Get to Yes: Three conversion lessons learned from FBI hostage negotiation

Get to Yes: Three conversion lessons learned from FBI hostage negotiation

Not too long ago, the aunt of a prominent Haitian political figure was kidnapped and held for a $150,000 ransom demand. Hostage negotiator Chris Voss managed to convince the hostage-takers to release her for just $4751 and a CD player. It’s a pretty incredible (true) story. 

So how did he do it?

In this video, Flint McGlaughlin explains Voss’s secret, pointing out three lessons that business owners, marketers — and anyone else who needs to negotiate a deal — can learn to increase conversion.

Key points in the video:

4:34 Flint asserts that the negotiation principles revealed in the book Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss can be applied to marketing to increase conversion rates
6:00 Lesson #1: Use pattern recognition from the data to gain customer wisdom (Patterns transform info into wisdom)
7:40 A brief explanation of The Discovery Triad
12:04 Create a hypothesis from the patterns. Case study: B2B to Pharmaceuticals company attempts to increase email opens.
15:50 Lesson #2: Empathize, build rapport and transfer that to trust.
24:34 Case study: Online people search company attempts to recover abandoned carts.
33:44 Lesson #3: Conclusions not implied will likely be denied.
37:20 Case study: Health/Nutritional drink landing page wants to increase conversions.
42:14 Flint dissects the words Voss used with the hostage-takers to bring the 150,000 hostage return demand fee down to $4751 plus a CD stereo.
53:48 Recap of all three principles
55:38 Study: The effect of brain images on judgments of scientific reasoning
59:01 Vitamin provider wants to increase total revenue by optimizing its ecommerce page.

If you would like your landing pages or other marketing considered for live optimization – on-the-spot analysis by McGlaughlin sharing how to improve conversion with the audience during a future session – just send your landing page, print ad, email, etc. to

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