I gotta be honest, I was a little nervous heading into this episode. I think you'd be too if you were interviewing a former FBI hostage negotiator!
Chris Voss is the CEO of The Black Swan Group Ltd. and the author of Never Split the Difference—an amazing book on negotiation that I'd highly recommend everyone read. Some of the stuff in there I've used in my everyday life, it's awesome. I'm so grateful that Chris joined me on the show to talk about negotiation, how he got interested in the topic, as well as his in-depth advice on negotiation. We talk about how to great a lasting last impression (and why that's more critical than a first impression), setting yourself up for success, why negotiation is ultimately about collaboration, and we even get into Chris's thoughts about having the right kind of mindset for successful negotiation.
Everyone uses negotiation to some degree in their life or business, and man, this is one for the books. Let's do it!
You can join Chris's newsletter list and start your journey toward better negotiation by texting “Black Swan Method” to 33777.
Chris Voss is the CEO & Founder of the Black Swan Group Ltd and author of Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. He has used his many years of experience in international crisis and high-stakes negotiations to develop a unique program and team that applies these globally proven techniques to the business world.
Prior to 2008, Chris was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the FBI’s hostage negotiation representative for the National Security Council’s Hostage Working Group. During his government career, he also represented the U.S. Government at two international conferences sponsored by the G-8 as an expert in kidnapping. Prior to becoming the FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator, Christopher served as the lead Crisis Negotiator for the New York City Division of the FBI. Christopher was a member of the New York City Joint Terrorist Task Force for 14 years. He was the case agent on such cases as TERRSTOP (the Blind Sheikh Case—Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman) and the TWA Flight 800 catastrophe, and he negotiated the surrender of the first hostage taker to give up in the Chase Manhattan bank robbery hostage taking.
During Chris’s twenty-four-year tenure in the Bureau, he was trained in the art of negotiation by not only the FBI but Scotland Yard and Harvard Law School. He is also a recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement and the FBI Agents Association Award for Distinguished and Exemplary Service.
- Why negotiation is actually the key to collaboration
- How having an entrepreneur as a father planted the seed for Chris's interest in hostage negotiation
- Why your last impression is far more valuable than a first impression
- How to set yourself up for success in a negotiation situation
- How to build competence and trust in a first impression, and where most people get it wrong
- Why a willingness to be corrected is key in a collaborative relationship
- How to negotiate price and terms, and how they correlate
- What it would be like to play poker with Chris Voss
- Chris's take on why I was ghosted recently on a deal
- Why 20 percent of a business's opportunities are “fool in the game” instances
- The difference between a survival and success mindset
- Why curiosity can keep you from compromising with yourself internally before you even get to the table
- Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
- The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon
- The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
SPI 481: How to Negotiate Like a PRO with FBI Negotiator Chris Voss
So after 480 episodes of the Smart Passive Income podcast and well over a thousand episodes of my other show, AskPat, I got to say, I've never been more scared leading into an interview than I was with today's guest.
Well, why was I scared? Well, I was scared because this person that we interviewed today, his name is Chris Voss, the author of a book called, Never Split the Difference, former FBI negotiator. This man, every single word matters it feels and I was very, very intimidated. You might even hear in my voice and in the conversation upfront, it might be a little bit cringey, or a little bit weird, but then we let loose and we have so much fun. And honestly, Chris is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to how to use negotiation in your business and in your life.
We talk about situations related with your team. We talk about situations related to potential business deals. I tell you about a failed business deal that I had and Chris unpacks that for me. So, wow. Such an incredible, powerful episode that you're about to listen to, Chris Voss, Never Split the Difference, an amazing book that I've read several times and I continue to apply today, not just in business, but literally every day at home. It's just incredible. Sit back and get ready because this one is one for the books. That's for sure.
Welcome to the Smart Passive Income podcast where it's all about working hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host - when he was a kid, he put Goldfish crackers into an aquarium - Pat Flynn!
