August 2022 Book Club Discussion: Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss

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I'm Jennifer Myers, Founder of Agent Grad School and host of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, The Agent Grad School Podcast.  My goal for each episode is to give you actionable steps you can implement today to grow your real estate business.

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Hey there!

Every summer, we have a book club here at Agent Grad School.

Our students pick the books–one for June, another for July, and a third for August. At the end of each month, we discuss the books and share how we are applying what we learned to our real estate businesses with you.

If you are following along with us in the Agent Grad School 2022 Summer Book Club, August’s book was Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Like Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss.

August’s Book:

“He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of negotiation.”

–Chris Voss, Never Split The Difference

In Never Split The Difference, a former international FBI hostage negotiator, shares his time-tested and refined strategies for successful high-stakes negotiations — and discusses how we can use these strategies in all parts of our life, including – as we discuss in today’s podcast – your real estate business.

Listen to today’s podcast and learn how Agent Grad School students are applying the negotiation strategies from this book to their businesses including:

  • How negotiation starts with listening, validating emotions, and creating trust;
  • Using mirrors to create empathy and bond with the other party;
  • Using tactical empathy to find potential pathways to an agreement;
  • Labeling emotions instead of feeling them;
  • Why hearing “no” is a good thing;
  • How to identify a client’s motivation using “how” and “what” questions;
  • Using “The Black Swan” in your negotiations;
  • And more!

We also talk about the importance of preparation for negotiation and how it creates a focus and mindset aligned with these strategies – because as Voss points out..

“You don’t rise to the occasion, you fall to your level of preparation.”

Come and listen to our discussion here:

I hope you enjoy today’s book club discussion about these truly unique and insightful negotiation strategies, and experience success when you apply them to your real estate business!

To your success,


P.S. Missed the memo about the Agent Grad School Summer Book Club? That’s because you aren’t an Agent Grad School Inner Circle member or Agent Grad School student.

You can join the Agent Grad School Inner Circle here – it’s FREE!

