Short Reads to Improve Sales

You have ten seconds to prove to that you’re worth talking to, so differentiate yourself from other callers. After introducing yourself, turn the focus to your prospect by weaving in your research and personalizing the call. For example: You could open with a compliment on a recent professional accomplishment you came across through research.
We are easily influenced by other people’s behaviors. Social proof plays a major role in selling because it shows the prospect that your product has helped other people with similar pain points. Try telling a customer success story of someone who had similar pain points.

When it comes to increasing sales and revenue, there are four key levers an orga¬nization must focus on:

1) Volume of attempts

2) Contact rate

3) Conversion rate

4) Deal size

The purpose of sales technology is to directly impact one or more of these levers. For example, if you can increase the volume of your dials, your reps will speak with more prospects, close more deals and ultimately generate more revenue.
You’ve got to have your pitch down. That’s why scripts are valuable and important. Whenever you’re making a sales call, whether it’s two minutes or 14 minutes, you need to know your goal.

What are you hoping to get out of that call?

Is it to close a deal?

Is it to find out who the decision makers are?

Is it to get an appointment?

Know your goal and tailor your pitch accordingly, because each of these calls will require a slightly different approach.
You’ve got to be willing to keep call¬ing people back again and again until you reach them and they are willing to speak with you. research has shown that on average, reps give up after only 1.3 con¬tact attempts. That’s not enough. You have to adopt a mentality that you won’t quit and bring that into every sales call you make. When a prospect sees your commitment and dedication, they’ll become much more receptive to your message.
You’ve got to believe in what you’re selling. You’ve got to believe your product is worth at least 10 times the money and the time your prospect will invest in it. If you don’t believe in the product you’re selling, each time you pick up the phone, you’ll become increasingly unconvincing and robotic. Sell yourself before trying to sell anyone else.
Most people buy based on emotion, not logic. They decide to buy because it “feels right,” then use logic to justify the decision to themselves. So the better you are at making an emotional connection between the prospect and whatever you’re selling, the easier you’ll find it to close sales Value is meant for the customer. What is the value to them? It could be about their business and how this will give them exposure to a demographic that should benefit from their services and expertise. Value can also be built off their connection with veterans, 1st responders, teachers, firefighters, and police officers. Weather they themselves are a hero or they have a friend or family member the connection is still extremely valuable in sharing how we are helping our nation’s heroes. When you are building value you must actively listen to what the customer is telling you. If they express to you a connection to being a veterans, 1st responders, teachers, firefighters, and police officers then you should know they will have an emotional connection to how we are impacting these heroes. Emotion is why people buy so we want to build our value in this case a little heavier on support and the scope of impact we have helping. On the other hand if they do not have a connection then we should focuses our value more on them and their company and how this should work for them. EX: Like how they can be located on our website or that they are going to be seen on our T.V’s as the plumber that handles emergency calls and is dependable or that can install tankless water heaters if they are looking to have a tankless water heaters installed. See how my value is more tied to them and what they do, connecting how this should work and why they should get calls from new customers. There is still a connection in helping but the value is probably going to be stronger in how this should work in bringing business their way. Your job as a salesperson is to help the prospect see the value to them that they will gain from owning your product. If it is important to them guess what it has an emotional hook that will help you sale them. That is the big difference from just rambling off facts to your prospect. By asking a question and actively listening then building your value off their answers you create a connection and have them emotionally invested and this is extremely effective in helping you make the sale while reciting a list of features just makes a prospect’s eyes glaze over. So remember, ask questions and then building value based on the prospects answers.
Questions are great at the start of your call to hook the prospect in thinking we called them for a specific reason. This will help you to create value with the customer before you even tell them about the power of the program, you might use a question during your opening like asking the customer something we already know they do. EX: Do you handle Military relocation or help with first time home buyers. Customer reply: “yes” EX: Can you install tankless water heaters? Customer reply “yes” So if a veteran or 1st responder was looking to have a tankless water heaters installed they could call you? Customer reply “yes” perfect we have a large screen T.V… go into you pitch This helps lead the customer to believe you called them for a specific reason , when in truth you already knew this was a service they provided. By doing this, your prospect will open up to listening to your presentation or pitch and help you connect with how this may work for them. Resulting in getting your foot in the door. Questions are great to help you overcome any objection and lead your prospect away from the first, second and even third “no” after your pitch. I will help you best understand what I mean by sharing the story of the pink elephant. First do me a favor and think of a pink elephant, it is a large pink elephant, with a large pink trunk, and big pink ears. Can you see it, I can, I can see it in my mind, can you? Great! Now I need you to stop thinking of that pink elephant, immediately. Have you, have you stopped thinking of that pink elephant? If you are anything like me or most people, it is hard to just stop thinking about that pink elephant. So let me ask you a favor, are you any good at math? The math problem I have for you is not that difficult. What is the answer for 2 plus 2 plus 2 minus 2 then divided that answer by 2 and what do you get? Do you have the answer yet? If you guessed 2 then your right. Now let me ask you, Did you forget about the pink elephant? See the point is that when I asked you another question you were focused on something other than the elephant. That is the true power of asking a question to get a prospect to forget their answer of “No”. You want to ask them another question that focuses their attention on something other than that they told you “No”. Leading or opened ended questions are a great to leading you away from the prospects “no” at the same time help you build value and open the prospect up to tell you how they want to be sold. This is a great way to help you understand how to overcome any objection and lead the prospect away from their answer of “no” after your pitch. Now let’s go over a few options: EX: Which works best for you? Thank you but I am not interested. I can understand that. Let me ask you another question. What sort of remodeling do you do? This opens the customer up to talk about their favorite subject themselves and lets them tell you how they want to be sold. Plus, leads them away from there objection of “no”. After which you can say. “Great, what we are trying to start with you?…… Because….” Then explain and build value.
Sales is just a conversation about how to solve a problem. At its core it really is that simple. The most important skill you can develop in sales is the ability to ask good questions. Questions are an important factor of your sales process that gives you the ability to pull information and help you understand what the best approach to making the sale is. They help you to get the customer talking so that they will freely give you information. Also good questions get the customer thinking about the issue that are being discussed and this will help focus your conversation. Questions enable you as the salesperson to gain enough information to build value and close the customer. Questions are a quick way to determine what the customer’s primary problem areas is. A few well-placed questions can get the conversation rolling, they are like magic. Remember that your questions should never be structured so they leave the customer feeling bad or defensive. You’ll always want to ask in a way that connects with the customer. Questions will enable you to: Obtain Information – Without good information on genuine customer needs, how can you create solutions for their problems? Maintain control of a conversation – If you do the asking you are more likely to be in control and come across as more sincere and assertive Express an interest in the other person – Since questions enable you to talk more about the customer, they help you to build rapport , show greater empathy and get to know the other person and their needs better. Testing understanding: “Have I understood that correctly?” Moving toward or making a decision: “Are you happy with that could we move forward with your permission?” Gain perspective: “Does your current marketing plan do that?” – Note that you could use an open question here e.g. “How does your current marketing plan handle that?” Open questions help build rapport and gather information. This is important for your sales process not only now but also future calls with a customer. They enable you to: Develop the conversation: “What area do you work in?” Find out more information: “What other services do you provide?” Clarify views, opinions or issues: “How do you feel about the 6 month trial?” Open question will typically start with: who, what, where, when, how, why? For example: Who is you target market? Where do you normally market to the vets and 1st responders? What could I do today to help? Why do you think that? When should we get started? How could you pass on this great program? Closed Questions are useful for Qualifying or listening: Do you currently advertise to the veterans, teachers and 1st responders? These provide the caller with Yes or No answers. This isn’t all bad as they are later questions that can guide the conversation and especially your next question e.g. Q: Do you know there are 40,000 veterans in your area? A: No. The no can be followed up by the next type of question i.e. an open question i.e. what all areas do you work in? I promise when you get good at asking questions you’ll be amazed at their power and your ability to close more sales.
We must be able to express in a couple of sentences how what we provide will benefit not only the Heroes but the customer as well. It is best to keep it simple and to the point, if it makes sense for the customer then of course they’ll do it. We can use one liners to open the conversation in the beginning and ending of your presentation. EXAMPLE: After your intro ask a question like “I am looking for a reliable high-quality shop that is knowledgeable and can provide expert repairs, for our veterans and 1st responders would you be able to help” This can open them up before you pitch EXAMPLE: After your pitch one liners can help connect and create that “AH HA” moment “Do you deal with tree trimming and stump grinding?” “Yes!” “Great because a lot of the members at the club are getting older and they are not going to get out and climb a ladder and do the work themselves. Would you be willing to take care of them if they called you for your services?”

Gen. Contractor, Remodeling, Home Improvement

Can you widen doorways, install ramps and handle bars or lower cabinets?

Are you doing interior or exterior work mostly?

Can you make bathrooms handicap accessible?

Are you familiar with the HISA grant? Explain HISA Grant, This can be found on


Do you handle collision, repair and maintenance work?

You can deal with everything right, complete drive train A to Z?

Are you able to remove small dents and dings?

You guy’s offer Paint less dent repair?

Can you handle engine rebuilds or replacement?

Can you overhaul transmission?

I am looking for a reliable high-quality shop that is knowledgeable and can provide expert repairs, for our veterans and 1st responders would you be able to help?

Landscaping, Lawn care, Tree Service

Are you doing residential work?

Do you do maintenance or installation?

If the tree is located in a hard-to-reach area or if there are power lines either near it or in the way could that be something you can handle?

You chop down trees and do stump grinding?

Funeral Homes

What kind of programs or discounts do you offer for the veteran community?

Do you have experience providing Military & Veteran’s Services?

Can handle special services for military like P.O.W and M.I.A?

Can provide special services for all Faiths & Cultures?

Do you have the resources in place to be able to accommodate Military Burials with Honors?

We are looking for a Caring, understanding staff to answer any questions for our veterans and 1st responders would you be able to help?

Would you be able to play a critical role in planning and carrying out a special funeral or memorial service for a veterans or 1st responders?

Real Estate

Can I speak to someone that can handle VA loans or can help a first time home buyer please?

Do you have a military relocation specialist or someone that can deal with military relocation I can speak to?

Would you like to work with the veterans and 1st responders to provide your real estate expertise when they are looking to move or buy a new home?

Can you coordinate open houses and schedule photos of the home if someone was trying to sale their house?

Mortgage, Banks

Do you have a lender that deals with VA loans I can speak with?

Do you deal with a lot of VA loans?

Would you like to feature your VA loan program to active and retired military?


You can help with retirement planning correct?

You can help finance the purchase of a home or cars if a veterans or 1st responder needed correct?

I am looking to connect veterans and 1st responder’s to a Financial Advisor that can help them prepare for retirement, save for their education and manage their Investments.

I am looking for a Financial Advisor that has an extensive understanding and expertise, in dealing with Investment Management and Retirement Planning that a veteran or 1st responder’s can depend on.

Assisted living and home health

How many vets do you currently have in the community?

Do you currently have Medicare, VA, & Medicaid billing options in addition to private pay?

Do you have any experience with care services for Veterans?

Do you help with Personal care – like help with daily living activities, bathing, meal preparation, and housekeeping?

So if a veteran or 1st responder was looking to have a registered professional nurse they could call you?

Do you offer 24-hour attentive and compassionate professional care for seniors?

Do you offer mobility improvement activities and Social activities for seniors?


Do you handle repair and replacement of toilets, faucets, water heaters?

Do you handle repair and replacement of water lines, sewer lines and gas lines?

Do you do backflow tests for like sump pumps and recirculating pumps?

Can you install tankless water heaters? So if a veteran or 1st responder was looking to have a tankless water heaters installed they could call you?


I am looking for an HVAC company that has an extensive understanding and expertise, to create the perfect indoor environment for a veteran or 1st responder’s home.

Do you deal with Duct Repair like installation and Air duct cleaning?

As far as Service & Repair work you guy’s deal with Air Purifiers and Water Heaters right?

I looking for a HVAC company that prides itself on providing real comfort solutions to real people that I can connect with veteran or 1st responder’s.

I am looking to connect veterans and 1st responder’s to an HVAC company that can handle service, routine maintenance and complete installations.

Can you help with air conditioning installs and Air Conditioning Repair?


Do you deal more with new construction or repair work?

Are you just dealing with tear offs or do you do repair work too?

Do you do any siding or gutter work?

A lot of these vets are older and can’t get out and climb a latter to do the work you do.
This is our straight line method to selling. We refer to this as our loop. In order to have someone follow you, first you must follow them, and make them believe you hear what they are communicating and that you care about their concerns. Example: I completely understand… I definitely hear what you are saying… Once you have made the connection then you want to change the direction of the conversation. Example: Let me ask you a different question… Real quick do you… Questions are used to help overcome an objection and to distance yourself from the customers “No”. They are also used to redirect and create that ‘AHH HAA’ moment in the sales process, and to get information from the customer to best help you understand how they want to be sold. Example of a question: You do (_____) right? What other services? Building Value to Close the Sale is the performance of actions that increase the worth of goods and services allowing the customer to feel what they’re receiving is something to either support the heroes or advertise and earn new customers, often times a mixture of both. Example of building value: Perfect! (Owner) as I’m sure you’re aware a lot of our vets are older and some of them are handicapped or disabled and as much as they might like to they simply can’t get out there and do the kind of work that you do! We want to custom create an ad for you of exactly what you do and then run it on the TVs over at the post. Finally we always want to ask for the sale or even better Assume the Sale. Example of ask for the sale: If I did that could you do me a favor? When these heroes call you would you be willing to give them the VIP service they deserve for serving our great country? Great, what is your last name? Assumptive closing involves always moving toward your closing process, which usually starts with the information gathering process needed to finalize the Deal. Example of Assumptive closing: “What address would you like listed?” Remember to always, Acknowledge (A lot of people say that at first), Redirect (walk away from their objection), Question (open the conversation) Value (explain a solution), & Ask for the sale (This is our straight line method to selling, we refer to this as our loop, expect three no’s before a yes) While closing you must verify each field: Customers First and Last Name, Business Name, Phone Number, Business Address and Mailing Address, Email Address, Business Website, and Framed Certificate choice.
A sale is nothing more than a conversation. A professional will structure the conversation so they have the best chance of closing the deal. Keep in mind you may be dealing with the objection (which is just giving you the opportunity to convince). How do you manage rejection you ask?? Positivity, this is THE BEST tool you have to counter rejection! You as a phone sales representative, will need to master your presentation to sound like a normal conversation. Tone, Volume, Inflection, Speed, Cadence, Excitement, Listening, Speaking Clearly, and Word Choice are the techniques used to master a genuine conversation. What makes the Hometown Hero Project unique is that we support Heroes *that need the resources of the businesses we are calling*. Bonus: They get the advertisement that will gain them exposure. How you are able to best explain to the customer the benefit to them in helping support and marketing directly to the Heroes is the goal to closing the deal. Remember that if it make sense for them to do it, they will always do it. In order to have someone follow you, first you must follow them, and make them believe you care about their concerns. Once you have made a connection then questions are a great tool in uncovering any objections or concerns. Asking questions will get information from the customer in order to best help you understand how they want to be sold. Questions can help overcome objection or confusion and also distance yourself from the customer’s “No’s”. Questions are also used to create that ‘AHH HAA’ moment in the sales process to connect how this project can benefit the customer. We want to build value by explaining the performance of our product and how it will benefit their situation. We are explaining how this service supports the heroes and/or is advertising to earn new customers, often times a mixture of both. Building value in the package your offering to create that ‘AHH HAA’ moment will help the customer to see the full benefit. Whether it is about compassion, earning more money, or both when building value we want to connect how the customer will be in a better position with us than without us. Finally we always want to ask for the sale or even better assume the Sale. We call to close so be a Boss and close the deal. Assumptive closing involves always moving toward your closing process, which usually starts with the information needed to finalize the deal. We manage rejection/opportunity so if they say no multiple times before you close the deal, Do not let this faze you. Instead, structure the conversation and close the deal! $$$
Phone sales is a unique form of communication and should follow a distinct structure, process, and guideline. It is not the same as a regular conversation. Conversations can range from extremely casual and meaningless (small talk to strangers) to extremely serious (conversations with significant others about important issues). There are many similarities between sales calls and ordinary conversation, yet sales calls are more focused, structured, and is held for one distinct purpose, to close a deal and make the sale. Sales is primarily about setting the stage and structuring the call for a sale to happen. We want to set the stage in our favor by presenting a great presentation and explaining our solution is the best fit for their problem. Often we must point out the problem they were not aware existed in order to establish our solution. Listening is a great way to understand the customers concerns. However listening is not the same as hearing although you may hear what is said you are not listening. Listening is the salespersons primary tool. Some listening barriers and obstacles you may encounter could include accents, pace- either too fast so you cannot understand the person or too slow so you start to drift and stop paying attention to what the person is trying to say. Voice Tone. Paralanguage is the language of the voice. How a voice comes across gives a lot of information to the listener. People can tell if the speaker is scared or assertive, nervous or confident, hesitant or forthright, along with a variety of other perceptions. Your tone is what the customer sees on the phone. Minimal Encouragers One of the most basic means of expressing to customers that you are paying attention is with minimal encouragers. These are verbal means of encouraging a customer to keep talking in the direction they are already on. Sometimes all they need is a minimal push to continue focusing on a topic. • “Go on” • “I see” • “Tell me more” • “Explain that to me” Minimal encouragers can also consist of using a word or phrase the customer has just used. Ask open-ended questions helps you understand your customers point of view and elicits their feelings about a given topic or situation. Open ended-questions facilitate dialog; they cannot be answered with a single word or phrase and do not require any particular response. They are a means to solicit additional information in a neutral way. Open-ended questions encourage the customer to do most of the talking, help you avoid making premature judgments, and keep communication moving forward. Salesperson: Can I ask you a different question______? What other services do you provide? (Open-ended question) Customer: Tree removal, Tree trimming Salesperson: what else (minimal encourager) Customer: Residential and commercial landscaping Salesperson: Great that is exactly what we want to do, is get you in front of the members at the club. They are not going to get outside and do the work themselves. So let’s get started so we can get these veterans calling you. What is your last name? Questions that start off with “did,” “are,” and “do” tend to be closed questions. “Why,” “what,” and “how” are usually open-ended questions. Why use questions? Questions can be an important component of the sales process. They help get the customer to give you information as well as think about the issue being discussed. Questions enable the salesperson to gain enough information to make an effective assessment of how to try and close the customer. Questions are a quick way to determine what the customer’s primary problem areas is. Your questions should never be structured so they leave the customer feeling bad or defensive. The salesperson will want to ask questions in a way that connects with the customer. Open questions allow room for the customer to express themselves and explain themselves. Closed questions ask for a specific response. Many times, they are forced choice type of question (“yes’ or “no”). Closed questions are best used when specific information is needed. What is a Paraphrase? A paraphrase is a restating, in the salespersons own words, the thoughts and facts of what the customer has just said. The salesperson does not give his own opinion of what is right, wrong, good, bad, or proper. The salesperson is not giving advice to the customer or trying to sway the customer. It is a means of trying to follow along and understand the customers concerns. The paraphrase is a statement of what the customer has just said. Don’t You/ Do You Think Questions When a salesperson ask questions that start with “Don’t you think” or “Do you think” they tend not to really be asking the customer a question. These salesperson utterances are deigned less to bring forth the customer concerns but to highlight the salespersons point of view. Salesperson: Do you think we could do that with your permission? In this situation, the salesperson is really saying that I would like to get started now. However, in the way the question is worded, the salesperson is not pushing at the customer but instead making them feel in control.