Hey, what's up, it's Pat Flynn here and welcome to episode 481 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. My name is Pat Flynn, here to help you make more money, save more time and help more people too. One thing that you can do to actually do all that stuff is to help yourself by learning how to negotiate. Negotiation is a very, very important skill. And who better to learn from than Chris Voss, former FBI, the lead negotiator for hostage situations and just really high, crazy things that just I can't even imagine putting myself into. And here he is today on the show to talk about negotiation and to teach us a thing or two. So here he is, Mr. Chris Voss.
Chris, welcome to the Smart Passive Income podcast. Thank you so much for coming on today with us.
Yeah, my pleasure. I'm happy to be here.
Your book has been a tremendous factor in my life and the lives of many when it comes to negotiation. I'd love to know, for those who haven't heard about the book yet, tell us why negotiation is one of the most important skills that we need to learn.
Yeah. Well, great negotiation is about collaboration and if you can get used to collaborating, you take your life to the next level. You can take your business to the next level. You get out of the zero-sum game-dynamic and get into the positive-sum game-dynamic. If you can't master collaboration, then everything in your life is going to be limited. Everything.
I think a lot of entrepreneurs, especially beginners, we consider tactics like this as - we often categorize it as almost manipulation, if you will. And a lot of people have been victim to manipulation. When they become an entrepreneur, they don't want to go down that route. How do you better define for us who are like, Oh, I don't want to play games with people. I don't want to manipulate. How do you respond to that?
Yeah. It's really what you're trying to accomplish. The great thing about the Black Swan method of negotiation, we share the same skills that all great communication underlies, which is really collaboration. The issue of influence versus manipulation is really not really the eye of the beholder, but what are you trying to do the other side? Are you trying to cheat the other side? Or are you trying to take everybody to a better level? The skills are simply a tool. Everybody's got a phone, right? The fact that a lot of people use cellphones to commit evil acts, does that stop you from using a cell phone? No. The cell phone in and of itself is neutral. It's what you're trying to accomplish with it. Now yeah, you can manipulate with some of the skills, but it's going to catch up with you. The other side's going to find out and it's going to cost you in the long run anyway.
It's a tool, essentially, that we can use to wield great power and great positivity, or perhaps great evil if we choose to go down that route.
Yeah. But with the great evil stuff, it has a shelf life. It is a limited quantity. The other side is going to find out and there's a saying out there, do something positive, three people know about it, do something negative 12 people know about it. You engage in evil, you are going to have to leave that environment and go someplace else because it's going to catch up with you. You're going to get shut out. People are going to know and they're going to stop doing business with you. The longterm success is not there.
Thank you for saying that. I think that's really important to start the show with that feel to why this is important, but how we can use it for good like you said. With your experience with negotiation, I know 24 years as an FBI negotiator, did you always feel growing up that you were good at this? Or where did you learn to become — how did you get good at then?
I got interested in it. One of the books that I'm a strong recommender of is The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle I think. And Coyle will contend that nothing is natural, everything is learned. The real issue is whether or not you're open to learning. That may or may not be a natural skill that you have, which means you just learn faster.
But no, I grew up in an environment where there was a lot of pressure put on me to figure things out. My father was an entrepreneur. He'd give me a set of tasks and expect me and my sisters, anybody in our family, anybody who worked for him, go out and figure out how to get the job done. I think I was probably open to learning early on. And then I was a SWAT guy, SWAT with the FBI, and I made a transition into hostage negotiation just because I was interested and for physical injuries but I just wanted to learn.
And then when I got into negotiation, it fascinated me. I felt like it was far more satisfying than SWAT ever was and I had a ball being on the SWAT team. It was so powerful then I thought this stuff's got to work in day-to-day life so I decided to try it out day-to-day life, and it just makes everything better along the lines. Does it catch your interest and do you enjoy studying it and are you willing to do the hard work? Because it's a ball as soon as you start raising the level of your game.
When you say we can use negotiation, or we do in fact use negotiation in our everyday lives, can you pinpoint some of the things that maybe is so obvious once you point it out, but maybe we just breeze over it and don't understand it as a learning opportunity for negotiation?