Episode Transcript

August 2022 Book Club Discussion: Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss On today’s episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, why you should Never Split The Difference When Negotiating welcome to this episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, I’m your host, Jennifer Myers, listen in, as I share exactly what I did to go from not being able to sell a house for years to becoming one of the top 1% of agents in the U S to even opening my own brokerage full of agents helped me serve all the clients that were coming my way. I taught those agents. The same strategies I use in day two became top producing agents. Now through this podcast and agent grad, I’m sharing those same modern marketing and business strategies with you. Most of which I learned from looking outside the real estate industry, no fluff, no theory, no outdated sales techniques or paying for leads, just the exact steps to get you the real estate business you’ve always wanted. And the life outside your business, you’ve always wanted to let’s make it happen and dive into today’s episode. Hey, it’s so great to be back with you guys. After our couple week hiatus that we take every August from the podcast I missed you, and I’m glad to be back, but that break gave me a lot of time to get my creative juices flowing. I’ve got a lot of great ideas. I’ll be sharing with you throughout the rest of this year, and we’ve got great episodes queued up for you every single week between now and the end of the year. So if you never want to miss an episode, the best thing to do is join The Agent Grad School inner circle. It’s totally free. And it’s where I share all sorts of stuff that I don’t share here on the podcast. But it’s also the place that I share every single podcast episode. So you never miss a thing you can forward slash inner circle. Well onto today’s episode. So today’s episode is about our August book club discussion and the August book twice was Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss. For those of you who maybe are new around here, we have a book club that goes from every Memorial day to labor day. We announced the books to our inner circle, and we ask that you read along with us, our students choose the books one for June, one for July and one for August. And we together read these books. They are business books, nonfiction that seemingly don’t have anything to do with real estate. But then when we, when we read them and we discuss, how can we apply the tactics strategies, methods from each book to our real estate business, a whole world opens up and we share those discussions with you at the end of every month after we’ve had that discussion about that book. So, unfortunately, sadly today is the last book club discussion of the year for our August book, never split the difference. The author of the book, Chris Voss was a FBI negotiator. He negotiated things like kidnappings and negotiated hostage situations and things like that. And so fortunately you and I never have to negotiate at those high stakes, but we really are negotiating all the time, not just for our clients, but you know, things like one of our students shared what she learned in this book. She used when she was negotiating her split with her brokerage. And the author says that the negotiating tactics that he learned from being a negotiator and that he shares in this book are our tactics and strategies that we can use with our kids, with our spouses. And of course in our real estate businesses. So today’s episode is a excerpt of the book club discussion that we had amongst our students. And we share with you the many different ways that we learned how to apply the tactics and strategies from this book to our real estate businesses. I hope you enjoy it. And I hope you can take away a couple of nuggets, whether you’ve read the book or not, and apply them to your real estate business, Never Split The Difference negotiating as if your life depended on it. By Chris Voss, who was a ex FBI agent negotiating kidnappings, and what he learned about negotiating, he’s saying we can bring to every angle of our life. And I think obviously real estate, so many, I’m going to hand it over to you since you are leading our conversation today and suggested the book. Thank you so much. And I’m excited to have this conversation with you all today. Cool, cool, cool. Well, hi everybody. I am moaning fan Blair com. I am a realtor in the DC Metro area and I was the one that recommended this book. I first read this book, I’ve read it a couple of times. I find it so useful in all of my business practices and some personal practices too. I first read this book last year. It was recommended to me by a colleague and I read it and it blew my mind. And then I kept wanting to just practice and try the techniques. And the more I practice those techniques, the better I became at negotiating for my clients, both on the buyer side and the seller side and for myself in terms of negotiating a split for myself and my brokerage. And I just like, I live by this book now and you can’t see it because my zoom background makes it, it makes it disappear, but I am so excited that everybody read it. And I’m excited to talk about some of the things that you learned, because I think where I found those value in this book was actually putting the skills into practice because they don’t feel very natural at first, but as you practice them, I think kind of like a lot of real estate, you have to practice and get really natural to it. So I guess I would just start off with a really big question of like, what resonated with you most of this book, what techniques, what story, all of that I’ll jump in. This is grace. The part that like really stood out to me was the, I mean, so much of it. I’ve actually been watching Chris boss’s videos on YouTube for a while. And I bought this book a couple of years ago and I just like never committed to diving into it. So I was really glad for the opportunity, but was the whole trying, not so much to get to yes. But more trying to get to know, because that whole sales approach is always so like, Ugh. Like I don’t like when it’s happening to me, I’m very aware of when, you know, sales people are calling me trying to get me to yes. Over and over and being like, oh, well, you know, don’t you like to drink water? It’s like, okay. Obviously like, what do you want from me? You know? So I liked embracing that of like, when you get to know, you’re actually getting to the most honest part of what somebody’s motivations are. And so, yeah, I really liked that part. That’s what stood out to me the most. I think I love that too. And I found that actually very freeing to me and my business practices, because I would oftentimes there’ve been clients past clients or maybe leads that I would, you know, get anxious about replying to not replying to, but like engaging in that discussion. Again, we’ve fallen out of communication or like I’m really trying to get them. And one of the tactics in that section of getting to know was framing that email connection as like, with that, no, have you given up on searching for a house, have you decided to stop your search? And I felt so much, it felt so much easier to email that then another, Hey, just checking in, wanted to see if you saw anything that I sent you, you know, like all of that, it felt easier to do that. No. And I’ve had traction with that. No, like Chris Voss On that point too, it’s like, I know that if someone said that to me, it’s that whole fear of loss. It’s like, oh, wait a second. No, I don’t want to lose this yet. Like, no, I am still invested. You know, it’s sort of like when you’re taking something away, all of a sudden people show up in a more committed way. So I think you for reiterating the way to apply that because that’s so helpful Email to view. That’s great. Yeah. And I got a response immediately and it was like, no, no, I’ve just been traveling out of the country. And it’s really hard for me to Susan back. I promise I’ll get