Tiimiakatemia on Jyväskylän Ammattikorkeakoulun yrittäjyyden huippuyksikkö

Never spit the difference

Kirjoitettu 11.05.21
Esseen kirjoittaja: Elias Mäkinen
Kirjapisteet: 2
Kirja: Never spit the differerence
Kirjan kirjoittaja: christopher voss
Kategoriat: 1. Oppiminen, 6. Markkinointi

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Never spit the difference




Sales is arguably the most important skill that I can learn. I think I am not so good at prospecting people but I shine if I can be in the meetings providing value to the other counterpart. I haven’t contacted marketing managers for over a month now. It has just been buried under my other tasks. Contacting people will be the main focus on the summer if I don’t get a client that makes it possible for me to travel a lot. I understand now that sales bring cashflow and it is the most important aspect of the company. Cashflow and being profitable in the long-term. I love sales and wanted to learn more about it so I read a the Bible of negotiations: Never spit the difference.


Psychology of sales


People are more likely to do actions that will help to avoid losses than actions that will help to gain profit. Most people want to be safe and thus are buying a sense of security. The feeling of uncertainty is one of the worst feeling that you can have in the sales meetings. I think our service (video production) is aimed more towards generating profit and it would help us a lot if we figured out a way that we could invoke the sense of security via our service. Actually the product (video) might not be “the safest” option, but we have implemented some safety tricks in our sales process for our customers. #1 being that if a client buys us a video and we can´t deliver it in a week, the video is completely free to our customer. That is a guarantee that our delivering time is fast. #2 being that we use customer testimonies with faces. Our feedback from the customers is always really good so of course we want to showcase it to our new potential customers to give them a sense of security that they are in good hands.


People want to be heard. If someone is having a feeling that they are being heard they are more likely to listen their own thoughts thus solving the problem in their head. If you can label the other persons feelings do it. Especially when it is about their fears. The worst options are usually much worse in our head compared to the real life so labeling them will get the other person to counter those “unrealistic” thoughts and thus helping themselves so understand better. It also helps to deliver the feeling of being understood which is one the deepest desires of us human-beings. One new technique that I am still trying to learn to help the other person understand that I understand them is called mirroring.




It is really simple. Just repeat the last 1-3 words or selective 1-3 words from the conversation and you will be fine. Repeat them either in positive or interested tone of voice. The other person is likely to continue talking about the topic and you gain more information by doing so. It lowers the social barriers and makes the conversation flow effortlessly. If you do not want talk about the topic it is easy to turn the conversation to something else using “this reminds me of…”. Mirroring is a great technique but if you use it too much you might lose a bit of you. It might feel a bit fake if you are not actually agreeing with the other person. We all have some character that we should show to the other person.


People are also unconsciously mirroring your body language and tone of voice. So if you are excited then the other person will more likely to be as well. Your goal as a negotiator is to get the other person excited about the conversation. Excitement means usually that the speaker is happy and when people are happy they are more willing to make faster decisions. I love to ask why questions to have a little deeper understanding of the processes and problems my client is facing.


Black swans of negotiations


In every negotiation there are 2-5 hidden “black swans” that when revealed would change the whole outcome of the negotiation drastically. Some examples of black swans could be that the client is in a hurry, which means they are more willing to pay a higher price if they get the results fast. Second example is when client does not know any other videographers in their area which means that we are the only viable option (we can charge more). Third example could be on our side that we do not have any client shoots that week we are trying to book the next shoot so we might be a bit more flexible with the prices. Every negotiations have these kinds of black swans and it is our job to figure out the other persons black swans and not to reveal out own ones.


The whole consept of black swan was new to me so I have not used it yet but I feel that it is a really powerful thing to be aware of and leverage later when I learn to use it.


Regognize different yeses


Probably the easiest way to figure out some of the black swans is to ask questions that the other person will say no to. Most salespersons are trying so hard to get a yes that they might get any kind of yes over a committed yes. They believe that first yes will carry over to the next yes as well. This partly true as I wrote in my essay from the book “Influence”. This phenomenon requires trust and this is why the random “do you have a minute?” from a face-to-face fundraiser does not correlate with me agreeing to donate some money later. I think I have made this mistake of “forcing yes” as well. From now on I will try to get “no’s” before so I can narrow down my offering and get higher hit rates from my meetings.


There are few different yes’es in the negotiations. #1 is yes that you say when you want to get out of the situation. This happens when your client doesn’t have time or the topic doesn’t interest them so they say “yes lets take a meeting”, but then nothing happens. We have had a couple of clients like this and it is really frustrating to do business with them. Maybe we could try to get some no’s before it so we could get more committed yes.


#2 is committed yes. That is a yes that will help you and the client move forward towards action. This is the yes that you do not want to leave negotiation without. It will happen when you and the client are sure what is the value that you bring to the table and both of you understand how to measure it. Remember to sell always added value not turnover.




I have read quite a lot of sales books and I have done b2b sales for a couple of years but this book really opened my eyes on the mirroring, black swans and different type of yes’es. I have not had a chance to try those techniques yet but I will try them in the next sales meeting for sure.

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