Yeah. Really anytime you're trying to apply influence or make things better, or make the interaction better with the other side. The most dangerous negotiation is the one you don't know you're in, anytime you're trying to influence an outcome. Maybe just trying to get service quicker. Buying coffee at Starbucks is a negotiation. I had a guy that he's an insider with world secrets. Tell me your secrets was his theory. I'll share your secrets with the world anonymously, somebody's struggling with the same thing you are so if we shared anonymously, it'll help other people. He gets a note on a Starbucks coffee cup that says, "I give decaf to people that are mean to me." There was a negotiation there. How do you make the world a better place? The other side is going to deliver a better product to you more often and more quickly as soon as they feel like they're being treated with respect. It's all along the lines where negotiation is influencing positive outcomes.
Yeah. I think that idea of mutual respect is really important. We saw it in a lot of the stories that you told about some of your highest alert, highest level negotiations with regards to hostages and weapons and all this crazy stuff. I'm praying that people listening to this never get themselves in that kind of situation, but we will end up with opportunities to strike a deal one way or another. It's very important, that first impression.
Can you talk about the initial contact: if two people are making a deal with each other, how do you set yourself up for success right from the beginning? Because sometimes you say the wrong thing, doesn't matter what you say after that, you're kind of screwed. How do you set yourself up for success?
Well, this is the real problem. I mean the first impression, it just doesn't need to be bad. You can get away with a mediocre first impression. The last impression is the lasting impression. Your last impression sets up your next interaction. Last impression is far more valuable than a first impression. What you're really trying to do in your first impression is not do something bad. You can get away with a mediocre impression because it's not going to cut you off. Now, there are certain dynamics that are important in a first impression. A first impression is going to happen very quickly. How do you establish a solid first impression is going to go quick and it's not going to be through explanation, but you need to get an emotional connection with people early on. The last impression is the lasting impression.
It's really the issue. We look for evidence of this worldwide, like on Broadway they've had a saying for years: "Give them a big finish and they'll forgive you for anything." The last impression is the lasting impression. So yes, first impression is the second most important impression. Yes, the first impression develops and moves you to an outcome. But that doesn't mean that you should be satisfied with the first impression and screw up after that. People's biggest error tends to come on a last impression when people are getting cheap shots in or they're being mean at the end. So many people save their cheap shots for last. The people completely underestimate how important the last impression is.
That's so key. You said a keyword there, bringing emotion into it in some way, shape or form. What does that mean exactly? Does that mean we got to make the person laugh or cry or it's probably deeper than that - is it?
Well, the two critical issues in a first impression are competence and trust. Now you don't get competence by giving your track record. And you don't earn trust by giving you track record. A lot of people do. Like, "I've been doing this for so long. This is how long I've done it." People trying out their resume that loosely correlates with whether or not you know what's going on. The demonstration of competence really starts with a demonstration of the other side's challenges. If you understand my problems, I don't care how long you've been doing it. You could have been doing it for 20 years and still not have a clue as to what my real challenges are. I need to know that you know what you're talking about early on, you're going to demonstrate some understanding without giving me answers. "Here's what you're up against. Here's how long it's going to take you to solve your problems. Here's what you're really up against." Now you're demonstrating competence in the area without actually giving the other side any expertise at all. It's generating competence without trying to try out your resume, which could be long and useless.
I agree. And especially online with all the social media platforms we have, oftentimes you read these bios. It's me, me, me, me. It's just focusing on us. I think based on a lot of the stories that you told in your book, whenever you're negotiating with somebody, you want to learn what they want first so you can help them in a way. That's kind of the cool thing I picked up from your book that I've applied in my life, in my marriage, in my business. And whenever you can come from a place of service, that's amazing. But part of the issue with learning what a person needs help with is just the collection of that information. In the book you share a number of different ways to do that. Might you be able to share with us the best ways that one could connect and better serve the other person by collecting that information?