in touch with you. I was like, oh, okay. I was like, wow, that worked Right. I love that. Kristen, were you going to say something too? I was, I was going to say along the lines of getting to know I’ve used that with my teenage boys and I really have to think how I’m going to frame the question, but it’ll always be something like, is it crazy for me to think that you doing this will lead to X, Y, Z, right. And they’ll say, well, no. And I’ve got them right. They’re like, yes, we’re on the same page. But if I had said, if I had framed it with a yes answer, they wouldn’t, you know, they would have argued with me. So framing it to get a no is I think so crucial. Yeah. Yeah. And I also think I heard, as you were saying that example, not only were you framing to get to know, but you are also labeling, which is another tactic that he talks about in the book of like labeling the outcome. Sometimes you can mislabel on purpose to get a desired outcome as well. But I think that Kristen, you’re doing a couple of things that Chris Voss had promoted in your conversations with your teenage boys. Yeah. Well actually just a side note. I want to thank you for having us read this because I’ve wanted to read this for several years. I actually know. Well, I used to know Chris, when he was in the FBI, funny story, we lived on a boat in DC on the Potomac river. And Chris also lived on a boat and he is the nicest, coolest person. If anyone took the time to read the acknowledgements in the back, but it’s beautifully written. He’s just so humble and grateful. And he’s just a really wonderful person. But when we lived on the boat next to each other, he had his car broken into and a whole bunch of FBI stuff was stolen and Newark cops everywhere and FBI agents. It was insane. And I did not know at the time, like we knew he was in the FBI, but I didn’t know what he did. And cause he didn’t really talk about it at the time. And I wish now I had known because I would have really dug in with some questions and whatnot. But anyway, just that One-on-one coaching for free. He charges. I want that anyone else find anything particularly resonating in the book or a skill that you’ve used since you’ve read it, The mirroring Mirroring At the end. I mean, that’s so easy to do it takes practice, but once you know how to do it, it’s so easy and you just sit and wait for more information. And I find I can I use that with like my buyer? Well, any client when I’m trying to figure out, you know, rather than asking them a hundred times the same, you just mirror back what they say and listen for the answer. And they will, even my kids do that. They will go deeper. That’s right. Because silence is uncomfortable. And I think if you’re able to sit in that silence, you have the edge over anything, but all of the conversations. Yep. I loved two things. One was the anchoring, the idea of like purposely anchoring a low number to see where they calm. I really loved that concept. And then I also love what he calls The Black Swan with trying to figure out what the unknown, what does he call them? Unknown unknowns or something in the last chapter explaining how he got to know the unknowns. I thought it was really interesting using all the things that we have learned throughout the book. I just really, I was like, Ooh, now I’m going to kind of ask questions to figure out what is the unknown here? What is the motivation here anyway? And those are the two, my two favorite, I think that’s great. And I think I found it interesting that he, well, I understand why he waited to talk about The Black Swan until the very end, but I also found that that great because it’s, you have to have these skills build on each other before you can find The Black Swan. You need to harness those. I think he, in one part of the book, he was like, all of these skills are instruments, but you need the symphony to make it work together. So you have to be playing in layering, all of those instruments and skills together. And one of the questions that I was going to ask the group and Jennifer, I think the fact that you brought it up on The Black Swan. So you talked about deals being totally shocked because of a decision maker that wasn’t in the room or he didn’t know about, they didn’t know about a key decision maker. And it was because of that decision maker that was unknown, that the deal fell apart. So I think one of the things that I would ask is have you guys come across that in your buying and selling work and how have you kind of figured out that decision maker that’s kind of in the dark and you don’t really know about how do you pull that out of your clients so that it doesn’t become a deal breaker and you can use that black Swan to your advantage. I’m glad you asked that question and I’m interested to see what everyone has to say because I have no idea how to do that. I always get these wonderful clients. They’re young, it’s their first home or maybe their second home and they need mom and dad’s approval. And I struggle with that. I don’t know how to extract more information about mom and dad without mom and dad actually showing up. And then how do you navigate when there are these other parties that are part of the decision, but not really. That’s a great question. I can talk about what I’ve done personally. And by no means, am I the expert? I would lean on Jennifer for that. But I always, in my specifically buyer consultations top, ask the question straight out. Like, are there any other people that are going to be involved in this decision or whose judgment you really care about? You know, maybe they’re not going to be on the deed, but if there’s someone that you’re going to for guidance and advice, who is that I’d love to like bring them into this discussion in ways, right? Obviously we’re not bringing them into everything, but then you at the beginning have an understanding of who else is at play. Because I have had that to Kristin where, you know, I’d have a first time buyer and then would they love the place they’re ready to make an offer. And then at the 11th hour, oh, well my mom doesn’t think it’s big enough. Well didn’t know mine was involved in this. I think getting that out in the open at first is good. If they aren’t about that information, I think it’s, you know, you can use the Chris Voss tactics and ask those calibrated questions throughout your initial working relationship to try engage. Okay. Is there someone else that’s going to be in, in this discussion and then bring them in? So there’s no surprises. I don’t know. Jennifer, do you have any other suggestions or things that you’ve done? Yeah, for me, unless like, usually it’s like husband and wife and sometimes I notice that like one party or the other, if there’s like a couple situate, whatever the situation is, where there’s two people and both people aren’t willing to come to the initial consultation, like right there. That’s a red flag. When I see, they said like, you know, blank and blank is theirs. They introduce the concept that me and this other person are going to be buying. Then I set it up so that the initial consultation really can only happen with both people. And then another way, I just always try to look for clues right. Rather than have the surprise. And so when people say, of course, we talk about in the initial consultation, how much you want to pay per month and how much cash you want to put down. And so I always ask like, is that cash usable now? And so sometimes that’s where the parent piece can come in. And then I start asking another question, like, how involved does your parents want to be? Your family member want to be, when are they coming? And so I try to welcome it. Like, are they coming anytime that we can include them? And so I just try to, if they are part of the equation, Hey, figure that out from that first meeting, by asking certain questions and then be trying to invite them into the process early on. Because I think once the parent trusts you, they trust their kid. And then once they trust you, they like leave you alone, you