Chris Voss and Steve Shull: Charge What You’re Worth, Lessons on Sales and Negotiation From the Field

Chris Voss and Steve Shull: Charge What You’re Worth, Lessons on Sales and Negotiation From the Field

Chris Voss and Steve Shull: Charge What You’re Worth, Lessons on Sales and Negotiation From the Field

When an injury forced former Miami Dolphins linebacker Steve Shull to change his game, he pivoted into finance and real estate. After he read the book Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss, Steve completely transformed his coaching company and redesigned his programs from scratch. Since then, Steve and Chris have been working together to help real estate agents save their time and energy. In this episode, Chris and Steve will cover some of their favorite sales hacks and negotiation principles in their new book The Full Fee Agent.
In this episode, Hala, Chris, and Steve will discuss:
– Steve’s career pivot from football player to real estate agent
– How Chris and Steve started working together
– How emotions influence our decision-making
– The 7 essential truths of human behavior
– How to be “the favorite” or “the fool”
– Possibility vs. Probability
– Why free consulting is a fool’s tactic
– Why compromise is never equal
– And other topics…
Chris Voss is a Former FBI Hostage Negotiator and the CEO of The Black Swan Group Ltd. Before becoming the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator, Christopher served as the lead Crisis Negotiator for the New York City division of the FBI. During Chris’s 24-year tenure with the Bureau, he was trained in the art of negotiation by not only the FBI, but also Scotland Yard and Harvard Law School. He is also a recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement and the FBI Agents Association Award for Distinguished and Exemplary Service.
Steve Shull grew up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and graduated with a BS Degree in 1980. He then played four years in the NFL as a linebacker with the Miami Dolphins and was one of the tri-captains in the 1982 Super Bowl. A knee injury ended his career in 1983. He then went to graduate school at The University of Miami and received his MBA.
He worked on Wall Street as an institutional fixed-income salesperson for five years. From 1991 through 1993 he sold residential real estate in Fullerton, CA. In his first year with his partner, they closed 53 transactions. In his second year, they were on pace to sell 100 homes when he came up with the idea to create a coaching program, which marked the beginning of his real estate coaching career in 1993. In 2007, he was one of the founding partners of Teles Properties.
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[00:01:30] Chris Voss: That's one of the first realities that I learned as a hostage negotiator. You see this picked up all the time. How you do something is how you do everything. People are gonna stick to their habits. They're gonna make their decisions and evaluate the way they did in the past. They're gonna continue to act under pressure, the way they acted under pressure in the past. What they say is not a great predictor of what they're gonna do.

[00:01:49] So what they've done in the past is the most effective predictor of what they're gonna do in the future. 

[00:01:56] Steve Shull: There's an abundance of people who want to work with you. I don't [00:02:00] wanna spend my time trying to convince somebody to work with me because the first thing that goes wrong. They're gonna be jumping down my throat.

[00:02:08] They didn't choose me, and so it just sets up the wrong dynamic and life is just too short to work with people who don't wanna work with you.

[00:02:22] Hala Taha: What is up Young and Profiters? You are listening to YAP Young and Profiting Podcast, where we interview the brightest minds in the world and unpack their wisdom into actionable advice that you can use in your daily life. I'm your host, Hala Taha. Thanks for tuning in and get ready to listen, learn and profit.

[00:02:54] Chris and Steve, welcome to Young and Profiting Podcast. 

[00:02:57] Steve Shull: Thank you, Hala. 

[00:02:59] Chris Voss: It's [00:03:00] awesome to be here. 

[00:03:01] Hala Taha: I love having you guys on the show, Young and Profiters. It's a unique day because today we have not just one, but two fabulous guests to interview on Young and Profiting Podcast. So many of you are familiar with Chris Voss.

[00:03:13] He's a regular on YAP. Between my one-on-one interviews and our Clubhouse episodes. This is gonna be the fifth time that Chris is making an appearance on Young and Profiting podcasts. I think that makes his most interviewed guest ever. I think he's the most interviewed guest ever on Young and Profiting podcast.

[00:03:28] And believe me, it's worth it every single time because we always learn something new and today's gonna be no different. Chris Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator. He's the CEO and founder of the Black Swan Group, which provides negotiation training to both individuals and businesses. He's also the bestselling author of the classic Business and Negotiation book Never Split the Difference. 

[00:03:49] Chris recently co-authored the book, The Full Fee Agent with Steve ShUll, who's our second guest on today's episode, and Steve Shull is a retired American football player. He used to play on the [00:04:00] Miami Dolphins as a linebacker. When an injury forced him to change his game, quite literally, and he pivoted into finance, then real estate, and then found his calling when he started coaching other agents.

[00:04:10] So together he and Chris put together an eight week negotiation course for real estate professionals, and they've been working together ever since. Now they have this new book, The Full Fee Agent. And in this episode, we're gonna be covering some of my favorite sales hacks and negotiation principles from the new book.

[00:04:24] It will include some classic negotiation material that we've learned from Chris in the past, as well as some brand new material, which I'm super excited to dive into. Like the difference between the favorite and The Full, the Oprah Rule, and The Seven Essential Truths of Human Behavior. And while some of this conversation is especially relevant to real estate agents. These tactics are gonna apply to anyone, no matter your industry.

[00:04:45] Okay, so let's get started. We've got a lot of ground to cover and I'm gonna get right into it. As I mentioned, Chris is a regular on YAP. We've covered his story before. So we're gonna focus on Steve in the beginning of this interview, and I wanna begin with Steve's come up journey. So you started [00:05:00] your career in the NFL, like I mentioned, you spent some time in football, but it got cut short.

[00:05:05] You ended up pivoting to business. So can you share more about that transformation story. The journey that led you into real estate and how you first came across Chris's work? 

[00:05:14] Steve Shull: Great. As you mentioned, I played four years in the NFL and the knee injury ended my career like it does with so many guys in the NFL.

[00:05:23] I went back to university of Miami, got MBA, from there, I went to Wall Street, worked on the government desk at Solomon Brothers, and then decided to make a big pivot in my life and moved out to California. And started selling residential real estate, and this was in 1991. A long time ago, partnered up with an existing agent.