1. Priorities – We all have loads to do and have competing pressures on our time and attention. However, if winning the sale is important, it needs focus. That means removing unnecessary distractions. Ever tried to have a conversation with someone whose focus is elsewhere? Obvious isn’t it. Try to stay focused on what’s in front of you.

2. Don’t pre-judge – If you join the conversation with pre-determined ideas, there’s a risk that you’ll spend less time actively listening to what the other person says and more time plotting how you’ll convince them to your point of view. Try to enter the conversation with an open mind and you’ll be more inclined to listen so you can understand their point of view.

b3. Feedback – It’s the acknowledgements such as ‘OK’ or ‘uh huh’ or ‘ah I see’ and expressions such as ‘oh really’ that we all naturally do when we’re engaged in an interesting conversation. I’ve heard people interject with ‘oh right that’s interesting’ at the most inappropriate time in the conversation that was unrelated with what the prospect was saying. So take care to listen before chucking in acknowledgements.

4. Don’t interrupt – This is the worst sin and we’re all guilty. Whatever the reason, try to refrain from speaking over the other participant. It doesn’t work well. You can do this by following some of the other tips below.

5. Breathe & Pause – This may seem a strange one. But taking a deep breath and pausing, enables you to gather your thoughts, interrupts the pattern of speech and allows the other person the time to speak. It also slows you down and reduces the likelihood of pummeling the other person with a rat a tat tat of words.

6. Summaries – There’s nothing that demonstrates good listening than a good summary of the conversation. Use things like ‘so, if I understand correctly’ and ‘OK so what you mean is….’ It shows you listened and that you are interested. But beware doing this if you weren’t properly engaged as to what was being said.

7. Practice – It may sound foolish as we listen all the time. But, we all like the sound of our own voice. So, from the next conversation you have, try out the tips above and check out the difference in response. You never know, it may make you more likable and win you more sales!