Yeah. Well just start out by making an educated guess on what the other side is up against. Now, it's really counterintuitive. Most people won't do this because they're afraid of being wrong. And so what happens when you're wrong? You're embarrassed. Most people would rather die than be embarrassed. There's been no shortage of surveys that people would literally rather die than be embarrassed. But the whole approach is it's not about you, it's what's going on with the other side. When you're wrong with the other side, but trying to genuinely demonstrate understanding, the other side is going to correct you. What happens when they correct you? They're collaborating with you. The correction is help. When someone corrects you, they're helping you. You've instantaneously changed into a collaborative relationship without the other side realizing you flipped into that so quickly.
People love to correct. There's an instantaneous 90 degree turn in the conversation when you get corrected. The other side loves it and that's what is so against most people's counterintuitive experiences. Be willing to be corrected. You'll be shocked at how much it accelerates the collaborative nature of the relationship.
Be willing to be corrected. That that's so huge. I can imagine that scenario playing out in so many different ways. Just this idea of taking a guess to start the conversation, to get guided from the person who you're trying to help in terms of where you can take them and help them. That just makes complete sense. But I think it's almost human nature - is it? - to just, like you said, avoid being wrong, whether it's because we're conditioned that way, we need to be perfect. We need to get straight A's a hundred percent all the time. Negotiation, is it something that just takes practice to get better at?
Like anything else, negotiation is a perishable skill. Vast majority of the stuff that we deal with on a regular basis is perishable. So first of all, you've got to practice to get better. You got to pay attention to what's going on. You got to be willing to learn. Now accelerating your skills takes more work than maintaining them does, but maintaining still takes some maintenance.
A great analogy is getting into orbit. It takes a lot more energy to get a rocket into orbit. Now it takes less energy to keep it in orbit, but it takes energy. And a lack of energy once an orbit, you fall back down to earth. It's an understanding that learning is an ongoing process. What does it take to improve? What does it take to maintain?
At any given point time on a perishable skill, you've got three choices. You're either going to be worse off tomorrow, you're going to be where you are, or are you going to improve. Two out of three of those choices require effort. There's no way getting around that at least some effort is needed just to maintain. The reality of where you want to be tomorrow is up to you.
Beautiful. Thank you, Chris. Let's talk a little bit about money. Money does something funny to our brains and in business obviously there's a lot of money involved and whether it's negotiating a contract with a person who's going to do some work for you, or even the sale and exchange of a business, I've heard of many rules and a lot of them conflict. I'd love to hear Chris Voss's version of how to negotiate when it comes to money. One rule, for example, I heard, is never be the first one to mention a price. But what happens if both people have that approach, we're kind of just dancing around each other. I'd love to hear your thoughts on negotiation and money.
Yeah. Well, we got a couple of rules. Money, AKA price, there's a price term on every deal: price terms don't make deals, but they break deals. You have to have an understanding that the price can break the deal, it's not going to make it. But a lot of people are seduced by price. There've been great negotiators in the past that realize that they could give you the price and slaughter the other side on terms. I could take any price term and make it a great deal or a horrible deal depending upon the rest of the terms that I drop in. Price can be very seductive. I'm trying to think of some of the great negotiators of all time that realized that if they negotiated the price term, that it was at best 65 percent of the way through the negotiation.
Price doesn't make a deal, but it definitely breaks a deal. I could probably continue to lower the price if I paint another picture for long-term success on where is this going to take you. Do you name price first or not? We don't name price first in my company. Now we'll set expectations, but we won't name price first because I want to know where your price is coming from. We're going to go back and forth a little bit. Your reluctance to name a price is going to give me a good feel of whether or not you're cheating me. If you're completely focused on price, you're probably suckering me in to be the fool in the game. We know that, for example, somebody that's really, really focused on price with us, they're the fool in a game, they're going to be a competing bid, they're going to go with somebody else. They just want to use our price term to drive the price down on somebody else. Was there ever a deal to begin with?
