Life is a series of negotiations: whether you’re buying a car, asking for a raise at work or selling a domain name. So I picked up the book Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It figuring I could learn something. The book outlined some eye opening negotiation principles from the co-author, Chris Voss, based on his career as an FBI hostage negotiator and award-winning teacher at prestigious business schools. Currently Chris is CEO of the Black Swan Group in Los Angeles. Since reading the book I’ve applied some of Chris’ principles in various aspects of my personal life as well as in my domaining business. I’ve been amazed at how well they work. After writing about the book in my blog post at DNgeek, I decided to ask for an interview. Chris was generous enough to give his time exclusively for NamePros readers. I tried to draw out information that applied to the unique circumstances of domain sales. Many of his responses surprised me. Here’s what Chris had to say to my questions: In your book you say that everything we’ve previously been taught about negotiation is wrong. That we are not rational negotiators and that compromise is the worst thing we can do. You say the real art of negotiation lies in mastering the intricacies of No, not Yes. That’s pretty revolutionary. To begin with, let me ask you why emotional intelligence is a better approach than the usual methods involving logic and reason? And one of the things we deeply care about in a negotiation is money, right? What kind of information do we want to acquire during the negotiation process? How do we obtain information about the client’s wants or needs when we’re communicating via email? So your advice is to slow the process down and move one step at a time? So instead of laying out the “seven chess moves” in one email what would you say to the client? How can we get information about the customer’s wants and needs when we’re dealing with a broker? Why is straightforward and honest the best approach in a negotiation? Then how do we respond truthfully when someone asks “what’s the lowest amount you would accept?” How do we respond when someone says “I think my offer is fair”? Do you think President-elect Trump uses emotional intelligence to his advantage?