[00:05:49] In our first year together, we sold 53 homes, which is a lot. The average real estate agent sells four homes. A year and in our second year we were on [00:06:00] track to sell a hundred homes, and I came up with the idea of creating a real estate coaching program. At that point in time, there was no such thing as real estate coaching that started in 1993 and then 2016, 2017, I forget year, what year it was seven years ago.

[00:06:20] One of my clients went to a book signing in Malibu that Chris was doing for the book. Never split the difference. They bought me a copy and I started reading it and as I was reading the book. It became very obvious to me that everything that Chris was talking about applied to real estate 100%.

[00:06:40] And I had a big lightning bold moment. I'd been the guy in real estate who'd been trying to take out emotion. And boil everything down to fact, logic, and reason. And in reading the book, I realized you cannot overcome emotion with fact, logic, and reason and [00:07:00] emotion, specifically fear of loss is what drives the decision making process.

[00:07:06] So I reached out, I got a hold of Chris's son, Brandon. And we had a conversation and then Brandon said, let's get Chris on the phone. And we set up another call, got Chris on the phone, and that's when we decided to do a eight week negotiation course. And then we did more courses. And then ultimately we ended up collaborating for over two years and wrote the book, The Full Fee Agent.

[00:07:33] Hala Taha: It's amazing. And I'm always curious to know from the other perspective in terms of Chris, what made you feel like you should work with somebody like Steven? You're already a well accomplished author. You co-wrote a whole book with him, so there's some value there that you saw. I'd love to hear about it.

[00:07:51] Chris Voss: It's actually one of the underlying principles of The Full Fee Agent. One of the titles that we experimented with for that was the trusted advisor, [00:08:00] like you follow the guidance of the people that you trust, you, whose core values you line up with and you trust. You go ahead and jump in.

[00:08:06] Trusted advisor for me in this case was my son Brandon. He's always been a trusted advisor. Trusted collaborator since he was old enough, to correct me about something I was doing wrong. And he said, look, this guy's, Steve, show you gotta talk to him. He's all kind of human being, hardworking, high integrity, get stuff done.

[00:08:23] And I'm like, all right, that's all I need to know. Talked to Steve the first time in the intention of collaborating. He hit all those core values and he's always been an extremely. Easy guy to work with. Very focused, listens. Thanks. Great critical thinker and been just a pleasure to work with ever since.

[00:08:40] Trusted advisor recommended me to him. I was ready to go. 

[00:08:44] Hala Taha: And I have to say I read the book and I really enjoyed it, and I found a lot of value. Even though I'm not in the real estate industry. I was finding myself thinking about all the ways that I could use these different tips and tricks in my own sales negotiations outside of just real estate.

[00:08:58] So really great work, and I [00:09:00] can't wait to really dive into it. Speaking of the book, in the beginning of the book, one of the first things you write in there is how you do business is more important than how much business that you do. So let's start off with Chris. What does that statement mean to you?

[00:09:14] Chris Voss: It's really about orienting yourself for long-term success. You can get a lot done in a day if you gorge yourself on dopamine producing substances, legal or illegal, caffeine. Cocaine, you can get a lot done and it's gonna completely burn you out, and it's going to destroy you.

[00:09:32] What's a better approach that's sustainable, which will make you wealthy over the long run? And that's what this, how you do business is more important than how much business you do, because you will do a lot of business once you get into sustainable habits, keep you alive, keep you healthy, keep you happy, and then your life is a pleasure as opposed to being miserable.

[00:09:54] Hala Taha: Totally, and I really can't wait to talk about the fool and the favorite and the differentiation between [00:10:00] that and how we can save so much time and focus knowing that trick. That's, I'm so excited to talk about that. But before, before we do that, Steve, you alluded to the fact that you didn't really bring emotion into your conversations prior to learning Chris's work.

[00:10:15] You felt like you just needed to talk with facts, logic, reason to close a deal, and then you realized that you actually had to embrace emotion after Chris's work. There needs to be an emotional component to your negotiations. So let's talk about why that was such an important lesson for you and how you were negotiating prior to Chris's work, and then how that changed once you learned how to use tactical empathy and things like that.

[00:10:40] Steve Shull: As a coach, I see my job as positioning people to succeed, and prior to Chris, I thought I was doing that and I was having a lot of success. My clients did extremely well. However, again, what I was doing is [00:11:00] analyzing everything and figuring out. Okay, let's make it factual. Let's make it logical. Let's use reason to get to whatever.

[00:11:10] Outcome we need to get to. And then in reading Chris's book, the realization, the truth was that's not how people make decisions. They don't make decisions based on fact, logic, and reason. They make decisions based on their emotions. And again, specifically, The fear of loss. Most salespeople have been trained to pitch opportunity, gain, benefit their whole life.

[00:11:38] That's not what really moves people. What moves people is fear of loss, and so that, again, in reading never split the difference. That truth kicked in. I made a 180 shift and it's definitely transformed my business, and it's transforming the lives of the people that we coach. 

[00:11:57] Hala Taha: I wanna double tap on that for a second.

[00:11:59] [00:12:00] Chris, I know you're an expert on this. How do emotions drive our decision making as humans? 

[00:12:05] Chris Voss: Hala, first of all, double tap. That's a firearm special forces term. If you wanna really hit the target, you gotta put two browns in it at the same time. So I like that. You want to double tap this?

[00:12:18] You're an assassin in disguise. I didn't realize that, but it makes sense to me. You make your decisions based on what you care about. And there's been some interesting studies. There was a book that came out probably a good solid 20 years ago when it's relevant de cart air, and which basically said that people, when they lose their ability for their emotions to inter play with their logical side of their brain. They can't make good decisions.

[00:12:40] Now they can follow directions. It's real easy to follow directions. And this came up because people would have brain surgery and it would interfere with different points of their of their brain. If they were moving tumors from specific errors, areas of the brain. Then they were pronounced by then the standards of time, of cognitive abilities to be [00:13:00] cured and go back to work.

