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24 May 2017

Interview: Negotiation Skills From Former FBI Agent Chris Voss

Jairek Robbins



It’s my birthday week and I just wanted to take a moment to express my sincerest gratitude for all your love and support throughout the years. To be able to live another year to serve you in helping you become the happiest, healthiest and most fulfilled version of yourself is a dream come true. I live my passion every single day and I couldn’t do it without the support of you. Thank you.

Thank you for trusting me, believing in me, and most importantly thank you for believing in yourself. It warms my heart to see you showing up and choosing to become the best version of yourself each and every week. Whether it’s reading our weekly emails, connecting with us on FB live, or sharing the tools we serve up for you each day, I see you and I applaud you for dedicating yourself to excellence.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

To your success,

Jairek Robbins

Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It


Want to better negotiate deals, salaries, partnerships? Negotiation is a highly valuable life skill. Grab a pen and paper because today’s JRCtv is with former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss and he’s going to give you tips on how to negotiate like your life depends on it because it does.

Grab a pen and paper because today’s JRCtv is with former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss and he’s going to give you tips on how to negotiate like your life depends on it because it does.



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Prefer to read? No Problem. Check out this week’s episode transcription here:

Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of JRCtv.


If you’re listening to the podcast or watching this video, Hello.  We have a very special guest joining us, I just finished listening to his book which is awesome, if you’re watching it’s called NEVER SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE, you can see it right over his shoulders there which is awesome, this is Mr. Chris Voss, he’s the CEO and founder of The Black Swan LTD Group or The Black Swan Group is the better way to say it.  His 24 years experience in the FBI and was former FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator, he’s a speaker which I’ll tell you where we first run into each other as well as adjunct professor and consultant.


JR: I believe you’re a professor at Harvard and also USC?

CV: “Well I did, Harvard several years ago but these days, USC University of Southern California for all you people in the Southeast and Georgetown University in Washington, DC.”

JR: “Wonderful! Well thank you for joining us and thank you for sharing some of your wisdom and experience with everyone today in advance.”

CV: “Hey man, I am flattered, I am honored to be on with you. It’s very cool, I am glad we cross paths again.”

JR: “Yeah I am excited, speaking of which the first time we cross paths, I believe was in Philly.”

CV: “It was in Philly, yeah in an event Carolyn put on.”

JR: “Yeah and we were both speaking there and we had I think it was a 4-hour conversation that night, hanging out, talking with everybody.”

CV: “yeah it was a lot of fun.”

JR: “I don’t know and I apologize, I don’t know why it took me so long to read your book.”

CV: “It took me a while to get the book out so that’s okay.”

JR: “Fair enough, fair enough I finally got my hands on it, I went through the whole book, and I mean I wish I can just hit instant download and put this in everybody’s playbook except for the people we negotiate with because obviously, it’s a little better for us to know it than them.  About one thing you said that’s really interesting is in the negotiation itself, we’ll get to some tactics  but I wanna share about you first, but in the negotiation itself it’s not you versus them as much as it’s you both trying to solve the problem at hand and I think a lot of people including myself when stuff gets tense when stuff gets interesting a lot of times that initial you know adversary thought process comes out. So I want to talk about that maybe towards the end we’ll talk about how to make that adjustment for people but for right now, I’d love to just tell about you, like how did you get into this for those listening and watching.”

CV: “Yeah you know just one thing after another out of left field. Which I think you know everybody’s life as it takes its path. I never planned of being an FBI agent probably didn’t even think about it until about 10 or 11 months before I was looking at to become an FBI agent and then like I was a SWAT guy, you know before I went to the FBI I was a police officer at Kansas City Missouri Police Department. Very good police department, wonderful charming, wonderful city.  And then the FBI thing comes up, I head in that direction, I was on a SWAT team, to me some of the best things that have happened to me in my life as a result of something it would be perceived as negative and so I reinjured my knee.  I tore ligaments in my knee because when I was in college I fancied myself as sort of the Caucasian Bruce Lee  (laughs). I wanted to be in the martial arts and I thought that would help me with the police department, blew the knee out. Blew it out again trying out for the  FBI’s hostage rescue team, the FBI’s version of the navy seal. A bunch of the HRT guys are former seals, former delta guys and then before I wanted to completely destroy my knee I started looking at something else within crisis response, FBI and hostage negotiator and I thought, how hard can it be? (laughs)

JR: (laughs) “interesting mindset to come in with.”

