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How Power-Intelligence Helped You in Life (Concrete Examples)


How Collaborative Frames and the "On Your Honor" Gambit Got Me a Refund (Despite Their "No-Refund Policy")

Quote from Ali Scarlett on December 13, 2020, 6:26 pm

My company has been working with HomeAdvisor for a while now. Since 2018 to be exact.

They send us leads, we pay for the lead, and if we acquire the business of that prospect, HomeAdvisor keeps the money. If not, we get a "credit".

So, we had a situation where we paid for a lead, went out to give the homeowner a free estimate, and the homeowner told us it was her 70-year-old, mentally ill father who accidentally put out the request for our services. And, that they will not be requiring our services, especially since they're moving to a different state.

We check our business bank account to find that HomeAdvisor also charged us about $107 to cover the bill for our past leads, even though they weren't supposed to have our card on file.

My business partner lets me know what's going on and I tell him to leave it to me.

Step One: Go Straight To The Top

I call HomeAdvisor, and a customer service agent picks up the phone, giving me the standard "how can I help you". In response, I ask if they can put me through to their supervisor. They do. Good start.

Step Two: Explain My Side

When I get on the phone with the supervisor, she pulls me and my business up on her computer. She notices that we've been working with HomeAdvisor since 2018. That showed that we've been value-adding individuals to her company for years. So, her voice tonality noticeably changes to sound more open to hearing what I have to say when she sees that we've been with HomeAdvisor for so long. That's a good sign.

So, I let her know the situation. And, I ask for a refund.

Her response is that they actually reached out to that same homeowner after we gave our estimate and that homeowner went with a different company and even left that company a review (i.e. it's your fault for not securing the business so we're not going to pay you). Then, she says that they have a no-refund policy anyway.

Step Three: The Silver Medal Technique

Gotta love Lucio for the gems he drops here.

Here's my response (more or less):

Ali: Alright, I think I understand. (controls the scope) Look, the problem that I see here isn't really the customer, it's our relationship. (sets a new frame) Our businesses are built on providing value in exchange for money. In this case, we gave you money, but received no value, which affects the win-win part of our partnership. And, some money was deducted from our bank account that we weren't prepared for because our card isn't supposed to be on file. So, we love HomeAdvisor, we've been with you for years. But, (small nod to a silver medal, we would love to give you our future business) we can't really move forward with you with our financials the way it is. (reframes for collaboration) So, what can we do to fix this?

She puts me on hold. Then, comes back with a good chunk of money for us. But, it's only enough to resolve the issue of the homeowner. So, I continue the negotiation.

Step Four: The "On Your Honor" Gambit

So, I let her know that what she did is great and ask about the $107.

She says:

Supervisor: Oh, so, what were you looking for for that? Did you want a refund?

I can feel her preparing to clamp down on me with her no-refund policy speech. So, I say:

Ali: Well, actually, that's up to you. Like I said, we've been with HomeAdvisor for years now. Pretty much since our business first opened in late 2017 we've been with you guys, so you guys have really been with us since day one. And, we love your services, so (on your honor gambit) we trust you completely to do what's fair. It's up to you :).

She puts me on hold again. Then, comes back with more money :D.

Step Five: Leaving a Positive Last Impression

I compliment her, letting her know that I think she's really great and I can see how she became supervisor. She lets me know that she's been working for HomeAdvisor for over 12 years now. That small detail only makes me feel more proud of myself for this negotiation because this tells me that she has a lot of experience giving callers like me nothing in return to reinforce that no-refund policy. Yet, here I am with a lot of my money back.

If you haven't checked out those resources, here they are below:

How to get salespeople to tell you the truth: the silver medal technique | Forum | The Power Moves

Negotiation technique: "on your honor" gambit (

As much value as I get from my negotiation course reviews, these techniques are golden. Don't miss out on them :).

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Lucio Buffalmano

Collaborative Frames and an "Exception-Seeking Frame" Saved Me $298

Quote from Ali Scarlett on May 8, 2021, 5:59 pm

Quick note here, I bought this course for $149 through the seller's Teachable payment page.

I just realized/remembered that I'm enrolled in a subscription of $149 for three months.

Given that some of the information was incorrect and pulls directly from a course I already took and reviewed, I don't believe it's worth that much and this course's rating has just gone down for me.

I've begun negotiations for them to keep my initial payment but stop any further charges on my card for this program.

Quote from Ali Scarlett on May 12, 2021, 8:30 pm

Sharing my negotiation with The Futur as an addition to this thread—hopefully, you guys will find some value in it for your own negotiations with sellers in the future.

*Note: Please ignore any typos.

Step #1: I Field My Request for Value (and Introduce My Frames)

Step #2: They Respond with Their Frame

Step #3: I Leverage Frame Control Accordingly (Agree)

The way I see it, it's not up to me to determine and negotiate the value of their course, that's up to them. And, since I didn't pay the full amount for the course, it only makes sense to me that I don't keep the full value of the course.

Therefore, in my eyes, unenrollment is only fair.