It's not a sin to not get the deal, it's a sin to take a long time to not get the deal. That's the fool in the game. There's some deals that you are never going to get. Or there's some deals that you're only going to get if I let you slaughter me on price. I don't need that. It's going to cost me money overall. There's a number of factors that come into play as to what's the focus on price, what's the purpose of price. I'm going to make a better deal with you or not, wow you may want to work a really long time to take advantage of me, I'm going to cut out of the deal early on. Because the length of time that it takes me to make the deal is going to cost me money. The real commodity is time and whether or not you want to collaborate over the long run.
If you don't, I'll find somebody that does. Even though it's a minority of the population, in the US alone, there are at least 2 million people that want to do business with a Black Swan group. No less than 2 million and that's confined to the US. I'm not going to waste my time with people that are trying to cut my throat, there are too many people that want a great long-term relationship with me.
Tell us about The Black Swan group really quick for those who don't know exactly what that is.
Yeah. Well, BlackSwanLtd.com is where our website is. We are a team. We've recruited some of the most talented hostage negotiators ever who also know how to apply this stuff to the business world, because hostage negotiation is just emotional intelligence on steroids. We've made the transition to the point where what we're teaching is so evolved past what we learned as hostage negotiators because I get talented people that do nothing but advance our skills. I get a team of really talented people. You want to go fast, go alone. You want to go far, go as a team. We're coaching people into extraordinary results, making their lives better and making their businesses better. We have a great team. We've got a team across the board. We've got business development people. We're having a great time helping people find better lives.
Incredible. BlackSwanLtd.com, if you want to check that out and don't undercut Chris, obviously. We've talked about that already. Random question: what would it be like to play poker with you? I'm just curious.
Yeah. Well, although I play some cards, poker is an interesting thing in that you're hiding cards from the other side. Now, you can't take me hostage. What do I mean by that? You can't make me say yes. So I got no reason to hide my cards. I'm going to be really very open and honest with you because I'm more than happy to move on and not make a deal with you. Body language is what you read in poker. The other side is giving off tons of body language, but I'm going to show my cards because I need you to show your cards for us to collaborate for an even better deal. That's the difference between a zero-sum game and a positive-sum game. I'll show my cards so I can get you to show your cards, so that we can come up with a better hand between the two of us. And if you don't, I'm walking away. That's the one real difference between poker is you really can't walk away in poker and I'm happy to walk away in real life.
That's was awesome, Chris. I was not expecting that answer. So good. It would be really interesting though, to play within the confines of Texas Hold Em' with you. I think I would fold every time just because I'm a little intimidated, but it's all good. No, I appreciate you for that.
You mentioned body language. When we're at a conference for example, and we're meeting people, back when we could go to conferences and whatnot. But there's a lot of people who are there for genuinely wanting to meet people, connect, and partner. There's a lot of people there who are there for nefarious reasons, perhaps. And a lot of times they're so good at what they do, it's hard to tell whether or not they're talking to us for the right reasons, or perhaps they just want something from us. How do we as beginners within this space who maybe are going to conferences for the first time, wheeling and dealing with people, is there anything in the body language or any signals that we can understand to at least shield us a little bit from not so great things happening?
Yeah. Well, body language has to be read in context. Instead of looking for the tells, really look for the way people tell the truth. Any given individual's probably got seven, eight, nine different ways that they consume information, that they lie. Their classic tells if you will. If you tell the truth, you got one way you tell the truth. That's really the way the lie detector is built anyway. If somebody puts you on a lie detector, they ask you a series of baseline questions where you tell the truth. What day is it? What's your name? What's your birthday? What did you have for breakfast today? The stuff that you tell the truth on. They lay down your baseline and then when you deviate from that, you're lying. It doesn't matter how many, seven, eight, nine ways you lie. It's easier for me to keep track of the one way you tell the truth. What do you look like when you're telling the truth?