[00:13:00] And they would go back to work, unable to make good decisions and they'd be debilitated. And the insurance companies. We're not paying 'em to be debilitated, when in fact they were disabled because they had lost their ability to make good decisions. So your emotions are how you evaluate and make decisions.

[00:13:16] The reasons why they continue to put these people back to work initially was because they could follow directions like they, if they would say, organize the boxes in a room from biggest to smallest. Perfect. Do it quick, easy, no problem. Do this follow a set of directions, but how should we organize the room?

[00:13:34] They would be like, I don't know, size, color I don't know. People couldn't make decisions because decisions are triggered by what we care most about across the board, and that's really the unavoidable reality of emotions and decision making. No matter how many people try to articulate. I've seen something called Compassionate Reason or some people that are determined to be [00:14:00] dispassionate.

[00:14:00] And I'll call 'em out and I'll say, it looks like you're very passionate about being dispassionate.. The passions are there regardless. We use emotions to make our evaluations. What do we care about? And the facts, logic, and reason flow from where we've already made the decision. 

[00:14:17] Hala Taha: I can't wait to dig deeper on that.

[00:14:19] But first, Steve, I'm curious to understand, in real estate, how do emotions drive decisions? Can you give us some examples? 

[00:14:27] Steve Shull: Every seller they want more money for their home than their home is actually worth. And they believe their home is better than every other home. And they don't care what the facts say.

[00:14:41] They live in their home. They love their home, and they have feelings about their home saying, buyers, they want what they want for half the price. And they're completely justified based on their feelings. And Every buyer is operating off of emotion. Every [00:15:00] seller is operating off of emotion, and the thing that Chris's book, the thing that he's teaching, tactical empathy, the skill of making people feel understood. It's the missing piece in all of sales.

[00:15:17] Stephen Covey got very close when he said, seek first to understand before being understood. However, making people feel understood. That's the game changer because no one can really hear, what you're saying until they feel understood. 

[00:15:37] Chris Voss: And if I could jump in, cuz I'm thinking of examples. When Steve and I have coached people like emotions driving a seller's decision. What's probably the ma biggest factor on what a seller wants for his house?

[00:15:49] What his brother-in-law got for a house that has one more bedroom or one more bathroom. The brother-in-law's got a house with more amenities. It's actually worth more, but the seller's gonna [00:16:00] go down in flames if he doesn't get a price. That's at least as good as what his brother-in-law got. 

[00:16:05] Hala Taha: And I have to imagine that since buying a home is maybe you do it 1, 2, 3 times in your life. It's a really important decision.

[00:16:12] So your emotions are also running really high because it's gonna be one of, as a buyer, especially one of the most important decisions of your life. 

[00:16:20] Steve Shull: One of the things one of Chris's great lines, hopes and dreams are on the line, and that's what every real estate salesperson needs to understand. The sellers hopes and dreams are on the line, and the buyer's hopes and dreams are on the line, and most importantly, their hopes and dreams are not based in reality.

[00:16:44] So you as a salesperson, you've gotta sell reality to someone whose hopes and dreams are not based in reality. That's the challenge, and that's what the book is all about. How do you do that? How do you sell people on reality, when their [00:17:00] hopes and dreams are not based in reality? 

[00:17:03] Hala Taha: Let's hold that thought and take a quick break with our sponsors.

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[00:19:53] Okay, so let's talk about the seven essential truths of human behavior. You guys may not know this, but I love human [00:20:00] behavior. We talk about it all the time on the podcast. It's one of the reasons why Chris has been on five times, cuz he is one of the most notable experts in the world. When it comes to influenced negotiation human behavior.

[00:20:09] And so I was really excited to see these seven essential human truths in the book laid out so clearly. And the reason is because we're gonna have an easier time understanding and predicting the behaviors of people in our negotiations knowing these truths. And so I actually organized the interview around this, and so I'm gonna rattle off one of these seven essential human truths.

[00:20:28] Chris, I'm gonna let you do the honors in terms of telling us what this essential truth means. And then I'm gonna ask some follow up questions related to sales and business for each one that I think will be relevant to my audience. Essential truth number one, the best predictor of the future behavior is past behavior.

[00:20:44] Chris, what does that mean? 

[00:20:46] Chris Voss: That's one of the first realities that I learned as a hostage negotiator predicting anybody's behavior and. You see this picked up all the time. How you do something is how you do any everything. People are gonna stick to their habits. They're gonna make their decisions and [00:21:00] evaluate the way they did in the past.

[00:21:01] They're gonna continue to act under pressure. The way they acted under pressure in the past or the way they act under pressure is gonna be the same as they act. React normally only. It's gonna just be more intense and more obvious, and psychologists hate that. The first time I looked it up, every psychologist said, we hate this.

[00:21:19] And it's true. And there's a difference between what people say and what they do. And this is really focused on what people are doing. You've heard the phrase, how you act, speak so shout so loudly in my ears. I can't hear what you're saying, what people say and what they do. Don't always align and are what they say is not a great predictor of what they're gonna do.

[00:21:41] So what they've done in the past is the most effective predictor of what they're gonna do in the future. If they relied on a trusted advisor on how to make up their decision in the past,. Then in the future, if you're not the trusted advisor, they're not gonna rely on you. They're gonna gather information from you, but they rely on their trusted advisors, cuz [00:22:00] that's how they did it in the past.

[00:22:02] Hala Taha: So basically what you're saying is that it's unlikely that someone is gonna do a different behavior in a sales transaction or conversation than something they did in the past. So if we can find out how they acted in the past, what they did in the past. It's a good predictor of what they're gonna do this time around.

[00:22:19] So Steve, in a real estate conversation, how would you use this to your advantage? What would you do? 

[00:22:25] Steve Shull: You mentioned it, but we haven't gotten into it yet. The whole idea of being the favorite or the fool. And. This has been a real game changer in real estate. Most agents think that they win or lose business based on their presentation and to a lesser degree based on the commission that they charge.

