Posts

Never Split the Difference – Betties Book Brief

Betties Book Brief - Never Split the Difference - Negotiations

Negotiations happen in all facets of life. Whether it’s negotiating with your children about how much they need to eat for dinner (one of the hardest negotiations to win, if we’re being honest!) or it’s getting yourself into the best car at the best price, you’re bound to run into scenarios that require you to put your best self forward in order to get what you want.

Former FBI Hostage Negotiator, Chris Voss, took his first-hand experience with intense negotiations and turned it into a life-changing guide for others to get what they want. While we won’t be using his tips for hostage scenarios, we thoroughly enjoyed his book, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It. Business negotiations can be tricky and, as you know, we love to learn new tricks to make running a business easier. The dramatic stories that Chris Voss used to explain his strategies were riveting and left us ready to learn more.

Summary of Never Split the Difference

Getting to a good deal involves detecting subtle and non-obvious signals beneath the words. Use “How” instead of “No” to get to a “Yes”. Ask “How” questions again and again to keep the person you’re negotiating with engaged, but off-balance. It gives the illusion of control while getting them to think about the problems you are facing. Asking “How can I do that?” can get them to negotiate against themselves.

However, make sure not to overlook key players. There may be someone behind the scenes with the ability to kill a deal. Be sure to negotiate with all stakeholders. Often times, the decision-maker will grossly overuse pronouns such as they, him, and she in order to deflect attention from themselves. The use of I, me, or my may be a sign that they are not in charge. Tone and body language make up 93% of communication, so be sure to pay attention. Incongruence between tone and body language is an indicator of a lie. To be sure that a “Yes” is real, use the rule of three.

Types of Negotiators

Analyst – An Analyst is a negotiator who is very methodical and diligent in their negotiations. They hate surprises and are skeptical by nature. An Analyst prefers to work on their own and ties mistakes to their own self-image. This type of negotiator views silence in a negotiation as an opportunity to think and they may appear to agree when actually, they agreed to think about it.

Accommodator – The Accommodator prioritizes the relationship in a negotiation. They just want to communicate and view silence as anger. This negotiator may overpromise something that they may not actually be able to provide. Their tone and body language are key if they are hesitant – it won’t come out in their words.

Assertive – This negotiator’s priority is to be heard. They love to win above all else and just want the solution to be done rather than getting it perfect. An Assertive negotiator won’t listen until they are convinced that you hear and understand their point of view. In their eyes, silence is just time to talk more.

Phases of Negotiation

  1. Diffuse perceived deal killers and objections. Use “Why” questions and the “F” word – Fair. Make them feel safe and in control by avoiding oriented questions. Extreme anchoring is important here.
  2. Pre “That’s Right” phase. This phase is getting information and understanding the story of the other person. You want to use calibrated questions (How & What). Use mirroring and mislabeling.
  3. Communicate understanding and empathy. Use Tactical Empathy to understand what is behind the other person’s feelings. Bring their emotional pathways and obstacles to light. Use mirroring and labeling and summarize them.
  4. Collaborate on a solution. Discuss implementation and use calibrated questions (How & What). This is the time to use the Ackerman Model (below).

Negotiation Tools

  • Calibrated Questions. These are What and How questions, and sometimes Why. Use these to identify your counterpart’s fears, locate potential deal killers, stall, create the illusion of control, and say no without saying no. e.g. How am I supposed to do that?
  • Mirroring. This involves repeating the last 3-5 words said by your counterpart using a calm voice with an upward inflection (like a question). Generally this tool is followed by being silent for a minimum of 4 minutes. Use this tool to get information, test the firmness of their position, establish rapport, and make your counterpart feel safe. Mirroring is especially useful for assertive types.
  • Labeling. Verbally identify concerns, challenges, or internal states of your counterpart with phrases like, “It seems like you…” and “It sounds like you…”. Flush out their concerns and show empathy.
  • Labeling (accusation audit). Demonstrate that you see nuances in your counterpart’s emotions by using phrases like, “It sounds like you’re afraid of…”. This shows empathy and helps to trigger a “That’s right” response. You want to avoid “You’re right” in favor of “That’s right”.
  • Mislabeling. Use incorrect labels to determine their reaction and get to the core of their valuation.
  • No-oriented questions. Questions like, “Is now a bad time to talk?” or “Have you given up on this project?”. This helps to make your counterpart feel safe and in control.
  • The F-word. Using the word “Fair” proactively to establish trust. You want to be sure to defend it when this word is used against you. As a negotiator, you strive to be fair. Early on, say “I want you to feel like you’re being treated fairly. Please stop me if you feel I’m being unfair and we’ll address it.”
  • Discuss implementation. Use calibrated questions at the end of a negotiation regarding hypothetical situations. Force your counterpart to imagine future events. This assumptively persuades your counterpart to shift their mindset and visualize the negotiated deal.
  • Extreme Anchoring. Give an extreme statement or offer at the start of or early in a negotiation. This makes later, lesser offers and actions seem reasonable. Diffuse anticipated objections or emotions. Sometimes this is done through an accusation audit to prepare them for a loss (it’s going to be terrible, but…).

