next time you head into the boardroom, keep these communication and negotiation techniques in mind to increase the chances you achieve your desired outcome.

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3 Ways to Master Sales Negotiations

By Brandon Voss | September 13, 2021

At Black Swan, we’re always working hard to help people like you become better negotiators. 

In my experience, reaching your full potential as a negotiator requires freeing yourself from traditional, limited ways of thinking.

With that in mind, here are three ways you can master sales negotiations and achieve better outcomes every time you sit down at the table.

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How Can Sales Negotiation Training Help My Team?

By Brandon Voss | August 16, 2021

No matter how effective your sales team is, it can always improve.

If you’re on the fence about whether it’s worthwhile to invest in sales negotiation training, keep reading to learn four of the top  reasons you may or may not decide to  bite the bullet and set aside the resources needed to get your team to the next level.

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How to Become an Assertive Negotiator

By Brandon Voss | July 26, 2021

Because you’re reading these words, chances are that you want to become an Assertive negotiator.

Stop it!

It’s time to let go of that desire. The fact that you want to become an Assertive negotiator is hurting your efforts. The reality is: The whole Assertive negotiator persona is factually a detriment to true influence. No ones likes being yelled at.

Does your negotiation strategy fit their personality? Use this guide to  negotiate successfully with anyone »

The Black Swan Group teaches about the three negotiator types: Assertives, Accommodators, and Analysts. According to rough data, negotiators split up evenly into each of these groups. This means you only have a one in three chance of running into an Assertive—your chances of running into an Analyst or an Accommodator are much higher.

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