The Power of Negotiation


Lesson Info

During the Negotiation - Ask, Ask, Ask

Step number two. So, you've primed, right, you thought about what kind of motion I want to have in the room, maybe you've primed with a couple of materials. You want to start with questions. The biggest mistake I think that people make is not warming up, not enough foreplay, not enough slow build. A lot of people, they go into negotiation, they're like okay, I got to get this dollar amount, I got to negotiate. So, they walk in the room and they start with the pitch. Right, like hey, nice to see you, good to see you, everyone take seat. So, let's get down to business. Here's my proposal for, and like, you dive right in. The problem with that is, one, that's not how people work, right? We like to have that slow build. So many studies show that rapport is incredibly important and second, you miss a learning opportunity. There is going to be a part of your research column, in your assets, there's going to be a part of your research column, this is why it's so long, that you leave blank, fo...

r those things that you learn during the rapport building questions. There's going to be things that you learn during that rapport building that you couldn't learn with pre-research. Rapport, the studies are very clear. Subject who schmoozed on a call by revealing a small, personaL detail about themselves, that had nothing to do with negotiation, actually did better. These partners felt more rapport, proposed more trusting plans, and had better outcomes. So they were actually scripted, they were instructed, tell them where you grew up, even though it has nothing to do with negotiation, and those negotiations went better. That is because we like to know more about the person we're with and we also like to hear more about the person we're with. We're more likely to be in a partnership mentality with them if we have rapport with them. Social lubrication will make bargaining easier, especially with email negotiations. This is incredibly important with email and it's usually the first thing to go. With email, we think, oh we got to get right to the point. We barely even say hi sir, right? Like, hey Sarah, maybe we say a how are you, which is perfunctory, we don't even really mean it, and then we dive right in to the details. That first paragraph of your email, just like the few sentences of your meeting, should be questions about rapport. Maybe, filling in the blank on a research thing, maybe asking about their family, depending on that emotion that you want to elicit. You want to think of at least two to three questions that you could ask that will elicit your emotional goal. That's what you want to start your emails with, that's what you want to start your calls with, as well as in person. Don't forget that email. The email is the first, people always think you can't do rapport in email, but actually it's incredibly important for setting it up. Okay, how do you start? Luckily there is really interesting research from Kellogg School of Business on how to best start a negotiation. 93% of negotiators don't ask starter questions. That's the biggest missed opportunity. What they found was is questions are actually the best for producing the kind of outcome that you want, and specifically there are three different types of questions. So we need to think about these. We talked about rapport building questions, there are also value finding questions. So questions generally about who they are as a person, what's the best way to approach them, and the last kind of bucket is intel sleuthing. Right, so this is trying to figure out gaps in your pain point, gaps in your assets, so they're specifically questions to find out answers. Here are three of my favorite rapport building questions and I have all of my favorites in the workbook, but these are the three that are my absolute favorite. One, I'm hoping to learn more about your business, so tell me about what's been happening for you? That's better than how are you? Right, most people say, how are you, how's it going? You're going to get the most socially scripted answer. If you say a goal, I want to learn more about your business, that's a business goal, they're much more likely to actually answer you outside of a social script and you never know what you're going to hear. Right, some kind of new nugget or industry update. If you want to build rapport, so you want more of a team, you don't want to go so business, obviously looking for props around the house or the office. I typically go into other people's offices when I'm doing negotiations, and I'm always looking at pictures, and I always ask about at least one photo, always. Tell them about your family, what a lovely family, how old are the kids now, right, any nugget that I've seen, either in their office or on Instagram. Lastly, so if you're really, like, I don't know this person very well, I don't know if I can ask one of those two questions, you can stick pretty bland, that's okay. What you want to do is prime with something positive. So enjoyment, excitement, the weather has been so amazing, wow, everything's in bloom, it's spring, aren't you so excited for summer, Christmas vacation is coming up. Even just those, generally, positive questions are real neutral, but they start on kind of a high note. Those are the most basic, but as my last choice. I'd rather you go more specific if you can, and I have a bunch more in your workbook for you. Specifically as you find these points, I want you to look for those moments where someone kind of lights up, right? You ask about the family and that's okay, you ask for intel and that's okay, but you ask about the game coming up, ooh, that gets them excited. That would set you up for setting the perfect gift afterwards. A jersey, a pen, a followup email, hey I watched the game last night, I'm so glad your team won, like that's the perfect way that'll open your next one, and I want you to put stars next to those