Do you seem to be saying all of the wrong things and struggling in your negotiations? What words and sentences should you use to get someone to move in your direction? In his book, Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact, Phil Jones gives us the script for exactly what you can say to influence people.
Phil has spoken in 59 different countries on five different continents, helped over 800 different industries, written seven best-selling books, and he’s trained over 2 million people. Phil’s book is a quick practical read that you can carry around with you like a field manual. It’s something you can reference over and over again. In this episode of Negotiations Ninja, we walk through exactly what to say to move your audience.
Outline of This Episode
- [2:00] Just who is Phil Jones?
- [5:07] “I’m not sure it’s for you, but…”
- [9:25] “Just imagine…”
- [17:04] “Before you make up your mind…”
- [20:17] “Help me understand…”
- [21:50] “Just one more thing…”
- [27:49] How to connect with Phil Jones
“I’m not sure it’s for you, but…”
Why is this such a powerful intro? One of the biggest reasons people fail to achieve their version of success is because they don’t ask for it. Phil emphasizes that “Success is in direct correlation to the quantity of quality asks that you make in your life.” What stops people from asking? Fear, rejection, or fear of rejection.
This simple sentence provides a rejection-free opening formula. You won’t get an immediate “no” or brush-off. If you say, “I’m not sure it’s for you,” the little voice in the other person’s head says, “I’ll be the judge of that.” It gives them personal responsibility for the decision about to be made.
The power of the word “but”
Secondly, if you preface an ask with that phrase, their interest is piqued. They feel they are being pulled in to understand. The word “but” is usually avoided because it negates what was just said. However, people remember what follows the “but.” Using the word shifts the focus to what’s coming next. So the person hearing “I’m not sure it’s for you, but…” actually hears, “this might be for me.”
In a commercial setting, you could say, “I’m not sure it’s for you, but would you like to learn more about how some of our other customers are taking full advantage of our product?” In a social setting, you could say, “I’m not sure it’s for you, but a new restaurant opened, and I’d love to go with you.”
Engage in purposeful conversation
It removes the friction because it gives you permission to be in the conversation you’re hoping to have. It gives you the key to get to the conversation. Conversation is the big thing that’s lacking in negotiations. These phrases can help generate the conversation. You want an ongoing discussion and be in a place of mutual respect.
Phil points out that it’s like a game of tennis. Before you play a heated set, your goal is to knock the ball over the set numerous times to get a feel for how it will go. People devalue small talk by thinking that it’s nonsensical. But you need purposeful small talk to feel each other out in a professional way. It helps you make sure you’re on the same page.
How does Phil use the phrase “just imagine” to motivate a prospect toward a decision? How does he help them visualize what could be? Keep listening to learn more about this useful phrase.
“Just one more thing…”
Why use this phrase? Why is it powerful? There’s a moment in any negotiation where the person feels like they’re being sold to. It increases their anxiety, and they become guarded and tense. With that comes apprehension. Even if it goes well, they hold that position of energy. At some point toward the end of the exchange, that anxiety bleeds out. They think things are done, and they exhale. That becomes your moment to ask for more. Failure to use that moment leaves money on the table.
You can say, “Just one more thing. When can we pick up this conversation again? I felt like today didn’t go the way we were both hoping for.” Or you can use it to upsell. It’s like the checkout process, i.e., “Would you like fries with that?”
How can the phrases “Before you make up your mind” and “Help me understand?” be a game-changer? Listen to the whole episode to find out how you can use these phrases to change the trajectory of your negotiation!
Resources & People Mentioned
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
- Just Listen by Dr. Mark Goulston
- You Can Negotiate Anything by Herb Cohen
Connect with Phil Jones
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