CV: “ I can talk to terrorist, I mean I really thought I can do that and initially they wouldn’t let me in.  Woman running the team in New York, Amy Bondoro she was like, she kinda look down her nose at me because I didn’t have any qualifications other than wanting to get after which you know anything in life is ingenuity, initiative is one of the biggest things and so she kinda tested me I didn’t realize it was a test at that time, she gave me a test to go out and do..

JR: Was that the lady who had you join the crisis hotline?

CV: “Yeah, I go volunteer on the hotline, you know and so then, the process of doing that, trying to get, I got on a team, we had a kidnapping that didn’t turn out the way we expect it to internationally, you know I’m gonna talk about it in the book and then had figuratively get better and that’s when I ended up collaborating with the guys at Harvard.  It were lot of fun, I really enjoyed working with those guys, Bob Manoukian, Shiela Heen, Doug Stone, you know just a whole crew of really smart people group up there and they said , hey you know you’re doing the same stuff as we are you just do it with different  stakes , you know it kinda open the door to business stuff and you know, Never Split the Difference, you know the book came out last May and if I can add, my co-writer Tahl Raz, freaking genius like anybody out there read anything Tahl Raz has written, if you’re interested in reading something about business, he’s also a co-author of another book Never Eat Alone which is also one the best networking books ever written.

JR: “Keith Rosen, he’s been a guest on the show as well, also people love him.”

CV : Keith is also phenomenal, and Tahl collaborated on Keith’s book, yeah I mean read anything Tahl’s written, it’s good stuff.”

JR: “Fair and cool, I have to look ‘em up. Keith’s business books.  So you went through this journey and there were different things you talked about in the book, that I mean literally your heart skips a beat every time you don’t know every time it’s like a page turner, what happened? Did he get him did he not? Did they take him out? And I think it’s always interesting and fun that you know a lot of conversation start with “3 mins, give me a car or the person dies” (laughs) and for most people if you’re watching, you’re a business owner , a coach or someone who a lot of times it’s not a life or death on the line as much as it’s an opportunity to close some type of gap though and that continuously overtime can lead up to the life or death of your company if you think of it that way coz really truly if you overpay or undercharge too many times in a  row you’ll end up , your margin’s gone and if your margin’s gone and then you go into the red now you had a business and that stat show  that 98% of businesses fail within 10 years , 95% fail within the first 5 years so this literally could be  a life of death topic for lot of small business owners if you’re in that first five-year or ten-year period of your business and so looking at it with that perspective maybe, I’d love to share this a couple of tips obviously they’re going to grab the book to deepen this concept but I’d love to share a few  tips for people watching , what some things, there might be an easy, applicable , easy something to apply almost immediately that if they watch this they took it away let me see if this really works, like I know he saved people’s lives, I know he’s rescued hostages and some have gone , one or two have gone wrong but most have gone in the right direction and like you said never split the difference and negotiate like your life depends on it because in this cases people’s lives do depend on it, so if they’re gonna take something with that kind of urgency into a business negotiation later this afternoon, what’s a couple of tips you might give them of something they could try immediately just to see that it works before they could have the chance to go to the book and really read all the meat in there?”