Now, maybe you don't tell the truth at all. It sounded like, all right, cool. You ain't telling the truth at all. That is not a good sign. That means you're always trying to manipulate me. And in point of fact, when an experienced lie detector professional says, they'll say this person is deceiving all the time. We didn't get to tell the truth baseline on them which means they're always lying. That's the first issue. What is somebody that look like when they're telling the truth? Now secondly, we go for proof of life early on. My company teaches an entire methodology, which works really fast, but what it really boils down to is I'm going to ask you if we make a deal, what's this future look like between the two of us going forward and how do you want to proceed?
What I'm looking for is are you going to lay out a vision for proceeding with me? Or are you going to dodge laying out a vision for the future at all? If you've got no vision for dealing with me in the future, then you're not going to. Because if you're dealing with me and you want to deal with me in the future, it's a visioning question. You've already thought about what the future would look like. Human beings always think of it before they engage in a conversation. If you can't lay out some sort of a vision for the future with me, then that means you do not intend to have a future with me and you are wasting my time. You're looking for me to be the fool in the game. You want free evidence. You want stuff that's free for me and then you're going to move on.
I'm going to diagnose that early on and then I'm very politely, the last impression is a lasting impression, I will probably say, "Look, I just don't think that I can help you today. I don't think I'm in a position to fulfill your needs. When you're ready to talk with me about how you want to proceed in the future, I'm happy to talk. But until then, I'm going to stop wasting your time. Thank you for thinking of me at all." And then I'm pulling out.
So good. Okay. Next, I have a question that relates to something that happened to me recently. I was negotiating the purchase of a particular asset from this person. We had talked about price a little bit. We came to an agreement and then literally had been ghosted, no reply. This person's not replying to my emails. I cannot get ahold of them, even though he agreed to the purchase. I'm wondering what I did wrong, or if I did something wrong, or if this is a sign that perhaps I should just move on anyway because it was a good deal. But I'm a little confused. Might you be able to help me unpack perhaps what happened?
Well, the first problem is that we're likely just looking for you to be a competing bid, the fool in the game. They were doing due diligence. Now are they doing due diligence against you for the favorite? There's this saying, if you don't know who the fool in the game is, it's you. So were they the fool in the game? Is there a competitor? Who's the favorite they were after in the first place? Possibly the status quo was the competitor. What's the characterization of the person seeking an answer from you? Chances are if they're recently promoted executive, they do a thing called due diligence, but they're not changing the status quo. Really common for recently promoted executives to make it look like they're doing a due diligence, but they're just going to keep in the status quo. Number years ago I was advising a security company. Brand new executive in charge of security for Google solicited us for proposals and written proposals and come in and give us a pitch.
Everybody: "Google, wow, Holy cow, what a great company to land. That would be wonderful." And all sorts of companies were knocking themselves out. Was a brand0new person put in charge of Google security. They were doing due diligence. They're not going to upset the status quo and everybody was wasting their time. This very common for recently promoted or recently hired executives. They're not going to disrupt the status quo until they've been there for a while. So the competitor may have been the status quo. On the other hand, the competitor could have been a favorite. They're just looking for you to come up with a competing bid. Really price focus. You got to understand what the context is and what are they looking for? A lot of people waste time looking for competing bids.
That's helpful. I think that latter one is definitely one that makes sense. Probably just wanting to get an answer to see if it was even worth bothering with me anymore, compared to perhaps who knows how many other people they were having the same conversation with. That's probably one of the struggles with doing business online and email.
I will tell you that at least no less than 20 percent of every business's opportunities are a fool in the game. There are a fake opportunity. It's an interesting book out there called Challenger Sale. They came up with the 20 percent data. They polled executives across the board and literally said, how often do you engage with a potential business partner, a potential vendor, when you are never going to do business with them? You only need a competing bid from them, you only need intel, but you're engaging with them and you are lying to them about whether or not they're going to get business. How often does that happen? And they got the business executives across the board to admit to it happening about 20 percent of the time. They have no intention of doing business, they need a competing bid, or they just want to know that their status quo is due diligence.
