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Books are a treasure full of information and useful only to those that use them.
I promise this is a true story.
It goes in theme with everything that I have been talking about recently. You cannot read a book and expect it to do anything for you if you don't take any action on it.
There were two books that are responsible for giving me that info that saved me 35K.
How's that for an investment?
30 dollars divided into 35,000 is a whopping 1116% return on investment.
Oh yeah. That's what I'm talking about.
How did this end up happening?
What were the two books?
They were two negotiation books which were The Secrets of Power Negotiation by Roger Dawson and Never Split The Difference by Chriss Voss.
And negotiation is one of the best skills you could learn.
In my opinion, it feels like a form of sales.
Which at the end of the day it is as you are working to make a certain outcome happen.
Roger Dawson in Power Negotiation is all about "gambits." He treats negotiation like a chess match as he tells you about counters to every move in the book.
And it's done in an entertaining way. He sounds like an old british TV host telling you stories about his childhood.
His main draw is that he wants to get the WIN/WIN.
On the other hand, Chriss Voss is all about getting the W.
And he had to.
Because Chriss Voss wasn't negotiating business deals or at your car dealership. He was negotiating for people's lives!
You can't expect to be like "give me the right arm and the left leg and let's call it a day."
Chriss Voss wanted every hostage and he was going to get it no matter what.
But even though they had two different philosophies, their strategies remain similar.
And these same strategies helped me save my uncle 35,000 on the purchase of a home.
Strategy 1: Discovery
Chriss Voss and Roger Dawson had their own version of discovery. But the idea was more or less the same
What you want to do before you begin any engagement is to find out everything you can about the other person.
You want to know exactly what they want, what their situation is, and why they want what they want.
This is the most important part of any negotiation.
Don't underestimate this step. You do this wrong, the rest doesn't matter.
They could want a boat but if it isn't high on the priority list compared to money to pay their sister's hospital bills, then you know where the other person's motivation lie.
In my case, my uncle saw a house and wanted to put an offer on it. He had been looking for some time and his patience was starting to run out.
I told him to tell me the house and to let me see what the situation was.
Right away I was able to find out that it was an Estate sale (meaning the owner had passed away) and that the agent put herself in a weak position due to the terms she had accepted with the owner's kids.
From that, I knew that the owner wanted a quick buck (with an unreasonable price) and the agent wanted to get rid of her headache (horrible terms are a nightmare for agents.)
Strategy 2: Draw the Line in The Sand.
That agent did one mistake which can prove to be a useful example of this step.
How do I know that she accepted a deal that wasn't in her terms?
Because the house was overpriced and they were not offering out any percentage to buyers. So when that happens it turns off buyer agents which nowadays, most buyers have.
So when she accepted that, she turned off 90% of the buyer base in the area.
You can see why she was having headaches with that. How was she going to find a buyer? A couple of months had already passed meaning that the listing started to get stale.
You have to draw the line in the sand.
What this means is that, you want something and you will give up to a certain amount to get it.
You will not cross this line.
This line is important because negotiations can get heated and your emotions can get the best of you.
The line is what keeps your mind focused.
I can't tell you what your line is but whatever it is you decide, stick to it.
It will save you worlds of pain.
Strategy 3: The Set Up
Negotiation was once made to be a "I do you a favor, you do me a favor."
But, that's weak.
That's playing on a cogntbias known as reciprocation but it doesn't work when people know what the jig is. They can deny it or abuse it when they see that's what your strategy is.
What do you do?
Well jimbo, you gotta get your set up. Start unreasonable but reasonable.
Roger Dawson starts an extreme while Chriss Voss denies the other party.
The whole point is that nobody ever accepts the first deal.
And if you do, you are going to leave the other party feel like they could have done better. Like, if a girl makes it super easy, you are going to nut but compared to one that makes it a little hard and playful... that nut is so much more satisfying.
So you start unreasonable or you deny.
However, if you go the deny route, you need to have the right mind frame of going about it.
You can't be like "fuck you, I don't care what you want."
That isn't going to work.
Strategy 4: Counter and Endure
Chriss Voss had a staple line he loved to say in the book.
It was something along the lines "I'm sorry but I just can't do that. How can we make this work?"
The main reason this one stood out to me was how versatile it is. And the reason it works so well is because you can apply it to your context.
A quick example.
My uncle wanted to go higher on the house. More than I thought was necessary. I told him to give me a chance and I can get it lower than what he thought.
The lady heard the initial offer for 320K. (The house was 370K. It would have been fair had it been updated but it wasn't even though in great condition. So I understood where his mind was at.)
She was shocked and it was done with intent.
She had called again and asked where we can come up to.
It took some hemming and hawing but I told her 335K. (That was the line in the sand.)
She wanted more but I told her "I'm sorry but I just can't do that because of the condition of the house and their funds. They love the house but we just can't do that. How is this going to work?"
From that point on, I went radio silence waiting for a response.
Radio Silence is the part you endure. It's hard. You are so tempted to say something.
This is my most memorable lesson from Roger Dawson.
He was telling a story about two top negotiators and they were in a turning point.
One negotiator refused to budge and laid out his terms. He then adopted radio silence.
The other said his terms and went radio silence.
Now imagine this scene.
Both top dawgs are sitting across from one another determining a deal for their best interest. And they have refused to talk...
Why? Because Roger Dawson noticed something in his career which is that when both go Radio Silence, the first one to talk is (most of the time) the one to concede something.
So these pros both went radio silence on each other. It was so tense that you could cut the air with a butter knife.
My bet is you could have heard the other person's heartbeat with how silent it was.
Eventually, one of the negotiators wrote "do yuo accept?" on paper and handed it to him.
The other looked at it and laughed and started talking his deal away.
I don't know how true it is but I waited two days for a response and the result was that our offer got accepted.
Now, this is a very simple look at negotiation but it's what I learned from two books.
And if two books can help me save 35K for my uncle, then it was well worth it.
All of this doesn't work if it is not put into action. You can read all the books you want but if you don't use the information provided to you, it don't mean shit.
There are ton of more moves and strategies you can learn if you decide to look into these two books.
I've used plenty "counters" from Roger Dawson when it comes to talking to phone reps (that's a sentence I didn't think I would write.)
Chriss Voss has a unique look on negotiation which will open your eyes to different possibilities.
They are the Secrets of Power Negotiation and Never Split The Difference.
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