Negotiation is Product Management

Chris Voss, Author of Never Split the Difference, shares how to pitch a new idea to senior stakeholders and how to stay calm during a challenging conversation.

Product managers negotiate every day. Whether it’s pitching a new idea, motivating the team, or asking for a raise, product managers need to know how to collaborate and influence.

However, negotiation is not a part of the standard product management “curriculum.” So I interviewed one of the world’s leading experts in negotiation to his most effective techniques and how product managers can apply them to their everyday responsibilities.

Chris is the Author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depends on It, one of the most popular books on negotiation, and the CEO of The Black Swan Group. He began his career as the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. As you can image, Chris has negotiated some extremely challenging situations! He says his experience translated to the business world quite well because you’re always collaborating with human beings, so the underlying psychology is the same.

In this episode, Chris shares several actionable strategies and tactics for negotiating and the psychology behind why they work. One such strategy is to give your counterpart a sense of control. Chris says this strategy works because humans have a natural desire for autonomy. He then shares several tips for putting this strategy into practice, including asking “what” and “how” questions instead of demanding information, and adapting your tone of voice to avoid inciting a fight or flight response from your counterpart.

He goes on to share several more strategies including how repeating a few of your counterpart’s words can help build rapport and how to counteract humans’ natural tendency to overweight fear of loss when making decisions.

If you’re pitching a new idea to your boss, or asking for a raise, listen to this episode!

Here are the highlights:

Put our guest's advice into action.

Alpha is the fastest way to learn about your future customers.

Learn More

Subscribe to receive the latest episodes and exclusive resources

Related Episodes


Strategic Storytelling is Product Management

Andy Raskin, a strategic messaging consultant, shares the five key components of an effective story and the secrets to getting buy-in for a big decision.

Listen to Episode

Rallying Stakeholders is Product Management

Joe Lalley, Digital and Social Strategy Director at PwC, shares how to align stakeholders and make the case for key product decisions based on his experience building PwC’s homepage.

Listen to Episode

Motivating Users is Product Management

Eric Feige, General Manager at Magenic and former Vice President of Digital Transformation at Prudential, and Dr. Scott Rigby, CEO of Immersyve, discuss the psychology behind motivating users and how to make the case for a new idea at a large company within a regulated industry.

Listen to Episode

Check out our new report on the top 20 product leaders of the year

View Report