Ackerman Model

This is a 6-step offer/counteroffer method.

  1. Set your target price (goal).
  2. Set your first offer at 65% of target price.
  3. Calculate 3 raises of decreasing increments (85, 95, 100 percent).
  4. Use lots of empathy and different ways of saying “No” to get the other side to counter before you increase your offer.
  5. Use precise non-round numbers when calculating the final amount (such as $37,893 instead of $38,000).
  6. Throw in a non-monetary item (that they probably won’t want) on your final number to show you’re at your limit.

Other Takeaways

  • We have a cognitive bias for consistency rather than truth. We hear that which supports our belief systems.
  • When there is a negative situation, call it out right away.
  • There is no need to use all of the tools at once. The best negotiators know when to use which tool.
  • Getting a “That’s right” response is gold. Not, “You’re right” but “That’s right”. When the other party says this, it confirms your understanding of them and shifts things in your favor.
  • The rule of three is key. Get the other party to agree three times during the conversation.
  • Any response that is not a flat out rejection gives you the advantage.

 

As you can see, we gained a lot from this read. Our business (and parenting) negotiations will be much more smooth in the future as we implement Chris Voss’s valuable tips. How can you implement some of these strategies and tricks in your negotiations? We’d love to hear!

 

If you liked this Book Brief, please give it a share to your Facebook or LinkedIn.

Want more like this? See all of our Book Briefs here.

Want Betties Book Briefs straight to your inbox? Fill out the form on this page.

 

 

Betties Book Brief – Magnetic Marketing

Magnetic Marketing Book Brief

Another month, another Book Brief! This time, we’ve read Magnetic Marketing: How to Attract a Flood of New Customers That Pay, Stay, and Refer, written by Dan S. Kennedy. This read had such an abundance of value that it may be our longest Book Brief yet! From general rules to rules of copy and creating your offers, we’ve picked our top takeaways and share them with you below.

Magnetic Marketing Key Points

  1. Know your customers’ psychographics. What are their habits and hobbies? What is causing them pain right now as it relates to your service? What do they secretly and privately desire the most? The last question is the deeper reason that a client chooses your service – touch on that to really speak to their deepest desires.
  2. Match your target market to your budget. Trying to market to every single adult in Detroit could cost $300k when our budget is only $600. Shrink your target market to the resources you can commit to and be repetitive with.
  3. What do your customers really want? An auto shop repairs cars but customers don’t want auto repair – they want to not have to be at the auto shop. When they have to, they don’t want it to disrupt their lives. As a lawyer, the number one thing you sell is an advocate. You may be the only person showing up in court that believes in them and is willing to advocate for them. No matter your niche, they want to know you’re on their side!
  4. Create an irresistible offer. When the Stratosphere in Las Vegas was equivalent to a Motel 6, they had an ad for a 2 night, 3 day stay in a deluxe suite + a bottle of champagne, unlimited drinks, and $600 to gamble with – all for $396.

Rules to Follow

  1. There must always be an offer.
  2. There must be a reason to respond right now.
  3. Instructions must be clear.
  4. There must be tracking and memorability. For every dollar spent, you must be able to clearly identify how much comes back as a result.
  5. Brand building should not cost a penny. Ever.
  6. Follow up. No excuses.

Creating Strong Copy

  1. Strong copy is written backwards. Start with customer interests, desires, frustrations, fears, thoughts, feelings, and experiences – then journey forward to reveal a solution tied to your business.
  2. Write to your audience like you are sitting across the table talking to a friend. Use the same passion and speak from your heart with emotional appeals.
  3. Be bold in your claims and promises. Zig Ziglar says, “Timid salesmen have skinny kids.”
  4. Split test the same copy with different headlines. Test, monitor, adjust. Gradually achieve the best possible results.

Always Have an Offer

  1. Every piece of content should have an offer attached.
  2. A 10 year old should be able to understand it.
  3. Every offer should be an irresistible value.
  4. You must include a discount or premium.
  5. Always explain your offer: “My team thinks that I am crazy to extend this promotion but I want to build our portfolio of mobile websites. After December 10th, the price goes up by $500 so take action today!”
  6. You offer should give a sense of urgency. An offer isn’t an offer without a deadline!
  7. Include a call to action – Fill out this form, click below, etc.
  8. Assume all of the risk and offer a guarantee.

