Apr 06, 2021

Beware yes, master no

The typical sales approach involves getting to “yes” as quickly as possible. However, I have learned from Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss that “yes” is a meaningless word in sales or negotiation.

It is better to frame your questions for “no” responses. Consider the following example: “Do you have a few minutes to talk?” vs. “Is now a bad time to talk?”

Both questions aim at getting the same result but the first question makes you feel more uncomfortable. This is because framing a request for a “yes” answer feels like commitment to the other person and creates anxiety. Framing it for a “no” answer gives people a sense of security and control. 

Therefore, if you want to have better success at selling to other people, seek “no” and avoid “yes”.