[00:22:46] However, in reality. When a potential seller picks up the phone and calls an agent and says, we're thinking about selling our home. They already know who they're gonna work with, or they're leaning strongly in a direction. It's not [00:23:00] about presenting and convincing them to work with me. It's figuring out, am I the favorite or am I the fool?

[00:23:07] And one of the ways you do that is find out in the past, how have they chosen a real estate agent? Did they work with someone they knew? Did they work with someone who was referred to 'em? Did they work with a total stranger? Did they work with a number one agent in the area? So one of the things you're gonna do in that initial conversation. I'm curious, in the past, how did you figure out who to work with in terms of who was your real estate agent?

[00:23:36] And that'll be a real clue as to how they're gonna pick. Their next agent. That's one small example of how that comes into play. 

[00:23:44] Hala Taha: Chris, any other ideas there? 

[00:23:46] Chris Voss: No that's completely on. Especially when their hopes and dreams are on the line. To expect them to make a decision differently this time on one of the five most stressful moments in their entire life differently than they did last time.[00:24:00] 

[00:24:00] No, they're gonna engage in the same behavior. 

[00:24:02] Hala Taha: Okay? Essential truth number two, there is no such thing as a fully open mind. 

[00:24:08] Chris Voss: That's the harsh reality of human nature, and you decide you're gonna buy something. Do you go to the person that sells it first? Like you wanna buy a car? Do you go straight to the car salesman, say, which one should I buy?

[00:24:20] And then go with what that car salesman says, or do you start doing your own research? You start narrowing down the issues. You start gathering information. And when you go to the car salesman or the software salesman, or the computer salesman. Your mind is no less than 50% made up anywhere from 50 to a hundred percent made up.

[00:24:41] Usually, about 70% made up. Which means, you've gathered enough data, you no longer have an open mind. If your mind is 70% made up, the harsh reality of that is you no longer have an open mind. You're 70% of the way through your decision making process, and that's really harsh for everyone who likes to think of themselves [00:25:00] as fair and open-minded.

[00:25:01] I think of myself as fair and open-minded, but by the time I start talking with the vendor, the seller, the salesperson of whoever it is that I'm after, my mind is all but made up cuz I'm a human being. There's no getting around it. 

[00:25:15] Hala Taha: And some people might think this sounds like a bad thing, but especially on the sales side. It's actually a really good thing because it helps ensure that we're not wasting our precious time. If we're able to evaluate, if somebody is actually already making up their mind to, for example, not work with us.

[00:25:33] Or if we know that they are gonna work with us. That we do focus our time on closing that deal because there's a high probability, that they're gonna become our client. So it is really important to understand, and it brings us to that fool in the favorite that we've been teasing the whole episode.

[00:25:48] And it's something that I've never heard before and I really loved hearing about it. And as an entrepreneur, I realized that this is so true and made me realize a lot of things that I went through and never really had like a name or anything to call it. And [00:26:00] so you guys write, the key to building a great business is learning to tell the difference between possibility and probability.

[00:26:06] So Steve, can you help us understand the fool and the favorite? 

[00:26:10] Steve Shull: Let's go back to the example of you get a phone call from a potential seller. Most real estate agents, they think that person has an open mind. It's gonna be a level competition, and if I can go in and give a better presentation, than the other agents they call. I can get the listing, so they're gonna put an hour of prep time in, or two hours or more.

[00:26:33] Then they're gonna go out to the listing appointment and it's gonna be another two plus hours, and then they're gonna come back, and they're gonna have follow up, and they're gonna have 24 hours or 48 or 72 hours being on pins and needle waiting to find out what the answer is. We've short circuited that to a 15 minute. What we call a pre-listing zoom call. Where we get on the phone with that potential [00:27:00] seller.

[00:27:00] And in 15 minutes or less, we can find out whether we're the favorite or the fool. And what we're coaching our agents to do is focus on high probability activity, meaning we live in a Las Vegas world. We live in a world of probabilities. And what we want to do is we wanna focus on those opportunities.

[00:27:21] Where our chance of getting the business is 80% or more. The favorite and we want to stay away from those opportunities, where our chance is 20% or less. We're coaching our agents to sit at the 80% table, not the 20% table. If I go on 10 appointments, I want to get eight, nine, or 10, rather than go on 10 to get two, one or zero.

[00:27:47] And most agents aren't thinking in these terms. They think the playing field is always level. It's never level. No one ever has an open mind. Everyone has personal preferences, meaning even if [00:28:00] I'm interviewing three complete strangers, I come to the party with my own personal preferences. I'm gonna one over the other before they even open their mouth.

[00:28:10] And so again, rather than spending all this time chasing after business, we're never gonna get in 15 minutes. We can figure out who we are. 

[00:28:20] Chris Voss: And how, if you allow me, cuz I, I want to hit this possibility versus probability thing again from a different illustration. I heard Sam Harris talk about this the other day.

[00:28:29] Different context, but it's the same thing. Possibility versus probability. Cuz I love possibility. I mean I love opportunity and I love places like New York is a possibility. There is endless. Possibility versus probability. You are flying a jet plane through a storm and your instruments have all gone down and you're not sure what to do next.

[00:28:50] Now somebody comes up from the back. Who's gonna give you some advice and you check with this person, are they a pilot or not? Have they ever flown in a storm or not? Now the [00:29:00] person who wants to give you the advice, has never flown in a storm. Now, is it possible that this guy could be right, is possible, but are you gonna take his advice?

[00:29:10] That would be a really bad idea. Just cuz it's possible that somebody has no reason for giving you good advice, would have it. 

[00:29:19] Hala Taha: I think that really does help us really clearly understand. There's an opportunity cost to going after too many deals, right? We're wasting our time, we're wasting our focus. We have less time to work on the clients that do actually wanna work with us.

[00:29:31] And it's actually an uphill battle to work with somebody who didn't wanna work with you to begin with. And so brings me to my next question. Why should we not try to convince people to work with us? Chris, I'll give it to you and then Steve. 

[00:29:43] Chris Voss: It's good if you're a masochist, if you wanna torture yourself or if you wanna put you through a lot of unnecessary pain. That's not gonna get you anywhere.