know, kind of thing. So mine is like to invite them into the process and being as involved as they want from the get go. Sometimes the parents end up being clients themselves, which is really fun. Like a few years later they’ll get, you know, like the couple buy, their first home will have a baby. And then two years later, like the parents are like, can you help us get a condo? And so I’m like, we want over mom and dad. I love them pivoting a little bit, unless other people have ideas, definitely share pivoting back to what grace was saying about, you know, you know, when people are salesy, I think that he articulated the I’m not using the right term, but the fake yes. The counterfeit. Yes. That’s the counterfeit. Yes. And I didn’t even realize I did the counterfeit. Yes. Until he put it into words, there is a title company that calls me every two weeks and I forget to put the number in my phone and I answer it every time. It’s, you know, a sales guy, that’s doing cold calls to try and get agents. And every time, you know, it’s just, it’s incessant and it’s salesy and it feels very inauthentic, which I don’t love. And I even said like, Hey, yeah, you know, I’m just, I’m not super busy. I don’t have a lot of contracts right now. Like maybe call me in a month and we’ll see from there. And it’s like, I just did a counterfeit. Yes. And he took it at its word. And I put that into like, okay, one of my clients or people or not clients leads given me a counterfeit. Yes. And how can I move forward from that and get that? No. So has anyone been in that situation where a client or a lead has given you a counterfeit? Yes. And you’ve been able to turn it around into an authentic yes. Or even a no. And think of anything recent, Your radars are going to be up now. Every time you have conversations with people, it’s like, this is counterfeit. I know it. Hi everyone. This is to Mike. Can you hear me? Okay. Got sketchy signal, but I’m not sure that I’m turning around a counterfeit. Yes. But I definitely feel confident as I’m prospecting my professional network and I present what I do. And my next question is, do you have a resource like that, that you can present to your clients? And they immediately feel comfortable cause they go, no, no, I don’t have anything like that. And that just opens the door to Chris, stepping in and say, you know, we talk about it. Like something like that. I love that. Jude. I think you did turn that counterfeit yes. Into a no, I think you worked that really well because you opened that conversation. Thank you that, but I recognized it in the book as I was reading it going, Hey, I’m doing that. That it’s more key. So I’m going to stick with it. It is. It’s so much easier to say no and it feels comfortable. And I think that’s one of the large kind of overarching themes with some of the skills in this book is negotiating is a person to person interaction. It’s about empathy. It’s about listening and getting someone to say no, opens up a level of comfort with the other person to allow you to kind of work your magic. One of the quotes that I really loved in the book, and I think we can talk a lot about this is so he said, failures plant the seed to success. And I thought that that was awesome and comforting. Cause I think that one with real estate outside of negotiation, I think there’s a lot of trial and error and failure and growing your business and learning. But I also think right with negotiations, you gotta learn, you gotta practice. And yeah, that quote just really resonated with me. Was there any particular quote that resonated with you? I mean, I was tracking them because I was going to leave this discussion, I guess I don’t expect you to pull quotes out of your dish, but you can paraphrase. Well, I printed out like a little outline of the book, you know, just to kind of remind myself cause I listened to the book mostly. So I wasn’t taking notes so much, but I guess in the calibrated questions section, and I remember the story about the young couple and the man who was kidnapped and how he was coaching the wife to say, well, how am I supposed to do that? How am I supposed to do that? And how effective that question is and can be and how it can guide the other person to really tell you exactly what to do. And you know, I think of it in like, okay, well if you’re negotiating, you know, terms or price, you know, well how is my client supposed to do that? Exactly. You know? And then they can just see that really working and kind of breaking down the other side. Well, Chris, cause I wondered if someone said that to me, like asking in that professional setting, well, how is my client’s post to do that? I would say, I don’t know. That’s not my, that’s not my problem. Yeah. But I guess you could phrase it in a way to say, well, you know, you’ve seen this and here’s where you want to get to. So okay. Maybe that is a, you know, a collaboration in a way as well. We’re all trying to get to the same place. Right, Right. How do you see? Yeah, I mean, that’s like my immediate reaction is that that’s my problem, but that’s not what I would really say, but I do wonder, you know, in an agent to agent situation, right? Like I do want to make this deal happen. So if someone said that to me, I probably would offer up all these suggestions or things that I’d seen would work, but my knee-jerk reaction would be, well, I don’t know. That’s not mine. They’re your clients. Kristin, you bring up a good point of one of the key things that Chris talks about is the tone of voice that you have in all of these things. So how am I supposed to do that said in a, well, how am I supposed to do that can be very combative, but the inflection is on, you know, how am I supposed to do that? Like I want to come up with a solution. That’s the tone. That’s the body language. He talks about the, what is the 7 38 something rule, right? Where it’s like 17, like we’re saying 38% of how you’re saying, and then 58, you know what you’re not saying with your body? So that question can be perceived if you’re not mastering the nonverbal and the verbal cues, maybe in a way that would be conducive to what you’re trying to get. You have to use the DJ, the nighttime DJ down with your inflection. I love that too. I’ve interacted with agents when deals have been, maybe not going the way either of us have expected and they get very whew. You know, like I don’t even know how to describe it other than you know, that. And I think having that very even keel, we’re going to solve this. We’re going to be able to do this. Let’s just, you know, take a step back, use that late night, DJ voice, not even in negotiations, but just in, you know, dealing with problems and issues that come up in transactions. I have found that to be super beneficial when working with lenders when working with other agents, because you know, we’re meant to be the rock, right? Like the river can flow, however it wants, but we’re meant to be the rock and advisor for our clients. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the transaction, but like, we need to keep a level head. And I think that late night DJ voice, if you’re have that in the back of your mind, it will do wonders. Does anyone not use the late night DJ voice? He names a couple of different voices that you can use. I’m going to pull them up In regard to like using the voids. I know for me it can be a challenge, like applying some of these things, I love them in theory. And then it requires so much self-awareness and so much like, okay, I need to step out of my experience and go into observation. You know, I’ve read a lot of books on body language and I just like, love it. And then I forget, like I’m just so in my experience, reacting to things. And so I feel like kind of the hack that’s almost needed, maybe it’s just practice, but it’s just remembering to apply the tools when, you know, we’re in the thick of it. So I noticed like my broker does the late night DJ voice to me, like when I’m like having like a moment I’m like, ah, and then, you know, I might use it with my clients when they’re having a moment, you know? So I find like, or like when kids are having a temper tantrum, it’s like, you kind of notice, okay, like how do I minimize this energy? And Jennifer used it with me. The other, it definitely is like such a powerful tool, but it’s like remembering to step out of our own experience and like, remember to observe. And I just wish or wonder what that like hack is like, is it just practice or is there a way that we can remember to actually apply these things? You know, If I can chime in this is Sherry. That’s something that I’ve struggled with as well. And the only thing that’s worked is to slow down, you know, to really take a breath you yourself, like in that moment, take a breath, slow down and then think more about the response versus just the reaction. I just had to deal with this the other day with an agent who I don’t know what happened, but she was mad at me at something and it wasn’t very clear, but she was a little irate and I was just hearing her out. And then I, in that moment, slow down and I talked to her and I realized I did the DJ voice. I started slowing down and talking turn this way and you know, trying to get to the heart of it. And that’s basically, I think, you know, the biggest thing I think too, it’s just that slowing down and really listening. Like that was really important to really listening. And then I did try to emphasize with her to, you know, be empathetic to what she was saying, even though like, I just was reading this book now I was trying to incorporate all those things that I learned in this one call. Nice. That’s awesome. Did it work out pretty well? Maybe 75%. Nice. That’s amazing. Good job. Yeah. And I wanted to add something. Hey everyone, this is Laura. Hi. I was going to say like along what Sherry and grace like taking The Agent Grad School to has like helped me to learn, like having a process, like even during the initial consults, going back to like the framework of even like just grad school process, it’s like, okay, there’s the marketing, you there’s the initial then there’s the during. So it’s like, okay, think about that. And then like, y’all are saying like, calm your mind down. Like, what process are we at now? And it helped me during the initial console, but I did last week when I was talking to a first time home buyer. And I was like, during this whole process, we’re going to be going back to the step-by-step guide and using that whenever you feel like, oh my goodness. And I agree completely with what everybody was saying. I want to add too. I think you take one technique at a time in the beginning. And you just like for two weeks, all I’m going to do is focus on mirroring. And every conversation you have with someone, you just mirror, mirror, mirror, and then you kind of get that under your belt. And it becomes a little more natural than the next two weeks. She pick up another technique. And I think you just build from there. Cause I don’t think you can. I mean, this is a lot of information that has taken years and years of practicing and studying and testing to come up with. So I think we just got to take it one technique at a time. Great. And I think something you can be doing even with practicing or you is too much, or, you know, gives you more anxiety is as you’re going about your daily life and you’re hearing other people do things, you know, you can clock it and say, okay, right. Like it’s clocking when you’re giving a counterfeit. Yes. It’s clocking when someone is asking calibrated questions, right? Like Jennifer was talking about her process to figure out who is a decision-maker and she said, I’m asking these questions. How are your, your, she was saying how, when and why not? Why, but how and what, and even in those questions that she’s developed in her many years of experience before she read this book, she’s using them already. So it’s identifying and picking up where are they already without even having to do them myself. And then that can get you into the practice to, And I love how he shared with us, how each one of these strategies came to be. And oftentimes they came out of failure, right? Like I just like how he shared that, how he was like, no, we have the FBI had to relook at the way when we had this disaster. And so then they built upon those strategies, refine them. I really enjoyed that sharing of that process. And I thought that was really neat. I thought it was cool that for so long, the FBI would ask for proof of life and it took this thug drug dealer, you know, or whatever he did that was wrong in life, you know, to say, how do I know she’s still alive his girlfriend? And it’s like, oh my gosh, that’s brilliant. Like we’re not now having to ask for proof of life. They’re going to offer it up to us because we’re questioning well, how do we even know? And yeah. And they had failed so many times before using the other technique. Anyway, I thought that was And learning it from there. I guess they’re adversary right. When they learn that. Yeah. And to your point, Monique, that really you can learn at anywhere, even from the people who are trying to sell you on something, you can be like, Ooh, that didn’t land. Well, that doesn’t feel right. Oh, that question led to the fake. Yeah. You know, and then be like, oh, I can redo this differently. I also think that, you know, as we’re all getting started trying to master these techniques and our own life, I think what I have found most helpful is when I prep for conversations that I know I’m going to be in a negotiation, right. Like I know that I’m going to need some of these skills. So I prep a lot in advance. And I think that one of the quotes that he had in his book was when the pressure is on you, don’t rise to the occasion. You fall to your level of preparation. And so I love that because I think that that’s such a great mentality to have and all the things we do, but where I have succeeded the most in using these skills in the short time that I’ve known them have been in conversations where I knew I was going to have to write like a negotiating, a split difference for me and my brokerage negotiating a home inspection contingency report. Right. Like I knew I was going to need some skills to try and get my clients the most money for that negotiation. And that’s when I’ve been like, okay, here’s what I need to do. Here’s how I’m going to tackle it. I loved the idea of an accusation audit. And I’ve used that a ton because that, again, you know, my mom always said like the worst thing someone can say is no. And I like that now. Cause I’m like, Ooh, if they say no, it’s a good thing. But I think the accusation audit makes me feel very prepared because I know all of the angles that, you know, they could come back with and it makes me feel like I have control of the conversation. So that’s one thing that really resonated with me. And I’ve been able to use since reading this book, has anyone done an accusation audit? Yeah, I did that accusation audit with my husband. Like the day I read that chapter. Cause like I had spent money on a course. I didn’t tell him about and it’s because I knew he would say no and we’d had to talk about it. And I just kind of made an executive decision and I was like, this is part of my personal growth. He just doesn’t get it yet. So I was like sneaking it for like months that it finally came out that I did it. So I just labeled it like right from the get go. I’m like probably think, you know, really dishonest. You probably feel, you know, I just like said all the things that he was thinking. He was like, yeah, pretty much. But then after that we were able to like break through it and like, you know, it just opened up so much more empathy. And like, he couldn’t really attack me because I was already sorta like, I know this is how this looks and everything. And so it ended actually with us bonding, which is the best thing you can hope for in a fight. Right. So that one worked really well for me. And then I did also use the uneven number thing in our requests for credits