CV:  “Well you know first one is starting point is there’s great power in deference. So you take a deferential approach and then gives you license to set a lot of more things and the book starts with a story of the best way to say no!  and people either get this right away and start making money out of it immediately or it scares them. But the first and best way to say no in a deferential tone of voice is; ‘How am I supposed to do that and that?’  is, I got examples for the other side immediately cutting their price by half from a woman who is negotiating with a 13 yr old son who wanted her to buy him a video game and she said to her kid, “How am I supposed to do that?” and he immediately offered to pay for half (laughs) and then I got another colleague here in town business person negotiating with a  vendor over contract and he said to the guy “How am I supposed to do that?” and the vendor immediately cut his price by half , so I mean even that in it of itself you know and some people like “Ah, I can’t say that, what if they come back, you have to, now I’m in trouble”  and you know my advice to them is “Alright so, give it a try”.  Number 1, we actually coach people to say how I am supposed to do that continuously at least two or three times until the other side finally does say “You know because you have to”.  Because actually, your job as a business person is to be able to find out how much is on the table and when the other side says coz you have to you now have done your job on behalf of yourself, on behalf of your company.  You push the other side to the limit find out everything is on the table and you’re still talking. When somebody says to you, because you have to, you still engage into conversation, it’s not over. They didn’t slam their hands down, jump up and walk away, and didn’t call you names and didn’t threaten to report you to the better business bureau, they’ve said, hey look you pushed me to my limit and I’m still talking. I still wanna make this deal but you know now we’re gonna make the deal. Which is your job as a business person, so you know that little thing right there, that little one more people have instantly made more deals just with that phrase.”

JR:  “And so, here’s this interesting question coz I’ve been playing this myself, that would be on the point where someone’s purchasing from you and they’re trying to bid you down, correct?”

CV:  “Well in any time that you have to say no , or that you need to , you need to buy yourself some time it’s actually specifically designed thing, it’s also triggers something we called forced empathy and it’s the best way to get the other side take a look at you, to take a fair look at your position  and before they respond, it’s a stop and think moment for the other side. It triggers something that Danny Conoman, Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist refers to slow thinking which is deep thinking, Conoman wrote a great book called, Thinking Fast and Slow . And his stuff is a foundation that explains a lot of what makes a hostage negotiation work business and personal life cause Conoman talked and goes into great depth about how we react in fact in a real world as opposed to theoretically you know this intellectual mythology which you know doesn’t exist.”

JR: “Right, the staircase thoughts came afterward, you know I should have said this!, I should have said that!, I would have done this! and that’s not reality of what actually happened (laughs)”

CV: (laughs) “Yeah sometimes I wish I was as brilliant as I thought I was.”

JR: “Yeah when you’re walking away , 10 mins later you’re like ahhh all the good thoughts  rain in, but there’s things that you’re saying have to happen in the moment, so here’s my question, anytime you have to say no  that would help, and this is something that just got me thinking as I was reading through the book , I was reading all this different pieces from ways you can adjust you know yourself, ways you can better understand the person you’re communicating with , there’s so many golden nuggets and great tips on this pages.”

CV: “Thank you

JR: “I hope you don’t mind me bragging about how awesome the book is , really is..”

CV: No, no, go on go on

JR: “Stop, stop go go . It was interesting, one thing that sit on my head and I love your insight what if you’re trying to nudge the person higher, so and I was trying to figure out which technique might work in that case where let’s say, someone tries to bid us down so we say “ oh that product or that service  let’s just use round numbers is $10,000 and they say the best I can do is five, so would you start on that same price ? So how am I supposed to do that?”

CV: “Yeah, how am I supposed to do that? You know there’s three or four different ways to approach that , you know another thing you could say to somebody is you know one of the skills we took to hostage negotiations we use this as probably the most powerful one is this tool we call the label , you know hostage negotiations was called the motion labels so the other thing I might wanna say to someone is it “You know it sounds like the values is not there for you.” Now that’s actually a specifically designed price and it’s not what some people are taught to say where they go like “what I’m hearing is” because if I say to you it sounds like or seems like or it looks like, the design of that is actually it hits the portion of your brain that causes you to make an internal inquiry where the prefrontal cortex or the CEO of your brain sort of checks with the rest of the brain and says, “hmmmm”.  It causes you to contemplate this in a very specific way, creates this interaction in the different components of your brain where you think about it you actually react in a way that I know in advance you’re going to react to and then you come back with an answer that’s much more than yes or no because no negotiation is the proper answer is never a yes or no, it’s no and or yes and and you need everything else that comes back in the and.”

