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 Negotiate With Loved Ones

By Brandon Voss | November 12, 2018

No matter how skilled and practiced you are as a negotiator, when it comes to dealing with the people you love, it’s easy to get stuck. The same negotiation skills and techniques that you’ve practiced on countless other occasions can somehow fall short or backfire in ways that you never saw coming. If the basic communication skills required to negotiate a business deal and reach an agreement with a loved one are the same, then where do most of us go wrong? We’ve outlined five reasons why negotiating with a loved one is difficult, as well as how to shift your approach.

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5 Elements of Emotional Intelligence to Use During Negotiation

By Brandon Voss | November 05, 2018

As former FBI negotiators and professional negotiation coaches, we spend a lot of time thinking and talking about emotional intelligence (EQ). There’s a reason why EQ is a fundamental part of the Never Split the Difference methodology and one of the most versatile and powerful skills you can possess. Here are five elements of emotional intelligence you can use during a negotiation. 

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How to Be More Persuasive Over Email

By Brandon Voss | October 29, 2018

Most people have mixed feelings about email. On one hand, it allows us to instantly communicate with people around the world without pigeons or morse code. It’s also the most ubiquitous form of business communication and a ritual part of our daily lives—for better or worse.

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4 Ways to Keep Your Sales Team from Offering Discounts

By Brandon Voss | October 22, 2018

There’s no denying that sales is a high-pressure, high-stakes game. When you close a big deal, you feel on top of the world. When you lose one, it’s hard to remember that you ever won. When you’re between the two, it’s dangerously easy to make concessions to get that coveted “yes” and avoid the sinking feeling that often comes with a “no.” But as we at the Black Swan Group often say, “yes” is nothing without “how,” and compromise is a relationship’s worst enemy. Teach your sales team these four tips to help them close more deals without relying on discounts.

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How to Negotiate Your Way into a Job: 4 Tips to Nail Your Next Interview

By Brandon Voss | September 24, 2018

Job hopping can be a slog, but it’s also one of the most effective ways to move up and earn more. The average person will change jobs around 12 times in a 30-year span, or once every 2.5 years. And the pressure to keep moving is real—a study done in 2014 showed that those who stuck out a job beyond two years ended up earning a whopping 50 percent less over the course of their lifetime than their job-hopping counterparts.

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4 Ways To Improve Your Team's Communication

By Brandon Voss | August 27, 2018

There’s a difference between negotiating at the same time and negotiating as a team. If you’re laser-focused on getting your turn to speak and nailing your part in a negotiation, you’re leaving money on the table. In fact, if you’re consumed with your next move, you’re  setting yourself to fall short. Below, we’ve laid out four tips for improving your team’s communication and effectiveness in a negotiation.

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Use It Or Lose It: 4 Ways to Practice Your Negotiation Skills

By Brandon Voss | August 20, 2018

If you’ve ever taken a negotiation course or read a book on negotiation, you’ve likely learned some techniques for effective communication. But unfortunately, negotiation is not like riding a bike. Much like a foreign language, unless you regularly practice the techniques, those valuable skills you learned will begin to decline over time.

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Why Bargaining Isn't Getting You What You Want

By Brandon Voss | August 13, 2018

Whether you are working out a high-stakes business deal, negotiating with a vendor, or simply discussing with coworkers what to order for lunch, bargaining isn’t likely to get you what you want. Here’s why seasoned negotiators don’t bargain—and why you shouldn’t either if you want to get ahead.

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The Key to Disarming The Attack

By Brandon Voss | July 23, 2018

When you go into a negotiation that has a high probability of being combative, these are the strategies for overcoming those points of contention. In fact, most of the approach stems from ignoring your natural inclinations to right the wrongs, explain the why, and promise to make sure the other side won’t have to experience the irritation ever again.

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The Dos and Don'ts of Negotiating with Vendors

By Brandon Voss | July 09, 2018

Okay, so you’ve reached out to a vendor, communicated what you’re looking for, and requested a service-level agreement (SLA), timeline, and price quote. In an ideal world, the proposal you receive would match your desired budget, goals, and expectations. But that’s often not the case.

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