negotiation the other day. And they had said that they were going to ask for 15 and I was like, can I really want to come at them with an odd number? Like what odd number would make sense? And I did like get to this odd number that actually did make sense. And then they like totally went for it and it worked out and I was like, sweet. So I saved my client like 2,500 bucks. So that felt really good too. And I was like, okay, like that was a solid approach. It wasn’t just like, well, no, that’s too much. It was just like, you know, throw out something different. So I liked that one too, that comes in handy a lot in this business. I feel like. So I then accusation and anchor as well of odd numbers of, I was dealing with a home inspection negotiation and I did my accusation audit and we were asking for a lot of money that we should not have been. You know, we had no business asking for that type of money, fairly good, but I was going to roll with it. I just read the book and I’m like, I’m going to get you the most money possible. And we were aiming for something lower and I, we went higher and I was like, you know, I know this is going to look like a money grab. I know that’s how your client is going to feel. This is, you know, my clients and I have talked at length about what work they need to do to just live in the house safely. And this is where they landed on the cost that it was going to cost them. We want to make this work. We are excited to get to settlement, but this is where we’re at. And using that, I know this looks like a money grab because we’ve all had deals where they’re, they come up with an absurd number and you’re like, you didn’t get the negotiation on the price. And now you’re just negotiating the price down on a credit with your home inspection contingency. And we negotiate on price at the end on the home inspection contingency. So we shouldn’t have any contingency, but we did. And I got my client a lot of money and it was, I was not expecting them to just say yes, outright to our ask and they did. Wow. It’s real stuff. I live by this book. It’s so great. So great. I also love that getting to that right. And how that’s even more powerful than yes. And how it requires that you listen and it requires that you like put yourself in their shoes and summarize What they want. And I think sometimes in negotiations, people just want to feel heard and they want to feel like you’re not dismissing their needs. So I really liked that. That was one. I was like, I’m going to use that a lot. Even in just life, not just real estate, but I just even think slowing down, having, when we have conversations with our family members or our husbands or wives, I felt like that could be really helpful. I love that one Being intentional, you know, really listening rather than just waiting for someone to stop so that you can then make whatever point you were planning on making. Right. And before making that point getting to the that’s right. And then be like, okay, well let me see what I can do, you know, and going away. And then I don’t know. I really liked that. Almost stretching out the negotiation and not trying to like beat your point across, but having them give you what you need to then know what you need to give them in order to get what you want. That’s right. That’s right. That’s right. No, it’s true. It’s I wrote this quote down because I loved it’s the art of letting someone else know your way. It’s not you telling them what it is, it’s you having the conversation and being able to skillfully make them think it was their idea and make them feel included. Because again, this is a people who, people business, conversation, it’s all about empathy and listening and yeah, I love it. Has anyone else used some of the skills and their business since you’ve read this and had success or found ways that you can tweak it so that you can be more successful next time? No, my husband and I are going to be buying another car here in a few weeks and I’m totally going to do what he did the Truck with the red, This is my price. I’m sorry, I’m embarrassed, but this is what I can afford and just see where it goes and just see where it goes. It brings up a question that I would have as the consumer, you know? Right. Like I’m obviously in the real estate business and you know, I’m representing my clients and I don’t necessarily think of myself as the consumer in that way, but when buying a car you’re and especially the car market right now is real bad how these skills can play out in an environment that is like hostile for negotiation. I’d love to see because there’s such few inventory and like the dealership runs the game. Well, and I feel like in that case, he had to have been willing to walk away. Like if he had offered 20,000 for it, they’re probably not going to come down from 36 to 20. Right. So at some point you have to be reasonable, but also willing to walk away. Yeah. I don’t know how I’ve never done that before. So I’m like I said, we’re going to just give it a try, how much we want to spend. What was that? Can you report back to the group? I Will, this is what we can spend and this is how we’re going to pay for it. How do we make this happen? Yeah, I think that’s great. And I think that’s a strategy that we could use, like as this market shift, I think that’s a strategy that would work a lot of the time for our clients. There was a point somewhere toward the end of the book and I’m going to mess this up, but he talks about how there’s like the kidnapper has something that the other person really wants. Right. But there’s only one buyer for that without product that the kidnapper has. Right. The loved one, that’s going to pay the ransom. And I was trying to think about that too, in terms of selling a house like the seller wants to sell the house, but the buyer wants to buy it. Like both people want this to work. And I don’t know. It depends on everyone’s motivations who has more interest in making it happen. I guess you need to figure that out in order to know who has the leverage. But I just thought that was really interesting. And his example of a kidnapper, they have one product and one buyer for that product. But on that note too, he had to find out, remember, I don’t know if this was the same store. Cause there was a couple of kidnapping stories, but member, it was like they just wanted party money. It was like, we don’t need to give you a hundred thousand. We just need to give you enough money to party for the weekend, The $5,000. And I think that works at the unknown on The Black Swan chapter two, when the person was negotiating that building purchase in Charleston. And when he figured out why the feller was selling somehow asking the right questions, he learned to help him with some other deals. Then the negotiation was able to come together because he figured out the why, you know the why behind. So anyway, if we could figure out why the kidnapper That’s cool, then there’s my question. So I’m, let’s say I’m representing a buyer by guys. I’m representing a buyer. They fall in love with this house. They can’t afford the list price. They want to come in, you know, under list price. Well, how do I question the listing agent to get information? Tell me what kinds of questions I can ask besides what does the seller really want? Well, they’re not going to tell me really, like I’m asking you all these questions, like how do I frame it? What questions do we need to ask to find the answer to why the sellers really selling Anybody have a good experience with that? Well, there’s the section about the start with the no. And he says, you know, what about this doesn’t work for you and what would you need to make this work? And those are good questions. Yeah. It seems there’s something here that it’s not working for you Or just asking All the reasons. Maybe people sell a house, Hearing them, Just shoot them down. Like, oh, do they need to move to be closer to grandchildren? Oh, do they need like trying to get to like sort of narrowed down their reasons why? And maybe some