[00:29:51] I'll apply a concept that I picked up from a buddy of mine. Joe Polish runs a genius network. He talks about half versus E.L.F. E.L.F is an [00:30:00] easy, lucrative, and fun. Half is hard, annoying, layman frustrating. And he says, don't work with halfs, do work with E.L.F. So my company. We involve this in our methodology and I tell my team, walk away from the halves cuz they're getting in the way of the E.L.F.

[00:30:14] But the interesting thing, before they would walk away on their own, they collected some data and of the halves that we closed deals with, two things were true. It took us no less than twice as long to close the deal and implement it anywhere from two times to five times as long. But let's say it was only twice as long.

[00:30:33] So you fight that uphill battle and you win. You just took a 50% cut in pay. Secondly, the halfs don't repeat, so you took a 50% cut in pay to work with someone that you are never gonna work with again. Neither of those two things make sense. 

[00:30:50] Hala Taha: It's so interesting cuz as an entrepreneur, you're taught and even just any salesperson, you're taught to follow up, convince them, right?

[00:30:56] But I looked back on my own journey of all, I have a social media [00:31:00] agency and it's award-winning agency. We do great work and I think about all my worst clients for people that I really fought to, to be the like, to have them join me. And now that I read your book, I realized that I was starting off on the wrong foot to begin with, and that's why they're I was starting off from a really weak place trying to convince them to work with me.

[00:31:19] It always works better when somebody's excited to work with you. Steve, what are your thoughts? 

[00:31:23] Steve Shull: There's no lack of people who want to work with you there. There's enough people out there. There's an abundance of people who wanna work with you. I don't wanna spend my time trying to convince somebody to work with me because it sets up a very different expectation.

[00:31:42] If I have to convince 'em, that means they were thinking about working with someone else. And so I have this great presentation and I convince them I'm the person, or most likely I've lowered my fee. As part of that effort to convince them, so now there's some [00:32:00] resentment on my part, whether I want to admit it or not.

[00:32:03] And then the first time, the first thing that goes wrong, they're gonna be jumping down my throat because I convinced them to go with me. They didn't choose me, I convinced them. And so it just sets up the wrong dynamic and life is just too short to work with people who don't wanna work with you. Stop convincing altogether.

[00:32:25] Don't ever do it. And one of Chris's great sayings, I love this, is if you're explaining, you're losing. If you're explaining, you're losing. And it's not about explaining your value. It's about do they perceive you as a trusted advisor or not? 

[00:32:43] Hala Taha: So a quote that I think really brings it all home from the book is it's not a sin to lose business.

[00:32:48] It's a sin to take a long time to lose business. So let's move on to how we can focus on these high probability opportunities, and not waste our time being the fool. And I know you guys [00:33:00] mentioned something called a cold read in the book. So what questions should we ask ourselves to understand whether we're the fool or the favorite?

[00:33:08] Chris Voss: Ask yourselves. How can I fearlessly find out early on without hurting anybody's feelings? Because I'm not going to ask legitimate questions. How do I allow myself to find out early on whether or not I'm the favorite of the fool? If you don't wanna try it, you're holding yourself hostage. Release yourself because you're the one that's holding you back.

[00:33:28] And this scares the heck outta so many people. If they can get over this hurdle, if they can just put themselves in a mindset to find out. Then they're gonna be a long way towards using these skills. Cuz it's about releasing yourself in many ways. Steve, would you agree? 

[00:33:43] Steve Shull: Absolutely! And this is a concept that I really resonated with because in football, this is what we were trained to do.

[00:33:52] Read the situation, read and react. Read and react, and we would get a scouting port, a scouting report every week [00:34:00] about this thick that had all the other teams tendencies in that book. If we were on the 20 yard line, they came out in a brown formation and it was third and four. 28% of the time they were gonna run this play 22% of the time.

[00:34:16] They were all, again, these tendencies. And so you had to learn, you had to memorize all these things. And so when you lined up, you were reading, before the ball was even snapped, what you thought was gonna happen. And this pertains in real estate. There's lots of clues. You're looking for the clues.

[00:34:34] You just have to know what you're looking for. No one knew that there was a favorite and a fool. The moment you start looking for the clues, they're all over the place. And again, this is all about saving time like you just shared. It's not a sin to lose business. It's a sin to take a long time losing business.

[00:34:52] And the real reason why real estate agents work seven days a week is because they don't work five. [00:35:00] If they actually worked five days a week, actually worked, rather than spending time chasing after business, they're not gonna get. They wouldn't have to work seven days a week. They wouldn't have to be on call 24/7.

[00:35:12] Hala Taha: So I take sales calls all the time. They usually start with some sort of discovery call where you try to figure out what's the client's problems, can I help them, can I not help them? So what are the things that we can do in that conversation to know whether we're the fool or the favorite? What are the things that people do or save that will give us clues?

[00:35:30] Chris Voss: The first thing is to just ask what is the most horrifying question for everybody? Until they understand how good is it? It is, and that's to say the other person. You got a lot of options out there. I got solid competitors. You could go to them. They got great resumes. Why me? That is like the magic phrase.

[00:35:50] It's an emotional intelligence surgical strike. Why does certain things to people that are vastly different than what is normally portrayed [00:36:00] out there? Why is it's a emotional intelligence surgical strike. You should never ask why unless you want them to defend you. Because why always triggers defensiveness, which is the bad advice.

[00:36:13] Find out their why is good advice, but it doesn't tell you that. You shouldn't ask 'em why, except if the why's about you and you are going to get an unguarded honest answer or you're not gonna get an answer. And if you don't get an answer, why you, there ain't no why for you there at all. 

[00:36:33] Hala Taha: We'll be right back after a quick break from our sponsors.

[00:36:40] That's so interesting. So basically you're asking, why me? Because you wanna get a gauge of how much they respect you and if they've picked you already and how much research is on. So if they say, if I say, why me? And they're like, Hala, you're the number one LinkedIn expert. Everybody knows you make all the influencers on LinkedIn, then I know, okay, I am the favorite.

