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 Choose the Right Negotiation Consulting Company

By Brandon Voss | March 25, 2019

If you or your team is struggling to win deals, navigate a tricky business situation, or communicate effectively, it may be worth your while to enlist expert guidance. A negotiation consultant can help you hone your strategy and guide you through a challenging situation with greater ease, confidence, and dexterity. But how do you know which consultant is best suited to your needs? We’ve outlined five things to keep in mind when choosing a negotiation consultant partner.

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Communication at Work: Why Hearing "No" Should Be Your Goal

By Brandon Voss | March 11, 2019

Many of the negotiation techniques we teach at Black Swan Group are part of a “no” strategy. We discuss ways to make “no” work for you in a negotiation; share tips on how to get buy-in, starting with a “no” ; and offer communication techniques to help create space between “yes” and “no.”

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Communication at Work: Are You Being Too Nice at the Negotiation Table?

By Brandon Voss | February 18, 2019

When we’re faced with a difficult negotiation, many of us make the mistake of thinking that niceness will help us get what we want. To make ourselves seem more agreeable, we switch into an overly energized tone and take every opportunity to smile or nod enthusiastically—sometimes without knowing we’re doing it.

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Communication at Work: How to Nail Your Elevator Pitch

By Brandon Voss | February 11, 2019

I’ll be honest—I’m not a fan of the elevator pitch. The idea of preparing a 30-second sales speech in which you explain your idea or solution and why it’s valuable goes against every unwritten rule of persuasion. Although it’s intended to drum up excitement in a short window of time, this sales technique inevitably breeds resentment and rejection.

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Active Listening: What It Is and Why It Matters in Negotiating

By Brandon Voss | February 04, 2019

The term “active listening” is easy to misinterpret. Oftentimes, it’s used to describe the nonverbal cues (like nodding and direct eye contact) that we use to show someone that we’re paying attention to what they’re saying. Other times, it’s used to refer to minimal encouragers—short verbal expressions like “uh-huh” and “hmm” that we interject to demonstrate our engagement. Although both examples are powerful communication techniques, they don’t fully encompass or explain what makes this approach active.

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5 Methods of Persuasion to Help You Get What You Want

By Brandon Voss | January 21, 2019

Why do some people seem more persuasive than others? The ability to gain influence in a negotiation doesn’t have to do with your personality or how naturally charismatic you are. The secret to getting what you want goes far beyond your height, complexion, or number of degrees. Improving influence surpasses book knowledge and IQ. Reading the circumstance below the surface is key. Here lies 5 examples of how to get better at using methods of persuasion.

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5 Effective Communication Techniques for Managing People

By Brandon Voss | January 14, 2019

There’s no shortage of bad managers in the world. Most of them aren’t inherently evil people—they’re simply poor communicators. Being an effective leader and earning the respect of your colleagues comes down to honing your communication and emotional intelligence (EQ) skills more than any other attribute. No matter what your industry or your job title is, if you manage people, these five communication & EQ techniques are essential to your success.

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Mastering the Art of First and Last Impressions

By Brandon Voss | December 31, 2018

Although first impressions don’t always stick, they do inform how much time, attention, and trust you earn right off the bat. On average, first impressions are solidified in just seven seconds. In a high-stakes or high-stress situation, that tiny window may be the only opportunity you have to start a conversation. Whether you’re cold-calling a prospect or conducting an FBI hostage negotiation, we’ve outlined some tips for making those first seconds count.

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7 Negotiation Techniques for Introverts

By Brandon Voss | December 24, 2018

If you’re not outgoing, then the thought of initiating a negotiation and stepping out of your comfort zone can feel especially uncomfortable. Below, we’ve laid out seven tips to help you beat pre-negotiation jitters and become a more effective and confident communicator.

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3 Scenarios to Practice Your Negotiation Skills

By Brandon Voss | December 10, 2018

There’s one commonality that all effective negotiators share: they consciously make the decision to negotiate in their daily lives. It may sound simple, but deciding to negotiate in real-life situations demands stepping out of your comfort zone. In reality, it’s uncomfortable. When you decide to negotiate, you risk feeling weird or awkward, regardless of your age, intelligence, or experience level. Choosing to negotiate also means deciding to be present, to focus your attention, and to engage with your environment and your counterpart in a more deliberate way—all of which can be hard to muster if you’re tired or simply not in the mood.

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