little moments in your research column as you're talking to them. Remember, everything is negotiable. It's the other mistake that happens when you're actually in the negotiation, is we think that only certain things are on the table. Right, if we're talking about compensation we think it's only compensation, we feel afraid asking for anything else. If we're talking about wedding photography we think that only our package is what's available to us. But in one interesting study, what they did is they had students negotiate compensation packages. Some of those students were specifically given a number of vacation days. They were told, this company offers this salary with 21 vacation days a year. The students who didn't know the number earned more vacation days. Why? They asked. When, by the way, the number of vacation days was up for negotiation, they could of asked for more, but because they were told it was 21 days they didn't even ask. Whereas when they didn't even mention vacation days, those students ended up getting more. So, what I'm saying is, that, all that pre-alternative asset evaluation we did, is also a way to get you to think about things that they might not even offer, that are always on the table. Just because you're told something, does not mean it is not negotiable. Everything is negotiable. Surprisingly, even with cars and homes, as well, there's a lot of flexibility in there, and Alexis Wolf talks about that in her write up of buying a home. Try to find hidden information. This brings me to my next, big, mindset piece. So when you go into the room and your priming for excitement, the very next phase you want to go into is this journalist mindset. What is the hidden negotiation here, where are the assets I haven't thought about? Where is the bigger pie? You're coming in with the biggest pie you could possibly think of, but they might have some more dessert behind the scenes. Right, you don't always know that. So, I want you to start to go into, and this is how we lead into talking about money. It's hard to go from cold, rapport, to money, so it's easier to talk about rapport, and then slowly transition into some of these intel questions, and then it leads you into naturally talking about your packages. Some sleuthing questions. I have, here are some of my favorites, I have more in the workbook. Anything good to report? This is a really clever question because you're one, priming for good, right? Most people, will start a meeting and will be like, uh it's been so busy, God, it's crazy over here, we had this go wrong and this go wrong. If you're like, no, I'm looking for good things, by asking for anything there to report, they have to hunt in their mind for something good. And by the way, if they say, no, it's been really awful, that's the perfect opportunity for you to either say, you know what, do you want to reschedule, like, if you're really busy, I am happy to reschedule this call, no worries, which is a great offer, or you know what, I'm going to make sure that this meeting is as painless as possible. We are going to try to take it easy, we're here to work together, we're going to figure it out. Right, so either you have two options if they say no, which is also very good for you to know. That's a really important thing for you to know for your research. Update me on what's happening around here? So if you're looking for, you suspected there's some changes that can give you intel or information, you can also consider asking for advice. So, a lot of negotiators I know, actually use those initial questions, to ask for advice, specifically on the business. In one study, Beyond Instrumentalism, interesting title, researchers had participants negotiate the sale of property, so a piece of real estate. When the sellers focused on their goal of getting the highest possible price, which is what most of us do when we go in, only 8%, terrible number, reached the agreement. When the sellers asked the buyers for advice on how to meet their goals 42% reached successful agreement. So sometimes, asking for advice, like saying, so I really want today to work for you, any ideas for what we can talk about, how you want to frame today to make sure that we're really getting the best for both of us. Like, that's a really great piece of advice. And they might say to you, you know, I've been in a couple of these pitches, you're my fourth one, very good information for you to know, right, fourth one, and I've heard it all, I've heard all the benefits, everything, I just want to know what makes you different. Then, you go into those BATNA's, those assets, that you know you've already done in your worth audit, make you really different. You're gong to skip all the other stuff, or at least leave it till the end, because you've just found out, exactly how this person wants to be pitched. So, I highly recommend, if you feel brave enough, 'cause asking for advice can be an interesting way to approach negotiation, asking for advice. I start every negotiation this way. So, I pick up the phone, phone or meetings, typically our pre-call, that little first call is on the phone, pick up the phone, hey how's it going, how the weather over there, it's really beautiful here, or anything exciting happening in your end of the world, that's usually how I start my question, talk about exciting things that are happening, and then I say, so listen, I know that you've probably brought in speakers before, could you let me know what has worked really well for other speakers, what have been your most popular speakers in the past? That answer, A, tells them all I want is it to work for them, yes the money is there, but I really want have the best training I can have, and they tell me exactly what works and didn't work. There has been a number of times where their answer really surprised me and I have like, changed some of my pitch, right away, or they say, oh we just had someone come and talk about personality, and I cross out that