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Episode 157 - Negotiation Techniques from a former FBI Hostage Negotiator

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Labels   Let’s explore the space between offer and acceptance – the space between “yes” and “no” is labels.   “It seems like…” “It sounds like…” “It looks like…”  (Followed by an effective pause.)     It’s critical to not “step” on your label by following it with a question or some sort of an explanation. You’ve got to let them sink in.   “It seems like there’s some flexibility in this package?”   “It sounds like there’s more here?”   “It seems like you have some ranges in mind?”   “It looks like you’ve used certain criteria to come up with this offer?”   Labels are a great way to gather more information and to test positions.  They do it in a way that doesn’t make people feel backed into a corner. They’re effective in place of questions where basically you’d normally be looking for just a “yes” or a “no” and they always get more information. They open up dialog in a really gentle, yet quietly firm way.   Salary negotiations are particularly important because as I’ve said before, people are testing you as both a co-worker and an ambassador. They really don’t want you to be a push-over and they don’t want you to be a jerk. Salary negotiations shouldn’t be limited to just salary. Salary pays your mortgage but terms build your career.   “It seems like there’s a bigger picture here for this position?”   “It looks like your company has a future vision I fit into.”   “It seems like this position fits a broader need within the company.”   “It looks like there’s some built in opportunities for professional development?”   “It looks like this position fits a critical need.”   These labels can also be expressed as statements or questions (upward inflection – question; downward inflection – statement).   Employers appreciate someone with insight who “gets it”. Labels are a great way to demonstrate competence and insight. Both of these are characteristics that either merit a higher offer now, or position you for one down the line.   Please remember, plan for your success with good terms within the overall package that build your career. Labels help you flesh that out and build the success of both your career and your employer!