Now, the thing here is that 20 percent is a low number because they ask business executives, how often of the time are you lying to people about whether or not you're giving them an opportunity? They're not exaggerating how often they're lying. They're minimizing it. Which means that it's more than 20 percent. Every company that we've taught how to diagnosis this, the number actually raises sometimes as high as 80 percent of the time you're being played for a fool in a game.
But let's pretend it's only 20 percent of the time. Imagine how much more profitable your business is without getting any better at negotiation at all if you just eliminated 20 percent of the fool in the game instances. Put 20 percent of your life back into play. You're automatically raising your compensation based on the return on your investment of your time. You don't even have to get any better just by eliminating the fool in the game instances.
Wow. I live that. Thank you. Thank you, Chris. As we finish up here in the main part of the podcast, I'd love to ask you about this idea, which I was thinking about the other day, because a lot of times we are negotiating with other people and in circumstances that involve a lot of different environmental issues and variables and whatnot. Where do you feel we can better negotiate with ourselves internally, with that voice in our head?
I think that's something that we often don't think about is that we have to give and take with ourselves sometimes with relation to our goals, our abilities. We want to be an NBA player, but maybe we just understand that maybe we're not cut out to be one. How do we have these internal conversations with ourselves using a lot of the principles that you teach when it comes to a multi-person negotiation?
Yeah. The biggest thing is people beat themselves before they even get to the table. They say, "Ah, this is a non-starter, I'm not going to bring it up." There's all sorts of compromises in advance. You're beating yourself before you get to the table. "I don't want to throw this out there. They're never going to agree." You can't predict that and be a hundred percent accurate. And there's also a value for the other side that disagree anyway because you begin to trigger reciprocity. Beating yourself before you get to the table is a huge mistake. You cannot diagnose it specifically.
Our mental default mechanism is to be in survival mode, which is overly negative. There's a difference between your survival mindset and your success mindset. Success mindset is not your survival default mode. Our default mode is to be survival, which is to be negative, overly negative. Success mindset is overly positive. You're smarter in a positive frame of mind. The quick hack is curiosity. If you can be genuinely curious, you'll discover more in the interaction than you ever would have if you were in simple survival mindset. People compromising in advance and lowering their expectations before they even get to the table is one of the biggest mistakes that people make.
I love that genuinely curious - I help a lot of people with how to start a podcast and when they do interviews, they get really nervous. That's the advice I give them, just be genuinely curious about the person you're speaking to and things can fall into place from there. What does that turn into in a negotiation scenario? What does being genuinely curious mean? Does that mean simply just asking more questions, or what?
Well, it's really listening and sort of testing the other side out, probing to whether or not your understanding is correct. What it in fact does is it broadens your brain ability to take in information. You're in a positive frame of mind. Positive frame of mind makes you at least 31 percent smarter. You have more agility. You can take in more information. You have more mental endurance. You're broader in how much information you could take in. Your brain just becomes capable of accepting and seeing more than it is in a positive frame of mind. The other side is also tremendously encouraged to give you more information. If an environment is created where they don't feel attacked, they don't feel judged, you trigger thoughts in their side. They come up with information. It's really how do you shift out of the zero-sum game into the positive-sum game. 70 to 90 percent of the people that you interact with want to shift into the positive sum game. Just by sheer numbers alone, you make more money taking this approach.
Is getting or transitioning from the negative mindset, survival mindset to positive, is that just simply changing the story that you're telling yourself about the circumstances? How do you get into that positive mindset?
Yeah. A lot of it is the story that you tell yourself. What sort of mindset do you do in advance? It's a little bit like mental hygiene. I love the analogy of brushing your teeth. Did you brush your teeth today or did you not brush your teeth today because you did it yesterday? Well, most people, "Yeah, of course I brushed my teeth today. As a matter of fact, I brushed my teeth twice." Well, your mental hygiene requires daily approach or you shift back into the default mode. So be genuinely curious, be aware that there's always a better deal to be had. There's always a better deal to be had if the other side just doesn't feel like they're going to be betrayed. There's always a better deal to be had, but it takes some mindset approach because your default mode is to be negative.