Step #4: We End In A Win-Win

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Lucio Buffalmano

Used a Learner's Mindset to Apply the "WIIFT frame" and Secured Future Media Placements For Free

A more recent example from a couple of days ago:

I easily could have simply accepted their offer. And, the old me would have simply said:

  • "Yes, that'd be great, I appreciate it!" (= mindset: I don't want to say "thank you" yet because I haven't gotten anything yet, but this is a great opportunity so I want them to know that I accept their offer and that I appreciate it)

But, I saw an opportunity to practice the WIIFT frame that Lucio recently wrote about.

So, instead, I said:

This is a little different from Lucio's example in that we're not taking an ask and framing it as a give. But, there's a lot of overlap in that we completely flipped how the receiver might perceive us.

We had already agreed to give value. So, their willingness to give back is also a move to pull them out of negative social capital.

With a simple "yes", the receiver might think "he accepted my offer, now I'll have to work on this to resettle my social bank account with him".

And, similar to Lucio's example, that could make them think of me as a burden.

On the other hand, this second option leads the receiver to think "nice offer of him!".

And, what do you know, that's also exactly what happened here:

More notes on this exchange:

  • Antifragile ego (learner's mindset): willing to try and fail
  • Frame control: recognizes the opportunity to set an even more collaborative, WIIFT frame and expanded the pie for everyone
  • Power protecting: more than the "if you want to", the "are you against that at all?" is the no-oriented question technique by Chris Voss. If I would have led them to say "yes" to my offer (e.g. "Are you open to that?"), that would have made it harder for them to walk away later because they already agreed. By instead empowering them to say "no", I protect their power to walk away later (which makes them want to work with me more because they feel like it was their choice since they had the initial option and freedom to deny my offer if they wanted to and still chose to move forward with me)
  • Recognizes judge roles: the first "I appreciate it" came after we had already agreed that I would provide them with value. So, it was OK. The second "I appreciate it" is before the collaboration has been finalized (hence the "let's discuss next week"). So, the "I appreciate it" attaches a small judge role where I don't want to "disappoint" them by taking back my offer. (Still, knowing the personality of this contact, when she says "I appreciate it" she's really saying she's grateful, and will likely find a way to give back even more in that future discussion.)
  • Reciprocity for win-win: turns what might be a simple "yes" into an opportunity for giving more value, which also invites reciprocity. Now, the contact wants to give back more and collaborate further

Also, when I first joined PU, if I would have seen the opportunity to set that collaborative frame, I might have said:

  • "In exchange, I'll..." (= frames the exchange as being colder and more transactional which erodes rapport and emotional bond)

The mindset back then was that by saying "in exchange", I'm underlining that I'm giving back which would show that I'm not a taker. And, by saying "in exchange", the future-value signaling is more obvious that "if you don't hold up that offer you gave me, you'll lose this incentive that I'm giving in exchange for that offer".

But, as you can see above, it's not the best option for when one also wants to make friends.

So, instead, I say:

  • "I'd be more than happy to" (= frames it as if I'm giving)

And, that achieves all of the above while better preserving rapport :).

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Lucio BuffalmanoMatthew Whitewood

235 With Machiavellianism (& More Important: The Pleasure of Teaching The Bully A Lesson)

In short:

this guy threatens to "report" me to his 39.000 Instagram followers if I don't comply with him.

Turns out, he never set foot at my place, and lost 80% of his booking.

There is nothing I love more than taking from the bully.

It takes a few steps to explain these dynamics properly, including the thinking and strategizing behind it.

It will be one of the case studies in the new lesson on Machiavellianism.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

How Negotiation Power Dynamics Saved me $500

Placing this as a reminder.

Example coming as soon as I've got 15 mins.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

How stacking the deck and having allies dethroned the wicked witch 

Been working with community here helping my g/f in her work battles with a nasty drill sergeant




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Matthew Whitewood

And today was the finale

Drill Sergeant is the small boss of this teaching unit (unit coordinator) of diabetes and then there s a second teacher (my girlfriend)

Manager asked teachers what units they want to teach next year.  2 units each

Advised gf to talk to 3 other unit coordinators.  So she had 3 lead teachers who want her to teach their unit.  And she didn't say she wanted to teach diabetes (with the drill sergeant)

Mgr said she d noticed this and wanted a chat.

Approach for mgr chat was was:

Hard for mgr to say she couldn't make one of 3 options work on the timetable.

Gf had 3 teachers who wanted her so message is people want to work with her.

Telling how she d enjoyed helping out on these units and was looking FWD to teaching the new subjects.  Message is G/f is flexible (no mention of all the bitch moves) gf moves towards doesn't run away from.


Mgr put her on one of the units suggested.

And made her the unit coordinator of diabetes.  Said drill sergeant isn't a mentor and she would talk to the big boss.

So the wicked witch has been overthrown.

Shame, we didn't want to upset anyone but I guess that's the risk with playing a win lose game. Ironically my GF doesn't even want the unit coordinator role.  This other lady started the fight.

BTW I have to say it's not the moves that won the day.  It's my GFs kind nature, hard work and willingness to flex and learn

The overall story for the mgr is somebody who makes problems Vs somebody who helps with problems.






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Lucio BuffalmanoMatthew Whitewood

Nice, happy to read that, rock on Kevin!

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?