Phone Etiquette: Know when to hold em….. You have just received a yes on a sales call. The excitement is immediate. You get that warm feeling knowing the eyes of your peers are following you step for step all the way to the whiteboard to notate the sale. You know what they are thinking, “he gets all the good leads”, and of course they have got it all wrong. Suddenly, while just about to move the client over to verification she states: “I’ve got to get off the phone now”. Maybe a customer just breezed through. Maybe something altogether different. Who knows. In the below instance, the potential client claims to have an appointment. This is not an opportunity to test the limits of a client’s patience. It’s an opening to show them how much you value their time. Take a listen to the recordings below. The sales agent goes on to initiate a verification moments after the client states her concern for time, which is sometimes okay. We’d like for you to make every effort to initiate the verification stage, however, he states that the verification will only take 15 seconds which is not true. Know when to let the call go. If someone vehemently expresses that they are pressed for time, let them go. If you have done a good job of selling them on our product/services and they’re truly interested, they will get back to you. It is important to schedule a call back time even if you believe they are genuinely interested. Trust in the process. We’ve gone through years of tweaks and turns in our sales process to set you up for success. The methods are proven and are always improving, otherwise we wouldn’t recommend them.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee and take a listen to the sound of Buyers Beware. Lean in real close and you’ll make out what seems to be a misunderstanding in progress and a red flag flapping in the wind. Our attention to these calls comes with the intention of falsifying the scam claim. There are two dominant sources of said claims. 1. Misinformed/Uninformed clients. 2. Disgruntled former employees of HTHP. More on Source 1 It is clear from these set of calls there was a lack of communication somewhere in the process. In this instance, part of the confusion was caused because of the potential client’s lack of awareness and him jumping to conclusions. As you can hear him state, there are a lot of scams out there using Veterans, Police Officers, and others semi-affiliated parties. On the flip side, the information given by the sales agent regarding the TV was incorrect. In the midst of confusion, the perfect storm was created. Red flags rose, sirens flipped on and all of a sudden our business was deemed illegitimate. Preparation is the key to avoiding this outcome. Knowing the details, big and small, will result in clients putting their faith in you. More on Source 2 For you new guys out there who at this point are still learning the business and do not yet fully understand all it’s intricacies.. As you know, in any line of business there exists a transition of people being hired, quitting, or being let go for a variety of reasons. Whatever the reason, it should come as no surprise that this dynamic creates negativity. Heck, there are even folks that remain working with us that may say negative statements regarding the company – because as we all know there exists the human tendency to be “the” moral expert regarding someone else. We have all been on the other side of this. The biggest negative we hear is the “it’s a scam” accusation, or “they aint helping Veterans”. Let’s admit it, we have all heard it. So, let’s take a moment to address the truths and myths. Truth vs Myth HTHP provides closed circuit television programming at over 500 locations nationwide. These programs are fed to over 500 flat screen TV’s that HTHP provides FREE to the Clubs/Posts and other venues. HTHP has a full time staff that produces and maintains over 500 different shows that air all day every day! This costs a significant amount of money, and the programming is specifically designed and produced to benefit Veterans, their families, and the military community as a whole. Also, HTHP is the primary supporter of Vans For Veterans, Since inception, V4V has purchased and donated five (5) mobility vans to Veteran Service Organizations across the nation. HTHP has full time staff operating the 833-Hero-Help hotline that is dedicated to helping Veterans and their families. Click here and view some specific 833-Hero-Help facts. All of the above statements are absolutely accurate and Great truths about HTHP. As a sales agent, the best way to help the company eliminate the scam myth is to make sure statements made on the phone are 100% true. Do not shade the truth by trying to imply something you know the customer may interpret another way. For example, we are not operating at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base or Fort Huachuca. The money we raise does not go to the Clubs. The money we raise does not go to Vans For Veterans. In other words, the project and deeds that HTHP performs do not require any “shading of the truth”. Embrace the truth – because the truth about what HTHP does is Great All By Itself! And, more importantly to you and the company’s bottom line is that truth telling results in a higher “paid” rate than untruths.
If you are using the statement “if everything I say isn’t true, then I don’t expect you to pay a dime…” This is the way it needs to be said and what it covers… Statement how it needs to be read is as follows: “If everything I put in writing in the order confirmation (sales agreement) isn’t true, then I do not expect you to pay a dime.” This statement is factual and covers payment terms, duration, clubs, locations, products. This means that a customer CAN cancel out if: 1. They were told they would get multiple club locations and the contract only shows one. 2. The customer was told the price is going to be for example $499 and the contract reads $500. 3. Payment terms don’t match what was talked about. 4. The customer was told they are getting a VDA with full screen option, and that is not listed on the order confirmation. 5. Etc… This DOES NOT INCLUDE/COVER/WORK FOR when a customer wants to do the following: 1. I want to go to the club and make sure the T.V. is there and see the setup. 2. I have to talk to my, husband, wife, partner, dog, the owner, my brother/sister…first before I move forward. 3. I want to verify WHO YOU ARE/THAT THE COMPANY IS WHO YOU SAY IT IS first. 4. Etc…
• Good preparation forms a solid sales foundation, giving you the confidence you need to sell successfully. IF you prepare adequately you can approach the sale from a position of strength. • Most people take the path of least resistance, and preparation is one of the first places corners are cut. You can give yourself an enormous advantage just by taking the time and expending the effort to prepare properly for a sales call.
How great would it be if every call made was a sale made? The truth is that every call a sale is made, them selling you on “no” or you selling them on “yes”. We must understand that every sale is a process that starts with qualifying a lead then presenting your solution to improve their problem. What separates our service from the thousands of other services out there is our ability to help the men and women that served our great country. It is our job to explain how our solution best fits their problem and connect the dots for the customer. In other terms if it makes sense for them to do it, then that’s is exactly what they will do. How to best fit our solution to their problem is the fun part of selling. You should keep it simple and not over complicate the decision making process for the customer by over loading them with unnecessary information. Remember to actively listen to how they want you to sale them. If needed ask questions to get them talking. Always remember the goal is to close them whether it will be on this call or the next so stay focus and be willing to reach the finish line.
Potential Referrals: • If the call goes good, sold or not ask the customer: Do you by chance know any other business owners who would like to reach out to the veteran community with their products or services? • If you get a referral make sure you thank the customer and ask them if its OK to say they referred you. Call back commitment. • When asking a customer when’s a good time to call back say something like: I have an opening on Tue at 9:30 or Wed at 2, which would work better for you? This makes the prospect look at their calendar and consider open blocks in their schedule to talk. If you ask them when a good time to call back is their likely to look at how busy they are and not commit. Keeping in touch: • ” Mr. Jones, I know you haven’t agreed to sign on with us today but would it be OK if I stay in touch with you so that if later down the road something changes we can get you on board with this great project?” Always remember: • The customer is usually always thinking WII-FM ” what’s in it for me.” • The customer wants to quickly realize the benefit of #1. Taking your call and #2. Signing up with Home Town Hero Project. • So, what’s in it for the customer? 1) Supporting the veteran community 2) Acquiring new business, so in the end their showing support for the men and women who served their country and potentially making some money while doing it. Make the customer feel like you’re going to give them way more than you’re going to receive. Example: Helping Vets, Advertising on Hot Line, Web Site, Post, for only $_____.
We should approach this as a blow off more than an objection. The thing you want to recognize about blow off statements – things like “Just send me information” or “We don’t have the budget” or “I’m not interested” etc., is that these are not necessarily objections. Instead they are simply resistance statements meant to blow you off. I want you to think about your response to a sales rep at a store who asks you, “Can I help you find something?” Your response is probably something like, “Oh, I’m just looking.” This is not necessarily an objection by you but instead it’s simply designed to blow them off. The key to handling resistance statements is NOT to try to overcome them, but rather, to simply acknowledge and then move past them. And that’s what the following “I’m not interested” rebuttals listed will help teach you to do. As with all scripts, adapt these to fit your personal style. Once you have, then practice, drill and rehearse these until they become habit. Here are some ways to handle the “I’m not interested” blow off: (Remember, your goal here is not to overcome an objection – but instead to acknowledge this initial resistance and qualify for interest.) You should learn to love this objection because of how often it comes up. When first confronted with it, your instinct may be to say “okay, well thanks for your time,” and walk away. Response #1: “I can appreciate that, Jane, and I want to know why a patriot like yourself would say no to something so good as our offer and the benefits we are able to bring to not only your company but the vets. So, would you be kind enough to elaborate on why you have to say no at this time?” What’s nice about this response is that it almost always takes the discussion from a dead-end to a place where the prospect is now giving you input into why they said no and this information can now be used to open doors either now or in the future. Response #2: “That’s fine _________, and many people I speak with tell me the same thing as well. And as they learn more about this and see what this can really do for them, they were glad they took a few minutes to listen. One thing that would be a good fit for you is….” (Continue with your pitch, briefly, and then ask a qualifying question like, “Do you see how that would work for you?”) Response #3: “I didn’t expect you to be interested ________, you don’t know enough about this yet. But like me and everyone else, I do know you’re interested in (provide a benefit here – saving money on advertising, increasing customer base, etc.) and that’s why I’m calling. Let me ask you a quick question: if I could show you how you can (provide your unique benefit here) and even save you (time, money, etc.) wouldn’t you be happy you took a few minutes to find out how?” Response #4: “I know that _______, heck if you were interested you’d have called me! (Say this with a smile in your voice?? But seriously, I know you get a lot of calls, and every now and then it makes sense to listen to the right call, and this is it.” (Continue with your value proposition and then ask a question like, “Do you think that would help you, too?”) Response #5: “Believe me, I’m with you. But the good news is that taking just 30 seconds with me right now could change the way you do business, and could help you (achieve new business, save lots of money on your advertising – at the same time help the Vets get access to resource they can use). In fact, let me share briefly with you how we’ve helped hundreds of companies just like yours…” Response #6: Let me ask you – If I can show you how you can (give benefit here), would it be worth a few minutes to find out how?” Remember, the top sales producers have proven responses to the objections, resistance and blow offs they receive repeatedly. And that’s how YOU’RE going to move into that elite group as well.
Subtle cues can suggest authenticity or reveal deceit. The language we use in communicating with customers impacts our ability to excite them about the topic at hand and close the sale. What we say — and how we say it — matters. Different words trigger predictable behaviors in people. Some encourage listeners to open up and let down their guard. Others create resistance and cause audiences to become defensive. Every word you choose can trigger a feeling or emotion; it is your job to carefully select your words to maximize the impact of your message. Salespeople who understand the psychology of communication and language learn how to upgrade their vocabulary to include words and phrases that help clients develop positive associations with their brand and product. And because language is such a powerful tool, sales reps can significantly increase their close rates simply by swapping out a handful of things they normally say with high-impact vocabulary. To help you improve the tone and outcome of future client-facing scenarios, here is a list of 14 words and phrases that will encourage customers to react more favorably to your sales pitch. Advantage You want to share a single, clear reason why the customers should care about the advantage of our service. Not only should your service have an advantage over other offers, it should also give your customer an edge against their rivals. The advantage you offer customers should be sticky. By identifying one specific thing that makes your offer special, you leave prospects with an explicit detail worth remembering. Amazing Everyone wants to be amazed. The word tugs on our emotional strings and encourages us to take action. It triggers memories of amazement and the joy we felt when we were amazed. It’s that joy that we want over and over again. Your customers do not want things that are merely ‘good.’ Instead, they want something that will ‘wow’ them — and that is something they would even be willing to pay for. Of course, people hate being oversold on something and later disappointed when a product or service they purchase fails to meet their expectations. Amateur salespeople have a bad habit of overselling their goods. So, while “amazing” is a word you will want to use on calls, it is best to use it sparingly in describing things that merit excitement. Avoid To be an effective salesperson, you need to focus on selling opportunities that help your customer better achieve their goals and, at the same time, provide protection against potential losses. Loss aversion is a basic principle in economics and decision theory that encourages us to act in ways that allow us to maintain what we have and prioritizes that over acquiring more things. But smart sales representatives make it a point to call out ways their solutions help customers gain something AND avoid future losses. A couple sample lines you can weave into upcoming sales calls are: Avoid paying every month for your advertising. Avoid the headache of creating your own ad. Because In 2012, social psychologist Ellen Langer conducted a study in which subjects preparing to use a copy machine were approached by an experimenter who asked to use the machine first, before the subject began making copies for him or herself. The experimenter made the request using one of three scripts: Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine? Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I have to make copies? Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush? Using the first line, subjects complied with the request 60% of the time. With the second script, 93% responded positively. Using the third line, 94% of subjects agreed to let the experimenter make copies first. Langer concluded that the word “because” was a key differentiation in getting a stranger to comply with an explicit request. “If a reason was presented to the subject, he or she was more likely to comply than if no reason was presented, even if the reason conveyed no information. Once compliance with the request required a modicum of effort on the subject’s part, thoughtful responding seemed to take the place of mindlessness, and the reason now seemed to matter. Under these circumstances, subjects were more likely to comply with the request based on the adequacy of the reason presented.” The word “because” justifies sufficient motivation for a certain action. It also indicates a strong cause-and-effect relationship. In conversation, you will want to prime your audience to believe certain inputs are necessary in order to receive a specific outcome. For example, you may insist that prospects will want to send logo’s or photos because, in doing so, they will have a nicer ad. When you associate explicit results with your product or service, buyers become convinced that your solutions will help them achieve more of their goals. First People love new things. The word “first” denotes exclusivity and grabs a listener’s attention. A first look at your newest product or service can be pretty exciting for existing and prospective customers. In showing clients something they have not yet seen before, you introduce the element of surprise. Of course, it will still be your responsibility to delight them with an offer worthy of consideration. And if you deliver on that promise, this sort of special treatment can go a long way in helping you build a meaningful relationship with your contact. Believing that you have their best interests in mind, people will be more inclined to convert into paying customers. Fix People want solutions to their biggest problems. When you suggest you have a way to “fix” the issues they face, you earn a captive audience. At the end of the day, even though customers are attracted to exclusive deals and big, shiny offers, they are most loyal to businesses that fulfill their basic needs well. Free Free is a compelling offer. In an article for The Next Web, entrepreneur Ali Abdullah says, “The most powerful word in the English language is ‘free’. This presents an opportunity we should all capitalize on.” In a 2012 experiment, researchers from the University of Minnesota found that they could sell 73% more hand lotion when they added a 50% volume bonus to each purchase instead of when the same bottle was sold at a 33% discount. Although the price per ounce was the same in both instances, shoppers seized the opportunity to claim the free offer with their purchase. Free add-ons or services allow salespeople to avoid discounting their products while adding special appeal to their offer and extending more value. Imagine Put prospects in an optimistic mindset by asking them to “imagine” the opportunities they may have if they purchase your goods. Customers who have a firm understanding of how they would implement your offer and apply it to their business are more likely to agree to your final proposal. The fact is: people buy better versions of themselves. When they are able to imagine how your product or service helps them be a better person or professional, you will have them hooked. I don’t know A single lie can lead you down a very slippery slope. The top salespeople do everything they can to avoid misrepresenting their products or services. By admitting, “I don’t know,” sales reps counter-intuitively build trust with potential customers. Rather than share complete guesses or facts they are uncertain about, successful salespeople take note of questions they do not have the answer to and take time after a call or meeting to research the right answer. This also eliminates the risk of having to backpedal on your words at a later point. While saying “I don’t know” can come with a bit of shame, customers would easily prefer working with someone who is ethical and honest. Sales blogger Johnny Bravo believes the best way to admit “I don’t know” is by directly saying it, then using the client’s unanswered question as a follow-up item. More discerning customers may bait you with a question they already know the answer to in order to see how you may respond. A blunt, “I don’t know” can earn you a new friend and open the door. Now One of the keys to sales is creating urgency without aggressively pressuring your customers for an answer. To do so, you will want to demonstrate the benefits customers may receive if they buy your service now. Be clear about the immediate impact you can offer to help make their purchasing decision easier. By suggesting that “now” is the perfect time to work together, prospects won’t take weeks or months to finally say “yes.” Instead, they will make every effort to convince their peers and managers that whatever you are offering is a worthy investment. For an easy way to incorporate “now” into your script, here are three questions you can ask customers: How would this help your business if you had this now? What would happen if you didn’t invest today? What other options are available for you? Simple Your customers deserve a painless experience. Suggesting something is “simple” indicates that there is a small (or non-existent) learning curve and low switching costs. Successful salespeople assure their clients that signing up is easier than they might normally imagine. When something is simple, people are more open to the idea of using it. In sales, it helps to emphasize which parts of your product or service are easy-to-use and simplify the way your customers conduct themselves and their business. Save Use “save” to frame an opportunity as a clear win for prospects and existing users. Potential customers want to hear about how you can save them money, time or trouble compared to other vendors. Examples include: Sign up today and I’ll give you an extra 3 months free as an introductory offer this will save you $100. Sign up today and I’ll give you an extra 15 sec. free as an introductory offer this will save you $100. Current clients with contracts up for renewal would be more responsive to a new sales proposal if you said: Save x amount on any additional services you purchase. Save x amount when you commit to an annual contract. Unusual Your customers want to try something different to give them a leg up against the competition. Although some may be hesitant to break tradition, many others will be eager to implement unusual solutions if there is a high chance they will receive better results from their investment. This helps customers fulfill their desire to innovate too. No one really wants to do the same things that everyone is doing. Instead, they want to discover new ways of accomplishing the same goal but in a more resource- and time-efficient manner. We An important component of successful selling is getting the customer to feel you both are on the same team. Referencing the project as a joint effort and repeating the word “we” puts prospects in a team-oriented mindset. Believing that all parties are invested in a mutually beneficial relationship, buyers begin to exhibit cooperative behavior. Other words you can use in place of “we” include: “our,” “together” and “us.” It may seem unnatural at first to use some of these words on sales calls. Over time, you will see how well — or poorly — your customers react to different words, phrases or terminology. Adapt your speech and written correspondence to include language that elicits positive emotions and encourages customers to take action. Soon, you will find more prospects gravitating towards your offers and that will have a remarkable impact on your close rates. What are some words you use while selling to trigger strong reactions from customers?
Assumptive Close If you have an established the structure of the sale, the customer understands what the offer is and you’ve answered a question go straight into the close by asking for their last name. Then proceed with the close. Something for Nothing A free add-on may be gimmicky, but it can work if handled correctly. “I can give you an extra 3 months if I can get your verbal commitment today, and I’ll throw it in at no charge.” Ben Franklin Ben Franklin is said to have made decisions by creating a list with two columns – the pros and the cons – and basing his choice on the longer column. This approach works well with analytical personalities. If you use it as a closing technique, just be sure you have a lot of benefits in the customer’s “pro” column. The Porcupine You must be careful stroking a porcupine and you must also be careful answering customer questions. When your prospect asks a question like “Does it come in red?” answer by tossing back the question: “Would you like it in red?” their answer will give you a measure of the depth of their interest and help you adjust your presentation appropriately. Impending Event If you truly have a deadline or reason for the customer to make a quick decision, the impending event closing works well. “I can have your ad proof too you in the next 3 to five days. If the deadline is in your interest and not the customer’s, it will be seen as self-serving and will not work. Solicit Objections If you have gone through the pitch and answered any questions and are confident that the customer understands that our service addresses their needs, then ask for the sale by asking for an objection. “Is there any reason why we can’t move forward and get you started today?” This approach allows the customer to raise any final objections — if they have one — without saying no to the sale. Level With Me As you approach the end of the selling process and the customer says he wants to think about it, ask him to get to the point: “Level with me. Have I failed to show you the value that you will receive from your investment?” Then be quiet. Direct Close When you have addressed the customer’s concerns and you are confident that they know the value of your product or service, then pose the question directly, “So, Mary, are you ready to move forward today?” Use this closed-ended, yes-or-no question only if you are very confident that the answer will be affirmative.
• You have the first 10-15 seconds to build a connection with the customer using your tonality, enthusiasm and make them think that you are an expert in your domain • Be a problem solver- first identify their needs and after that explain to them how your product can help them • Make them understand the long-term benefits of your product and how they are helping the veterans • Be positive, respectful, enthusiastic, credible, entertaining and memorable • Learn to talk about the price of your product or service by showing them how many benefits they get for that “small investment” • Always have in mind why you picked-up the phone in the first place and “That is to Close the deal” • Remember it is just a conversation they are just like you and me, so RELAX • The first 10-15 seconds of the call are the most important for building a connection with the client and getting them interested
• First, the customer doesn’t know who you are so it’s hard for them to trust you, from a psychological point of view • The customer thinks that your product or service requires money and they don’t want to spend any • They will always fear the worst • They are comfortable with their current situation • They fear taking any risk • They don’t think about the long-term benefit of your product or service • They feel that you don’t value their time • They think that you want to sell them something only for your own benefit • It is hard for a customer to believe in your product if you don’t • It’s hard for them to get excited if you’re not • Most customers will not show interest until they feel you care about what their interest are
You’ve explained the pros and cons. They have a problem but they know our product could solve it for them. The budget is good to go and the time is right. Now all that’s left to do is close the deal. This is the moment at which you will discover whether your efforts will pay off. While a “yes” or “no” hinges on far more than just the specific closing sentence or question, you often struggle with wording the close. Does this sound too pushy? Too weak? Should you ask a question, or use a statement instead? There are several strong ways to close a deal. Here are a few to help get you started. “Is there any reason, if we gave you the 6 months at $499, that you wouldn’t get started today?” This one turns you into Jedi mind trick master. If the customer answers “no” to this question, you have indirectly gotten them to agree to sign up. If the answer is “yes,” however, you have an opportunity to address any objections without bringing the deal to a halt. “If we could find a way to deal with [objection], would you give me a verbal commitment to get you started today?” Objections often kill deals. But in this case, handling the objection is a way of closing the sale. Of course, this depends on the ability to resolve the problem. But if a fix is possible, getting the customer to commit ahead of time is a clever way of turning a con into a pro. “So, when should we get started on your ad?” Hmm, I guess next week could work — wait a minute, I didn’t even officially say I wanted to do this! That’s right, by using this so-called assumptive close, reps can bypass the closing phrase entirely. Some might consider this trickery, but it’s relatively harmless, especially since the prospect who doesn’t notice the missing hard close clearly wants or service. “Would you like my help?” It’s sort of perfect: gentle and friendly without being obscure or weak. Plus, it enforces your image as an advisor rather than a hard-closing salesperson. “If we throw in [freebie], would that convince you to give me a verbal commitment today?” Clearly, this closing technique isn’t appropriate for every situation (it’s called “selling,” after all, not “giving away”). “Taking all of what you’ve told me today, I think these two options would work best for you. Would you like to go with [X] or [Y]?” Called the alternative close. The rationale behind giving two alternatives is that the customer will be more inclined to choose one than turn both away. You then increase your chances of hearing a “yes” to something rather than a “no” to everything. “I’d hate to see [You miss out on the business altogether] because you didn’t have your company in front of the Veterans. Do you want to make sure that doesn’t happen?” Fear is a powerful motivator. This closing tactic is most effective in situations where the consequences of not buying will harm the business, instead of simply allowing the status quo to continue. It’s best to pair this line with external factors, such as budget or economic conditions, which customers can’t control. “Why don’t you give it/us a try?” It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? There is a disarming and unassuming quality of this question. Phrasing the decision as “giving the product a chance” instead of “making a commitment” downplays the risk and ramps up the rapport. “If you sign up today, I can give you [special request the buyer asked for]. How does that sound?” Called a “rebound close” — promises that you will grant a special request after the prospect provides their permission to move forward. “I know you said you need to have (to wait because of X, Y, and Z) If we could get a verbal commitment [today] and were able to (X, Y, Z). Can we count on you then?” If you know the prospect has a firm deadline they need to stick to, use it to crank up the urgency. And since you’re using the prospect’s deadline instead of pulling one out of thin air, this type of reminder-slash-closing line helps the buyer instead of unduly pressuring them. “Will you give a verbal commitment and start doing business with us today?” Sometimes the simplest closing technique can be best, but other times it can come off as presumptive or pushy. You must have a firm command of the situation and a high level of familiarity with the customer to use this closing line successfully. “Ready to move forward? I can send over the sales agreement right now.” Everyone likes the idea of progress. If prospects associate the purchase with forward momentum, they’ll be likelier to commit. This closing line also reduces the friction of buying — the contract is already ready, so all they need to do is give a verbal commitment. “You’re interested in X and Y features, right? If we get started today, you’ll be up and running by [date].” You can encourage the customer to decide by reminding them the sooner they act, the sooner they’ll have their ad up a running. Mentioning specific like the web listing doesn’t hurt, either — buyers will immediately start picturing how many people will see their ad.
Tone: Expresses your overall attitude and lets the person you are communicating with know how you feel. Three types of tones available. The first two are the only ones you should ever use; 1) The “late-night FM DJ” voice 2) The smiling positive/playful voice. The third tone of voice, which will always have a negative effect, is the direct/assertive voice. Using the assertive voice is like slapping yourself in the face while you’re trying to make progress. Your counterpart will always be looking for the opportunity to push back Pitch: How high or low your voice sounds. Higher pitched voices sound abrasive, while low deeper (late night Radio DJ) voices tend to be more soothing. Speed: Rate of movement or progress. Always speak slowly and clearly. Excitement: Helps stir up emotion and increase activity on the call. Volume: How soft or loud you speak. People are often unaware that they speak too softly or too loudly, best practice is to mimic the volume of the person you are talking to. Speak Slowly and Clearly: Always speak slowly and clearly in a positive and professional tone. We expect all Home Town Hero Project team members to be positive and professional while on every call. Word Choice: What words we say and how we say the words is very important to communicating what we are trying to accomplish. Remember, no slang. Hear and Understand: Be professional, listen carefully to your customers, and let them finish their thoughts without interrupting them. Ask questions that clarify information and confirm that everyone is on the same page before moving forward. Preparation: Know your product and service, who, and what you are representing. Understanding how your product & service will benefit your customer & their situation. Even if the words are correct and intended to be polite, tone could imply the opposite. Work to find the best range where your voice sounds confident and most importantly, professional. Be sure to focus on tone, speed, pitch, excitement, and word choice.
Many sales reps don’t see their prospect’s requests to receive some information as an obstacle. Early on in a call, a prospect will ask, “Can you send me some more information? I’ll review it and get back to you.” A new sales rep will respond, “Of course! I’ll send it right away.” They send out the email, and that’s it. Maybe one or two follow-ups, and they then nothing happens. Let’s break down why blindly sending more information is the wrong way to respond and how experienced and successful sales reps respond to this common request. The painless way of losing deals To new sales reps, it doesn’t feel like it’s a lost opportunity. There’s still hope, right? Maybe the prospect will review the info you sent him, find you’re selling exactly what he needs, call you up, and ask one or two clarifying questions. A subtle nudge of your elegant salesmanship will be all it takes to close the deal. Positive thinking at its finest—except the real world doesn’t work this way! What “please send me more information” really means “I’m not interested, and I don’t want to give you my attention and time.” It’s simply the most convenient way for the person on the other end of the line to get rid of you. They don’t want to be rude; you don’t want to be rejected. You both know it. Thus, the unspoken agreement is reached between the two of you. Why you shouldn’t just lay down when they say send more information. You haven’t learned anything about this prospect yet. You haven’t qualified them. You don’t know what their wants and needs are, which problems they face, whether they can afford your solution, how you are the best fit, etc. What do you think will come out of that? Nothing. When you send information, you want them to feel like it has hits the mark. 1. Use the power of yes First, tell them: “Yes! Can I have your email?” This is the jiu jitsu part. You use the momentum of their request has to your advantage, and then redirect it the way you want to. 2. Get them invested. After they give you their email address, tell them: “I want to make sure that I send you relevant information. Can you tell me, _______ [easy to answer qualifying question, e.g. are you guys more interested in X or Y]?” This is a tiny, little follow-up question that most prospects will answer. However, it’s powerful because it will cause them to lower their guard, thereby shifting the conversation’s momentum. They have given you a bit more information, invested a bit more time and energy into the conversation—and thus are more likely to stick around. 3. Ask more follow-up questions Engage them in a conversation by carefully asking more follow-up questions. The secret to success here is to fine-tune your antennas, but it’s not rocket science. If you’re in a good state, and you genuinely care and listen, you can do this. Some people will cut you off and tell you to just send them the information. If they do, that’s fine. Thank them for their time, and get them the info they’ve asked for. Many times, you can really get them engrossed into long sales conversations. I do this all the time when people ask me to send them more information because they’re “too busy to talk right now”. 20 minutes later, they’re still on the phone with me. People often LIKE this. Rather than a high-pressure sales call with a telemarketer, they’re having a real conversation with a knowledgeable person showing interest in their opinions, problems and wishes. (I’m assuming you have subject matter expertise). 4. Take the next step Usually you’ll still end the call by telling them that they’ll get more information. But now you’ve moved the sale much further. You know more about them, they know more about you, you both have determined that there’s some real potential. You’ll be able to send them information, and they’ll study it much more attentively. I’ve had many sales calls where a prospect tried to get rid of me by asking for more information, and using the simple engagement strategy I shared with you here, I re-engaged and closed them on that same call. And if you practice this enough, you’ll see similar results.
You want to be very clear and concise, trying to covey that you are calling with a purpose. Prospects and decision-makers are increasingly difficult to reach, on their guard, and very sensitive and resistant to obvious ‘sales techniques’. So, try to sound confident and natural. The gatekeeper’s job is to screen the call. They have only a few seconds to decide who you are. A gatekeeper wants to let customers, friends, and family through to speak to the owner. The gatekeeper doesn’t want to let telemarketers or salesmen through. So, knowing this, we want to sound confident and natural like a customer but at the same time we don’t want to lie. Our first objective is to get the decision maker or owner on the phone to pitch them. However, a lot of times they are not available so we must shift gears and gather as much information to increase our chances of success on the follow up call. Find out who the owner or decision maker is for advertising. Always ask if the owner is a Veteran, if they offer Veteran Discounts, what a good email address is or fax #, remember to get the name of secretary, as well as set a good call back time. It is a good practice to ask for a cell phone #. And remember to thank the secretary for being helpful.
How we approach each potential close on a call will ultimately determine our success. In order to create trust on the phone we have to be professional. It is important to always speak slow, clear, and with confidence to increase your chances of closing. Your voice reflects your attitude. Even if the words are correct and intended to be polite, tone could imply the opposite. The key to achieving this is knowing your close inside and out, this will help prevent you from awkward pauses or using slang in your closing presentation. When closing, the words you choose to say to a potential client are extremely important to a successful outcome Start with clear Objectives • Know your close • Always speak clear and confident • Don’t fear the close • Ask for the money Assumptive Close Techniques – Assume the Sale Assumptive closing involves moving always towards your closing process, which usually starts with the information gathering process needed to finalize a sale. Name, Address, Email, Website, etc., are all good methods to use to start the closing process. “Do you have a web site to pull graphics from for your ad or a business card you’d like to use on your ad?” “What is your last name?” “What is a good mailing address to send your custom placard to?” Always ask for payment on every sale. Your rate of collections will go up if you ask for the payment on every sale that is a guarantee. “Would you like to use Visa or MasterCard?” Payment Options should be offered only when the customer asks, or there is a concern regarding budget. Do not automatically offer deferring payment or breaking up payments as a part of your pitch. All payments made must be a minimum of $100. When customer cannot for whatever reason make an initial payment, ask them when they would like to make the first payment. (Should not be in excess of 30 days from the date of sale.) Payments can only be split up into a maximum of (4) monthly payments. All sales over 999 can be in house financed for up to 6 payments over 6 months. In House Financing This is an option available to all customers to allow them to setup monthly payments with Customer Service. The Customer has the option to setup automatic payments using a Visa or MasterCard, or a Representative can contact them each month to secure payment.
Home Town Hero Project offers an opportunity to learn a real trade, the art of phone sales is a skill that will open doors for you. There are real life work expectations put on every employee of the Home Town Hero Project Team, and the effort and work you put in are well worth the reward. This is a real job in a prison setting so it comes with its own unique challenges. We must always conduct ourselves in a professional manner to reach our ultimate goal of success. We are calling a business and speaking to the owner of the business. We want to create an environment that lets the owner know we can be trusted and that we are professionals. Business casual is a great approach, this mean you are professional and will get to the point if needed, but can also have a meaningful conversation if it presents itself. The key to achieving this is knowing your script inside and out, this will help prevent you from awkward pauses or using slang in your sales presentation. When making sales the words you choose to say to a potential client are extremely important to a successful outcome.
Most sales reps think deals are won or lost when you’ve got the prospect on the phone. They’re wrong. You win or lose the deal before you even pick up the phone and dial; it’s your state of mind that determines the outcome of the call more than anything else. Three questions you should ask yourself before every sales call: Why? What? How? Sales reps who haven’t answered these questions aimlessly float with the tide. Don’t be one of them; swim for a goal! “The game looks like it takes place between the lines on the court, but really it takes place between your ears.”—Novak Djokovic Here’s three questions to ask yourself that will set you up for success between your ears: Why am I calling? On the most superficial level, you can answer this question by saying “I’m calling because that number, that prospect is in my sales pipeline.” But why do you even go through your sales pipeline? “Because I want to close that deal.” Why? “Because I want to accomplish my goal.” Why? “Because I want to be successful.” Why? “Because I want to accomplish my dreams.” Why? “Because I want to make myself a better sales man.” Keep asking why until you connect this sales call to whatever it is that drives you in life, to your higher purpose … you will feel very different about the next call than when it’s “just another sales call” or “just another commission”. Everybody’s answers are different to these questions. What matters is that you know your answers, that you know your WHY. What do I want to accomplish? Be specific and clear about what you want to accomplish. Don’t just say, “I want to close a deal.” That’s too generic. What’s the deal you want to close? When do you want to close it? What’s the action you want them to take? Create a scenario in your mind that you can clearly see, and then step into it, like a virtual reality game. How am I going to accomplish this? What’s your game plan? How exactly do you want to get to the finish line? Here’s one example of how you might answer this question: “I’m going to do this by getting them engaged and emotionally invested in the conversation. I’ll make them understand how our product can help them achieve the outcomes they want and the value this would create for themselves and their company. I’m going to overcome all their objections and make this the start of a long-lasting business relationship.” Go into whatever level of specificity you think is adequate for yourself. If you’ve internalized these steps already, just mentioning the names is enough—if they’re not yet fully integrated into your muscle memory, then being more detailed about it can be helpful. Sales success starts in your mind. You must plant the seeds of success within yourself before you can reap the benefits of its success. Before you get on a sales call, mentally set yourself up for the outcome you want to achieve. Prime your mind to go in your desired direction, so you will go into the sales call with a higher level of clarity, energy and purpose. You don’t have to take my word for it. Try it for yourself. Before your next sales call, answer these questions to yourself why, what, how. I’ve never met anyone for whom this didn’t help improve their chances of success.
If you are involved in the Telemarketing industry, you will undoubtedly be familiar with the term ‘The Gatekeeper’. This is the individual whose job it is to prevent people getting access to the Decision-Maker. Typically, this is a personal assistant or a secretary, but in some companies, it is even the receptionist or switchboard operator. Here are Ten Top Tips for Getting Past the Gatekeeper.


