Stop pushing for yes and instead turn your questions into "no"-oriented questions to create safe environments where prospects feel comfortable opening up so that you can get to more truth. Lesson learned from Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss.

United States


00:00:00or my favorite way to counter a price objection is if someone says you know you're too expensive or whatever variation of the price of Junction you get you of course can say compared to what is the classic of objection response to that but I might also say so it sounds like prices the primary driver of your decision is that right and often people will say well no cuz no one wants to feel cheap right so he'll usually say well no that's not actually the case and then I then we start a conversation will what are the drivers of your decision and now we get closer to the truth through that first no to take price off the table at least somewhat
00:00:43this is inside selling a podcast where we talked about how to sell without selling your soul in a way that feels comfortable for both you and your prospects today on the Big Show The Return of Liston weather El Liston how are you my long lost friend where is the Applause track is my question I'm good man I'll just pretend that people are clapping for me thank you Josh I appreciate you adding that
00:01:19well today we are talking about a book that we've both been reading and in particular a single chapter of that book in the book is called Never split the difference by Chris Boss and it is the best or at least I think we agree that it's the best book on negotiation that we've ever read and it's a little bit different because it's about an FBI negotiator who talks a lot about bailing hostages out of horrible situations which is pretty much like our everyday life so we thought this would be very relatable LG that he uses when he negotiates unlike a business negotiation where you can split the difference in a hostage negotiation it's not like you can say well yeah you can kill two birds Long as You released two I'm so very interesting perspective for being able to get what matters most to you in the Goshi ation to troll from the perspective of an FBI negotiator in every chapter starts with a Hosta
00:02:19story and I'm ladders back to a lesson that you can directly apply to yourself situations whether that's from a prospecting perspective or your conversations that you're having a good prospects or when you're in the negotiation and we're not going to talk about the entire book today but we would like to talk about chapter 4 and a title of the chapter is beware Yes master no
00:02:49that's what the problem is then the probably bump into and left to get your perspective on this is as sales professionals I think we have a tendency to want to ask people questions that they're going to answer yes to because we're taught through various sales books and sales trainings that if we can get people to say yes a bunch of times that eventually when we asked for the big yes for the sale it will be easier but but this book takes a different type of an opinion on that listing
00:03:24well yeah so one of the things that the author says is going after a yes may be a way to get people to appease us and to get us to get the hell away and he talks about a telemarketing call I think this was a big example he used where they go so let me ask you a question do you support helping children so that they don't have to die a premature death like I was going to say no to that right and so they they give you these the set of leading questions that starts from General to more and more specific where to buy you're going to be agreeing in every single case right you're going to say yes okay yeah of course I want to help children or like my favorite this is my favorite guilt trip that I see when I go take my dog to the pet store to give him a bath they say will you hope I help a homeless pet today yes or no are my
00:04:24only two options and I'm like this dog I have is a homeless pet before I got him so I'm already helping a homeless pet but basically what we want to do a lot of times there's this drive to trap someone into saying yes and what that's going to do is get you an insincere yes I think it's the the big point that the author's making totally correct and the analogy that I like to use if you've ever been in a mall and you seen the people that work at those kiosks and they lock eyes with you and they say can I ask you a question you probably try to look away and not make eye contact or if they say can I squirt some lotion on your hand because you're afraid of where they are going to lead you if they if you agree to asking a question and you say yes and you agree to getting them glotion squared on your hand what are they trying to get me to do they're trying to get you to part with your money the money that you were
00:05:24really hard for and that's what is awkwardness comes in with regards to sales the pressure comes when you're moving faster than your prospect is ready are used trying to squirt the lotion and therefore making your prospect repel first of all I think it's a wonderful opening line whenever you meet someone is to like squirt something on their hands that's great and you know what I like to do at the mall if I'm asked hey can I ask you a question this is great because it totally interrupts their whole script you go do you mean two questions because they're going to ask you another one and they usually looked dumbfounded by that they're like I don't know where to go from here but yeah I mean it it's really the epitome of an insincere inauthentic kind of interaction right and so what we want to do is get away from that until with the authors suggest
00:06:20is rather than getting into this you know pushing someone for a yes every single time he recommends going for the no and he talks a lot about how no can mean lots of different things and actually Josh you taught me this and I think it is worth noting that usually most people will take know whether you are in sales or your business owner whoever you are most people will take no is no get lost I hate what you have I never want to buy from you or talk to you again and often what people actually mean by no is much more nuanced
00:07:01totally I mean I'll give you let's give some let's give some practical examples of what this might look like in a sales conversation so for instance I was having a sale conversation about a week or so ago with somebody and they were asking that the date they have some sales trainer on that they were already using and the prospect said to me some version of what's the difference between you as a sales trainer and the one I have right now and your inclination as a salesperson your reaction is going to be too