JR: “That’s right.”

CV: “Most people, thank you very much, most people when they say the price is the problem, it’s not really the money, it’s what they’re getting for the money and they will give you all the money that you needed, if they’re getting what they needed out of the deal.  So if they express to you because they don’t know any better the price is too high and it’s not the price but it’s the package you’re not gonna solve the problem by cutting the price.  You may actually make things worse. And you need to get when you say “It sounds like the value is not there for you.”  that immediately turns the conversation over the value and it makes him think alright, so what is the value here for me and it pivots now into something other than price wherein you find out how to fix the problem.”


JR: “Ahh so all of a sudden they’ll open dialogue and ideally, they’ll start sharing with you and either go, oh no no no its not that, it’s not that. Which means they do see the value and there are some other reasons why they’re saying thisA and then you can figure out what the real reason is or they might go, you know, you’re right and I’m guessing a follow up might be we’ll what’s missing or what value  needs to be there to be that justified price for what we charge and at that point, either one way you’re gonna learn why they ‘re really saying no to that or two you’re gonna learn what else you need to add to deal with to get it to that price where they easily go that’s totally worth it, let’s do it.


CV: “Right, right right exactly and you know there are entrepreneurs , business person’s dilemma , the sales person’s dilemma is everybody’s first move is to cut the price and everybody also knows that it’s probably not price that’s the problem you know the hard part is how do you pivot away from price and get right into what exactly is the problem and so one of the ways is …first way is, of course, say, “how am I supposed to do that ?” Which Is really really a nice way to straight reject what they said and make them rethink it. But the flip side, “You know it sounds like the value is just not there to you.” Then immediately takes you into areas that would probably gonna solve the problem, actually much more quickly. Also, this is what we could like to say delay or save time. This is a great time saver to hack into forwarding the negotiations.

JR: “Okay, so how am I supposed to do that? And then sounds like the value isn’t there for you.”

CV: “Right.”


JR: “And what’s interesting twice that you’ve done that I’ve been noticing for people because I just read the book I know what to look for or at least some of the things , is you did two things that I think were important you pointed out in the book. One: Slow down! So often I know this myself, our heart rate gets going, we get excited we get nervous palms, we start seeing the finish line and so we start talking really fast and getting excited, oh totally, we can do that for you and according to the book that’s  not helping.”

CV: “No, first thing is because one is such time pressure we think we got to speed up in order to solve it and the exact opposite is true.  I had a judge in front of the trial in New York and had this great phrase, we’re gonna delay things in order to save time. You know so you actually get into the negotiation process faster because you get off the gerbil wheel, you know people go faster but they’re on the gerbil wheel with repetitive conversations and they don’t understand that if they slow down they get fewer conversations and in it entirety save a lot of time. So slowing down actually does accelerate the process you make fewer mistakes to don’t renegotiate you don’t have as many misunderstandings and you know misunderstandings or false agreements, which are really gerbil wheel of business as well as eats up our time, so it’s understanding actually have move much more quickly by taking a more deliberative approach and having fewer conversations.”

JR: “Very nice and then the other thing is watching the physiology and tonality of what’s going on and then one thing you said that’s interesting, a lot of business today is done over the phone of each other or via email which email is probably the fastest way of being misunderstood because they’re reading in their own voice, hearing their own inflection of what they think you’re saying versus actually hearing you.  And you pointed out the value of actually being able to see the person and be next to the person something you know I think I’ve talked about from time to time with everyone who’s watching and listening which is the concept of being able to see the congruence or incongruence within the other person and have value that can be to the actual process of negotiation and communicating.”