Whoever is acting as the Gatekeeper between you and the Decision-Maker (DM) is just doing their job. Part of that job is managing demands on the DM’s time. Seeing the Gatekeeper as the enemy creates a self-imposed psychological barrier that it will be difficult, if not impossible to remove.


Management never gets treated the same as the workers. If someone believes that you are important, they will treat you differently. Using a relaxed and calm voice, speak slowly and articulately and don’t divulge more than is necessary. During the opening seconds of your conversation, if the Gatekeeper senses that you are their senior, they will not risk offending you by probing too deeply.


Remember that whilst the Gatekeeper’s role is to restrict interruptions to the DM’s daily routine, they do know a great deal of important information about the DM and the business. Use this opportunity to check that the person that you want to speak to IS the decision-maker. Check your facts with them. Ask simple, non-intrusive open questions to try to build up a picture of both the Gatekeeper and the Decision-Maker.


The Gatekeeper has several distinct ‘powers’. One of them is the power to connect you with the right person. However, they do not hold any decision-making powers. When the Gatekeeper asks ‘Can I tell him/her what it’s regarding?’ – do not try to pitch your product or service to the Gatekeeper. Firstly, it will waste your time. Second, it will irritate them because they will just be waiting for an opportunity to tell you that they cannot help you. No matter how desperate to connect with the DM you are, do not sell to the Gatekeeper.


Don’t be awkward, don’t try to sneak past the Gatekeeper, the chances are you’ll get cut off at the knees. Actively engage with the Gatekeeper. Don’t get too personal, don’t pry, but you can gently probe. If you can’t get through to the DM, engage the Gatekeeper so that they have a positive and friendly attitude towards you when you call again. You’re unlikely to become best friends, but building a relationship and a rapport with them will help them want to help you.


If you are nervous, stressed or tense, you will transfer those feelings to your voice, your behaviour and choice of words. All of these will make an impact on how the Gatekeeper perceives you and therefore how they receive your request for access or information. Take some deep slow quiet breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth to put yourself at ease. When the Gatekeeper answers, smile and confidently greet them with energy and ease.


Unless you are a particularly good actor, don’t use a script on the Gatekeeper. They are likely to hear the scripted tone in your voice. Instead, plan how you will approach them; what approaches you might take depending upon the range of responses that they might make. Plan your responses to key objections but leave yourself room by improvising the dialogue.


Do you know that whilst you are speaking to the Gatekeeper, you are consciously or unconsciously employing a transitive verb to do something to them? A transitive verb is, if you don’t know, a verb that can be done to someone else such as ‘I CHARM You, I AMUSE You, I PRESS You’. In Oral Communications, verbs are used as tactics to get results from other people. It’s essential that you be in control of the tactics that you are playing. Think about what tactics you will play throughout your PLAN.


This is largely irrelevant because you want to speak to the DM nonetheless. However, in order to bypass the Gatekeeper, use the DM’s first name only. Ask ‘Can I speak to Jenny please?’, it sounds like a personal call. Remember your goal is not to inform the Gatekeeper; your goal is to bypass them to get to the DM. Next, they might ask ‘Is she expecting your call?’. Simply and easily reply ‘Yes, I sent him some information through from our Head Office, we need to discuss it before close of business today’.


It’s not the best solution, and this tip often splits Telemarketers down the middle. You can always ask if you can be put through to the DM’s voicemail. Just like in a sales environment, quickly point out a benefit for the Gatekeeper of doing this. If they say that the DM is ‘out to lunch’ or ‘in a meeting’ and you’ve already called several times, point out that you’ve already taken up a lot of their time and ask if they can put your through to voicemail to save bothering them further. Of course, Marketing is a personal art and what works for one, will not necessarily work for another. These Top Ten Tips should be the starting place for developing your own personal method of bypassing the Gatekeeper, rather than seeing them as cast iron instructions to be rigidly followed.

Straight Line Training Lesson #1 Training Plan:

The First 5 Seconds.

In 2013 a Harvard Professor did a study on the importance of first impressions. What he found was that the human brain makes the initial first impression in 5 seconds. What the study also found was that if you make a bad 1st impression it takes 8 subsequent positive impressions to erase that 1 negative 1st impression.

The simple fact is that we all want to deal with pros or experts, and we also want to deal with people who are sharp, on the ball, and are enthusiastic about what they do. Experts have a certain way of talking that literally “commands respect”. They say things like “Listen, _____, you need to trust me on this I’ve been doing this a long time and I know this will be beneficial for both you and the Veterans. Novices, on the other hand, tend to speak in far less definite terms, they scramble for the right words to say. My point here is that how you are perceived in the beginning of the call will carry through to every part of the sale. In knowing this you always want to start every call as positive as possible. There are 3 things that you need to establish in the initial first encounter if you want to be perceived in just the right way: 1) That you’re sharp as a tack: Problem Solver, You Sound Intelligent. If they don’t think you’re sharp as a tack, you’re wasting their time and yours. You must come across as someone who’s on the ball, a born problem solver who is defiantly worth listening to. You must sound and act like someone who can help the consumer fulfill their needs. So how can we do this? (go over one liners, leading questions, get 1 from each agent) 2) Enthusiastic as hell: If you sound excited and believe in what you’re doing and what we’re doing here and online for the Vets the consumer’s going to be excited. Make them feel like you have something great to offer. (what kind of things can you do as an agent to be enthusiastic?) 3) You’re an expert in your field, a force to be reckoned with: From the time we could walk we were all taught to respect and listen to competent and knowledgeable people, right? By knowing your product and how it will benefit the consumer and their business you will be perceived as an expert in your field. Not only does this allow you to gain the prospects respect, but it also allows you to take control of the sale. Always Remember: • That how you’re perceived in the beginning of the call will carry through to the very end. If you screw up and make a negative 1st impression, then you have a very slim chance of making the sale. • Show them that you’re worth listening to. When you can establish these 3 things, they’ll all roll up into one simple fact, THAT YOU’RE WORTH LISTENING TO. Once you have achieved those 3 things the consumer will believe that: 1) You will get to the point quickly. 2) Not waste their time. 3) Have a solution to their problems 4) You and the product that you’re offering will be an asset to them and their business not a liability. If you’re perceived the right way, then the prospect will defer to you and let you take control of the sale. If you’re perceived the wrong way, that your dull as dishwater, a stone cold novice, then the opposite happens and the consumer takes control of the sale and you pretty much lost it.

Straight Line Training Lesson #2 Training Plan:

Tonality and Body Language. The 1st 5 seconds.

