Apr 08, 2021

Trigger the two words

Instead of “yes”, what you want to hear from someone you’re negotiating with is “that’s right”.

 “Yes” is meaningless. “You’re right” is similarly meaningless. Both of these phrases usually mean someone is trying to get you to shut up and go away. But “that’s right” means you are on the same page.

Here are the steps to get there:

  1. Effective pauses: Silence is powerful.
  2. Minimal encouragers: Simple phrases like “uh-huh” or “I see” to let the person know you’re listening.
  3. Mirroring: Repeat back the words of your counterpart.
  4. Labeling: Label the emotions your counterpart is expressing.
  5. Paraphrase: Don’t just mirror. Also, repeat back what someone is saying in your own words.
  6. Summarize: A good summary combines the meaning of what is said and the emotions underlying it. Paraphrasing + labeling = summary.

Once faced with an effective summary, your counterpart should say “that’s right”. If you can get the person you’re negotiating with to use those two words, then it’s a signal that you’ve earned their trust and can move forward with the negotiation and your pitch. If you pitch before you get there, it’s going to be much harder for them to listen to what you have to say.