CV: “Right, right and the incongruence is a lot of, there are numbers that are thrown out you know people talk a popular ratio of 7/38/55  and 7% are your communication is words. And you know people get caught up in whether or not those numbers are accurate and the issue is where do you use exactly a moment ago, it doesn’t matter what the ratio is what matters is whether things are incongruent you know when the tone of voice doesn’t line up with the words.  I don’t care if it’s 20/80  I don’t care if it’s 50/50, if my words and my tone don’t line up we have an issue here and you’re actually communicating issue to me, you know I got a colleague, extremely successful guy  got fired of lack of understanding of incongruence he’s talking to a billionaire investor in a company and the billionaire investor has got a bad idea and in discussing it on the phone, you know my friend, my colleague says “ o—k—ay” now he’s communicating real hesitancy with his tones, so his tones and his words  are not exactly lining up the billionaire investor hears the word “okay” and construes that as an agreement  and later accuses him of lying. So I don’t care what the ratios are, somebody, we desperately want to hear yes everybody is, it’s an addiction and so we wanna hear it so bad somebody says o—k—ay and it very easy and say YES woohoo …. You know there’s incongruence and o—k—ay means, look “I’ve got some real problems with this.” So it’s how do you hear it, how do you dig into it so you don’t end up in a train wreck or somebody losing their job or deal going bad.”

JR: “And speaking of which the interesting process I forget which chapter it was but you were talking about sometimes missing those clues and how important and valuable they can be and I one of the chapters you mentioned there were certain clues, there were hidden clues and I think this eludes to the name of your group and company  coz they are referred to I believe as The Black Swans of their conversation, cues that are visible or you can see like , o—k—ay, should have picked up on that one but then there’s hidden things  in every negotiation, little facts and details and information and things that you did uncover changes the whole picture and if I remember right this was one of the stories if you won’t mind sharing, the gentleman who the Black Swans were something he had said no one parlayed, or no one had shared which landed up him stating that there was a certain time that he believe that he was going to leave this earth and no one heard that until afterwards and then it was like, holy smoke if we would have known that we knew he was already wanting to die – like and that was the Black Swan in that moment it was kinda hidden in the conversation or hidden from everyone knowing. So the value of purposely taking time to dig for the unknown what you said is expect the fact that there is unknown factors always.”

CV: “Yeah and not gonna be gold mines, these nuggets are no small things I mean they are pieces of information and that if you get the other to tell you would change everything.  And they’re always there because, it’s kinda of a two-step mind warp thing here, but were always hiding stuff in negotiations. There’s always stuff that we’re not revealing on the other side so what does that tell us.  That tells us first, stuff not revealing is important otherwise we’ll reveal it.  If we feel that they could gain all sorts of leverage on us we’d be vulnerable, then it also means we could trust them more but that we could make a better deal.  So by definition, if we got those the other side’s got them.  Now the hard part of wrap your mind around is, you know in the modern word of Donald Rumsfeld, “There are unknown unknowns.”  what happens when hidden cards on both side is begin to overlap it’s you know I’d like to imagine it’s like playing Texas Holdem what would, happen if instead of taking the cards on the table that everybody gets to use, you got to see the other guy’s cards and together you can make up your best hand, that’s what you’re trying for here.   But we’re scared to reveal this stuff. There are other reasons why being able to tell when somebody’s lying is not good enough because people only lie about stuff which they think is important and half of their Black Swans they don’t even know what’s important.  And I was here in town and leaving in Los Angeles when I get the chance to maybe talk to the Hollywood types so I’m coaching a woman filmmaker recently she’s gotta investor and wants to buy into this film and invested in so this person cannot just be in the film but can play both primary roles. I think this person probably saw The Social Network the movie about Facebook and there was an actor that played the Winklevoss twins, the guy played both parts so this investor wants that and the film maker’s telling me , that’s gonna double our budget I mean even if I wanted to  do that, the CGI, the cameras and everything else, it’s gonna be crazy, I can’t do it. “Alright so go back into the conversation and just open up the conversation and talk in the middle of conversation, the investor says “I wanna get this castle in France we can film in” .. oh what wait, woah… there’s a Black Swan, but nobody know if it’s there… or you know think based on the initial conversation, this person’s ego-driven and gonna destroy my budget and what they want. Well you know maybe they’re scared to let you know that they’ve got something to bring into the table. It’s gonna change everything, maybe they think you’re gonna take advantage of them if you got to know that so diving in, people always find crazy things by getting into the conversations.”