Since all your sales conversation takes place over the phone, how do you insure that you’re being perceived in just the right way when the prospect can’t even see you? Is it through the words you say? Think about that for a moment. What could you possible do to be able to say everything you needed to say in the first 5 seconds? You would literally have to yell everything at the prospect all at, once right? • You’d sound like a freaking idiot! The simple fact is that you could never say everything you needed to say in the first 5 seconds to make a good 1st impression. So, if your words won’t do it, then where do you turn? The answer is simple: YOUR TONE OF VOICE!!!! HOW you say what you say has a profound impact on how its perceived and, for that matter, how YOU’RE perceived! And that doesn’t just last the 1st 5 seconds it will last through out the entire call. • Talk with agents about ways they can practice their tones to get a good message across. Our ears have become so adept to recognizing tones that even the slightest tone shift in the conversation can have a lasting impact on the rest of the conversation. • HAVE 2 or 3 different agents pitch in different tones. In terms of percentages did you know that in Human Communication your Tonality counts for 45%, your Body Language counts for 45% and your words only count for 10%. That’s right 10%. That’s why your Tonality is so important. • Go around room and have a tonality exercise. Another great example of this is how we use enthusiasm to create massive emotional certainty in our prospect- meaning our tonality was so enthusiastic that the prospect gets the overwhelming sense that whatever were doing or selling must be good. You don’t want your tone to be overly enthusiastic to where you end up yelling and screaming about how great your product is. Its about ENUNCIATING certain words with absolute clarity so that your words almost have a level of intensity. This kind of enthusiasm makes a massive impact on someone emotionally, and is one of the ear marks of sounding like an expert. Look guys when it comes down to it you’re all phone agents your job is to sale over the phone you’re never going to meet these people in person! The most important part is going to be the way you convey your message and it starts with the way you say whatever it is you need to say. THE WAY YOU SAY THE WORDS ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE WORDS YOU SAY!! Straight Line Training Lesson #3 Training Plan: Managing your emotional state. • Have you ever heard the term “fake it till you make it”? Well how long do you really think you can fake it until you sound so unauthentic you can’t make it 10 secs into a phone call with out getting hung up on. So, what do we do to change this problem? State Management. (emotional state) OR ANCHORING • Why is State Management so important to achieving sales success? It’s because your current emotional state determines whether you’ll be able to access your internal resources at that moment to achieve your desired outcome. In other words: “Act as if your already rich and you will become rich, act as if you have unmatched confidence, and people will have confidence in you, act as if you have the answers and the answers will come, act as if you have already made the sale, and you will make sales! • Talk to agents about ways to build confidence in them selves while on the phone. • When you’re in an “empowered state” like certainty then you’re able to access your internal resources which in turn sets you up for massive success. Being in an “empowered state” is the equivalent to having the valve to your internal resources fully open, allowing you to access them at will, while being in a “disempowered state” is the equivalent to the valve being closed, keeping you from those internal resources and therefore blocking you from sales success. • In terms of achieving success in sales there are 4 key states that you need to learn how to trigger at will within state management. They are the 4 C’s of anchoring: Certainty, Clarity, Confidence, and Courage. These are your linchpin states for achieving great sales success. • Talk to agents about ways to activate the 4 C’s This is called NLP Anchoring or Nero-Linguistic Programming what this means is that human beings can choose how they feel at any particular moment in time. We can be proactive when it comes to choosing our emotional state. For example, if positive things are happening to you, then you’ll end up falling into a positive emotional state. There are 2 core elements you need to focus on: 1) What you choose to focus on: At any moment you can choose the precise direction of your focus; and based on that choice, you’ll fall into a state that’s congruent with what you’ve chosen to focus on. If you choose to focus on things like your kids, past success, money, family, then you’ll quickly pop into a positive, empowered state that reflects all those wonderful things. But it goes both ways if you spend the same amount of time focusing on everything that’s going wrong in your life then you’ll quickly fall into a disempowered state that reflects all those crappy things. Its as simple as that! 2) Your current physiology: Which is the physiology of human beings as it relates to each emotional state. NLP’s first leap of logic was based on the idea that human beings could proactively manage their emotional state with near 100% success by directing their focus and their physiology in a specific way. Its kind of like Pavlov’s Dogs. What a Scientist in Russia did was took a starving dog and would hold out a steak until the dog’s mouth salivated and at the same time would ring a loud bell. Well after doing this so many times over and over when he would ring the bell without the steak the dog would associate it with the steak and its mouth would water. He used the steak to set the anchor. The most common state that salespeople will try to set anchor for is the state of absolute certainty, and the most common anchor they’ll choose to link it to is a combination of shouting the word “yes” and clapping their hands. Straight Line Training Lesson #4 Training Plan: Advanced Formulas for Managing Your State. Managing your State can also be known as Anchoring. • Step 1: Choose a State: This is where you set an intention for the emotional state you want to anchor. This will always be a conscious decision, based on the circumstances your about to face. (how do you want to be perceived through out the day by your prospects?) In other words, anchoring is a forward-looking process that’s proactive in nature. (absolute certainty, confidence, etc.) • Step 2: Choose your focus: Think back and find a time in your life when you felt absolutely certain or confident like when you made your first sale or your toughest sale, or just another exciting time in your life. Try to picture that time with as much detail as possible. • Step 3: Choose your Physiology: This is where you’re going to change from your current physiology to that of the physiology you’re trying to anchor. Or in other words feel the way you felt at the time you’re trying to anchor. • Step 4: Intensify your focus: Think back to the time in your life when you felt absolutely certain or confident like when you made your first sale and try to recall the feeling of energy and excitement you had at that time. Try to harness that energy and excitement on every call. (talk to agents about ways or tools they can use to intensify their focus or anchor.) • Step 5: Set your anchor: What this means is taking the state that you’ve just created in your mind and linking it to a word or sound or feeling. You can stand up and move around or get up and clap your hands. GET EXCITED!! Heck you can even get up and get jacked up on coffee or dance around and celebrate. Anything you feel that you need to do to set this anchor. Anchor So, to sum it all up: with zero preparation, beyond simply choosing what state you want to anchor, all you must do is wait for that awesome moment when you close that big sale, and you all will! And then in that very instance when that moment hits, you do what ever it was or use whatever tool you need to set your anchor! Here’s how it looks in 2 small steps: 1) Choose a state: Like before, lets choose a state of absolute certainty! 2) Set your anchor! Wait for that moment and then do what ever it is you need to do lock it in like getting up and jumping around, chug some coffee, dance around, anything you need to do to lock that state in your mind. And that is that! You have anchored your state of absolute certainty! And just to make sure you set that anchor firmly for the next month or so, whenever you close a sale get up and do whatever it is you have chosen to do to set your anchor. Straight Line Training Lesson #5 Training Plan: Advanced Tonality. • When you call a prospect, they are listening to two things at once, the words you say and their inner monologue as they debate the last words you’ve said. For example, you just cold called a prospect named John Smith. He picks up the phone and says hello to which you reply, hi this is Bill Peterson with the Veterans Network and I’m looking for John Smith. • Now unless John Smith hasn’t answered his phone in the last 30 years there’s a 99.9% chance that he already knows you’re a salesman. What you’re selling or how you got his info he still doesn’t know, but that doesn’t change the fact you’re a stranger, as opposed to someone John knows or maybe even wants to talk to. After all, if you were a friend you would have never addressed John Smith in such a formal manner. And when he combines that with the fact that almost every time his phone rings it’s a telemarketer, John knows the deal within the first 5 seconds. So how does he respond? • He’s either going to hang up or be respectful and listen to your Pitch with all his walls up. And wait for the opportunity to end the call. (send me some info, no $, talk it over with my partner, my dog died etc.) And just like that the sale is over before it even started! Core Influencing Tonalities: • When you’re a born salesman, you don’t have to consciously decide which of the Core Influencing Tonalities you need to apply to your words to take control of your prospects inner monologue and stop it from narrating against you. You can unconsciously do this automatically and get it right every single time. On the flip side, though, when you’re not a born salesman, which most people aren’t, then a breakdown in your inner communication occurs. What you actually say ends up being a watered-down version of what you had originally intended to say! • Remember it’s your words that move a prospect logically, and it’s your tonality that moves your prospect emotionally. In short, the words you say AND HOW you choose to say them are what is going to take you to the next level in your sales game! So, now let’s go back to the call with Mr. Smith. Instead of saying: Hi, my name is Bill Peterson with the Veterans Network. Is John Smith in? You should simply in an upbeat tone say: Hi, is John there? • By upbeat tone I’m referring to one of the Core Influencing Tonalities, called the “I Care” or “I really want to know” tonality. By applying this upbeat, enthusiastic tonality, while virtually all other salespeople are saying the same words in a perfunctory manner, not only do you immediately stand out from the rest of the pack, but you have also begun the process of taking control of your prospects inner dialog. • This is about being fully engaged and showing great interest in speaking to your prospect. That’s why when you say: “How are you?” Great you sound good! You establish instant rapport with someone and establish yourself as a person who cares and really wants to know how they’re doing. This tonality creates an unconscious connection, because we naturally feel closer to people who express a sincere caring for our well-being. Now, to be clear, there is a sweet spot here, insofar as just how much enthusiasm you can layer onto your words until you start to sound disingenuous. In other words, you don’t want to say it like Tony the Tiger, you’d sound like a complete idiot if you did that. You want to be upbeat enough to get your point across, but not so over the top that you sound ridiculous. • Remember, tonality is the secret weapon of influence, because its an unspoken language. Your prospect hears words without you having to say them and gets influenced without even knowing.

Lesson 2: Voice - Gently Reach Into Their Brain

Law of the Universe #1: Your voice will introduce emotional reactions in your counterpart.

You smile. They smile. Without realizing it, you’ve just reached into their brain and turned a dial. It’s called mirror neurons and it’s involuntary. They can’t help it or stop you. Even if they don’t smile, they are fighting it because a portion of their brain is telling them to smile. Your simplest, yet effective tool in negotiation, and actually in any verbal communication, is your voice. Your tone of voice can turn this dial. Its stealth nature may actually make it one of your most effective tools. This process begins before you’ve even spoken enough words to complete a thought. This is one of the simplest, yet most sophisticated emotional intelligence (EQ) skills in your arsenal. When people are in a positive frame of mind, they think more quickly. There’s data out that indicates people’s brains may function up to 31% more effectively in a positive frame of mind. They are more likely to collaborate and problem-solve with you, as opposed to struggling against you, if they are in a positive frame of mind. The reverse of this is true as well. Keeping a smile on your own face and in your voice will increase your own mental agility.

Law of the Universe #2: You are 6x more likely to make a deal with someone you like.

There are essentially three tones of voice available to negotiators. The first two are the only ones you should ever use and they are: the "late-night FM DJ" voice and the smiling positive/playful voice. The third tone of voice, which will always have a negative effect on your counterpart in negotiations, is the direct/assertive voice. Using the assertive voice is like slapping yourself in the face while you're trying to make progress. Your counterpart will always be looking for the opportunity to push back. The late-night FM DJ voice Use this voice when it's extremely important to make your point. It should be used in place of the direct/assertive voice. This may be in regards to a term in a negotiation that there is no “give” on. Follow this with silence (an effective pause). Do not be the one to break that silence. The key to the late-night FM DJ voice is for your voice to inflict downward at the end, very much like a late-night FM DJ. This gives your voice simultaneously a calming effect and elements of both authority and trustworthiness. It's very close to the voice used by the best TV news anchors. They need you to believe in them and trust what they say. It's powerful and it works. Be cautious of overuse of this voice. With overuse it will make you seem distant or even condescending. A licensed hypnotherapist once told us the late-night FM DJ voice was the first thing he'd been taught in hypnotherapist training. That's how powerful it is.

“How am I supposed to do that?”

Use the late-night FM DJ voice to say this in a deferential, graceful manner and as though you are actually asking for their help (in essence – you are). There is great power in deference and you will find the ability to say nearly anything that might provoke a negative reaction if you say it with deference. The smiling positive/playful voice This voice is actually the voice to you should use most of the time. It’s the voice of an easy-going, good-natured person. The key to this is to smile while you're talking and be somewhat relaxed. It's about conveying a positive attitude and encouragement. When you smile while you're talking people can hear and feel the smile (the mirror neurons are reacting). People are drawn to this voice. Recognize and use the power of your voice. It gives you the ability to literally reach into a counterpart’s brain and flip an emotional switch the moment you begin speaking. Example: Voices in Action One of our Black Swan Group instructors was bargaining in the spice markets in Istanbul. A female friend bargaining at the same time was consistently getting better deals, and she was bargaining quite assertively. The culture in the spice markets in Istanbul is a merchant culture and they are used to spirited bargaining. They use hospitality and friendliness themselves in a powerful way to draw you in and create reciprocity. Our instructor had been using mostly the late-night FM DJ voice. The friend pointed out that she was making it a point to be as "playful" as possible and that was the key to her success. Learn to hear your own voice as you speak and watch its effect on your counterpart. You’ll simultaneously find your own state of mind is balanced.

Lesson 3: Labels - The Stealth Stratagem

You should already be seeing improvements in all your interactions. Changes in your psychological “balance” and the artistic use of your tone of voice should already be paying dividends for you. Skill 1: Labels What is a label? The first negotiation skill in this program is labels. A label is an intentionally designed verbal observation. It's a sentence that most always begins with these words: "It seems like…" “It sounds like…" “It looks like…” This phrase is then followed by your observation of the dynamic you wish to affect. It’s one of the reasons these skills in other formats have been called the stealth weapons of effective negotiations. Use your powers for good and not evil. This is a crafted and targeted skill. It’s seemingly innocuous. It will have an impact on what you’ve selected. It’s used to reinforce a selected positive dynamic or diffuse a selected negative dynamic. It’s a skill that allows you to surface objections and diffuse them or conversely surface dynamics, which are to your advantage and reinforce them. You can label an action, an implication, an intuition, an affect; literally almost any part of the communication process that has, or is occurring. This process will be invisible to your counterpart. An example of a label used in an actual negotiation between a landlord (who was known for not allowing sub-letters) and tenant (who wanted to sub-lease his apartment) was: "It seems like you don't like sub-letters." This is an elegantly simple, yet versatile skill. You will feel awkward when first implementing this skill. We can promise you in advance the first time you use a label your imagination is going to conjure up an image of your counterpart jumping up and shouting "Don't you dare use labels on me!" It's not going to happen. But the only way you're going to find out how undetectable labels are is by using them. How to use labels Labels are used for confirmation of understanding, for digging in deeper, and even as a way to ask a question. A label can be constructed as a statement by using a downward voice inflection at the end of the sentence or as a question by using an upward voice inflection at the end of the sentence just as you would when you ask a question. Labels encourage your counterpart to be more responsive. They will usually give you a longer response than just a “yes” or a “no”. With someone who won't answer at all it will usually get them to give you at least a “yes” or “no”. The use of several labels in a conversation will accumulate to achieve breakthroughs. At the end of the landlord/tenant negotiation mentioned earlier, when the tenant thought he’d reached an impasse and was getting ready to gracefully withdraw, he said: “It sounds like there’s nothing I can say to get you to change your mind.” The landlord then responded with “Yes there is” and proceeded to outline the exact terms he wanted. They made the deal. Start labeling right away. The sooner you get the feel for this skill, the sooner you will be generating breakthroughs.

Lesson 4: Targeting Success with Labels

Law of the Universe #4: Labeling positives reinforces them; labeling negatives diffuses them.

Contextual intelligence You learned in the last lesson that labeling positive thoughts and dynamics reinforces them. Labeling negative thoughts and dynamics diffuses them (or in some cases the word “defuse” is appropriate as it avoids an explosion). We don’t know why this is... we just know it is. Grasping this is powerful. It gives you the opportunity to look over what is being expressed by your counterpart and choose what direction you want to guide them towards. What they express and how they express it gives you a virtual buffet of choices. “It sounds like it’s important to you to find just the right program match.” This was the label that sealed the deal for a $5,000 donation. That label, enhanced by the several that came before, created the tipping point that established a bond of trust. A donor signed a check without even knowing where the money was actually going, a first for this professional fundraiser. “It sounds like you’re not a big fan of sub-letters.” This was the label that played a key role in opening up the conversation where a landlord (who was famous not allowing sub-letters and not renegotiating leases) renegotiated the lease and allowed a sub-letter. Positive and negative: choose a side Any thought or idea expressed by someone carries a preference of like or dislike intertwined within it. This like is what we refer to as a positive. Dislike, lack of appreciation, disdain for something, is what we mean by a negative. The positive or negative emotion intertwined in someone’s reaction is a clue to how they value it. Smart exchanges of value are the essence of negotiation. You can even label indifference! Your counterpart’s reaction to that label will reveal more information about what they value or why the are indifferent. Any passion, feeling, or expressed thought has both a presenting and an underlying emotional tone to it, both a yin and a yang, so to speak. The thought will be presented overtly either as positive or negative. You have a choice of which side you want to label. People who hate cheaters love fair play. People who are passionate about their business and its mission are somewhat indifferent or even disdainful of people who are apathetic to their company’s mission. “It sounds like you hate sub-letters” could become “It seems like you like stability”. Listening to what is expressed by your counterpart and breaking down the components in this fashion is what begins to slow time down for you without actually slowing the process down. What is happening is your ear and mind are working together it pick apart the components of what you counterpart is expressing to “read between the lines” and gather insights. As part of your preparation process, consider and write down a summary of the situation as you know it. Then consider the predictable positives and negatives your counterpart is likely to bring to the table. Whether these predictables are reasonable or not, isn’t relevant. Prepare 3-5 labels in advance to deal with them. Inoculate at the start You can choose to use some of these labels preemptively, to effectively inoculate your counterpart from having a negative feeling. “This is going to sound harsh” is a great label to lead off with when you know your counterpart is going to have a negative reaction to what you are getting ready to say. You pause for a moment (a 3 second effective pause) and follow it with what you believe will be poorly received. For whatever reason, people’s imaginations get so carried away they think of something really, crazy bad! Then whatever you follow up with actually turns out to be a bit of a relief! Every single time this label has been used, the response has been the counterpart thinks it over, shrugs their shoulders, and shrugs it off saying “That wasn’t that bad.” Use this power preemptively and wisely. Maximize your contextual intelligence.

