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How do you use "Never split the difference" In sales?

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+1, I found it useful and interesting.


Not that the label, or who came up with matters all that much, but it wasn't Voss who first came up with the idea of mentioning the objection first.

I've heard it for example in one of the early tapes from Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy, and probably they weren't the first to come up with it either.

And I agree that it's a great technique, but not always and necessarily the most effective approach.

At the end of the day, mentioning the objection first and foremost is a form of thread-expanding, and whether it's effective will depend a lot on a few things:

  • How important that objection really is? Because if it's not a deal-breaker, you're wasting time on minor things, and still generally thread-expanding on the negatives while you could be selling on the really important stuff -and thread-expanding on the positives-.
  • Was the objection already in the customer mind indeed, or was it going to come up? Because if not, from a Machiavellian perspective, you're just downgrading your product/service for nothing
  • How effective are you at addressing the objection? Because if you bring it up but don't actually solve it, well, you've just actively un-sold your prospect

And, potentially from a very amoral perspective, also:

  • When would the customer have found out?

Because if the customer would find out only after he bought and when there is no warranty anymore, a very amoral seller might gain in keeping his mouth shut.

But keeping your mouth shut doesn't have necessarily to be value-taking if the issue is relatively minor, or if equally good traits would surface with time.

For example, if a girl says she prefers glabrous men, I wouldn't probably say "oh too bad, I'm a hairy guy". Well, actually, I might say it, just to show that I don't need her approval and I'm not afraid of breaking rapport or walking away.
But I could as well shut up because I think that by the time we'd start undressing, it really wouldn't matter all too much.

Ali Scarlett and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettMatthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?


One way to surface objection that matters to the buyer, instead of you thread-expanding on the negatives at random, can be to simply ask whenever you see the customer bulking (the "feel" is helpful to recognize the prospect's state of mind):

You seem unsure. Is there anything bothering you?


Or more "salesy"/direct:

You don't seem convinced yet. Is there anything stopping you from walking away today, with this great product?

How effective the more direct approach is also depends on the prospect's personality though.

For example, aggressive salespeople make my defenses go up and I rarely buy. If I make a decision, I want to be 100% sure I chose it, and it was my decision, without being cajoled or "gamed" by some salesman.
It's also a question of power dynamics: people high in power don't appreciate that others are "guiding" them, and they might not buy just to make a statement of their personal power and independence.

With people like myself, and with many high-power folks, a hands-off, low-pressure approach is far more effective.

Valentin and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
ValentinMatthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Cool, thanks for the feedback guys.

I just released a review of the entire program. Unluckily, it's likely not as good or extensive as my past ones since I've been prioritizing some other work, so hold your expectations low for this one :).

An added note since this is a thread about sales, Lucio just approved the Daniel Pink Masterclass review as an article. You can check it out here:

Sales and Persuasion: (Daniel Pink) Summary & Review

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
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