We love celebrating sales success stories and gleaning from the wins of others. This week’s sales success story comes from Chris Voss.

For years, Voss worked for the FBI where he negotiated with international kidnappers in hostage situations. Talk about high stake deals! Through hundreds of cases he became an expert at negotiating.

He wrote all about his methods in his book Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended on It. He also shared his art of negotiating in his recent online Masterclass and teaches his approach through his consulting company The Black Swan Group.

Justin Bariso, writing for Inc., completed this Masterclass and shared a story from it about Voss and Shark Tank star and entrepreneur Robert Herjavec. Voss offered Herjavec a free ticket to an upcoming Black Swan Group training seminar to see if their services would be a good fit for Herjavec’s sales team.

Herjavec asked how many tickets he could buy (classy move since you know most people would ask how many more free tickets they could have), but the conversation went cold and nothing happened from there. 

The day of the training session grew closer and they were about to sell out of tickets to the training session. Voss needed to re-engage Herjavec without wasting any time. What would you have said in order to get an answer and get one fast?

To receive an answer, Voss decided to utilize the power of no. Many of us are apprehensive of this expert-level negotiation approach because we want to set up our questions to move the prospect or client to “yes”. Voss, on the other hand, wanted to move Herjavec to “no” as quickly as possible. His vast experience has proven that “no” questions arm the other person and give that person power in the collaboration. 

Reaching a “no” is important because according to Voss “when you say ‘no,’ you feel safe and protected. You feel like you’ve made no commitment at all. So, you’re going to give me a lot more information.”

Plus when the other person shares their no, they more voluntarily share what they view as the problem and what’s preventing a “yes”.

In case you’re wondering, Voss asked two simple questions:

“Are you against committing to three tickets now?”

“Is it a ridiculous idea for you to pay for the tickets before the business day starts in New York tomorrow?”

Amazingly, Robert replied one minute later with two nos, agreeing to the deal. Payment was received less than 20 minutes later.

These are the results of an expert closer! What do you think of this approach? Let us know if you try it and how it works out for you. We’d love to feature your sales success story next.

We’re inspired to learn more from Chris and catch his Masterclass. Thanks to Justin for sharing this highlight and inspiring us to add the Masterclass to our watch list!

By Sophie Parkison on 09-30-2020