Whew! That was a lot of great information and we are really excited to start implementing some of it into our marketing.

What’s the most valuable takeaway you’ve gained from this book? Clearly we couldn’t narrow it down so we would love to hear your thoughts! Leave us a comment on this post or on Facebook.

If you love reading our Betties Book Briefs each month, jump on the email list to receive them straight to your inbox before everyone else.

Betties Book Brief – Sell or Be Sold

You know the drill by now we’re sure, but just to reiterate, every month the Back Office Betties team reads a new book and shares the value we’ve found in it. We love this opportunity for personal and professional development! This month, our virtual receptionists dove into the extremely valuable writing of Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life by Grant Cardone.

Grant Cardone uses humor and experience to sell you on why and how your beliefs and convictions allow you to excel in sales. If you’re not selling them to someone else, they’re selling you with them! We’ve come up with an extensive list of takeaways for this resource that can truly help anyone, entrepreneur or not.

Sell or Be Sold

  1. Everyone is a salesman. Regardless of your profession, learning how to sell can benefit you in any area of your life.
  2. A commission doesn’t have to be cash. It can simply be that you are getting your way.
  3. Objection of price really means they’re having other objections. Is this the right service for me? Is this company going to take care of me? Will I really even enjoy the service? Am I better off buying something else better that might come out next week? Will this be a mistake like other decisions I’ve made?
  4. Offer a better solution. If someone says, “it’s too much money”, they really mean it is too expensive for the solution being offered.
  5. The customer is never the problem. Salespeople are the problem 100% of the time. Give the potential new client (PNC) a product that solves his problems.
  6. Always agree with the prospect. If a prospect states that they need to think about it, agree with them before selling. For example: “Absolutely, this is an important decision and you’ve got to make sure you’re hiring someone who is going to take the best care of you. I don’t blame you for wanting to think about it and I’d like to help you and guide you in the right direction. I know that after doing your research you’ll find that I’m the best at what I do and you won’t be in better hands with anyone else. I know you’re eager to move forward and get things going – spending time interviewing attorneys can be so time-consuming! The sooner you make your decision, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that a great lawyer will take care of all of the hard work for you.”
  7. Problems equal opportunities for future sales.
  8. You will lose 100% of the sales you don’t ask for. Don’t be afraid to keep selling and asking for a sale. Give value, give value, ask for the sale, and be consistent – even when you’re inconsiderable. Grant responded to someone who felt pressured with, “Please do not mistake my enthusiasm for pressure! I know this will do xyz for you and that’s why I’m so enthusiastic. Now let’s do this.”
  9. Go to lunch every day with a prospect. At the very least, call and say, “Hey, I had something cancel. Are you available for lunch today?” Most of the time they’ll say no but you’ll be top of mind and they’ll remember those times you called and invited them out.
  10. Learn from every opportunity. Take full responsibility to avoid the negativity of doing the opposite. Examine what went wrong and walk away thinking about how to get better rather than sitting with rejection.
  11. Unreturned calls and emails don’t mean anything. They don’t mean that your prospect is not interested, they just mean not right now. Keep at it and stay in front of them.
  12. Debrief after sales calls. If someone asks something you’ve never heard before, write it down and come up with something to respond with in the future.
  13. There’s always time for learning. “If you can’t find an hour in your day, you are not in control of your day.”

Thoughts on this read? Do you agree or disagree with our takeaways and the sales advice given by Grant Cardone? Let us know over on our Facebook page!

Betties Book Brief – Street Smarts

It’s time for another Betties Book Brief and we are extremely excited to chat with you about the book we read in August. Street Smarts: An All-Purpose Tool Kit for Entrepreneurs was written by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham and is a no-nonsense comprehensive guide full of tips that you can actually implement today. With 104 raving reviews on Amazon, we had to see what the hype was about and we were pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable of a read this book actually was.

Street Smarts is full of anecdotes that really offer a been there, done that point of view on many pitfalls small businesses face. We’re excited to share our favorite takeaways below!

6 Key Points We Loved in Street Smarts

  1. Don’t discount your extra capacity just because it’s available. Rationalizing that you’d rather have some money than no money is never a good idea and ultimately a really bad decision.
  2. Always negotiate quietly. Listen to what the other party wants, haggle and be flexible on it, then come back to what matters to you and offer “I’ll give you X, but I’ve got to have Y.”
  3. You cannot do business with everybody. This is the number one rule in business. One word that you must master is “No!”.
  4. Small, high-margin customers > large, low-margin customers. No single customer should be more than 10% of your business and large customers as a whole should be less than 30% of your business.
  5. Raise prices regularly. Don’t piss off your customers by doing this too much, but avoid the sudden hike in prices later on because you didn’t raise them a little at a time earlier.
  6. Don’t buy a business that grossly undercharges. Keeping an existing customer base during a sale is hard enough. If your first order of business has to be raising prices, you’ll be in for a rude awakening.