00:07:37defend and to start to tell the person why you and why you're better write that would be trying to get the yes but after reading Chris's vachris bosses book I said to the person that's a great question glad you asked it tell me a little bit about the trainer using now and they went on where using you know this trainer and I said you know I've heard of that trainer there fantastic have a great reputation what's prompting you to even look for another trainer and then I said well this trainer you know we try to use their prospecting approach and we weren't even getting a lot of good responses and I said I got no go through that and they're not all going to increase your response rates by 100%. Even I can't get you seventy 80% you know that's probably just part of the training like is that such a big deal why don't you just get to get some more btr's well. Prospect then start to open up even more and even more
00:08:37why they wanted to change my the status quo wouldn't work for them anymore so I guess it's a lesson of going a little negative I'm trying to get to that Noah like hey are you going to meet maybe I should stay and then what is it happening is they they they kind of tell you why they want to switch rather than you telling them why they should switch
00:09:02exactly and you know one strategy that I would use is you know whether it's training or I do coaching or Consulting I'll say something like so it sounds like this isn't a priority right now did I get that right and sometimes I'll say will no no no that's not the case or my favorite way to counter a price objection is if someone says you know you're too expensive or whatever variation of the price of Junction you get you of course can say compared to what is the classic of objection response to that but I might also say so it sounds like prices the primary driver of your decision is that right and often people will say well no cuz no one wants to feel cheap right so he'll usually say well no that's not actually the case and then I then we start a conversation will what are the drivers of your decision and now we get closer to the truth through that first know to take price off the table at least somewhat totally
00:10:02Chris Voss using the book was prospects that went dark and he would send them just as one sentence email and it said something like you know have you given up on the project feel like you're nine times I don't want to feel like they're giving up on something so what I did this morning I had a prospect that went dark on me and I wrote I just read you the sentence and within 15 minutes I got a barrage of emails back from this Prospect then I'm a sentence you know what it was like this and I'll protect the names of the people but it was despite numerous attempts I haven't been able to connect with Lisa nor have I been able to get examples of the emails and requested which will allow me to see if I can help you typically when that happens it means it's not a high priority right now which is not a problem at all I realize there are multiple forces competing for your time and attention if this bubbles up to the top again no worries I'm here for you John till then Josh and within list
00:11:02literally 2 seconds of 5 minutes tops I heard back from the Prospect and the project is moving and I'll forward again
00:11:12yeah you know I did something similar and I was looking for the email and I can't find it right right in this moment but I basically said hey I know you're super busy right now and maybe this isn't the right time to do the project so unless I hear from you I'm just going to take you off my list and I will not bother you anymore you know it it's because it sounds like this isn't something you want to do it all no worries by the way
00:11:44is also something we talk about all the time Listen to As which has been in sales you want to come across as the personal trainer not the waiter
00:11:52are you going to come across as the person that has the plan and I can get you there so for me I would hire a personal trainer that would say Josh I've assessed you I know your goal is to finish a triathlon and here's the plan that will get you across the Finish Line without crawling across the Finish Line rather than a personal trainer that said well what do you want to do tonight how you want to work out or a waiter that I'll just take your order no nothing against waiters so not being needy and taking this position of abundance is very key so that you come across as that personal trainer and not the waiter something else we could talk about his even applying this principle which I've been doing actually after I read the book the cold calling y'all were so when we will make cold call and we always try to get to yes so I thought start to think how can I apply this to to booking a meeting someone or to try to book a meeting I want examples Chris Voss using the bucket when he got Warren Buffett to speak at the college that has letter I don't remember the story listen line
00:12:52for the buck to get signed and he got in front of Warren Buffett rather than saying hey can you speak in front of the college he said something like in a would it be crazy if you came to my college and spoken from the students
00:13:06and by freezing it like that are Warren Buffett and that I'm leaning forward and to know that wouldn't I wouldn't be crazy felt safe and he ended up speaking up a college I'm so I thought can I apply that to go calling I'm so what I've been doing experimenting with his I'll say something like you know what
00:13:26you know what hey I noticed that you guys have an Str team that you're setting meetings with these gaming app developers would it be presumptuous of me to think that you'd want some more meetings with those game developers
00:13:38help some help setting meetings with more people like them. That crazy to think that presumptuous of me and kind of raising it like that often times I'm seeing if it if it takes the pressure off I haven't had enough time to to play with them not to get your perspective on what you think of that well okay so just like my example of the you know will you help a homeless pet today right or work will you help a child with cancer the reason it works is because it creates a little bit of guilt so like. Let's go back to the Warren Buffett example so I love this one because first of all I worked and it obviously scoring Warren Buffett to come talk to your classes and major coup no matter who you are even if you're a best-selling author because obviously Warren Buffett has a million other things you could be doing
00:14:30that what to me what's really going on there is it's basically implying Warren I'm sure your way your your time is way too valuable and I'm too small and you don't really care about my class that much that's the implication right in the inverse if I were to say it in a positive way rather than you know would it be crazy if and my if someone did that to me I'm immediately like you know what I don't want to talk to you like that was so manipulative I just don't like it now I I recently did a personality test Josh and you probably wouldn't be surprised to know that I am called what's call the commander and I'm 3% or less of the population and I'm extremely hard to get along with