JR: “I’ll give you a specific example that happen to me that really truly represents this and it’s something I wasn’t thinking of which it happened both ways, where we had a group reach out and it was interesting cause the fee they offered to hire us to speak was really small significantly smaller than what we would normally accept or ask for and I think they knew what our numbers were and just completely underbid it and I was like wow… but it also sparked my curiosity of why in the world would they offer that? Like that’s really small and I was scratching my head and I was like I call them and okay, what’s going on? We want to fly you to New York we want you to do an initial recording of your training and we’re gonna record it here in our studio, we’ll edit it, we’ll put it together and then we’re gonna do a digital broadcast out to probably 500 companies and as long as it’s liked we’ll do it like to another 10,000 companies and you know part of the training and we offer a couple of thousand dollars afterward.  I was like, wow, we charged significantly higher than that and to do training for that many companies like we’re losing a lot of revenues by giving it all away to these companies and that was my initial thought, and I went to my Dad and I talked to him about it cause he’s been in this business for years , we’re talking back and forth so what are your thoughts? And he said, wait a minute, you never asked what is the important question and I said what? And he said, what companies are these going to? I don’t know… so I went back and asked and they said, L’oreal, Goldman Sachs, Price Water Cooper House, the biggest companies on earth and how long did it take them to build that relationship and they said they’ve been doing training with these companies for over  40 years.  And he said how long will it take you to build that kind of relationship with these companies that they’re willing to put you directly inside these companies with your best stuff on showcase, how long will it take you to get into the door of all those places, and he said how many if it goes well? I said 10,000, he said buddy I don’t think you could pay for that kind of advertisement and I started laughing.  And so the Black Swan was something I just didn’t even asked in that case who was going to because that was invaluable of like, Wow I didn’t realize that because it didn’t seem important to me at that time.  My thought was I was losing revenue because they’re giving away our training to all these companies and in reverse it was actually helping us open a relationship with lots of companies that we had zero contact with before that and so this thought process of being able to dig around even if the information is sometimes at hand to you cause they handed that to me I just didn’t know what to do with it because that wasn’t very seasoned at that time and that field I went oh this is what to ask about that or this is how to do it and I think sometimes in looking for that Black Swan like you said something in the book were you always negotiate in teams. Which is having someone else to give you another perspective on what’s going on in case you can’t see it yourself, which in that case I couldn’t see what’s going on cause I don’t know what to look for.  But luckily I have someone more seasoned from the team who knew what to look for and always on BINGO, there was the gold that we didn’t realize was sitting there the whole time.”

CV: “We’ll here’s what else I really like about you telling me the story because you didn’t take yourself hostage in any way along the way. I mean, you’re curious your willing to find out, I mean of course your initial reaction was oh God you know that’s too low, I’m not gonna talk to these people or if I talk to them I’m vulnerable. I mean you still dig it in and one of the things we teach on a regular basis is you know don’t take yourself hostage by not willing to continue to talk or you know if they can’t make you say yes then you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to anybody regardless of what your perception is about the process and so you know you didn’t take yourself hostage anywhere along the line there as you pursue which I think is really cool about the way that you handle that.”

JR: “Well that you, I think there’s something else I learned in the book that was really important too which was the example you said when you were teaching a class and you said okay, you give student A $10, and you tell them to make a deal with student B and you said GO, you both have to agree on it and you have to get the most you can out of this deal and you let them negotiate with each other and you were saying the different options of what happens there and so often, up here in our head, we start fighting for fair versus the reality.”