Have you read this book?

What did you think?

Did you come up with any great takeaways that we haven’t listed here?

Let us know!

Radical Candor – July’s Book Brief

As you know, the Betties team reads an enticing new book each month in order to share our notes and takeaways with you. This month, we read Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott.

This guide to being a better boss offers a simple ideation that you have to both challenge and care. Without one or the other, your management style is severely lacking and not nearly as effective as you hope to be. Kim Scott has a reputation of leading at Google as well as Apple, where she developed a class on how to be a good boss. Her real-life stories and insightful advice truly round out her expertise in being an effective manager to give us this fabulous book.

Some of our most valuable takeaways include:

1. Every team needs rockstars and superstars.

A rockstar is like the Rock of Gibraltar and you can always lean on them and depend on them. They are steady and brilliant at what they do and they are not gunning for the next promotion. A superstar does an equally great job but they will go absolutely crazy if they are still in the same job a year from now. Use this to build a strong team that will grow with you.

2. Create a path for growth for frontline workers.

Give them a path that comes with better wages and opportunity, without having to be a management path. Make it more attractive than the management path, because people will often gravitate to that thinking it’s their only choice. This is how to nurture your superstars.

3. Avoid a shit sandwich.

This goes against everything we have always been taught but there is no good bad good balance that should be sought out. Praise the good and be candid about the bad. When you force yourself to package something like the s*** sandwich, it’s insincere and people will see right through it.

4. Encourage discussion of problems.

This is where creativity is at its finest. When you tell people to bring you solutions, it shuts down the creative process of having that discussion around the problem. Create a process for suggestions with something like a vote up or down, then provide feedback to your staff on what happened to their idea.

5. What can I do (or stop doing) that will make it easier to work with me?

Ask this of your subordinates, and during skip meetings, ask team members the same question of their manager. Always work to improve in the way you manage your staff.

6. Make it your personal business to find out the hopes and dreams each of the people who work under you.

Whether it’s business or personal, if you find out what they want to do and then can coach them or somehow tie that into what they are doing now, it gives them purpose. For example, a girl at Google wanted to run a spirulina farm (which is a far cry from her work at Google). Her manager listened to her dream and offered to mentor her on being a leader. When she’s ready to leave and start that farm, she will be a capable leader.

Have you read Radical Candor? 

How has it helped you improve your management style?

Are You Unstoppable?

March’s Book Brief highlight is Unstoppable by Dave Anderson! This amazing book is all about how your mindset, when coupled with action, can greatly change your performance in your career. Dave Anderson breaks down the 4 different types of employees:

  • The Undertaker: Performance is below baseline, and they achieve nothing meaningful. This can include high achievers who win by violating values.
  • The Caretaker: They do just enough to get by and collect a paycheck.
  • The Playmaker: These people have what it takes to become Game Changers but aren’t quite there yet. Playmakers are more motivated by external factors, excessive affirmation, and personal glory. They have to celebrate every win and are more wrapped up in their own success rather than the success of the team.
  • The Game Changer: They are intrinsically motivated, they do ordinary extraordinary well, and are great cultural fits. They are committed to self -improvement, they want feedback from others, and they don’t see themselves as victims but products of their daily choices and efforts.

Are You A Game Changer?

So clearly, we should all be striving towards being Game Changers, but that can be easier said than done, especially without guidance. Well,

fortunately for us, Unstoppable provides a roadmap to Game Changer status:

  • Start with the “why”. What do you want to do? Do you want to inspire others? Do you want to help others succeed? What motivates you and pushes you? What inspires you?
  • Live life in the zone. Know where you excel and spend time in this zone perfecting those skills. This is called the zone of excellence. You should spend more time in the zone of excellence. When you leave your zone, snap back into it faster.
  • A.P.E– Attitude, Passion, and Enthusiasm. Having a good attitude, passion, and enthusiasm for what you do will determine how well you do it. The more A.P.E you have, the more dedicated you will be.
  • Have mental toughness. Have faith that what you are fighting for is worth every ounce of effort. Faith is what gets you back up when you fall. Faith turns criticism into helpful feedback. It’s what keeps you moving toward your goals!

Being a Game Changer isn’t easy, nothing that involves practicing discipline over your mindset is. But having discipline is what turns unexceptional into extraordinary, and there is no other way we should be living our lives!

Back Office Betties