00:15:25so I know that I'm more direct and I would be it would be more off putting to me than other people particularly people who are more agreeable so I'm wondering like do you worry about that or not meet worries not the right word but is that something that you think about where it could be extremely off-putting to some people commit to me it felt when I only done it a couple times it felt natural to me to phrase it like that on a cold call I don't lie I felt more natural to me to say you know it would you be open to some New Perspectives that might help your Str team get in front of more gaming up companies like a B&C that's something to be open to learning about rather than would it be crazy for me to think to me that sounded more like salesy and like I was trying too hard but for some reason in an email when I say no feel free to say no if you don't see a fit but might we be able to help you not to me seems more natural for some reason I don't know why
00:16:24where are agree I mean I think it does feel gimmicky and you know I think it is it for me it feels gimmicky because it is you know and I I don't know I guess the the final jury on whether or not it's gimmicky is the person you're speaking to and so you know often when we think about optimizing sales or even optimizing marketing messages we would just ask the question what what's more likely to work now so if if you got a conversion on this or you were able to open 20% more conversations of course you would go with it I think for me the would it be crazy to assume XY or Z it just feels a little bit off I did want to talk about something that Chris talks about in the book which is the true meaning of no because I I alluded to that a little bit earlier and I think he shares something that's really great
00:17:24and he says when someone tells you know I'm reading from the book right now you need to rethink the word in one of its alternative and much more real meanings number 1 I am not yet ready to agree number to you're making me feel uncomfortable number three I don't understand number for I don't think I can afford it number 5 I want something else number 6 I want more information number 7 I want to talk it over with someone else
00:17:54now in each of these meetings that know is so powerful right and what we really want to do and I think the big point he's saying is if we get to the no faster we can start to parse which of the those nose does it actually mean totally in context matters as well that conversation to me seems more natural like in that scenario we talked about earlier or someone says how is your widget different than the way that I'm currently using and you kind of say well why would you want to switch in the widget that you're currently using maybe they say well that's not doing well no widgets perfect all the time I would just go down 10% of the time too so why not just deal with it or you know kind of work around it and that's a nice seems like a more natural environment when was trying to talk someone out of change to see how much energy there is I call it like that the sort of barometer if you will of switching you know the switch barometer like where are they on a scale of 1 to 10
00:18:53because if there are two or three you're probably going to spin your wheels a lot chasing rather than if they're at a seven or an eight and by phrasing these questions and letting a prospect talk convince you essentially into why they want to switch you can kind of see where they are and that barometer on see if it's worth going to spending some time with that Prospect further
00:19:15yeah totally I mean whenever I think about pretty much any software that I use and I go on to a demo they say well what are you using now and I pretty much and then of course why did you choose that and I always say because it's true well I choose the software that I hate the least because it all has some sort of you know pain in the ass moment or thing that I have to work around cuz it's not built for me right it's built for a hundred or thousand or 10000 or a hundred thousand people and I look at that always as such a huge open door for the person to say will tell me a little bit about that like white why did you hate this one the least what what was what made you switch to it like there's so much Rich conversation that can happen there and very few people actually walk through that door because I basically said you know no I don't really want to do anything else but I hate this thing and it's
00:20:15opening for them and they could say well huh well why switch it all if you already hate this one the least and then I could justify it to them
00:20:25people we believe in our people switch for their reasons and on their timeline not yours and so if you're not hearing it from the prospecting you're the one doing the convincing and they're saying yes I'm giving you these really short answers that's a red flag I'm rather than what listen to talking about witches you kind of phrase these questions and you let people know you kind of talked yourself out of it and you see how much energy there is behind switching
00:20:52let me ask you this so you know Chris in this in this book and chapter for the one we're covering now he talks by the way we're on a first-name basis Chris Boss is his name sorry mr. boss he talks about prompting either yes or no questions now my approach to sales typically is to encourage people to ask open-ended questions so how do you balance this need for prompting a decision Point yes or no with the need to open up to a c's open ended questions through engage in conversation to the sale right I think at the very beginning of a conversation you're trying to get an understanding of what their current situation is and what the reason is that they are speaking to you and so I don't like to think of it as like I have to ask open-ended questions I have to be able to get some information from someone and have a base level understanding of where they are and where they want to be and what obstacles are bumping into and what things they
00:21:52another consider before and so I can mix in these I guess situational questions at the beginning to get a base level of understanding and confirm, then switch to you know quote on quote more it up open ended questions but closed-ended questions could turn into open any questions by just saying can you tell me more about that can you give me an example
00:22:13right right and of course you should be doing that if you're in a sales role anytime you get a yes or no you want them to elaborate on that a little bit the book is never split the difference negotiating as if your life depended on it by Chris Voss both listed and I highly recommend this book that we may talk about some other chapters in other podcasters so much Rich information but it's a highly recommended read
00:22:45I need you to add the Applause track if you want me back
00:22:49I will add the Applause track listing thank you so much for the conversation it's always a pleasure speaking with you great my pleasure to Josh

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