CV: “Ahh the F word”

JR: “Yeah  the F word, and that becomes a dangerous word because that’s an emotional pull in reaction into a situation and we lose our logical ability to understand what’s actually unfolding cause I think if I remember right you have people come back and say 5 and 5 or 6 and 4 and then people get pissed because it’s not fair and say, no I’m not accepting 4 you get 6, no I’m not accepting 5 even though it’s split , I want more than that, and you get these emotional reactions and I think one thing that’s interestingly you pointed out is that the deal that everyone should make is not $9 and $1 because in reality that’s the best deal the person with 10 bucks can get unless he keeps it all or she keeps it all. But then that fairness, that F word that sneaks in there gets people, would you mind sharing a bit about that?”

CV:  “Yeah you know once we start looking for it and I say we because I’ve got a team that I work with and I’ve got people that I’ve worked with that really contributed to the ideas.  My son Brandon is probably an uncredited co-author of the book, he’s been so involved in helping develop the book since I left the FBI.  So when we first, like fair man try and pick a negotiation that the word fair doesn’t come up. Probably impossible to have a conversation and it’s used both by the very manipulative types because they know how effective it is and is also use when people getting defensive and so that’s why we call it the F-bomb, because you throw the word fair out there like I just want what’s fair. And you’ve immediately accused you of being unfair and it would move them when it shouldn’t move, would have make them question themselves when they probably shouldn’t question themselves or they’d walk away from the deal they would have otherwise make them better off cause they didn’t think it was fair.  And plenty of people I’m not getting what I’m worth here when take away the other side’s compensation and they would have thought it was a great deal. We tried to get into, I did some training for the  National Hostage Negotiation team and then the training was over the relationship with the general contractor that brought us in fell apart we tried to get back in. There’s theoretically an $8 Million dollar contract potentially. I’m talking to a guy trying to get the introduction and he said “What’s my finder’s fee ?  If I make this introduction I make this deal, and I said you know finder’s fee 10% is fair and I hadn’t really thought about it and said $800,000 would change my family’s life and I thought for myself at that moment he’s gonna make an introduction, maybe we’ll go to dinner if it works out he gets $800,000 for that dinner.  That’s not fair (laughs) and we initially turned down that deal and afterwards I was thinking like that’s left over here was lots of money, you know how, what do I care how much he gets as long I get my end and I almost walk away from that from trying to make that deal we went back and said look, you got it , you get us this deal you got it.  It ends up not working out but I taken myself hostage over this fairness thing and it’s everywhere, I mean I can change compensation on any deal  I know it’s fair or unfair it’s gonna change every body’s perspective which is the most, almost insidious how often it comes up how much people change their minds.”

JR: “It’s wild, I had that happen to me where I did a year of contract training with a company and then a few years later someone else who’s also on a training team got paid a radically different amount and all of a sudden a year of contract that seem one of my favorite things I did that year turned into something I was pissed about because I found out that was unfair how we were compensated.  It’s wild how that emotion messes with you, so here’s a big question, how do people go about staying out of the F-bomb, the fairness thought process around this?”

CV:  “Well that’s one of the hardest things to do and a little bit of thinking through this is advanced and inoculating yourself. And also understanding how sometimes people can mess around with you, “ Like it wasn’t fair, you know your share that wasn’t fair that they got…”. The classic question I’d like to ask people is if you were taught how to expand the size of a pie, would you take a smaller portion? And most people were like no..no, I’m gonna expand the pie and I’m gonna take the less result?  The great example I’d like to use a lot of times is the last lockout…the players they put all these money on the owner’s pocket and they got the smaller percentage of the pie, that wasn’t fair, well they are doin’ pretty damn good as a result.

JR: “That’s a 100 million dollar contract in a bad small slice of the pie.”

CV: “Yeah, they are making much more money and you know my book is another example , you know I pulled a team together to bring together this book my co-writer Tahl Raz the people I collaborated with they did a very great job and I ended up with the smaller portion of the total pie from the book proceeds but my smaller portion is significantly larger than a lot of other authors 100% of the pie. So I expanded the pie enough so that my percentage is more take home dollars for me and it’s a much better product as well so it’s a hard thing to do but again it’s not about taking yourself as a hostage.”

