Like Seeing A Unicorn

By Derek Gaunt | August 21, 2017

Sebastian had spent most of the late morning into the early afternoon, one day in July, being exposed to the Black Swan method of labels and mirrors. Having already read “Never Split the Difference,” he was anxious to see and hear the practical application of the skills. Turns out, Sebastian was a quick study. As soon as the class concluded, he was chomping at the bit to see if the skills would bear fruit. That afternoon, he scheduled a phone call to negotiate the acquisition of a domain name. The seller anchored high with a five figure number. Rather than balk and counter, Sebastian used labels and mirrors to discover that it was most important to the seller for the domain to be used for a purpose in which he believed. Unbeknownst to the seller, this was Sebastian’s plan all along. Sebastian’s use of labels and mirrors uncovered other Black Swans as well:

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Do You Get It?

By Derek Gaunt | July 24, 2017

At the Black Swan Group, our instructors have been spreading the gospel of empathy and the techniques used to demonstrate it for years. We have trained thousands of people all over the globe on how to apply techniques developed in the world of hostage negotiations to business and other personal interactions. Of those thousands, as an instructor, I wonder at times how many don’t get it? 

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How to Negotiate A Higher Salary

By Chris Voss | May 29, 2017

What happens when you trigger “That’s right” several times in a salary negotiation?

How about getting a salary offer 41% higher than you expected? Read More >

How to Use a Cold Read and Accusation Audit to Achieve Success

By Derek Gaunt | April 17, 2017

In September 2016, I attended a meeting where I was the lone hostage negotiator in a room full of SWAT guys. The meeting is held quarterly for SWAT guys by SWAT guys. I was an interloper in hostile territory. The purpose for my attendance was to request a piece of their pie. The SWAT group had a training operations cache of about $78,000.00. Since they had spent none of the money on several years, I was requesting about $9,000 annually for the training of negotiators.

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Bargaining vs Negotiation: Do you really know the difference?

By Derek Gaunt | February 20, 2017

Two weeks ago, I attended the SaaStr 2017 conference in San Francisco.  It was a collection of Software- As-A-Service start-up CEOs, CFOs, COOs as well as marketing and sales geniuses.  They meet once a year to network, listen to speakers and view/sell the latest products.  These attendees, by my limited observations were all 30 to early 40-somethings; all wicked smart and extremely successful.  I was clearly one of the dumbest guys in the room.

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How You Can Handle The #1 Most Common Lie in Negotiations

By Chris Voss | January 16, 2017


I remember hearing a few years ago a businessman saying he started moving his business forward much more successfully when he started treating every “maybe” as if it were a “no”.

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The #1 Negotiating Rule For Getting The Most Out Of The Holidays

By Chris Voss | December 05, 2016



This rule will make this an even better holiday season for you and everyone your words touch.  

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Negotiating When They Are Not Talking

By Derek Gaunt | August 08, 2016

Sam Felder (not his real name) had barricaded himself in his home.  Suffering from hellacious migraines and post-traumatic stress, he told his wife he could not take it anymore.  Sam loaded his handgun and told her to leave.  She complied, ran to a neighbor’s house, and called the police.  Police attempted to negotiate with Sam for close to 10 hours.  It was the end of June and sweltering out.  The agency managing the incident elected to cut power to Sam’s home.  It was done, I was told, because Sam had been using power tools to barricade himself into the basement of the home with planks and 2x4s.  Not sure if it was a move I would have made based on the circumstances but it was done.  The managing agency reached out to my team for mutual aid support.  

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3 Ways To Find The Space Between "Yes" & "No"

By Chris Voss | July 25, 2016

In a Q & A session I did for the internet based forum Quora: I answered the question “What’s the worst mistake you can make in salary negotiations?” with this answer: “Simply saying “yes” or “I accept” to an offer.

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The Most Important Phrase To Master For Tough Negotiations

By Chris Voss | June 13, 2016

Master this way to say "no" that doesn't kill your deals and instead leads to success. 


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