Never Split The Difference by ex hostage negotiator, Chris Voss, reveals the skills needed in a high stakes negotiation that are incredibly relevant for your sales life as well as an argument with a partner. Voss takes a psychological approach to his dealing with other humans starting with humans want to be accepted and understood. Being an active listener is a way one can automatically earn some points. We've all heard that in the industry but check yourself and really think how well you're listening (think 2nd, 3rd level questions i.e peeling back the onion). Once the other party knows that you are actively listening they begin to open up more. Believe it or not one of the top 5 reasons couples get divorced is because of lack of communication, you think listening would have been a helpful skill?
Another key point is that when negotiating Voss would view it as a discovery as opposed to a battle. Sound familiar? Similar to most intro sales calls that are called discovery calls. Discover what their true goals are and then go after them. One trick that he used was called mirroring - AKA repeating the last 3 words of what someone has just said. Try it, works like a charm. Not only will they continue talking but it will also buy you time.
Another fascinating point that Voss points out is that "no" is really the start of the negation, where the fun begins not "yes". No might mean too expensive, need more info, not the right time etc.. Saying no makes the other speaker feel more safe, secure, and in control and even more. This is why saying “Is now a bad time to talk?” is always better than “Do you have a few minutes to talk?”
How this relates to sales: This whole book is littered with sales nuggets that should be applied on every level of sales from cold call to proposal call. One takeaway of mine is the 7-38-55 Percent Rule that states that 7 percent of a message is based on the words while 38 percent comes from the tone of ones voice while the large majority, 55 percent, comes from the speaker’s body language and face. Pay close attention to these two even if you are on a call alone in your own basement.
Quote of the book: “Negotiation is not an act of battle; it’s a process of discovery. The goal is to uncover as much information as possible." Goodreads
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