Lesson 5: How to Be Smooth - Mirrors

Skill 2: Mirrors

Mirror, mirror Mirrors (or mirroring) may be the simplest of all the skills. And it is smoooooooth. You simply repeat the last three words your counterpart has spoken, or repeat a word or selected three words that you want to amplify/clarify. Sounds ridiculous, right? Please do not underestimate the power of this skill. Mirrors pull responses out of people even when they know you’re using them. They trigger an almost unconscious reaction. Be aware - when you first start mirroring other people it’s going to feel awkward. Very awkward. Discomfort with a new skill is the biggest barrier to learning it. Please don’t let that get in your way. Don't worry, mirrors are truly invisible, compelling, and even a surgical at times. A skeptical colleague was once protesting whether or not mirrors were a valid skill. He said, "I just don't see how mirrors would work. I just don't see how it would be useful to repeat the last three words." My response? - "The last three words?" And he said "Yeah, I just don't see how it would work…Hey wait a minute! You got me!" Mirroring is great when you are at a loss for words. No matter how blank your mind may feel, somewhere in the recesses of your memory you can pull out the last three words of what someone just said. It's great for helping you get on track. One member of the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team (SWAT) who went through the hostage negotiation course would use mirrors to sharpen his ability to label. He would always start each negotiation with two or three mirrors. As he mirrored, you could watch him hone in and he would come up with an extremely effective label. With each mirror his mind focused even more and his listening became more in-depth. Clarifying powers You can use mirrors for "surgical" clarifications. We don't even ask the question "What do you mean by that?" anymore. Instead when someone says something you don't understand, mirror it with an upward inflection (questioning tone). The counterpart will automatically reword what he/she just said instead of repeating the exact same words in a louder tone of voice (very similar to the way many Americans overseas try to get people to understand them). You can use mirrors effectively with assertive types. This is an actual conversation between a CEO and his Director of Operations (DOO) over a misunderstanding regarding 3-ring binders for a training session. The CEO wanted 3-ring binders but kept referring to them as notebooks. CEO: “Are the notebooks ready?” DOO: “What do you mean by notebooks?” CEO: “Notebooks.” (Exasperated.) DOO: “What do you mean by notebooks?” CEO: “NOTEBOOKS!” DOO: “Notebooks?” CEO: “Yeah, 3-ring binders.” (Bingo! Clarity!) Here are a series of mirrors with Wendy the airline employee that got Ryan a seat on an airplane when he was stranded by weather in an airport with a host of unhappy travelers: Ryan: “Hi, I’m Ryan. It seems like they were pretty upset.” (Note the Label – Lesson #3 & #4). Wendy responded about how they had missed their connection and then said something along the lines of “we’ve had a fair amount of delays because of the weather.” Ryan: “The weather?” Wendy explained to that multiple airports in the Northeast had experienced delays due to weather conditions. “It’s rippled through the system.” Ryan: “It seems like it’s been a hectic day.” (Label.) Wendy opened up about a lot of “irritated customers” (like the ones before). She said a lot of people are trying to get to Texas for the two big college games. Ryan: “The college games?” Wendy answered about the UT vs Ole’ Miss football game and that “every flight into Austin has been booked solid.” Ryan: “Booked solid?” Wendy went on to explain that every flight was sold out through the weekend, but that the weather was likely to “reroute a lot of people through a lot of different places.” She finally gets around to asking, “So, how can I help you?” Ryan: “Look, it seems like you’ve been handling the rough day pretty well. I was also affected by the weather delays and missed my connecting flight. It seems like this flight is likely booked solid, however, it also might make sense that someone affected by the weather might miss this connection. Is there any possibility a seat will be open because of this?” At this point Wendy said nothing and began typing on her computer. Ryan kept silent, as he did not want to talk himself back out of what might be done deal. After about a minute, Wendy printed a boarding pass and handed it to him. She explained that there were a few seats that were supposed to be filled by people who would now arrive much later than this flight’s departure. She also placed Ryan in Economy Plus setting (which generally has an upcharge) and mentioned that it was “all taken care of.” (Boom!) Ryan: “Thank you so much Wendy, I really appreciate it.” Please begin using mirrors immediately and become comfortable with them. Have fun with them. You’ll find they're effective and powerful. They will serve you well. Make some rain!

Lesson 6: How to Leverage Encouragers

Law of the Universe #5 is “Ignore human nature at your peril.”

Necessary, Effective, Invisible Encouragers are simple small words needed during a conversation/negotiation to lubricate the flow of information. They are a great mercenary and missionary skill. They work and they are good for the relationship. They are one of those small effort skills that leverage larger results. People like to be encouraged. Remember Law of the Universe #2: “You are 6x more likely to make a deal with someone you like.” Encouragers are words typically “uh-huh, yeah, ok, m-hmm, go-on, and really?” They let your counterpart know you are there and listening. They encourage people to continue talking, especially through extended thought. If you are in their presence or they can see you, physical gestures are effective as well, especially head nods. Interestingly enough, the head nod is one of the most appreciated physical gestures you can give someone. Encouragers are a necessary and critical conversation/negotiation skill. Misuse of them is easy and they can become counterproductive. They are often referred to as minimal encouragers because effort to use them amounts to minimal effort. Some communication methodologies refer to these as “amplifiers” because of their effectiveness in getting people to amplify their thoughts. That concept alone should help you appreciate how effective they can be when properly used. Use, don’t abuse them It is very easy (and frequently done) to keep someone talking without actually listening at all when using this skill. It is in fact very easy to let your mind wander while using encouragers. As always, focus is required to effectively communicate. (This is a good time to listen to tone.) It is also very easy to use encouragers to keep someone talking, giving them the impression you agree when you don’t agree at all. The uses of “ok” and “sure” as encouragers are examples. You have to be especially cautious of using these encouragers when you know you’re not in agreement. Doing this sets a trap that your counterpart will resent you for walking them into. “Ok” is particularly problematic and the user of it often has great expectations of the listener to interpret their tone. Please think back to Lesson #2 and look at tone of voice from another perspective. Example of an effective use of encouragers: Counterpart: My boss is killing me with these new requests. You: Really? Counterpart: We have a new contract and he’s scared we’re going to mess it up. You: Uh huh Counterpart: I think he’s worried about his end of year bonus. He’s constantly coming into my office to check on the status of things. I can’t get anything done with him interrupting me all the time. It’s driving me nuts! You: Go-on Counterpart: So, yesterday… Use encouragers! They are effective and helpful. Please remember, they are only effective when used in support of other skills.

Lesson 7: The "F" Word in Negotiations

Law of the Universe #6: People will walk away from deals that would otherwise make them better off, if they feel they've been treated unfairly.

"That's not fair" "Fair" is the "F" word in negotiations. It comes up in almost every negotiation. It’s directly related to feelings of worth and loss. This can often become very personal. The automatic implication is that the person it’s being used on is being unfair. If your counterpart uses this word you have a problem. People will walk away from deals that would otherwise make them better off if they feel they've been treated unfairly. “Fair” comes up in three contexts, two of which are accusatory. 1. The Defensive The "F" word can be used by someone not meaning to make an accusation against you, but simply intending to defend themselves. This might take the form of "We just want what's fair." This accusation will immediately trigger emotions of defensiveness and discomfort in you. These are often very subtle, almost invisible to you. Accusations tend to create emotional defensive reactions Example: A homeowner was selling his home. The market prices of houses in the area had dropped. Consequently, the offer for the house was much lower than what the owner hoped for. The owner responded to the potential buyer – "We just want what's fair". The buyer raised his offer. Yet, how is that fair to the buyer? Was it the buyer's fault that the market dropped? The word can also be highly manipulative. 2. Manipulation "We've given you a fair offer", "We've made a fair offer” or "What we put on the table is fair." Anytime a negotiator self-describes their actions or offers as being "fair" it's likely an intentional manipulation to get their counterpart to give in. It also can be an irritant for the other side and may well consequently diminish the working relationship. Example: Remember the last National Football League (NFL) lockout? During the impasse the Players Association was trying to get the team owners to completely open their books. The team owners responded publicly that what they had offered the players was "fair". Note the timing of the "F" word with the refusal to disclose information. 3. Proactive (Recommended) You can be proactive with the "F" word. It's acceptable to tell someone at the beginning of a negotiation that you're going to try very hard to be fair and that you want them to tell you if they think you're not being fair. (Note the timing of this: before you made any offers.) Be both conscious of the "F" word and cautious with it. Understand its implications. Please do, in fact strive to be very fair and understand what your counterpart perceives to be fair. If they feel you're being unfair they could well walk away from a deal that would make them better off. Lesson 8: Reading Between the Lines

Content, Tone, Body Language

Person-to-person communication (while you're in each other's presence) is described as being carried by three means: the content (the literal meaning of the words), the tone of voice (this includes inflection, pacing, etc.) and body language (how the person stands, the look on their face, how they placed their hands and arms, etc.). There was a famous study by UCLA Professor Albert Mehrabian that came up with the ratio for these three components regarding how much the recipient of the communication "liked" the components, and that ratio was 7 - content, 38 - tone, 55 - body language. The meaning of this study has been widely interpreted, contested and debated. Do they line up? The Black Swan Group advocates that you look at this ratio for relative importance of differences in the communication. This means paying very close attention to tone of voice and body language so you can see how they match up with the literal meaning of the words. If they don't match, it is quite likely the literal meaning of the words is not the truth of the sender's message. By this ratio, tone of voice is five times more important than the literal meaning of the words. Body language even more (8x). How tone of voice and body language align with the literal meaning of the words is critical in understanding the meaning. You can take the sentence "I think you're very smart", and change its meaning entirely based on which words you choose to emphasize, your inflection and the tone of voice you choose. There is a great cartoon of two small children walking down the street talking and one says to the other "My mom says to me she hopes I have kids like me when I grow up, but I just don't like the way she says it." Insight is Rewarded Please keep in mind, that if their tone of voice signals hesitation, they know it. On one level or another they are well aware they have indicated this to you and are probably unsure as to how to come out and say whatever it is that doesn't quite line up. Your act of recognizing this and gently dealing with it via a label will be greatly appreciated by them. They will feel respected and consequently, your relationship of trust will be improved. They will be grateful for your insight. This is interpretation process is a two-way street. The person you're communicating with will interpret you in much the same way, whether consciously or unconsciously. (Lesson 2). Here's what you do with this knowledge: label tone of voice and label body language. You: "So we're agreed?" Them: "Yes....." You: "I heard you say yes, but it seemed like there was some hesitation in your voice." Them: "Oh, it's nothing really." You: "No, this is important, let's make sure we get this right." Them: "Thanks, I appreciate it." This is the way you make sure your agreement get implemented with no surprises. Use the ratio of 7:38:55 as a guideline to line up what someone says with how they say it. When someone's tone of voice or body language are not congruent with the meaning of the words they say, use the communication tool of labels to dig in and discover the source of the incongruence.

Lesson 9: Secrets on Really Listening

Multitasking the Right Way

Your natural inclination to multitasking can be redirected to make you a better negotiator. Track mentally within the 7:38:55. Here's how. Consider the following: there are a variety of sources that provide that people roughly speak at the rate of about 125 - 160 words per minute and our brains have the capacity to process about 400 - 600 words per minute. Therefore, if you are keeping track of only the content, then you have excess mental capacity that's not being used. If you don't know what else to keep track of, your mind is invited to wander (or multitask). Overload But if you accept anything resembling the 7:38:55 ratio, or any ratio that places an emphasis on tone of voice and body language, then there may be as much as 5x more information to process from the tone of voice alone. This begins to stretch the capacity of the brain without even adding in the brainpower necessary to construct verbal responses or take good notes. Even More Overload Additionally there are estimates that equate the amount of visual information being given off by a person's body language to be approaching the equivalent of 1000 words per minute. If this is anywhere near true, the visual data alone, without asking the brain to do anything else, stretches your mental capacity to keep up. Therefore, the advice here is for you to use the negotiation skills being provided to bring your full focus to bear on the negotiation at hand. Use the skills to clarify and dig more deeply into what's being said in order to discover the value. Here's what the best practice is: Compare how something is being said to what's being said. Gently react to any perceived incongruence - use a label. Whether consciously or unconsciously, your counterpart will leave you clues as to hidden problems by their tone of voice and body language. A lack of clues is no guarantee of either veracity or problem free implementation, but a presence of clues correlates very highly with problems. It then becomes your job to gently uncover them.

Lesson 10: The Dynamics of Price

Price is no guarantee of success. The reality is that price is only one term. Price, in many cases, should be the last thing settled in a deal. If the terms don't work, the price won't work. The Rules Involving Price (RIPs) are so important they fall their own category. Rules Involving Price (RIPs) Follow these or you're dead (your deal that is). A good price doesn't make a good deal. Price will break a deal but it won't make it. When you get your price, you're probably only 65% of the way through the negotiation. Terms make a deal & price is only 1 term. Any given term can break a deal, it's the collection of terms that make a deal. Profit is not made at signing, it's made during implementation. A "Bargain" Price is No Bargain A bad price for either side will kill a deal for a variety of reasons. A good price is no guarantee of success. If you kill your counterpart on the price, there is a very good chance they won't perform and the deal will fall apart. Penalty terms won't save you. Or, you may need them to perform on something subsequent and they will be slow and resentful afterwards. Threats of legal action are often simply ignored. Legal action (if it takes place) is a poor way to maintain profit margins. This is one of the reasons why "yes" is nothing without "how". Just as the saying goes, "The devil is in the details" so also "The gold is in the details". You also don't do your reputation a great deal of good to be known for putting your partners out of business. We would suggest that you will prosper more long term by being known for making your business partners wealthy. Gus Levy, a famous Goldman Sachs executive has been quoted as saying "Greedy yes, but long-term greedy". You do need to know the basic market prices. You also need to know the range of your counterpart's comfort levels and then begin navigating around that. Price is a very emotional concept. It may actually be the single most emotional term in the deal because it begins to trigger people's feeling of worth. The Sweet Spot on Price - A Solid Gold Concept Therefore: Hitting the sweet-spot can often put you in a position to get remarkable terms that turn deals into solid gold for you. Your counterpart will consciously (or sub-consciously) have both a bottom-line/walk-away price and an aspiration price (or a hoped-for price). Hitting a mark just above the middle value of these two often puts you in a wonderful position to begin weaving in the phenomenal terms to make a great deal. There will likely also be good-will that you can spend during the implementation phase. Another counter-intuitive reality is that approaching too close or even exceeding the aspiration price and over-paying can hurt you as much as underpaying can. You will reset their internal valuation of themselves. They will think they were always worth that much and therefore be less flexible on terms or additional good-will gestures in performance. (The RIPs and the Negotiation Rules are separate complementary sets of guidelines to help make you a better negotiator.) Negotiation Rule #4: When Price Comes Up Pivot to Terms When they want to talk about price, you should pivot to terms. One means of doing this is saying "Let's set that aside for now, we can come back to it, let's discuss how we do this..." They may begin to spontaneously reveal their price parameters as the conversation ensues about terms. This puts you in a position to "give-in" (slowly, not easily) until they give you the terms (and price) you want.

