- Controlling emotions is critical. In negotiations, it’s easy to get personally and emotionally involved. However, this is where rationality can be lost. Exude confidence and calmness to influence the other party.
- Preparation is key. In every negotiation, it is best to be well informed on the goals of the negotiator, and what are the potential goals of the other. Prepare understanding the other person’s interests – be empathetic.
- Chris mentions how “black swans” can be important in influencing a negotiation – some outside insight that can change the game. Listen to context clues of the other’s intentions that can reveal clues as to the motivations. These can be financial trouble that is not known at the beginning, etc.
- Mirror – this isn’t just about mannerisms and behavior. Instead, Chris highlights the effect of repeating the 3 (or so) most important words someone says – in a calm tone with a slight upward inflection like forming a question. This buys the negotiator time to think about a response, but also gives the other party to reveal more data points.
- Analysts vs. accommodators vs. assertive. These are the three broad types of negotiators. Analysts need time to think about a situation. Rushing them will cause them to push back. Accommodators are collaborative but can also give up more interests to reach an agreement. Assertive negotiators ask less questions; instead, they choose to tell. For assertive negotiators, they need to be heard first before hearing the other.
- A few questions that help buy time, but also thrusts the onus on the other party to help come up with a resolution (thus, get buy-in later): “How am I supposed to do that?” “Your offer is very generous. I’m sorry that just doesn’t work for me”.
- Chris offers this one line as a means to get a response via email: “Have you given up on this project?” Many reasons for why/ how this works including its directness in causing the recipient to think about loss aversion. This can be a very incredibly uncomfortable email, and though I think it could work, it could work in a detrimental way without some edits.
- Label feelings with “It sounds like…”, “It seems like…” to get the other person to confirm and to speak more and reveal more information.
- “You’re right” vs. “That’s right”. There’s a difference when the other party responds one of these ways. “You’re right”, typically, is the response the other party is just trying to move on. They don’t actually agree. “That’s right”, however, signals an agreement in what the other says. “That’s right” signals the negotiator is on the right-track. Chris asks questions and labels feels to get the other party to suggest solutions, and then, repeats these solutions to get the buy-in from the other party.
- Use exactness and precision in negotiations to seem like it’s calculated with reason. For example, telling the other party you can only $477.65 seems too precise to be made up vs. $500.
- Let other party feel like they’re in control by asking a question looking for a “no” (i.e. is now a bad time to talk?” Let them feel comfortable and in control knowing they said no.
- To turn around objections, consider questions like, “what about this doesn’t work for you?” “what would you need to make this work?”
- Anchor emotions to the worst case at the beginning, then ask if there’s anything else. (For example, “you probably feel that I want to gouge you of all your money. You might even think that I just want to kick you out of the apartment to make more money from someone else. Am I missing something else?”) Let the other party consider the worst-case scenario before you pitch a not-as-bad scenario.
- Coupled with using specificity (not round numbers) in a negotiation, offer another concession that you don’t care much about – the “gift”. This has the perception that you really have nothing else to offer.
- Rule of 3 – the idea is to get the other party to agree to some statement or commitment three times. It’s hard for folks to lie 3 times. Use this to get past seemingly non-committal responses.
- 7-38-55… ratios of what is communicated. 7% is the words actually being said. 38% is the ton of voice. 55% is the body language including facial expressions. You get so much more by meeting in person – body language.
There are some real good tips in here from Chris, and lots of good take-aways for a sales guy (anyone, since we’re all negotiating something sometime). In hostage negotiation, there are limited options/ alternatives. In sales and business, there are usually other alternatives (best alternative to a negotiating agreement (BATNA)). As such, there are situations where win-win situations is the only way deals can be made. Looking for the only win can be short-sighted.
“How to talk to customer and learn if your business is a good idea when everybody is lying to you”
- The gist of The Mom Test is to get beyond compliments and to facts. Most people provide what you want to hear – spare your feelings. They’ll tell you how great your idea is. They’ll tell you to keep them in the loop for when you launch. When it comes time to launch or buy, they don’t. Instead, ask for specific examples of how they accomplish tasks today. Ask for real problems – examples. Ask how problems affect them. Ask for facts.
- “Why do you bother?” An interesting question here. It’s a question to get at the effects/ impacts folks run into. Get to the “why” and “how is that important”. “It’s important for me to know how productive my team is”, “I have to run reports daily on employee overtime”, etc. Impact sheds light on value.
- Don’t talk about the idea. When gathering feedback, it’s important to not lead the audience. Ask questions about the current situation that your product/ service (idea) may solve for. Ask for impacts. Ask how they currently solve the problem you hope to solve. How has the audience tried to solve the problem – have they found other solutions? If they haven’t, why? Maybe it’s not a big problem after all…
- Bad is good. That is, if the multiple folks in your market reiterates they have a fine solution, and they say their problem happens only so often, that’s good. If they says they don’t bother to look for a new solution, that’s good. Yes, you may want to show off your idea and try to convince them why your idea will save their lives. However, if the signs are not looking good, this is good feedback. Maybe you shouldn’t actually pursue this idea after all. Pursue another opportunity with better traction and viability.
- Have conversations. Fitzpatrick highlighted the importance of having “conversations” rather than interviews or meetings. Approaching casually enables the dialogue to flow with honesty and buy-in.
- Meetings are only productive when there is learning and/ or clear next steps. This is already highlighted in countless sales books. Even if the next step is not to move forward – again, moving on is a good thing. Get commitments and advances – time, money, or reputation (e.g. introductions).
- Democratize feedback to get alignment and provoke thought leadership. Withholding input from conversations challenges creativity, problem-solving, etc. Share feedback across leadership, teams, etc. – transparency or democratization of insights.
- Segmentation is critical to success – addressing a target audience to ensure a product/ service has a market. If there are too many different responses, take a sub-segment till you have cohesive feedback. Too many responses could mean too wide of a market which could lead to too many solutions. Then, no segment actually gets satisfied.
The book could use a professional editor. There are quite a few typos and misspellings. Normally, this stuff distracts the heck out of me losing a lot of credibility. However, the book’s points and lessons were great. Thus, I highly recommend this book.