[00:36:58] But if they say, I [00:37:00] Googled you and you popped up and I'm interviewing three other people, then I might be the fool. 

[00:37:04] Chris Voss: That one or would a lot of people throw back on you? The person who either is taking advantage of you on purpose, and a lot of people are doing it by accident. They don't mean to be, they're taught that it's okay, get three bids, but they're gonna say it's up to you to convince me.

[00:37:21] And if they throw it back on you like that, or in some fashion, you are the fool in the game. 

[00:37:26] Hala Taha: Steve, what are some other things that we can do during this Cole read to gauge the situation to understand it for the favorite of the fool, or what clues do people give? 

[00:37:35] Steve Shull: In the book, we give a very specific outline.

[00:37:37] A, are they calling you or are they just calling real estate agents? Once you start listening for it. You'll hear whether they're actually calling you or you're just part of a cattle call. That's one. Secondly, do you fit the profile? Meaning are you the person that they are looking for based on, again, what they've done in the past three?[00:38:00] 

[00:38:00] Can you make an emotional connection with that person? Meaning can you get several that's rights by labeling what they're thinking and feeling, getting in alignment with where they are. Four, and this is an important one, is the conversation collaborative? Are they open? Are they sharing what they want or are they being very guarded and they just want to ask questions?

[00:38:25] And get information. And then the fifth thing is actually asking for a commitment. And this was outrageous. We now have agents getting a commitment for a listing without even going out to the house. They're getting it over the phone in 15 minutes. This is unheard of in real estate. Everyone thinks they again, have to go through the preparation, go do the appointment, go do all the follow up.

[00:38:53] We're having people get that commitment right online because they're the favorite. And if you are my [00:39:00] favorite, I have no reason to withhold that information from you. Would it be wrong to assume it's a simple line? Would it be wrong to assume that we're gonna be working together? And when you're the favorite, they say, no, absolutely.

[00:39:11] We're gonna be working together. So those are five things that you can run through. To help determine whether you're the favorite or the fool. 

[00:39:19] Hala Taha: I love that. And I know you hinted and teased some strategies that Chris always talks about, and we'll make sure we cover that in the interview as we go along. So let's talk about some fools tactics that I found out in your book.

[00:39:29] There's a couple things that people do that are fools tactics. One of them is free consulting. So why is free consulting a tactic? 

[00:39:38] Chris Voss: This is another one that it took me quite a while to wrap my mind around. I did this for a while too, and I refer to this as a drug dealer approach.

[00:39:46] Let me give you a sample of what I could do, and you're gonna get addicted and you're gonna want more. We did that a lot in the early days of Black Swan and it finally came together cuz we're coaching. Private equity firm [00:40:00] and they're telling their people cuz their people want to do the same thing.

[00:40:03] Here's how we're gonna help you as a private equity firm. Here's the groundwork we're gonna lay out. And these guys said never give them any environ intellectual property, until after they've made a commitment to work with us. Because as soon as we give them a taste of what we know, the unavoidable aspect of human nature is, you're less valuable.

[00:40:22] As soon as you give away some of your value for free, you are by definition, less valuable. There's no way around that. So the gratitude that you hope for is just not gonna come true because it's not mean spirited on the other side. They're human and you've given 'em something for free. So people tend to value things as to what they paid for it.

[00:40:45] So if it was free, they didn't think it was that valuable to begin with. And secondly, you now have less to offer. Is ignore human nature at your peril, and there's just no way around that to not give free consulting. 

[00:40:57] Hala Taha: Okay, so let's move on [00:41:00] to the next essential truth number three. Humans are hardwired to be negative.

[00:41:05] Chris Voss: There ain't no way around that. Survival wiring, which we've all inherited, the pessimistic caveman survived, were the descendants of the pessimists. They walked by a big, dark cave. The pessimist says, yesterday Steve went in there and he never came out. And I'm gonna take that as a hint.

[00:41:21] I ain't going in either. Now the optimistic caveman says, you know what? Yesterday Steve went in there and he never came out. But I'm an optimist. I'm gonna go in there anyway cause I'm optimistic and that guy got eaten too and he doesn't have any descendants. And that's the, that's the wiring that we've all inherited.

[00:41:37] Hala Taha: And so there's gonna be a lot of negativity, when we have these negotiations and sales conversations, cuz we're all showing up to them hardwired to be negative. So Steve, can you explain to us how we can use labels to diffuse some of this negativity? 

[00:41:51] Steve Shull: Again, most salespeople think they need to have solutions.

[00:41:55] Whenever there's a problem. They feel like they can't discuss a [00:42:00] problem without having a solution in hand, and so oftentimes they avoid the problem altogether, or they try and sugarcoat things, or spin things or edit the truth in a way. Rather than, you don't need to have the problem. All you need to do is label how someone is thinking and feeling, and if you keep labeling, that's gonna diffuse the negative emotions, and then you're gonna let them process and let them come up because again, it's their decision.

[00:42:32] When there's a problem, what you need to do is lay out the landscape. Here's what's going on. Here are the options. Here are the consequences. And then you simply put it back on them. How would you like to proceed? And most salespeople think they, they've gotta solve all the problems. You don't have to solve the problems.

[00:42:53] A, you don't have the ability to make decisions for people. Only they can make decisions. And when, [00:43:00] and there we have a whole chapter in the book, put responsibility where it belongs. And if your home isn't selling, it's because you are not willing to either lower the price. Or stage your home in the right way or do certain things.

[00:43:14] It's not that the agent isn't doing their job, you're not doing your job. However, I, as the agent, take all that on me somehow. I'm not doing what needs to be done and agents do this all the time. So it's learning to put responsibility, where it belongs and where it belongs is on the decision maker. 

[00:43:35] Hala Taha: Can you guys give me like a real life example or just any sort of example of labeling and how it works, how you would use that to diffuse negativity?

[00:43:43] Maybe Chris. 

[00:43:44] Chris Voss: And I love that Steve brought the staging thing up because it's a problem for a lot of sellers. They don't wanna stage your houses. Now an agent is telling me about this one time and she's thinking to herself, all right, so what are the likely emotions they're going through? Cuz they don't wanna stage their house.