Lesson 11: Why Compromise Kills

Negotiation Rule #5: Avoid the Compromise Trap The spirit of compromise is great - the practice of compromise is often horrible. Here's how the practice of compromise kills you. Example: You have a suit on and think you should wear black shoes. Your significant other thinks you should wear brown shoes. You compromise and wear one black and one brown. How do you integrate these idea that the spirit is a good one yet the practice often poor? Having the spirit of compromise often means you are willing to listen and explore options. If you are actually listening and considering the merits of options, then this is an essence of great negotiation. A great negotiation is a great collaboration. In reality, the practice of compromise is often a shortcut taken instead of engaging in great negotiation. If I have an idea for a good term in a negotiation and you have a different one, and we might be tempted to "compromise" and take parts of both ideas. What we have done is dilute both solutions so neither is likely to be effective. You have to be very, very careful with compromise. You also have to aware of making poor trade-offs as a compromise. What happens occasionally is you will subconsciously be willing to give-in or compromise on an issue when you know you have taken advantage of your counterpart on another issue even though the terms may deal with unequally valued commodities. You might trade salary figures counted in the thousands, or tens of thousands, for equity figures counted in the hundreds of thousands, or even the millions. When you make trade-offs be cautious of trading unequal commodities until you have calculated the implications. Know if it's "apples for apples" as the saying goes, unless you have intentionally selected it otherwise. Most people actually want to be fair and that is what the spirit of compromise is about. You have to be aware of what you are being fair in relation to; and that it is a 2-way street. If someone is inviting you to compromise, you should also be aware that is may be the sign of a cut-throat negotiator. This is often the person who has perfected the "I'll meet you halfway" strategy. There is an adage that goes "The man who says he is willing to meet you halfway is usually a poor judge of distance." Though they are in a minority of the counterparts you will in encounter (no more than roughly 25% by our estimate) you need to be aware of their tell-tale signs. Asking you to compromise as a means to get you to give in may be one of those signs. "What are we trying to accomplish here?" is always a great question to refocus your counterpart when you feel you're being pulled into the compromise trap.

Lesson 12: Endurance & Effective Pauses

Negotiation Rule #6: Give your counterpart the chance to talk and they will be more likely to tell you what you want to hear.

Effective Pauses Effective Pauses are also known as "Shh". Many people are uncomfortable with silence. You can make it an incredibly effective skill for just that reason. Give your counterpart the gentle opportunity to fill that silence and they will likely give you something useful. What many of are afraid of - loss of control. Many people are afraid that if the other person is talking then something might be said that can't be undone, or somehow they are losing momentum, or somehow things are out of control. Negotiation Rule #7: He or she who talks most loses. The opposite is true. If you're talking more than the other side you're giving out the most information and you're becoming more emotionally invested in making the deal. With each word uttered, a person puts more effort into making the deal and therefore become more vested and less likely to turn and walk away. You need that dynamic working for you and not against you. Bundling Skills for Effect This is your introduction to the concept of strategically bundling the negotiation skills. Your negotiation skills properly bundled will magnify each other. There are going to be many times when it's important for you to go silent. One of those times is right after a label. It's important to let your labels take hold to give your counterpart the opportunity to respond and for you to simultaneously focus on how they respond (their affect - their body language, their facial expression and their tone of voice). An effective pause is critical after you've asked a good calibrated question. There will come a time when you pose a calibrated question creating an uncomfortable or awkward silence. It is very important that you not fill that silence. Effective pauses are not designed to give you the opportunity to think about what you want to say next. Effective pauses are designed to give you the opportunity to let your counterpart react and to observe that reaction (Lessons 8 & 9). Those people who feel negotiation is "argument" based cannot be silent. They feel if they're not talking they're out of control. The brain does not have the ability to talk and make good observations at the same time. While your brain is engaged in either talking or thought construction you are missing important observations. Please teach yourself to get comfortable with silence. It provides valuable moments of observation for you and the chance for your counterpart to give you a thoughtful response.

Lesson 13: Paraphrasing Builds Rapport

The Importance of Content

Paraphrasing is the negotiation skill that focuses on content. The definition of this skill is very close to what you would find in any dictionary, for you to listen to the literal meaning of what is being said and express it back to your counterpart in your own words. It is you rewording the message in a fashion that carries the same literal meaning. It is not you repeating back to them exactly what they have just said. It helps them feel what they are saying is being respected. Showing respect for what they are saying in this fashion increases their comfort level in talking with you and builds rapport. It increases the flow of information from them to you. Paraphrasing Helps You Look for Balance and Uncovers Opportunities The instruction so far seems to have placed a relative value of "7" on the content of what is being said. This is not meant to trivialize or ignore the value of content. It is meant to provide you a guide of what to look and listen for relative to how a message is conveyed. It helps you look for balance in what they are saying and it helps them find balance as well. An example of good paraphrasing (from an actual negotiation) would be: Building Manager: "No, unfortunately, I can't have your lease expire in May - or else you need to pay $200 more per month. So, that would be $3930 per month. We do this for business planning purposes. A lot of people have signed up to have their leases end in May and now the quota is filled, but I still have a few spots available if you want your lease to run into June". Tenant: "Oh, I see, so there's a quota system that keeps you from letting too many leases end in May so that you're not over-loaded with new rentals at the same time next year, but now the quota is filled and we need to have our lease expire in June." Building Manager: "You can choose when you want your lease to end, whether it's the end, middle, or beginning of June, you would just have to pay the prorated rent for whichever day you choose." Tenant: "Oh, I see, so we can choose which day in June to end the lease and we would just pay the prorated difference." Building Manager: "That's right." Paraphrasing uncovered that the only thing the manager cared about was not having the lease expire in May. What sounded at first like having to pay for an entire month ($3930) was uncovered to only be for one extra pro-rated day to get into the next month ($127). You can also paraphrase when a longer message is being relayed. You should do it in relatively short bursts, not waiting until the end of the long message. To do this effectively you may actually need to occasionally interrupt your counterpart to check-in and display to them the meaning of what you are hearing them say. Some people may find this disconcerting since most interruptions are designed to take over a conversation and stop the other person from speaking. As a result, it may be useful for you to advise your counterpart that you would like to paraphrase them while they are speaking just to make sure you're getting things right. You may tell them that as soon as you finish paraphrasing you're going to give a conversation right back to them. Once your counter-part gets used to it, they will likely find themselves surprised at how much they like being listened to this well.

Lesson 14: Skills in Action

Bundling Mirrors with Paraphrase

Our hero (client) in this story is a Quality Assurance Engineer at a nuclear project firm. Her counter-part is her aggressive, know-it-all, Project Manager. The situation: almost everyone in the entire world from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reviewers who get paid for every mistake they find is scrutinizing every inch of our client's projects paperwork. Adding to our client's agony (as she described it), was that she had recently taken on the responsibility for the finalization of another project. This project had not only been a complete mess from the beginning but another subcontractor had failed to properly release the final documentation. As she works to put this nightmare of a project behind her, her Project Manager is continually adding more requirements, making the load heavier. "Negotiations" with this Project Manager frequently turn into arguments. The Project Manager is now trying to impose an additional requirement for two sets of paper copies of the documentation. (This had been a requirement prior to the era of electronic storage of documentation, i.e. the last century.) This involves literally thousands upon thousands of pages of documentation. There is nowhere to physically put this documentation and if done each page needs to be physically checked for printing and compiling errors. Other than the Project Manager's wishes, there is no actual requirement for doing so. Our client made two attempts at a negotiation with the Project Manager to remove the necessity of the paper copies. Attempt #1 : Which ended in failure Project Manager: We need two sets of paper copies of FDP. Client: Why? We only need to store our copies electronically in two places as required. Project Manager: This is my project and I need two copies. Client (trying really hard to stay civil): We are already behind the schedule which is not my responsibility in the first place. I volunteered to do FDP to help out the project and making extra copies will take a long time because I have several other projects. Project Manager: Go talk to my boss. (Her boss usually supports her and has more pull and is assertive, unlike the client's so the conversations with him usually don't prove to be helpful). Attempt #2 : Successful after training in mirroring and paraphrasing In the client's words: "I decided to put my guns away and try out my new skills." Client: What are the plans for FDP paper copies? Project Manager: As I said before we need two copies as usual. Client: Two copies? (mirror) Project Manager: Yes- one for us and one for the customer. Client: So you are saying that the customer is asking for a copy and we need a copy for internal use. (paraphrase) Project Manager: Well, let me see if the customer actually needs the copy but I definitely want a copy. That's how I do business. Client: That would be great if you could check with the customer. (paraphrase + appreciation) Do you know where we could store the in-house copy; we are out of space here in QA? Project Manager: You can store it anywhere Client: anywhere... (mirror) Project Manager: As a matter of fact you can put them in my office. I have some space here. I really like having an extra copy even though it is not required. I will just get the new PM assistant to print it for me after the project is done and all the files are on the server. This way I know that they are exact copies of what is stored. Client: That would be great. Let me know what the customer says about their copy Project Manager: OK Follow-up comments from our Client: "I was shocked. I think she was too. Later on I received an e-mail from her saying that the customer does not need a paper copy. All they want is a CD or two, depending on the size of the file! A week of work is avoided and no argument with the PM!"

Lesson 15: Getting to "That's Right"


"That's right" creates breakthroughs Everyone who grasps the importance of "that's right" is making incredible breakthroughs in their negotiations. They are killing it and you will too. It's one of the answers that is much better than "yes". "That's right." = Good "You're right." = Bad If you can grasp this critical distinction, you've given yourself a huge advantage. A good summary will be met with a "That's right." A summary is a combination of labeling and paraphrasing. It is taking what you have heard so far, or know to be the case about a situation, and summarizing the known facts/content (paraphrasing) and how your counterpart feels about it (labeling). First, let's deal with "you're right". We all love being right. It can be intoxicating and often gives a feeling of great accomplishment. And, in many if not most cases, we are right! So why not be given the accolades for it? The reality though, is when someone says "You're right" to us, we have probably been making an argument based approach, and it is our point we are pushing on them. Subliminally we are showing them we are smarter than they are. Human nature being what it is, this does not bode well for implementation of deals. Our counterparts will be much more interested in going the extra mile for the success of their ideas then they will be for ours. Second: Please think of the number of times you have said "You're right" to someone else just to get them to be quiet and leave you alone. They have been unrelenting in their approach. They won't listen to you at all. The only way you can get them to be quiet and go away is to say "You're right". They then get a happy look on their face and go away (at least for 24 hours). You can then go back to what you were doing. At the same time, how many times have you worked very hard to get someone to see the reason and logic of your thinking, had them respond with "You're right", only to find they didn't change any of the behavior you had been trying to get them to change? Rapport "That's right" indicates two important things. You are listening to them accurately and (maybe even more importantly) they realize you are listening. On an unconscious level they genuinely appreciate it. When you get your counterpart to say "That's right" they will often turn to you with a look as if they are suddenly seeing you in a new light. (There is a halo around your head and they hear birds singing.) The magic of ownership Actually, by saying "that's right" they have declared what you said is correct. It's true. They can then embrace it without the reservations they may have secretly harbored by it not being their idea. Since they have pronounced it correct it is their idea. They have owned it. They "feel" in control and they can move forward. These are the breakthrough moments where the process has suddenly put you into the next phase in a productive manner. You can't always predict exactly where that will be, but you will be stunned at how it works to your advantage. It's like an athlete who has learned the perfect form. Please put this into action and find out for yourself. Fully summarize the other side's position, both in content (paraphrasing) and how they feel about it (labeling) until they only possible response they have is "That's right". You will remove false obstacles that are holding you back. You will create turning points in your negotiations (and in your relationships) that work for you.

Lesson 16: Closing to Implementation

Bundling: Rule of 3

"The first time you say something, it's an incident, the second time you say something, it's a co-incidence, but the third time you say something, it becomes a pattern." 3 times is the application of a long known aspect of human nature to negotiations, the Rule of 3. Repeating something successfully three times strengthens it. Your method for specifically accomplishing this objective is by bundling skills such as labels, mirrors and paraphrases to get to the repetition without simply parroting the other person. Please note: you will use this as a confirmation process of a "yes" or "no" on a single concept/point to test the strength of its validity. It is not an attempt to get a succession of "yeses" to multiple successive closed-ended questions (not a "yes" momentum). Insuring a strong foundation While it may seem counter-intuitive for you to test the foundations of a hard-won "yes", it in fact gives you the critical information of how firm your "yes" actually is. You need to know sooner rather than later if it will hold up. The sooner you know the sooner you can address the as-yet undiscovered traps. This is the old adage of "a stich in time saves nine." You don't want to proceed on a "yes" that is actually a "no". In many cases, the first "Yes" you've heard may sound firm. If you paraphrase it to hear it again, it may be delivered with a slightly perceptible hint of hesitancy. This could be an indicator of a genuine obstacle to implementation. The best response here would be: "I know you said yes, but it seemed like there was something nagging at you when you said it?" The Rule of 3 is not just a good closing skill, but assists you in the critical transition to implementation. You have to be able to implement what you've agreed on or your deal is built on quicksand. You will sink and then be in a worse position than you would have been otherwise. Another effective aspect of the Rule of 3 and bundling skills is bundling calibrated questions to help your counterpart give you a better answer. Repeating a calibrated open-ended question but with different words helps your counterpart respond with a more nuanced answer. There is a good chance the slightly different words will help trigger their thought patterns. Example: "What's the biggest challenge you face? What's your biggest obstacle? What's been the most frustrating thing that's gotten in the way?" "How can we work together? What did you have in mind? What was your vision for success between us?" This particular approach works equally well with email. Make sure the foundations of your deals are firm.

Lesson 17: Leverage

Law of the Universe #7: There is always leverage

Leverage is the ability to inflict loss. This immediately makes it an emotional term. Leverage is therefore drenched with emotions. There is always the potential for loss for both sides, therefore there is always leverage acting on both sides. As long as there are emotions there is leverage. This is the foundation for the concept of "perceptions anchors". Where are the perceived losses for each side? Discover these and you begin to unlock your ability to affect what is anchoring the other side's perceptions and therefore actions and decisions. You certainly know what it feels like to think you don't have leverage in a negotiation. You don't have a way to force the other side to do what you want or punish them if they don't agree. When you feel the other side has leverage that means you feel as though you will experience a loss if you don't agree; i.e. you have been taken hostage. You may imagine that when your counterpart has leverage he won't be subtle about it. You may mentally "rehearse" how the conversation will go. You imagine hearing your counterpart using phrases like "or else" and "because you have to". Those who feel that leverage is the key to negotiations equate negotiation to hostage taking. Even if the counterpart were to say these things you can still navigate these instances. If you take the mindset that no matter what, your counterpart cannot make you say "yes", you've blunted the dynamic where you get taken hostage. Law of the Universe #8: It doesn't matter what leverage they have on you, what matters is what they think of the leverage you have on them. Leverage is in the eye of the beholder. Prospect Theory teaches us that losses sting twice as much as equivalent gains. It also teaches us that people are more likely to take a risk to avoid a loss than they are to take a risk to achieve a gain. The key to it is the ability to navigate emotion and identify the perceived losses, knowing that the loss of $5 stings twice as much as the gain of $5. 1st - This doesn't mean you want to lead with your leverage in a negotiation. Bad idea because then leverage becomes a threat and might be perceived as you taking away their autonomy. People will often sooner die than give up their autonomy. Proper use of tactical empathy puts you in a position to refer to leverage. Negotiation Rule #8: Label the Leverage. Good labels (and mirrors) are some of the best methods for you to deal with situations when it feels like the other side has all the leverage. Labeling leverage points works wonders in moving or even removing perception anchors. If you use them frequently then you will open up the negotiation process and create options. You will map the terrain, identify leverage and even affect it with the design of your labels. The next lesson will introduce you to more skills that broaden your ability to successfully deal with "perceived" leverage inequality.