truth could come out of that. But I know like, it can be weird if we feel like we’re prying. Like it’s not really our business, why they’re selling. So it would just have to feel like in the natural flow of communication. And I mean, I do usually ask people like, oh, you know why they decided to sell now? And you know, they’ll give like little bits. And so, you know, kind of like expand on that more and maybe get to more of the heart of the matter and just they’re in building rapport, I guess. And I find out more about my clients just as we’re in the process, you know, more bits will come out, you know, even after the house is listed, it’s like, there’s more layers that are unfolding. So that’s been interesting to see too. I also wonder if mislabeling would also be helpful, like, okay, you’re talking to the listing agent, oh, your sellers are selling because the house is too small of a space. Right. Or like you label it to something, what it is. And then they say, oh no, no, no. It’s because yeah. Brilliant. This book I tell you. So into this book, I’ve listened to it on audible. And I just, you know, when I don’t have a good podcast to listen to, I just pull up a chapter of the book and just okay. Think about, okay, how can I do this? How can I perfect this more? Am I by no means, am I am an expert, but I just really love it. Yeah. And I think one thing I like in these questions is always figuring out how to say how or what, like those calibrated Howard questions rather than the why. So instead of like, why are you selling? It could be like, what is it that’s making the sellers want to move or something like that, you know, rather than the why or what was another one? How like, almost like a different question with that. How or what, And maybe that’s a good way to practice if you’re wanting to practice those techniques is, think about the last conversation you had with another agent and the questions you were asking and trying to get answers to, and then sit down and rephrase them, right? Like obviously it’s a past scenario. You can’t change the outcome, but you can have those questions in your arsenal. So next time when you’re talking to an agent and you have to ask similar questions, you have those, how and what questions, you know, locked and loaded. What are you expecting to be your biggest challenge and implementation of these tools? Probably just the practice. So it becomes more natural. Like grace was saying like, how do you remember how to do that and stuff? And well, like you were saying out of failure comes, you know, those more opportunities. So it’s just reflecting. Yeah. Going back to the ideas and, you know, practice, practice. Yeah. Maybe picking, you know, a few that like, okay, this really resonates with me. This sounds like me. That sounds like something I would say, that’s the way I want to present myself. And, you know, cause there’s so much to work with here. Maybe just deciding, okay, I’m going to, you know, in my next meeting, this would be a good tool to bring with me and really working on just those. Yeah. I think like the courage piece too, and one of the videos I’ve watched, cause he has great ones on YouTube. Like if you just want to watch something too, you can see him give Ted talks and things like that. And he kind of dives into, when you can hear him actually do these processes, which can help to have the visual. But you know, he said just practice all the time, practice at the hotel lobby practice at the store. Like when he said, well, what’s the Chris discount, you know? And like, I think about doing that in like my heart Townes in my chest, like, oh my God, the audacity, you know? But like, why not? You know, and I have a friend she’s just like that. She doesn’t realize she’s negotiated with people all the time, but she just feels so insanely entitled to things. And she does that all the time when we’re fumbling and it works. Like she gets what she wants and I’m just like, how do you do that? You know? So I feel like in low stakes situations, just having the courage to kind of try some of these things where you’re never going to see this person again, you know, so you can kind of have fun with it and play with it. And that’s not, I’m going to challenge myself even that like makes me nervous. So I love that. I feel like fear is such an inhibitor to a lot of things I think about even, you know, when I haven’t talked to a lead that I should have been following up with more than I have been. And like that crippling anxiety of like, oh, well now it’s been too long. And so maybe I shouldn’t email them because it would be so weird for me to email right out of the blue. And that fear inhibits me from just sending an email. No, one’s going to be like, oh Monique, that crazy person. She just emailed me after six months. I hate her. But for whatever reason I have that irrational fear. And so, yeah, I think it’s just, it’s overcoming that and practicing and feeling okay. In the discomfort of that, I want to spend a little bit on the Never Split The Difference. I love that title. And I think so many people, even in my interactions with agents, their negotiating tactic is okay, I want $10,000 more. You want $10,000, less than list price. Let’s just meet in the middle. Right. And I love that this book is saying, don’t do that. You can do better than that because if you do that, there’s going to be resentment. And here are the tools and skills on how to make sure you never split the difference. And you never settle with that. Just being okay. I loved that. So even if it’s a dollar more, I think that’s, that’s our goal on your next negotiation. The homework is to Never Split. Well, it’s so easy and it’s almost like a default response, you know? And so, or the worst one is like, let’s all split it, let’s split it by four, you know? And I’m like, no, why am I involved in this? Like, you know, That’s right. I also think like in addition to, you know, negotiating pricing and credits and what have you, one thing that I think is really good about this book is you can also use these skills when you’re having to justify and justify your commission. It’s, you know, someone says, well, you know, the discount brokerage, they’ll do it for 0.5% commission. Can you do that? How am I supposed to do that? Right? Like this is gold for negotiating for yourself too. It’s not just on behalf of your clients that you can use this in everything. And I think for me, the biggest takeaway was like slowing down, being prepared. Like I never really went into negotiations in the way that he talks about preparing and slowing down and like the mirroring, the getting them to like that’s right. And summarizing, almost being on their side. Not that we’re always an adversary, but even more so giving in negotiation. I just, yeah, all of that is for me going to change the way that I approach any quote unquote negotiation. But to his point, he says sometimes just talking to our kids or talking to our husbands that’s negotiation. So this book really changed my mind. I’ll be honest. Like in the beginning I was like, what is this? I can’t figure out how to get this to be in my life or be in real estate. But then by the end I was like, it totally transformed the way that I look at negotiation. So I just really appreciate, I really appreciate this book and also suggesting it here because it made me finish it. It made me think through it and I just really enjoyed it thoroughly. Every page. I hope everybody loves crisp, which is I do. I was telling my dad, I was leading this or like being a part of this discussion. He was like, well, you don’t want to tell everybody about these skills because then everybody will be what I’m like, no, no, it will make it better. It’s good. Everybody should learn this. It makes us better at our jobs and our craft. And I think, you know, what is it when one boat, when the ocean rises, all the boats rise with it. And I think that that’s just however we can be best and help each other, I think is important. I just wanted to ask one bit about the like