pitch. Right, on our research, they're not going to want that. Right so, that question, I always ask for advice, and I have gotten the most interesting information. So, if you can ask for advice, I highly recommend it. I'd love to know, what are your favorite questions? What do you ask? Yeah, you have a question that you ask? Microphone for you. Favorite questions that you ask. You can think about this at home, too, when you're kind of, warming up clients, yeah? My favorite question I always ask is what can I do to make it right for you? Yes. And stop and listen and be prepared to do what I'm asked. I love it, okay, so we have to add that to my workbook, 'cause that is a great, great, question. So write that down on the rapport questions, that's a really good one, what can I do to make this good for you or work for you? Yeah? The other thing is, you're talking about negotiation, what about negotiation from position of power? For example, when you go in a seating chart, sometimes people with perceived positions are sitting a little higher, lower, can you invite them to sit where you are, is there a protocol with that? Yes, so there is some nonverbal techniques we can talk about with body language. I'm actually going to save that for our Q and A session, so can we write that down somehow, magically, in Chris's mind, yes, that is a great question, I do have specific body language strategies, yes. Thank you. Other questions that you asked that have worked really well for you? Yeah? I always ask what is the most exciting thing they're working on, or what are they most enjoying at work, 'cause it really tells you a lot about their motivation? Love it. Yeah. And that also can tap into value language, appreciation language, that is a very good one, write that one down, write that one down, I knew you guys would have better ideas, even then me. Yes, Erica? If you could wave a magic wand and get anything you wanted out of this session what would it be? Ooh, that is a great one and by the way, magic wand, is a great priming technique. Right, it makes us feel like things are going to be fixed for us, and then who's the fair godmother? Usually you, right, like that works. Yeah? With genders, there's certain questions you can get away with, that I can't. So where do you know you've asked enough questions or, because you don't want to be too short, you don't want to be too long, how are you going to gauge if you asked enough questions or not, not to go overboard. Good question. So, I typically, 'cause this depends on the length of you're meeting, right? A 30 minute call is very different than an hour call, an hour meeting or a two hour lunch. I like to think that first third, should be in the questioning phase. So, rapport building, as well as intel sleuthing, and it's that's back and forth, and by the way, with a really good negotiation, you ask a question, they ask one back, so be prepared for your answer, as well. Like, for example, you asked what's the most exciting project you're working on, you should be ready to go with a pain point solving answer for them. So you're answer would not just be, oh yeah, I'm working on this totally irrelevant project that had nothing to do with you. Your answer should be proof, right? Oh, I'm working with this other client who is very similar to you and we've just finished the second phase of our rounds and it's going really great, and she just completed this goal, and this goal, and this goal, which is also similar to that person's goal. Right, so you're answers, that third, is both your answer as well as their questions. If that makes sense? So I want you to think about you favorite questions, by the way, if you want a little more help on the verbal side, I'm not going to talk a lot about verbal, because I have a lot about that in my other courses, so you're welcome to get my other courses, I think we even have a coupon code for my other courses, so if you buy this course, you can also get my other courses on discount and as we remember you also get the book along with the course, today. Special note, I just talked about answering, which is perfect, you should be sharing, too. Not only answers that are demonstrative, but you also want to share a little bit of vulnerability here, as well. So, the power of self-disclosure, can greatly change a negotiation from being kind of, perfunctory, to actually being teamwork strategy. Worthy, Albert and Gay found that disclosing personal information to your partner, helps you build greater rapport, as well as when you disclose, this is so funny, unrelated personal information, your partners negotiate less aggressively, giving you a better overall deal. So if you can, as you're thinking about your answers to the questions you're going to ask. Remember, you're going to have three questions, ready to go, on your sheet, thinking about your answers, and thinking about what are some shares that you can give. Right, hopefully they're related to the actual outcome, but they don't have to be. Right, it can be something else that's going on in your life, so that really helps with that, someone seeing you as a person and not just an opponent. That helps get them into the partnership mindset. You're already there, we just need to get them there, too. So, let's do a really quick review, before we go on to the next section, to make sure we're all on the same page. So, before you even walk into the room, you've assessed your worth and confidence, you've diagnosed their pain points, you've done a ton of research, offline, online, mutual contacts. You've prepared your goal and your BATNA's, your alternatives, that are going to give you that flexibility and freedom. I want to give you an example of how this works, so Noelian knows, so a really good example is exactly how we do this. So we have a body language training program, our body language trainers work with companies all over the world, here is the negotiation worksheet that I do when I'm negotiating for Body