[00:43:59] And [00:44:00] as soon as they start staging their house, suddenly they feel like they're guest in their house as if they don't live there. And they and the king, the king of the castle King or queen of the castle, they don't want to be made to feel like in their own home, that they're guests or they're an intruder.

[00:44:15] So she just says to 'em exactly that. She throws a label on it. Like it seems like you're reluctant to stage your house, cuz it makes you feel like an intruder in your own home. It makes you feel like you're a guest that has to get out of the way. And it seems like these people that you've never met before suddenly have more right to be in your house than you do.

[00:44:35] Those were all labeling the emotions and the dynamics that the sellers predictably going through based on, what, how does this make no sense? What are they seeing this, what kind of craziness is going on in their head? What would you feel like if you gotta get outta your, if you gotta remodel your house for strangers, that you've never met, and you gotta get out of there every time somebody wants to go. Suddenly you're a guest, you're the intruder in your house.

[00:44:57] She throws us out at 'em and they literally [00:45:00] go, that's right. I guess we do need to stage your ass just by hanging a label on the stuff that they were going through. 

[00:45:06] Hala Taha: And cuz you mentioned it, and I think Steve mentioned it too. What's the importance of hearing? That's right. What is, what does that tell us?

[00:45:13] Chris Voss: That's right. Is what people say when what they've just heard is the truth. Unequivocal, unvarnished, just the truth and they can embrace it. They're not obligated to, they freely embrace it. It's what people, the emotional connection that Steve talked about before, it's an indicator of the beginnings of emotional connections or really solid emotional connections.

[00:45:33] And versus you are right. You need to stage your house because house isn't gonna sell. You start explaining, given all the reasons. When you're explaining you're losing, how do you know you're losing the other person saying you're right versus that's right. 

[00:45:46] Hala Taha: Such a little nuance, but you're right means that they don't feel understood and they're just shushing you. 

[00:45:52] Steve Shull: Exactly. 

[00:45:53] Hala Taha: That's right. Means you understand me, I'm aligned. 

[00:45:57] Chris Voss: That's right. [00:46:00] 

[00:46:00] Hala Taha: All right. Essential truth number four, the fear of loss is the primary motivator of human beings, also known as the prospect theory. What does that mean?

[00:46:09] Chris Voss: Steve, I know you hit this all the time, so I'm gonna ask you to knock this one. Huh? 

[00:46:13] Steve Shull: Salespeople are trained to pitch, benefit, gain an opportunity. It's the whole idea of getting a yes. If you're in sales, how many times have you been taught? Get the yes. Get the yes. And by reaching for yes, what you're actually creating is resistance.

[00:46:34] People love to say no. No, makes people feel safe and protected. And we haven't touched on this getting in, asking no oriented questions and we want to play to the, no. Would it be impossible? Would you be imposed? Would it be too much to ask? And people have a hard time not saying no. And so you phrase your [00:47:00] questions in a way where no serves you and this is a great tool.

[00:47:05] The most basic example is now a good time to talk or is now a bad time to talk? You're gonna get a much better response to, is now a bad time to talk than is now a good time to talk? 

[00:47:16] Hala Taha: I love that. And I know that has to do a lot with people wanting control, right? They'll be in control when they say no first.

[00:47:22] This is a hack I use all the time from Chris is getting people to say no, cuz I know that it makes 'em feel in control like they're making their own decisions and that's why it's so powerful. Chris would love to understand in terms of the actual fear of loss being bigger than the fear of gain. I'd love to understand that.

[00:47:40] Chris Voss: And then, and let's do a seller example that's got their house overpriced and they're worried about what they'll lose if they cut the price. And to get 'em to think about a different loss would be how much does it cost you to leave your house on the market overpriced, because suddenly now you've got 'em thinking about a different loss.

[00:47:58] And it is [00:48:00] the tipping point for decision making. And when people can't see things the way you do, I guarantee you they're seeing a different loss than what you are. And that's one of the challenges for real estate agents. In a sales. A number of years ago, a gentleman was selling retirement packages benefits to companies and they said, look, if you let us handle your, the retirement accounts, we'll get a 20% higher rate of return.

[00:48:24] That's pitching game. Same pitch. Otherwise, let us take a look at your retirement accounts. All right? So don't go with us and it's gonna cost you 20% every day. Do nothing. Don't lift a finger and it's each and every day that goes by, it's gonna cost you 20%. It's the very same proposition, but one is about what you're gonna gain and the other is what is inaction going to cost you?

[00:48:48] And you need somebody to take action. They're far more likely. Again, these are percentages. This is a Vegas world. They're much more likely to change their approach, change their decision if [00:49:00] they're focused on a different loss. 

[00:49:02] Hala Taha: So basically the main thing that we need to understand is when we're trying to convince someone. We should focus on what they're gonna lose, not necessarily what they're gonna gain.

[00:49:09] And a lot of us have been taught value, give all the ways that they're gonna win. But it's really about what are they gonna lose if they don't work with you. 

[00:49:17] Chris Voss: Exactly right. It's the, it's not the only driver of decision making. It's just the biggest one. 

[00:49:23] Hala Taha: Okay. So let's get to essential truth number six.

[00:49:26] People will die over their autonomy. And why don't we talk about these no oriented questions. Since I know that's relevant. 

[00:49:33] Chris Voss: That was, I, to me, and then I'll hand it off to Steve. The first clue about why hostage negotiation applied to every aspect of life was Jim Camp's book in 2002, which was a business book Start with No.

[00:49:43] He just lays out and he states in his book, people will die to preserve their autonomy. And I remember thinking at the time, that's why we have hostage negotiators in the first place. Cause people were getting killed right and left cuz law enforcement had show up around the house, said come out, it'll kill you.

[00:49:57] Which is to take away somebody's autonomy. And that's [00:50:00] effectively what they're saying when SWAT surrounds you. And we had SWAT for years and people were dying right and left, refusing to come out over nothing. And it was about people's preservation for autonomy. And so that's why this human nature thing applies to everything.

