Chris Voss

Chris Voss
Christopher Voss is the CEO of The Black Swan Group, a firm that solves business negotiation problems with hostage negotiation strategies. Chris founded the Black Swan Group, in 2008 upon his retirement from the FBI where he was the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. Chris is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business where he teaches business negotiation in both M.B.A. programs.
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Recent Posts

How to Negotiate When the Decision Maker Isn't Present

By Chris Voss | September 28, 2020

Everyone wants to get to the decision maker (the DM). They’re the person we need to persuade to get what we want, after all.

But the decision maker isn’t always at the table when we are. Here are three tips that will make you much more effective when you find yourself in that scenario.

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How to Make the Most of a Good Faith Negotiation

By Chris Voss | September 21, 2020

In a good faith negotiation, hope is high and relationships are great! 

What’s wrong with that? Hope is not a strategy.  

Keep reading to learn how to keep yourself from getting blindsided and losing when you find yourself in the throes of a good faith negotiation.

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How to Negotiate with Difficult People

By Chris Voss | September 17, 2020

I’m on the wrong side of customs in Australia, and my bags are still inside. I’m not interested in getting stranded or missing my connection, and I’m also not keen on wearing the same clothes for five days and brushing my teeth with the hotel-provided toothbrush.

Here’s how I got out of this jam: I’m here to sign up for the Stupid American of the Year Award.

But first: How did I get into this predicament to begin with?

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3 Things We've Learned About Negotiation During COVID-19

By Chris Voss | September 14, 2020

We’ve all learned many things due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past few months, we’ve even learned three new things about negotiation:

  1. You will be faced with three types of counterparts.
  2. Safety, trust, and need are the keys.
  3. The Accusation Audit™ is the game changer.

Keep reading to learn more about each of these ideas.

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The Three Types of Yeses You’ll Hear During a Negotiation

By Chris Voss | August 31, 2020

In the world of negotiation, the word yes doesn’t always mean the same thing.

At The Black Swan Group, we teach that there are three different types of yeses:

  1. The confirmation yes
  2. The commitment yes
  3. The counterfeit yes

Here’s how to navigate each of them when you find yourself in the throes of a negotiation.

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Negotiation Training: 3 Steps to Finding Out If You've Left Anything on the Table

By Chris Voss | August 27, 2020

This blog was originally published on 10/26/2015 and updated on 8/27/2020.

“How do I know whether I’ve gotten everything I could have out of a deal?”

This is one of the most common questions people ask me. To be fair, it’s a great question—and one that nags all of us.

What if I told you that you can make sure you haven’t left anything on the table by following a simple three-step process that requires very little energy on your end?

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Methods of Persuasion: How to Use FBI Empathy

By Chris Voss | July 30, 2020
  

This blog was originally published on 6/12/2017 and updated on 7/30/2020.

When you use empathy in the business world the way we learned to use it as FBI hostage negotiators, you get revenue. 

Is revenue boring?

In the book Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It™, we call this kind of empathy Tactical Empathy™. Very simply, Tactical Empathy is the process of knowingly and intentionally influencing your counterpart’s emotions to make deals. It’s how you give your family a better life.

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Communication Skills: 3 Ways To Make “No” Work For You

By Chris Voss | July 23, 2020

This blog was originally published on 11/14/2016 and updated on 7/23/2020.

Does yes really always mean yes?

Absolutely not.

When we say yes, we’re committing to something. And immediately after we’ve committed, we begin worrying about what we’ve just signed up for.

Which means, at best, every yes is a conditional yes. And oftentimes, it’s even worse: a counterfeit yes that’s uttered simply to get the other side to shut up.

Would it be ridiculous to find out that getting the other side to say no is actually what you should be gunning for when you sit down at the table?

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How to Win Negotiations Over Zoom

By Chris Voss | May 18, 2020

As more people are working from home, virtual conferences, meetings, and even negotiations have become a necessity. However, Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms can feel unnatural or even uncomfortable. You’re faced with something that is neither a phone call nor an in-person meeting. 

Here are the three keys to winning a negotiation in a Zoom environment:

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My Advice for Real Estate Negotiators

By Chris Voss | April 27, 2020

Real estate is tricky business whether you’re representing buyers or sellers. There’s so much on the line, and emotions often run wild.

At a full fee, you are a bargain. Here are three tips on how to more than earn it.

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