Published July 2018 on Spotfiy

70: Alex Kouts | The Secrets You Don't Know About Negotiation Part One

1. Introduction

Alex shares practical and advanced negotiation tips used in high-level VCs, Silicon Valley, corporate negotiations, and government offices. Listeners will learn how to negotiate their salary and even how to negotiate for a mattress. The episode is the first part of a three-part series on negotiation.+

2. Mastering Negotiation

Mastering Negotiation:Alex shares his experience in negotiation, how he started teaching it, and the importance of learning from other people's stories. Jordan and Alex discuss the limitations of traditional negotiation tactics and the need for a more holistic approach.+
Tactical Negotiation:Alex shares practical tips and phrases for negotiation, divorcing it from theory. Jordan emphasizes the importance of practical takeaways based on experience rather than just theory.Show transcript +
Effective Negotiations:Alex Kouts shares his insights on how negotiations should be empathetic and mutually beneficial conversations, rather than a win-lose game. He recommends the book "Never Split the Difference" by Chris Voss as a valuable resource for negotiations.+

3. Tactical Negotiation

Tactical Empathy:Alex and Jordan discuss the concept of tactical empathy in negotiations and how it can be used strategically. They also touch on the learning curve of mastering a new skill and how progress can feel the fastest at the beginning.+
Negotiation Mind Games:Alex shares how he uses destabilizing statements in negotiations to test people's emotional reactions and see how deeply engaged they are in their ideas. He also discusses the progress and pain curves in learning any skill.+
Embrace the Suck:Alex and Jordan discuss the importance of embracing the pain that comes with learning something new, especially negotiations and sales. They address common fears people have when negotiating and offer tips on how to overcome them.+

4. Social Contract & Hard Work

Social Contract:Jordan and Alex discuss the social contract and how it affects our ability to advocate for our own self-interest in a value exchange. They explain that society is a compendium of rules and customs designed to protect social order, and that we are implicitly aware of the needs and wants of others in a value exchange.+
Hard Work Beats Talent:Alex Kouts discusses the Rudy Pyramid, which illustrates how hard work can trump natural talent in skill development. He also addresses the defeatist attitude of assuming one is not naturally good at something, and how this mindset can be overcome through hard work and dedication.+

5. Negotiation Fundamentals

Negotiation Fundamentals:Alex and Jordan discuss the fundamentals of negotiation, including the importance of perspective and overcoming the fear of asking for what you want. They touch on the pay gap between men and women in the workforce and how infrequent negotiation is a contributing factor.+
The Power of Negotiation:Alex Kouts explains the importance of negotiating your salary and how it can compound over time. He gives examples of how negotiating just once can lead to significantly higher earnings over the course of one's career.+

6. Negotiation Insights

Rationalization in Negotiations:Alex and Jordan discuss the power of rationalization in negotiations and how it can be both a helpful tool and a dangerous enemy. They explore the ways in which people use rationalization to justify their actions and how it can impact negotiations. Alex shares his personal strategy for dealing with initial offers and how to avoid being priced unfairly.+
Negotiation Tactics:Alex Kouts discusses negotiation tactics, including using rationalization to ask for what you want and the importance of empathy in understanding the other side's goals and pressure points. He warns against taking empathy too far and using it for blackmail.+

7. Winning Negotiations

Winning Negotiations:Alex emphasizes the importance of pre-work and research in negotiations. Being well-prepared is key to winning negotiations. He provides a worksheet that covers what to know before entering a negotiation, including the party involved and their evaluation process.+
Negotiation Strategies:Alex and Jordan discuss the importance of understanding the parties involved in a negotiation, including their goals, fears, and best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA). They also emphasize the need to identify one's own interests and goals, as well as resistance points, to ensure a successful negotiation outcome.+

8. Negotiation Strategies

Underemployment Toxicity:Alex explains how being underemployed can lead to toxicity in the workplace and why employers should avoid under-compensating their employees. He also provides tips on how to negotiate a fair salary and write down options during business negotiations.+
Negotiation Strategies:Alex and Jordan discuss negotiation strategies for both B2B contracts and job offers, including the importance of knowing your BATNA (Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement) and utilizing communication channels like email for job offers and in-person meetings for B2B negotiations. They also share examples of creative negotiation tactics, such as requesting regular lunches with the CEO as part of a job offer.+

9. Negotiation Strategies

Negotiation Strategies:Alex discusses negotiation strategies, including the importance of understanding social costs and how they can affect our choices. He also shares tips on how to increase the cost for others when they ask for things we don't want to give up. The episode includes a negotiation sheet available on the website.+
Social Costs:Alex Kouts explains how social costs affect our willingness to negotiate and gives examples of how car salesmen and funeral directors use emotional context to their advantage.+

10. Pro Negotiation Tips

Negotiating like a Pro:Alex and Jordan discuss the advantages and disadvantages of negotiating with professionals who negotiate every day, highlighting how their incentives can work for or against you. They also draw a parallel between playing poker and negotiating, emphasizing how predictability can be an advantage in both contexts.+
Negotiation Tips:Jordan and Alex share their insights on negotiation, including the advantage of knowing the other party's position, the importance of never making the first offer, and the power of escalating concerns in customer service.+

11. Negotiation Insights

Negotiation Tips:Alex shares negotiation tips, including the concept of information asymmetry and the importance of letting the other party make the first offer. He also discusses exceptions to this rule, such as in the case of selling items on Craigslist. Jordan and Alex also touch on the power of being willing to walk away in negotiations.+
The Power of No:Alex explains the importance of the word "no" in a negotiation and how it helps to establish boundaries. He shares a personal experience of getting 20 "nos" as an exercise and how it helped him understand the power of the word.+

12. The Power of No

The Power of No:In this episode, Alex Kouts shares an exercise that teaches the power of negotiation and the limits we place on ourselves. By going out and trying to get 20 nos, we learn that people have more power than we think and that many things are more open to negotiation than we imagine. Jordan Harbinger adds that it's shocking how often people will say yes to requests we think are impossible.+
Saying No:Alex and Jordan discuss the importance of learning to say no in a respectful way, without damaging the social fabric. They emphasize that hearing no can be the beginning of a relationship and that it's necessary to avoid fast yeses and to know where the ceiling is.+

13. Saying No Constructively

Alex shares how he turned down job offers and turned them into consulting opportunities. He emphasizes the importance of saying no constructively and looking at no in different situations as a powerful tool.+

14. Outro

Jordan Harbinger shares the importance of networking and how to negotiate effectively in part one of a three-part series. He also promotes his free course, Six Minute Networking, which teaches listeners how to create a powerful network.+