YES SETS (MUTUAL BENEFIT STATEMENTS)
A mutual benefit statement or ‘yes set’ is a technique derived from Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP). It involves identifying three or four mutual benefits that you can mention at the outset of a conversation or a meeting where you are trying to influence others, such as during a negotiation.
As they are mutual benefits, the other parties involved will see them as such and subconsciously agree to them being so. At a subconscious level, they are saying “yes”. The more times they agree at a subconscious level, the more likely they are to engage from the start and stay engaged throughout the negotiation.
We are looking for 3 or 4 non-threatening, non-challenging statements that your customer or client will agree with at a sub conscious level, even though they may not recognise this at a conscious level.
Imagine that you are meeting a customer/client for the first time. You might start the meeting something like this.
“Hello Mr. Smith, thank you for seeing me, I appreciate that we are both busy people.”
Sub consciously Mr. Smith will agree with you. He is very unlikely to be thinking that he is not busy and just wanted to have a casual chat with you. You have just gained your first yes.
Then you might say something like:
“Today I’d like to discuss X with you. (X being your product or service). We have been able to help many people/businesses just like yours with our product/service and I’m sure that you, like most people/business that we help, want to be as successful as possible.”
Again, at a sub conscious level, Mr. Smith will be agreeing with you. Even if he is unsure about your product or service, his sub conscious mind will accept that most people and businesses want to be successful. You have just gained your second yes.
Then you might say something like this:
“I understand that I have 30 minutes with you today. I’m sure we’d both like to discuss how we can help each other and make the 30 minutes as productive as possible.”
Once again, at a sub conscious level, Mr. Smith will be agreeing with you. Even if he is unsure about how you can help each other, his sub conscious will agree that he wants the 30 minutes to be productive. Congratulations, you have just gained your 3rd yes!
Once we gain small agreements at the start of a conversation like this, it is easier to gain more agreements as we go through the meeting until we are ready to ask for a firm commitment to our proposal. At which point the customer or client is in a far more positive mind set, having already agreed to many of the smaller points you have made and is therefore far more likely to say yes to your proposal.
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