Language Workshop. This is literally a typed up version of the one that I use. So, assets, oh research first. So, let's say that I'm going to a company, they've emailed me an inquiry, they said we'd love to have you for a two hour management workshop that's a day long for all of our new managers. I do some research on their company and I see that their sales arm is like the biggest growing, on LinkedIn, I'm seeing that their sales teams is the biggest in their company. They have dozens of people, that is clearly an area where their company is focusing. I see their company just got acquired, which means they probably have fresh, new funding, budget might not be as much of an issue for them, and they probably have a lot of new and old hires, mixing together. Right, so that creates a lot of communication confrontation. The partner is in a new position, so the person that I am going to be negotiating with just got a raise, I can see on LinkedIn they just updated to their new position, which means, they have a new leadership role, which means, they want to prove themselves. A big pain point is, I've just gotten this new responsibility, I got this new budget, I want to show that I can do really good things with it. That's a pain point I can solve. I know that I'm the perfect person to lead them through the transition. The transition of a new hire, the transition of a new company. So, pain points, team cohesion, old and new hires together. Being a good manager, right, they just became a manager for the first time, that's a big deal, they know they want to prove themselves. I also want to make the training worthwhile. Right, I know that like, if they spent this budget on bringing me in, I better make them look really good. Right, make them look like they picked really well. And lastly, I want to help two aspects of pain points. There's a pain killer for the manager, but there's also the pain killer for the team. Right, making the team feel like, their time was worthwhile in the workshop. Assets, so I would pull in a bunch of different kinds of assets, specially, based on my research. So, we know a study with BMW, and this was a company, that was, most of my company, this one, specifically, was in the auto industry. A study that was done with BMW, found that when they learned facial expressions they increased their sales business 28%. That is a very, very compelling number and it greatly justifies values. I pull that study, I print it out, and staple it, so that I can pass it across the table, as a prop. I know, that from my previous workshops, I give post quizzes to every single company that I do a training with, and I know that on average, they improve their PQ score by 75%, in just one day. Right, so I can say, you will get an interpersonal intelligence improvement of your team, in this measurable way. I'm going to give it all in one day. You don't have to do anything else, it's one day, it's complete, you don't have to keep calling me, it's not going to keep taking your time away, it's all complete. Lastly, I want you to be able to see immediate improvement. You will see, I promise, by lunchtime, totally new conversations with your employees. Right, so that really quick pain killer. And lastly, I'm going to give you, the manager, a special hour, afterwards, so that you can use these tools, as a new manager, just for you. Just the two of us, we're going to review everything you learned. It's much easier for me to come up with a price point when I do this. So, for my goal for this particular workshop, it's going to be, my goal is 75 hundred for the day, but I would do 55 hundred, if I could get some of these other alternatives. So the other alternatives, one, very similar, I would love a video recording. If they're willing to bring in a video recording, I would be totally happy to take off the price. Hey, would they alert local media? They're a pretty big company, I'm sure they have a PR team, maybe they'd be willing to send us a press release for me of my new book, send out that I'm coming to do a training, then I get local media hits, while I'm in town. Lastly, at the end, if they like it, would they be willing to give me a testimonial and post in their LinkedIn group, for other sales managers, they brought me in as a speaker, with a picture. That's huge value to me, 'cause it's basically a free commercial endorsement for more work. So this gives me a lot of flexibility, beyond just that price point, that I know that I can ask for. What I would bring in the room, so this is actually what I bring in the room before this kind of presentation. Oops. Is one, a sample training guide, like I've mentioned before. I usually bring a copy of my book. I also usually bring a copy of Resonate, so the book by Nancy Duarte, I love that book. I'll bring that as a gift for the manager, and I say hey, I know that you're probably doing a lot of new trainings, probably building a lot of slide decks, I don't do slide decks, but oh my gosh, this book is amazing on slide decks. I'm going to brig a full proposal with a sample curriculum for them and a sample report. I'm going to bring them testimonials, specifically from other sales managers. Right, I want them to see other sales managers who have hired me and said, oh we've increased our value or whatever it is. A video, a sample video of me doing a 40 minute talk. It's not a full day but they can get, kind of, a little taste test, and a video of me on the news for media or credibility proof. I bring all of that with me, and, or, send it ahead of time, or afterwards, as a way of qualifying physically that proof. So next, we've primed the partnership, we've asked questions for rapport and sleuthing, we maybe hopefully asked for advice and given a little bit of self-disclosure, now we're ready to transition to the negotiation. Right, we've now started to get into the industry, they've given us advice, on how we can best proceed, you are set up to now dive in to the actual money talk.