fair piece and like how people felt about that and like, you know, just wanting what’s fair and like how that can really disarm people, like have you experienced that? Has anyone had that come up in their negotiations? Or how do you guys relate to that? I just wanted to let you know that I thought this discussion was excellent because I had a really, I’m embarrassed to admit what a stupid aha I’ve had in this discussion this afternoon, because I got to do a negotiation last week, an investor wanting to buy a property. And I sent him the offer and I got a text culture back and I wasn’t going to just split the difference as I’m sure she was expecting. And I wanted to explain our position and rather than picking up the phone and having a negotiated discussion like this is suggesting, I thought I would be very clear and succinct by putting it in an email to her and pointing out all the reasons. I thought that the subject property was inferior to a make comp and yada yada yada. And I didn’t engage her at all or the other investor selling the property. And it was just so odd. I hit myself in the head for being so generous about it, but I guess I got thrown off by being countered with a text. So I just know that I need to pick up the phone and have a difficult discussion and then if need be, follow it up with that email, I think it’s great that you identified ways that you could improve that sort of interaction in the future. And I think that that’s the awareness and the noting how you can improve upon that is the right thing, right? He says that all failures are the path to perfection or success or whatever it is. And so maybe it wasn’t this deal that you got exactly what your client wanted or exactly what you wanted, but you’ve learned, okay. Maybe if someone puts it in attacks, take a beat, reflect on what I could come up with, give them a call, slow down the conversation, get them to see my point through, you know, them thinking it was their idea. I’m using these skills and then the next time you’ll be, you know, incrementally better. And then the next time you’ll be incrementally better than that. And you’re just continuing to improve and hone your craft for your clients. I think it’s great. Grace asked about the section about being fair. I love that because I think now that the market has changed, that there’s sort of an uncertainty and maybe a little bit more sensitivity, you know, with sellers and buyers. And I think it is going to be really important that they feel like they are being treated fairly. And I think that’s really good language to start incorporating into discussions. It might not even be in the negotiations, but even just, you know, discussing pricing with your seller or discussing the terms, you know, that you’re figuring out with your buyer because they might not speak up and say it. So it’s probably a good phrase to constantly be putting out there. You know, if at any time you feel like you’re being treated unfairly, let’s take a pause and let’s review it and you know, you know, I want to know so we can address it. I think that’s really, really good because without that communication, they’ll just give you that false. Yes. And then the next opportunity they’re going to move on to somebody else, you know, without speaking up. So I really liked that. And also identifying when we gave you a fair offer can to what your goals might be. So it’s, again, it’s that tone. It’s that? How are you using those verbiage and really being intentional about it? Yeah, There’s one part that I was a little conflicted on and I, Jennifer kind of mentioned it in the way it’s like, it almost sounds like you’re agreeing with them at times. And that was confusing to me because it sounds like I’m agreeing with them, but yet I’m trying to get them to just see that. I understand what they’re saying. So that’s the part that I didn’t know how to really have that dialogue. Cause it sounds like to me, like, I don’t want to say that to them because it sounds like I’m agreeing with them. Like if I said something like, it sounds like you’re saying this, you know, and there’ll be like, well yeah, you get it. But then it sounds like I’m agreeing with them in that way. That’s how it sounds to me anyway. So that was a hard part for me to wrap my head around. Do you understand what I’m saying? Does that make sense or Yeah, but I felt like he used the word summarize what they’ve said and I really liked that the way. So making sure that I do, I have this right. You want to make sure that blah, blah, blah, blah. Right. And it’s, I don’t see it as an agreement, more of a summation of what they’re saying. One of the things like my husband and I, when we were getting married, we wanted to go to like couples communication classes. And that was one of the things is like, always say, so let me make sure I get this right. Or you, you know, and I was like, but it really works. It really works. Even though I disagree like that, what’s that word eminently about it, you know? But them being like, yes, you understand what I’m saying? Doesn’t mean, I agree at all. And then you could be like, oh, well, I’m going to go back to my client and see what they think about this. I just want to make sure I have that. Right. And I also think it opens the door when you are summarizing what they’ve said to you back to them, it shows you were listening. You know, it created that rapport that you want to make sure that what they said, you really understand what they meant by it, what they thought. And so that if you were to go back to your client, you had the right concept that they were trying to convey. And I think that that also disarms people. It makes you more of a person to them so that when they’re negotiating, they’re more likely to go with what you, you know, what you want subliminally because they like you because you listen to them. I have to mention, I feel like as crazy as you are Monique about this book, I loved how to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie. Have you read that one? I Have not, but it’s on my list. Okay. So I’m kind of the same way about that one. Like any situation I refer back to that and I mean, you know, yeah. Kind of a freak about that one. So if people really loved this book, I wouldn’t recommend that one too. Not necessarily as a book club, but just as another really, really great tools of communicating, understanding people and you know, in relationships, it was so good. But thank you for this. I loved it. I’m going to listen to it again. Well, thank you guys. This was such a great conversation. Thank you Monique, for suggesting it for leading us. And sadly, this concludes our summer book club for this year. So we’ll bring it back again. Anytime you have, you know, a book that you want to suggest, write it down. And next may we’ll ask for suggestions. Again, a couple of people suggested this book. I’m sorry, off the top of my head. I don’t remember, but thank you to all of you who suggested it. And Monique, thank you for raising your hand to lead us. So, all right, well enjoy. Thank you guys. Have a good Friday. See you next week. Bye everybody. Thank you for listening to this episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. We purposely keep this podcast sponsor and commercial free so we can focus solely on providing real estate agents with the content that will help them grow their real estate business. And how about like, they love out five of business too, but we need your help to get this podcast in the hands of other real estate agents. So please, if you liked this episode, leave a review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening, and also tell your agent friends to listen in to thank you so much for supporting the show for being a listener and supporting other agents along your way to success. That’s what this is all about. See you next time. On another episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. And until then, Tom, hang with me over We’ll see you there.

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