JR: “Smart, and I think what you just said there is brilliant especially for small business owners the concept of if you can expand it enough if you can strengthen the quality of your product or service if you can strengthen the reach the amount of people you’re gonna get to. If you can add something by splitting it with someone gonna add so much value to what you’re doing that everything expands even your piece, is still worth more as a whole than if you would have kept the whole thing yourself and not expand it and not better the product and not better the service. I think that’s really important for people especially towards the beginning because we have this very weird mindset of like oh my gosh if I split half I’m left with barely anything.  Instead of thinking if I split half and we make it this much better that’s better than I would have done on my own.  That little distinction is really important for all entrepreneurs, but especially the beginning stages.”

CV: “Yeah and a lot of reasons  we got concerned about those pieces we’re scared to control there’s another issue of speed, how fast will you get things done   suddenly were working by committee, there’s a phrase I heard not too long ago, you wanna go fast go alone, if you wanna go far go as a group, yeah you go fast but you don’t go far and you go far with the team.  Teamwork seems inefficient in short-term but in the long-term you get wealthy as a team, right?”

JR: I like that, I like that, so a couple of questions, thank you for spending your time with us, and a couple of questions, if people want to go and grab a copy of this book, where do they go? Where is the best place? Is it amazon or do you have a site?

CV: Amazon, you know it gives you the best price I gotta admit, you know I buy a lot of stuff on Amazon and I even get my best price if I buy copies of the book when I’m buying form amazon.”

JR: “Same here, so go to amazon, look up “Chris Voss, Never Split the Difference and if you’re watching the video is that yellow and red book sitting on  right behind him on 2 different languages up there, if you’re listening, it’s a yellow on top and red at the bottom book just so you know you got the right one and then also for people who own a company or people who might be making a major negotiation on their life or business how do they get hold of you and your group and team to maybe help them out if they want to hire you guys for a service of bring you in for a training for their team , where will they go for that?”

CV:  “The simplest way is we got a weekly negotiation news letter, and for people that are in the United States if you send a text number to 22828 and the text is THATS RIGHT  – T-H-A-T-S-R-I-G-H-T. No apostrophe, no spaces as if it’s all one word. That’ll give you the opportunity to sign up for the newsletter quick and easy comes out once a week and also we got a lot of training resources newsletter’s free that keeps you up on our different training events we’re gonna be in Los Angeles to a couple of days for a one day training event that’ll keep you to a lot of information about us, that’s the simplest quickest way is send that text THATSRIGHT no punctuation no spaces to 22828 .  If you’re not in the US, the website is www.blackswanltd.com and you get a lot of same resources there.”

JR: “Very cool so either they send that text or go to www.blackswantld.com if you’re listening to this look into show notes, if you’re on our blog, look below this video if you’re on Facebook or YouTube look below to see the link to take you right on over there and also the information about texting and thank you thank you thank you.  I guess the last question I’d leave is I’m always curious, I just on a personal note what’s the message that you most want to leave with everyone who’s gonna watch this everyone who’s gonna listen, everyone who’s gonna tune in, what’s that core message that you really wanna ripple out that you hope they really get after watching all these and connecting with you here?”

CV:  “Great negotiations is about great long-term relationship, it’s not about I win you lose, If you and I win and you lose guy, that’s lose long term strategy. You know we don’t beat other people in all our deals.  We beat the problem, we beat the situation.  You negotiate with me I’m not negotiating to your expense, I wanna make a great deal with you and wish everybody had that attitude you know we win together, we win by collaborating and it’s not something we gotta hurt the other guy we gotta beat him. So great negotiations is great collaboration and it gives you a better life.”

JR: “I like that, well again sir, thank you thank you for joining us here, thank you everyone for tuning in and checking out another episode, we’ll see you next week for another episode of JRCtv.  Remember if you wanna grab a copy of Chris’ book you wanna go to amazon look up “Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss” also you can visit blackswanltd.com for bringing them out to your business to do some training on negotiation or some training or just for more information on learning from their newsletter make sure to visit there and check that out, and Chris Thank you one more time for joining us.”

CV: My pleasure, I’m really honored to be on your show

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