Let’s take a guess, shall we? You believe that the goal of negotiation is meeting the other party halfway. Splitting the difference. Compromising. Making everyone happy. Let’s go to a hostage situation for a moment.
The phone rings. A man answers. “The president has been taken hostage.”. The man is the hostage negotiator and he heads to the FBI HQ. He calls the terrorists. Time to begin negotiations. The terrorists want $100 million for the president’s safe return. The negotiator uses his negotiation skills to try and meet them halfway. He says, “Hey Mr. Terrorist, how about we give you $50 million in exchange for taking half of the president?”. The terrorists respond, “Sounds great!”. Success! The negotiator met them halfway and split the difference. The president is back safe to give his ‘welcome home’ speech, but is unable to see over the podium… Well, that’s how it would probably go if FBI hostage negotiators listened to conventional wisdom. Fortunately, they don’t.
This is the conventional wisdom that lives rent-free in the heads of most people. However, a certain FBI hostage negotiator believes splitting the difference is simply not an option. They negotiate to get exactly everything they want using their unfair advantage.
The unfair advantage
You probably think that the stakes for your day-to-day negotiations are not that high. Harvard Business school thought the exact same thing. Until Chris Voss showed up – we’ll get back to this in a second. Chris was an FBI hostage negotiator, and together with Tahl Raz, they penned a book called Never Split the Difference. This exceptional book details Chris’s time as a hostage negotiator and provides principles on how to obtain an unfair advantage in every negotiation you will have.
Now back to Harvard! Chris was invited to their business negotiations class and was asked to negotiate with the class’s top students. Chris played the role of the seller, while the student was the buyer with a certain budget to spend. Chris began negotiating with the first student back and forth. Eventually, the lecturer returned and to his surprise, Chris managed to negotiate the student into spending ALL his budget. The teachers laughed and thought maybe it was a fluke. So in came student number two. The same thing happened.
The teachers just couldn’t understand why Chris was negotiating for all the money. It’s almost as if Chris broke the rules. But the words “split the difference” just don’t compute in his brain. Thankfully for us, Chris reveals how to obtain this unfair advantage through his principles of tactical empathy and calibrated questions. Thankfully for you, we turned it into a presentation. With a free presentation deck and a free coaching video. Isn’t that awesome?
Negotiation for everyone!
Now as valuable as these principles would be for you, it would probably be more valuable to teach your team to negotiate as well. Enabling your team to negotiate price or negotiate salary, for example, would be a powerful tool to arm them with.
Why stop there!? Teach your family how to negotiate as well. You don’t want your kids getting ripped off on the playground, do you?
All you really have to do now is sign up for instant access to get the free coaching video and free rehearsal deck. You do that and all of a sudden professional speakers are giving you presentation coaching to deliver a presentation like a pro speaker. Then you stare at your beautiful self in the mirror and practice your presentation.