Thank you for that. This has been tremendous, Chris. Thank you. Make sure to stick around just for a little bit more. I have some more questions after we finish up and wrap this portion of the show. But one more time, Never Split the Difference. What would be the best way to serve you in terms of getting that book? Is it Amazon? Is there another place that you'd rather have people go?
Well, it's two things I'd recommend. First of all, if you're going to buy the book and you should, buy it from Amazon because Amazon's prices are better than anybody else's. I love the way Amazon does the pricing. I mean, they've been fantastic. We've done a lot through them. Now, the next thing that you should do is subscribe to our newsletter, which is complimentary. It's one of the many free things that we can give you. Now, the fact that it's complimentary, that it's free, is not the real value to it. The real value to it is it's concise and it's digestible. For example, I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal's daily 10 point briefing. That is so complicated that I can never digest it all. I got to decide what to read. By the time I decide what to read I'm exhausted.
The Black Swan Group's newsletter is actionable and it's concise. It comes out Tuesday morning. It's a gateway to every free product that we have. A lot of people get a long way with just the book and the newsletter alone. Simple way to sign up, text the sign up function. The number you text to is 33777. That's 33777. Send the message: "Black Swan Method." Three words, spaces between, not cap sensitive. If you send "Black Swan Method" you'll get a response back asking for your email address. You'll sign up. We'll help you raise the level of your game. There is much more complicated and more expensive stuff for us to teach you, you got to master the basics first before you're ready for the other stuff, before you're really read it to accelerate things. Take this free stuff in addition to to the book first.
Man, there's a call to action if I've ever heard one. That's Chris Voss right there. 33777 is who you send the text message to, "Black Swan Method" is the message. And then you can go from there. Did I get that right?
You got it right. Yeah.
All right, Chris, thank you so much for coming in today. We appreciate you and congrats on the book. Looking forward to maybe a next one coming sometime?
We're working on another one. We're trying to capture the most effective way to put it together in a book, but yeah, we've got stuff in the works.
Awesome. Well, we'll be here to support you when it comes out.
Wow. So you see what I mean? You see why I was a little bit nervous going into this? But I hope that you can see that by having conversations with people you can get to know each other. You can let loose. And when we go into our backstage for those of you who are on the Premium Pass, we just have so much fun. I hope you'll check that out if you haven't already. The Premium Pass, which you can check out on Supercast. Anyway, more information about that in the show notes. And if you want to go to the show notes, go to SmartPassiveIncome.com/session481. Once again, SmartPassiveIncome.com/session481. Mr. Chris Voss, thank you so much. You can check them out in his book, Never Split the Difference. Highly recommend it and also his group, BlackSwanLtd.com.
Again, BlackSwanLtd.com so you can see more about his training opportunities there. And wow, what an episode. I hope you enjoy that. Let me know what you think @PatFlynn on Instagram. You can share this in your stories. I'd love to share that forward as well. And let me know on Twitter if you enjoyed this and if you want it to tag Black Swan Limited as well, I'd love to see Chris potentially respond and enjoy some of the response from you. So anyway, this has been incredible. Thank you so, so much for listening in. I appreciate you and I appreciate the reviews that have been coming in as well. I read all of them. I see them from all around the world and it just makes me so, so energetic to move on and continue to push out these episodes for you.
And again, make sure to listen to in on Friday as well, because we have our Follow-up Fridays where I continue to talk about how I apply what we learn and what we talk about in these Wednesday interview episodes in my real life. It's just you and me on Friday. I hope that you've been enjoying those. I've gotten a lot of great feedback, but if you haven't listened to those yet, those are our Friday episodes, a little bit shorter, but just you and me. I'm really excited to share that with you with relation to this episode very soon. Thank you so much. Take care. Please subscribe if you haven't already, and peace out. Team Flynn for the win. You rock.
Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at SmartPassiveIncome.com. I'm your host, Pat Flynn. Sound design and editing by Paul Grigoras. Our senior producer is Sara Jane Hess, our series producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income podcast is a production of SPI Media. We'll catch you in the next session.