[00:50:15] And then Steve has picked up on it very quickly as soon as he saw this stuff, particularly the no oriented questions he was talking about before. 

[00:50:22] Hala Taha: I use this hack all the time, especially if somebody's ghosting me. If I'm in a sales conversation and somebody ghosting me, I'll be like, were you giving up on your LinkedIn journey or something?

[00:50:31] Or and then they'll be like no, I'm sorry I just missed my email the last few days. It always gets 'em, they always respond. 

[00:50:37] Chris Voss: Nice. 

[00:50:38] Hala Taha: So as we wrap this up, I know we're running, we're at of time, so essential truth number seven, vision drives decision, and then we'll wrap up this conversation. 

[00:50:46] How people see the future is how they're gonna make up their mind.

[00:50:49] Chris Voss: Now, the future, since it hasn't happened, it's an illusion. It's in everybody's head, but you gotta understand how they see in the future. And this whole purpose of the labels, the mirrors, the tactical, empathy, [00:51:00] everything. And as Steve said before, it's seeking first to understand, is not enough. Seeking first to demonstrate what your understanding is.

[00:51:08] Because then of course, you're trying to figure out what their vision of the future is, and in trying to flesh that out with them. By being a sounding board, by discussing it with them, by throwing 'em at them, what you think they're seeing. They're either gonna tell you're on track or they're gonna correct you.

[00:51:23] Now you can understand where you have to go. Do you have to try to get them to see a different future again because it's all imaginary anyway? Or are you happy with what they're seeing at the time? People are going to take action going forward as to how they see the future playing out. Vision drives decision.

[00:51:41] Hala Taha: Okay. To close out this interview, I'm gonna ask you guys a question that we ask all our guests on the podcast, and that's what is one actionable thing our Young and Profiters can do today to become more profitable tomorrow? And I know this book is for real estate agents, but let's take it wider to just sales in general.

[00:51:56] What's one actionable thing our listeners can do today to become [00:52:00] more profitable tomorrow? Let's start with Chris and Steve. 

[00:52:03] Chris Voss: Use this. Sentence before you give anybody a pitch, an idea, say, before I give you my perspective on this, here's what I think your perspective is, and lay out what you think their perspective is.

[00:52:17] And you can't give your pitch until you've gotten a That's right out of 'em. The trigger point is, that's right. Then you can go forward until you get it right. You're on weak ground.

[00:52:27] Hala Taha: Oh my gosh. That's such a good tip. Steve, what about you? 

[00:52:31] Steve Shull: The most important decision you can make and the best way to make more money is charge what you're worth.

[00:52:38] Most people are reluctant to charge what they're actually worth because they're afraid they're gonna lose business. If they do, and there's something that I call the adjustment standard, we adjust to the standards we set in life. This is why we wrote the book, the Full Fee Agent. The most important decision for a real estate agent [00:53:00] is what fee am I gonna charge?

[00:53:02] And when I make a decision to charge a full fee, I've gotta adjust everything up to that. I've gotta become better at what I do. What most agents do is they lower their fee and they adjust everything down to that lower fee, and so charge what you're worth. 

[00:53:20] Hala Taha: I love that and great way to segue into The Full Fee Agent your new book.

[00:53:25] Where can everybody find it? 

[00:53:27] Chris Voss: That's on Amazon. The best price, the best location to pick up a book is always on Amazon. Follow on stuff. If you wanna learn more about what we can do for you, how we can coach you, whatever you're in, whether you're in real estate, whatever, you're in, B-L-A-C-K-S-W-A-N,

[00:53:45] It's a website. Follow up with me or Steve, whatever you need, we're gonna be there for you. 

[00:53:50] Hala Taha: Awesome, and we'll stick all your links in the show notes so people can find you easily. Thank you guys so much for joining us today on Young and Profiting Podcast, and I really enjoyed your book. 

[00:53:59] Steve Shull: Thank you. [00:54:00] 

[00:54:00] Chris Voss: Thank you.

[00:54:06] Hala Taha: You guys know how much I love having Chris Voss on the show. He officially holds the record in terms of number of appearances on YAP and rightfully so because he always brings the value. And this time around I was really fascinated by his negotiation tactics and how they work in the world of real estate.

[00:54:23] Something that really stuck with me from this interview was the idea of the fool and the favorite. One of the biggest sales misconceptions is that we have to change people's minds and convert hesitant prospects into paying customers. That's not always the best tactic. If you have to convince someone to work with you. That means they didn't already see you as a trusted advisor, so they're gonna question your capabilities.

[00:54:46] As soon as the first thing goes wrong, you'll save yourself a lot of time and a lot of stress. If instead you seek out prospects who already see you as the favorite, who want to work with you all. My best clients are people who were [00:55:00] excited to work with me and knew that I produced great work before they actually met with me.

[00:55:05] And the clients that I struggled the most with are always the people that were hesitant to work with me and people that I really tried to convince to take a shot on me and my company. Like Steve said, life is too short to work with people who don't wanna work with you. So stop wasting your time on potential customers who see you as the fool, and instead put all that energy towards prospects who already see you as the favorite.

[00:55:28] Remember this line, it's not a sin to lose business. It's a sin to take a long time to lose business. I hope you guys enjoyed this episode. If you wanna learn more about negotiation, sales strategies, and influence in real estate, be sure to check out Chris and Steve's book, The Full Fee Agent, and the link is in the show notes.

[00:55:46] Thanks for listening to this episode of Young and Profiting Podcast. If you listen, learned or profited from this episode, be sure to drop us a five star review on Apple or your favorite podcast platform and share this podcast with your friends and family. [00:56:00] So many people would love this podcast if they just knew about it.

[00:56:03] So make sure you share YAP by word of mouth. If you like watching your podcast videos, you can find all our videos on YouTube and you can also catch me on Instagram @yapwithhala or LinkedIn by searching my name. It's Hala Taha. Big shout out to our amazing YAP production team. You guys are crushing it.

[00:56:22] This is your host, Hala Taha, aka a the podcast princess signing off.

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