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How to lower your bills, according to an FBI hostage negotiator

Stashed in: Negotiation, @bakadesuyo

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Basically, everything is negotiable. 

Here's the script from Chris:

1. Do a little homework. Find out what they're offering new customers.

2. Late night FM DJ voice. Speak in calm, measured tones and smile as you talk.

3. Start with "I'm sorry." It grabs their attention and empowers them.

4. "This is going to sound harsh…" It sets them up for something big and makes whatever you say a relief.

5. Turn a complaint call into an appreciation call. This is forced empathy. They'll want to help you.

6. A focused comparison with an open-ended question. And it's probably going to bring your bill down a lot.

This isn't yelling and shouting. It's not hardball with numbers flying back and forth. None of that works for saving hostages and it doesn't work all that well for cable and phone companies either.

The more effective system is a lot more subtle. As Chris is fond of saying:

The most dangerous negotiation is the one you don't know you're in.