5 Negotiation Steps That Will Close Your Next Deal

By Brandon Voss | February 24, 2020

In an ideal world, closing deals would be easy. 

And with the right approach, it sometimes is.

Before sitting down at the table next time, take these five negotiation steps to increase the chances you get the outcomes you’re aiming for.

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What’s Wrong (and What’s Right) with ‘Always Be Closing’

By Chris Voss | February 17, 2020

What’s wrong with “always be closing”? 

To start, it’s pushy. You can’t approach the situation with this mentality and develop a relationship. Always be closing is the same thing as “always be damaging” the relationship—which means you’re sacrificing tomorrow for today, and tomorrow is coming.

At the same time, always be closing has its upside, too. Here’s what’s right and wrong about it and how to integrate these ideas for success.

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4 Key Components to a Successful Email Negotiation

By Derek Gaunt | February 10, 2020

People often ask me if I have any tricks for negotiating over email.

Here’s my first tip: Stop doing it. 

Every email exchange should be an attempt to bring the other side to the table in person—or at least get them on the phone.

But in this time of global interactions, email negotiation is sometimes unavoidable. Even if you’d prefer to hash it out over the phone, you might have no choice but to negotiate over email—particularly when it’s the preferred method of your counterpart.

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How to Demonstrate Leadership During a Crisis

By Derek Gaunt | February 03, 2020

The way someone acts during a crisis is a telltale sign of whether they’re a good leader or a mediocre one.

In the world I came from—the world of hostage negotiations—frequently there was a crisis. I had people under my charge who were tasked with executing my game plan and in order to get the outcomes we were aiming for, I knew I needed to maintain my composure.

Here are five tenets that helped me do exactly that. 

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How to Use Body Language as a Negotiation Tactic

By Chris Voss | January 27, 2020

Negotiation isn’t always about the words you say and the way you say them. Nonverbal cues often play a crucial role in how things go when you’re sitting at the table.

More specifically, body language is both an amplifier and an indicator. 

Here are the ways to maximize body language negotiation tactics—and get better outcomes because of it.

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The Black Swan Leadership Framework

By Derek Gaunt | January 13, 2020

Great leaders inspire their teams to do their best work. And that begins by using philosophies that are born out of high-stakes hostage negotiations.

For many leaders, however, ego and authority often get in the way of great management. When that happens, failure is usually lurking right around the corner.

But there’s an easy fix, which is to consciously and continuously try to see things from your team’s perspective by utilizing an effective leadership framework.

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Unwilling to Make Concessions in Negotiation?: Do This Instead

By Chris Voss | December 30, 2019

You’ve got a logjam. The other side has dug in. Your boss may want you to make this deal or maybe there’s something else motivating you to work it out. The thought of giving in leaves you with a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach.

What should you do in this scenario? It’s easy: Unleash a tactical empathy nuke—a “that’s right” summary. 

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Labels vs. Questions: The Key to Unlocking ‘The Floodgates of Truth Talk’

By Chris Voss | December 23, 2019

Labels are the best information-gathering device out there. Bar none. This is so true that Brandon Voss of The Black Swan Group has even designated a subset of labels known as asking labels.

Why are we traditionally taught to ask questions? Because it’s the easiest way to gather information, or so teachers say. 

The Black Swan Group actually defines negotiation as an information-gathering and influence-building process. The problem is that most of the time, questions are a lousy way to gather information.

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Negotiation Tactics to Use Over Email, on the Phone, and Face to Face

By Brandon Voss | December 16, 2019

Whenever you interact with someone—whether it’s over email, on the phone, or face to face—they tend to remember two things about your encounter:

  1. The most intense moment of the conversation
  2. The last moment of the conversation

That said, different mediums of communication lend themselves better to different negotiation tactics. By letting those two ideas guide your negotiations and coupling them with medium-specific negotiation tools, you can become a more persuasive negotiator in any scenario.

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How to Get Your Counterpart to Bid Against Themselves

By Brandon Voss | December 09, 2019

You may not think that it’s easy to get the other side to bid against themselves. But you’d be wrong.

When you’re selling something, there’s a price point you have in mind. At the same time, your counterpart has their own general motivations when they come to the table. They have their own number in mind—or at least a range of numbers in mind—for what they’re willing to spend. And that’s what they’re focusing on.

If you want to get your counterpart to bid against themselves, you need to keep one thing in mind: The interaction is not about you—it’s about them.

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