Do you get uncomfortable asking for what you want? 

Do you worry about how much you are worth? 

Do you have a hard time saying “no” and standing up for yourself? Do you feel like you are always getting the short end of the stick? It’s time for you to learn the science of negotiation. No longer lose clients, not get that raise you deserve, and finally, stop being the underdog. 

Join Vanessa Van Edwards, published author and behavioral investigator, who has been featured on NPR, Forbes, CNN and USA Today, who will teach you her never-been-taught-before personal negotiation strategies. 

We negotiate all the time -- from job interviews to client meetings to mattress buying to getting your spouse to the do the dishes. Everyone needs to understand the dynamics of powerful negotiations. 

This class is for you if you: 
  • Agonize about claiming your worth 
  • Have a fear of saying no because you think you might offend someone. 
  • Worry about negotiations because you are afraid they might turn into confrontations 
  • Have a lack of confidence when standing up for what you want. 
  • Are uneasy because you know you could be making more money in your job or business, but you don’t know how to ask. 
Learn Vanessa's new research, get word-for-word swipe files, scripts, and Vanessa’s personal formula for negotiation that she has never given out before.

In this class you will: 
  • Learn the science behind negotiation so you can take more control over your negotiations. 
  • Know and prove your worth so you can ask for what you need. 
  • How to predict a "no" coming on and how to pivot to turn it into a faster "yes". 
  • How to identify boss or client's reservations so you can prepare your pitch or conversation. 
This could be a day long class, but instead, it has been designed to be short, dense and digestible and something you can always go back to before heading into a negotiation. 

Our goal is for you to watch and rewatch this course anytime you are about to step into a negotiation room.



  • Vanessa is such a life changer. I feel so priveledged to have discovered all the wisdom that she shares. My dream is to be able to afford an in person training course with her. In the meantime, I watch the courses and purchasing them so that I can listen over and over. Wish my mom, who is now on life support would have been healthy and alert to have listened with me since my mother is my inspiration to seek how teachings from people like Vanessa. Mom, hoping that you know that I am continuing in your footsteps. Thank you Vanessa and hoping one day to learn from you in person.
  • What a valuable course! I appreciated Vanessa Van Edwards turning negotiation into a learnable skill. She lays out, step by step: * how to prepare for a negotiation, including a comprehensive worksheet, * what to say (and what not to say) during the negotiations, and * how to follow-up in the most effective manner. I learned skills applicable to complex work situations as well as getting my kids to do more chores. She teaches you how to turn an adversarial negotiation into a "partnership" which not just sounds good, but it is good and she gives you detailed, insightful guidance for how to do this. The 116 page workbook is crammed with practical insights. The 3 hour class and bonus materials are jam-packed with information I can use right now. So worth the investment.
  • This was the perfect course at the perfect time for me. I have a lot going on right now and I know these skills are going to help me out every step of the way. They are transferable to so many situations! I can't believe how much awesome stuff there is in the workbook. Every question I have is answered, and there are so many examples, it's insane! Everyone should do this course.