Why “Yes” is that last thing you want to get!

Selective Solutions Georgia - ChrisVos

Selective Solutions Georgia – ChrisVos

Why Yes is the last thing you want to get from a Prospect or Client you are trying to close.

I listened to Chris Vos at IT Boot Camp in Nashville. He is the author of Never Split The Difference and a master at negotiating. When you have the opportunity to listen to a person that was the Chief International Hostage Negotiator for the FBI for most of his career, he probably knows what he is talking about when it comes to negotiating. We all have to negotiate every day. Whether its trying to get some one to take the trash out, or close a sales deal, we negotiate every day. I was intrigued by the title of his presentation “Why Yes is the last thing you want to get from a Prospect or Client you are trying to close.” Wouldn’t that get you into the room?

The FBI had learned their negotiation skills at Harvard from learned Professors skilled in the art of psychology and negotiations. After the disaster at David Koresh’s compound in Waco in which 4 ATF agents were killed and 80 people, including women and children, were burned to death, many questions were raised about the FBI’s negotiating skills.

This was followed by the disaster at Ruby Ridge where a US Marshal was killed as well as members of the Weaver Family. Salt was rubbed into the wound when the court not only dismissed the murder charges against Randy Weaver and his son, but accepted the defense’s accusation of wrong doing by the FBI and the US Marshall’s office. Clearly something was wrong with the FBi’s negotiating skills. The FBI realized that what they had been taught was not working in the real world. They formed a task force to figure it out and came to the conclusion that their best source of information was the Cop on the street. These people had to negotiate domestic disputes, hostage situations, and getting people to comply with them several times every day. From this came the foundation on which the FBI rebuilt their, what is now, a successful technique.

This part of what they learned.

So why do you not want to get someone to say “Yes” in a negotiation? Surely that’s the whole object of the negotiation? “Yes” closes the deal. “Yes” gets the other person to agree with you. “Yes” is what we strive for.


People are very uncomfortable with “Yes”;
“Yes” means you give up.
“Yes” means you commit to something you are not sure you are ready to commit to.
“Yes” is a hard word to get people to say.

“No” on the other hand, has none of those feelings.

“No” is easy to say.
“No” is what people are comfortable saying.
“No” is always the answer you are looking for.

How do you get people to say “No” but it actually mean “Yes”

Rephrase your question.

Try this with your kids or someone at work and see the difference.
Tell your teenagers “Will you take out the trash.” and you will get resistance. You are asking for “Yes”
But “Would you mind taking out the trash?” is asking for a “No” answer and they will more than like do it!
Tell a colleague “Would you make coffee, the pots empty” raises hackles because you are asking for “Yes”
But “Would you mind making some coffee?” asks for “No” and gets the coffee made.
“Do you think our product will increase the efficiency of your business and improve the bottom line?” is asking for a “Yes” you are not likely to get.
But “Do you have any objection to our product improving the efficiency of your business and improving the bottom line?” asks for a “No” answer and I will bet you get it. But doesn’t the “No” mean the same thing as the “Yes” in the first way of asking the question?

Its hard to change our ways but do you have any objection to giving it a try and see if it works for you? “No?” See how easy that “No” was!

Take it from an expert. Chris Vos knows what he is talking about.