Lesson 18: Flexibility - Calibrated Questions

Negotiation Rule #9: Never be so sure of what you want that you wouldn't take something better. Flexibility is key to negotiation power. "Never be so sure of what you want that you won't take something better". Negotiation is an information gathering process and there is some information that you can only get at the table and through other interactions with your counterpart. You are looking for new information that may change your valuations, and provides clues and insights into the nature of their valuations. Only they are the source of information of how/why they value things the way they do. Your primary purpose is to get your counterpart to discover the things about your proposal that work for them. Right along with this is a discovery process for you. Your counterpart is a singular source of critical information. High value trades are the true essence of great negotiation. This information gathering process paves the way for you to make high value trades - the true essence of great negotiation. It also helps prevent you from blundering into low value trades. It is impossible for them to value everything you have to offer the same as you do. The last thing you want to do is give them something you value highly yet they don't. It is impossible for them to actually value everything the same way you do, therefore every trade either leans in your favor or it doesn't. If you don't know then you are relying on hope and hope is not a strategy. Hope is not a strategy. Calibrated questions grow out of the list widely known as interrogative questions, open-ended questions or the reporter's questions. That list is questions that begin with: who, what, when, where, why & how. Please note that this excludes questions that are verb-led, or begin with words such as: can, is, are, do, does, etc. These are closed-ended questions which can be answered with a "yes" or a "no". Even "Can you tell me more about that" should be avoided. Closed-ended questions generally provide you with little information. Open-ended questions tend to provide you with longer responses and more information. We are now going to refine this list, or calibrate it, to "what?", "how?" and sometimes "why?" You can reword nearly any closed-ended question, with some effort into a calibrated open-ended question. "Does this look like something you would like?" can become "How does this look to you?" or "What about this works for you?" You can even ask "What about this doesn't work for you?" and likely trigger quite a bit of useful information. Your use of well timed calibrated questions will cause people to stop and think. Very aggressive types often love when you ask these because being asked gives them a "feeling" (illusion) of control. The secret to gaining the upper hand in a negotiation is giving the illusion of control. You asking them calibrated questions can be very effective in helping you accomplish this objective. Very cautious, analytical types will often want time to think before they respond to your calibrated questions. Your questions work with them as well but the reaction is often delayed. You should use calibrated questions early and often. There are a few that you will find that you will use in the beginning of nearly every negotiation. "What is the biggest challenge you face?" is one of those questions.

Lesson 19: Sometimes "Why" - More on Calibrated Questions

"Why not "Why?"

Universally across our planet, "why?" makes people defensive. One of the advantages The Black Swan Group has in drawing from negotiation experience on literally every continent is that we've seen "why?" used everywhere, and we've seen it make people angry everywhere. For whatever reason, it has become part of human behavior to ask someone "why" when we think they are wrong. So whether it is nature or nurture, the dynamic of "why" making people defensive has become universal. As an experiment, at your next opportunity ask your boss "why" he or she wants something and watch what happens. Then ask a peer a "why" question, and then ask someone younger than you, or subordinate to you in some way a "why" question. Watch all reactions and see if you don't find some level of defensiveness across the spectrum. Of course, the problem is, quite often you really need to know "why". So here is how you can finesse "why": substitute "what". "What made that a good choice?" "What makes you ask?" "What made you want that?" Even "What made you do that?" is much more likely to get a good answer then "Why did you do that?" "What" is a great alternative to "why" and a much more effective way to get information. Now that it seems like we've totally destroyed the use of "why", here is how you can (in a calibrated way) use it effectively; when you want someone defending a position that benefits you. "Why would you do that?" - is the question you ask only if the "that" favors you. "Why would you ever do business with me?" "Why would you ever change from your existing supplier?" (Both of the last two may be useful if you are working to lure a client away from a competitor.) In these examples the person being asked the "why" will be inclined to defend a position that favors your cause. In essence the only time you want to cause your counterpart to be defensive is when they would be defending your position. Using this technique does take some boldness because it is a bit counterintuitive. Similar to all of your skills up to this point, delivery is crucial. You can effectively use "why" when you are strategically prompting the other side to defend you. If you need to know "why?" then calibrate into a "what" question.

Lesson 20: Preparation Makes Perfect

Law of the Universe #9: When the pressure is on you don't rise to the occasion; you fall to your highest level of preparation.

In any given negotiation, prior to the beginning of the interaction you will be at an advantage if you: Summarize the known facts that have led up to the negotiation. Make a list (3-5) of possible labels that would be an educated guess about how they might feel about those known facts or the passions that are driving them Make a list of calibrated questions to reveal value to both you and your counterpart 3-5 Labels For example, when approaching a re-negotiate of a lease to attempt to allow sub-letters with a landlord who is already known to be opposed to sub-letters your prepared label would be: "It seems as though you're not a fan of sub-letters." Additionally, making an educated guess (hypothesizing) on they are not a fan of sub-letters, you might prepare the label "It seems like you want stability with your tenants." There are also partially pre-scripted labels (fill in the blank) that can be used in nearly every situation (at the right moment) that are designed to reveal value. It seems like... is valuable to you? It seems like you don't like... It seems like you value... It seems like... makes it easier. It seems like you're reluctant to... It seems like you hate... 3-5 Calibrated Questions There will be a small group of "what" & "how" questions that you will find yourself using in nearly every situation. With a small amount of effort you will be able to add to this list depending on what you are working to uncover. Here are a few of them: What are we trying to accomplish? How is that worthwhile? What's the core issue here? How does that affect things? What's the biggest challenge you face? How does this fit into what the objective is? Follow-up to Their Answers You will find it valuable if you're prepared to label the response to every calibrated question. "Based on what you've said, it seems like... is important?" "Based on what you've said, it seems you feel like my company is in a unique position to... ?" If you make it a habit to engage in this small amount of preparation and you will receive a rate of return on your time spent of up to 7:1.

Lesson 21: Saying "No" Elegantly

"No" is necessary

Without finding out what won't work in a deal, it is much harder for you to uncover out what will work. It serve you well to be able to both hear "no" and also express "no" in a manner that continues to invite collaboration and does not reject the counterpart personally. This is conveying "no" elegantly. Not saying "no" when you should causes your counterpart to proceed with false assumptions. These false assumptions will later be viewed as traps or even betrayals that will be resented heavily when they are discovered. Where you are left after this interaction has a critical influence on where you go next. You need to be able to say "no", as gently and as gracefully as possible. Being able to say "no" gently and gracefully will leave your counterpart with a feeling of having been treated with respect. Saying "no" in a well-designed and even elegant manner enhances your career, your value, your "brand" and your profitability. It distinguishes you. "How am I supposed to do that?" The 1st way to say "no" is: "How am I supposed to do that?" Tone of voice is critical as this phrase can be delivered as both an accusation or as a request for assistance. Remember Lesson #8 on 7:38:55? The emphasis can be placed on the "How", the "I", the "that" or any of the words for very different effect. This question also tends to have the effect of making the other side take a good look at your situation. This is what we refer to as "forced empathy". Forced empathy is much more effective if leading up to it you have been empathetic towards them. This utilizes the dynamic of reciprocity. You reap this benefit if you have had the foresight to make the investment. "Your offer is very generous, I'm sorry, that just doesn't work for me" is a common means of avoiding counteroffers and getting the other side to bid against themselves and the 2rd way to say "no". The "I'm sorry" portion here is important. Much is made of whether apologies ("I'm sorry") are signs of weakness. Per se, they are neutral. When linked to assertion or confrontation they are effective and useful. This is also a mixture of elegant empathy and a form of an "I" message. We have found that the word "generous" can be very powerful as long as you don't use it to describe yourself (which can irritate your counterpart). When using this word to describe them, it helps bring out the best in them as it nurtures their desire to live up to it. They will want to do business (or refer business) to someone who describes them as generous. The "I" portions of this statement is designed to bring the focus at this point to you. "I'm sorry but I'm afraid I (we) just can't do that." The next way to say "no" is : " I'm sorry but I'm afraid I just can't do that." It's a little more direct and does a great job of removing other justifications such as outside criteria and market value as reasons for why you should say "yes". "I'm sorry, no" is a slightly more succinct version of the above. If delivered gently, this is completely acceptable. "No" is the last and most direct way of saying "no". This really should be the last way it is said and is not meant to be "NO!" Verbally, it should be delivered with a downward inflection and a tone of regard. "No" all by itself in an email will come off as very cold and abrupt no matter how you may have intended for it to be. You can distinguish yourself as a negotiator and even a rainmaker by acquiring the ability to say "no" elegantly.

Lesson 22: Bargaining & Anchoring

"Everyone has a plan until they get hit." ~ Mike Tyson

Make no mistake: extreme anchoring is powerful and frequently used because it works. The vast majority of bargaining is typically: offer - counteroffer - meet in the middle. The subsequent evolution it most often veers to: offer - counteroffer - call each other names - meet in the middle. The first thing hard bargainers learn to do is simply become more and more shameless in setting extreme anchors (extreme opening positions) in order to reset the other side's perceptions and move the midpoint. If you've had this happen to you it may have felt like getting punched in the nose. "Everyone has a plan until they get hit." One of our clients once commented "Having the other side set a high anchor is like watching a vision disappear in front of your eyes." The "call each other names" dynamic is a means of trying to get a counterpart to bid against themselves. Many a hard bargainer has learned that getting a counterpart to bid against themselves is useful, though most don't know a graceful way of accomplishing this objective. For that reason, as a negotiator who has to be prepared for hard bargaining you need to come to grips with two things: #1 - Are you going to name price first? & #2 - How are you going to deal with high anchors? Naming Price First This is your personal choice and you must make it. Our experience is more seasoned negotiators tend to believe "He/she who names price first loses". At the same time, you will encounter some experienced negotiators who love to start out with extreme anchors. This in reality is a testing behavior to see how savvy you might be or how susceptible you are to having terms dictated to you. Say "No" or Pivot to Terms The successful negotiator makes fewer counter-offers. You do this by saying "no" in a variety of ways or by simply pivoting to terms. An example of pivoting to terms would be "What else would you be able to offer to make that a good price for me?" You can also pivot to terms by (with an encouraging tone of voice) directly saying "Let's put price off to the side for a moment and talk about what would make this a good deal." The series of skills and strategies you have been given up to this point in the training have been precisely designed to give you the ability to not bid against yourself, to entice the hard bargainer into bidding against themselves if necessary but most importantly to build better terms so the bargaining process becomes less relevant. These are all emotional intelligence skills and your daily use and practice of them for the last 23 days will have increased your skill level so that you can perform at this level. Remember our Rules Involving Price (RIPs)? Any price needs terms to make it effective. It just may be they could offer terms that make that price work, or their inability to improve the terms will cause them to change their price (which after all is only one term anyway). Asking for additional terms they can't give is a great way to get them to adjust their price (if they can). If they can't improve their price remember that "No-deal is better than a bad deal."

Lesson 23: Email Negotiations

Email Rule 1: Less is more

You write brilliantly crafted emails only to have the recipient pick out one small point and ignore everything else. They frequently miss your main point or don't answer the question you posed at the end. It seems like email's purpose should be to make life a little bit easier and much of the time it makes things more difficult. The fix: ask less per each of your emails. Improve their tone and subsequently you will get farther with each one. Less is more. Play what The Black Swan Group calls "The Short Game". This is a golf reference. In golf, as you approach the green, your objective is to get the ball close to the hole, not necessarily get it in the hole. Use email to get closer to the objective, not necessarily close the deal. Take it one step at a time, one email per step instead of trying to lay out the entire path in one dissertation. Let your counterpart react so you can re-calibrate before you proceed. Tone You make it easier for your recipient to focus on your message by writing succinct yet warm emails. You will find there is no special merit in quantity of reasons which carry logic (the IQ heavy approach). (There is data that indicates that the more successful negotiators avoid argument dilution and use fewer reasons to back up their points.) You will find there is merit in increasing the quantity of your words which convey your friendly tone (the EQ - emotional intelligence approach). Your counterpart will almost never read the tone of the email in the way you would like them to unless you take the time to add in the specific words and punctuation to give your email a friendly and welcoming nature. Without this your email will have a cold tenor that will work against you. No matter how it sounded in your head while you were writing it, without taking the time to make it softer, at best it may seem cold, at worst threatening or angry. It takes less time to do something right than to do it over. Negotiation Rule #10: It takes less time to do something right than it does to do it over. Delay to save time. The negotiation skills you've learned in this course are each designed to function best for you when you pause effectively to give your counterpart the chance to react (remember Lesson #8: 7:38:55?). In this manner, your exchanges actually become collaborative interactions. The same is true in reference to the best approaches for writing your emails. Once you start a dialogue, other skills can be incorporated. With more pressing issues, you should transition to either phone or face-to-face contact to sew them up. Email Rule #2: Take the time to soften the tone. The Black Swan guideline to follow first for email communication is: "Less is more". Lay out your main objective as succinctly as possible, followed by a skill (label/calibrated question). Use humor or rapport building at the beginning and end. Your friendly tone at the end is actually more important than it is at the beginning. You never want to end an email with a negative comment. Always end positively. Law of the Universe #10: People remember experiences based on the most intense moment and how the experience ended. This applies to email as well. Use this law to your advantage in all your negotiations Email Rule #3: Always end with encouragement or a positive note. Please keep in mind you can also effectively soften the tone by being apologetic. Example: "I'm sorry but I am afraid if we don't do X then X will happen." It's a good practice for you to go back over your email once written to soften it and to also ensure it ends on a positive note.

Lesson 24: Implementation - Make it Their Idea & You Win

Negotiation Rule 11: Profit is not realized upon agreement. It's realized during implementation

The profit of a deal is not realized when the deal is signed, it's realized during implementation. Poor implementation is a cancer that eats your profits. It's made even worse by not factoring in mechanisms to address problems. It's one of the reason people want penalty clauses, they don't address implementation so often they are used to having deals fall apart! These are the underlying truths that were given to you in Lesson #1 as Rules #1 ("No-deal" is better than a bad deal) & #2 ("Yes" is nothing without "how"). Negotiation Rule 12: Ignore human nature at your peril. Human Nature - The magic of their idea. How to fix this: Your counterparts will make more effort to implement ideas and solutions when they think it was their idea. Negotiation is often "The art of letting someone else have your way." If you feel the need to make sure they know it was "your" idea then it will likely not be implemented effectively by the other side. They will be content to let it fail. Your profitability will suffer. The first method for you to gently guide them is through the use of calibrated questions (Lessons 18 & 19). This is why in some circles these questions are referred to (appropriately) as guided discovery questions. The process takes a little longer up front, but probably pays about a 7:1 return on time saved during implementation. To paraphrase the immortal words of Gordon Gekko in Wall Street 2, "Time, after all, is the most valuable commodity." Your use of calibrated questions to guide them to a mutually beneficial discovery is in synergy with the dynamic described in Lesson 15 where we discussed the snare of "You're right." When your counterpart is saying to you "You're right" it's often a good indicator they are not vested in what is being discussed. They are less likely to perform on the agreement or make changes in their behavior. 2 calibrated questions designed for implementation that will serve you well: "How will we know we're on track?" "How will we address things if we find we're off track?" Summarize the answer until you get a "that's right." Human Nature - "I'll try." When pushing for implementation, you may get a response of "I'll try". Warning lights and sirens should be going off in your head if you hear this. Every culture has its own version of the American phrase "I'll try." You should get a sinking feeling in your stomach when you ask someone to do something and they say "I'll try." Why? Because when this is really often "no" in disguise. "I'll try" is often heard right after "you're right". If you've suggested the solution, you may well get an "I'll try". Present the problem and give them a chance to come up with the answer (often with the use of a "How should we address this?" question) that benefits you both. "I'll try" also leaves the other person in a position to be able to say afterwards of "Well,,,,you asked and I tried! So now you owe me!" Human Nature - They Win Anything acquired easily has less value. Imagine if you were in a bargaining situation and when you made your first offer the other side said "I'll take it!" You would immediately regret not having offered less (and feel you somehow lost). You want them to not only feel they won, but they worked hard. This is simply recognition of a human nature reality. For your greatest successes, let the other side feel victory. You (and they) win!

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Tattoo Shop:

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Property Management:

Big BOLD print! Tagline: We Pre-Screen Your Tenants Big BOLD print! Tagline: 1, 2, 3 Bedroom Rental Apts and Condos Available Now Big BOLD print! Tagline: Vacation Rentals In ____ (city/region) Big BOLD print! Tagline: Quality, Affordable Home and Building Maintenance