Never Split the Difference

Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It
Narrated by: Michael Kramer
Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (46,035 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations - whether in the boardroom or at home.

After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a hostage negotiator brought him face-to-face with a range of criminals, including bank robbers and terrorists. Reaching the pinnacle of his profession, he became the FBI's lead international kidnapping negotiator.

Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss' head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: in saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles - counterintuitive tactics and strategies - you, too, can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal lives.

Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for: buying a car, negotiating a salary, buying a home, renegotiating rent, deliberating with your partner. Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, Never Split the Difference gives you the competitive edge in any discussion.

©2016 Christopher Voss (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about Never Split the Difference

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PDF not on site

I did not mind the book but, it references a PDF in the book not available through audible.

275 people found this helpful

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Needs PDF companion file

The author alludes to a worksheet of techniques which I assume is in the printed book .. this book is excellent but would benefit greatly from a PDF companion file

2,188 people found this helpful

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Possibly a great message

I was really interested in this book, but ultimately did not finish it. The narrator's voice did not match the message. This particular, amazing narrator has narrated so many fiction books, that this read (listened) like a fiction novel to me. The author talks about the importance of his tone of voice, so why didn't the author just narrate the book? This is the first book of MANY that I will need to purchase the paperback copy, so I am disappointed in that.

42 people found this helpful

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Life Changing

Not many business books have had a profound effect on the way I do business, but this one has changed me and my style of pricing my products and negotiating my services forever. Without making me become heartless, I feel like this book made me think about things differently and that simple paradigm shift has allowed me to make more money right away. I had to negotiate a deal the other day and U did so without anxiety or fear. Unlike so many other business books that waste half the book telling you how great the author is or trying to convince you why you should buy into the concept, this book doesn't waste a minute. I plan to listen more than once because I am sure there are things I can understand more fully after another listen. Strong narration by Michael Kramer. ,Amazing content, and more than the title implies, you will learn how to sell, how to negotiate, and how to walk away and feel good about it, knowing that some people just aren't your customers. I learned that meeting people halfway is poison for my business because it turns out that those are really customers who cannot afford to pay my rates in the first place and then later have no respect for what we do because, of course, they didn't pay full price, so why should they? Since reading/listening to this book less than a month ago, I have gotten full price for deals I would have previously discounted out of fear of losing the deal, and have gotten zero push back from the clients. It was like magic. It just took the guts to try it, which was scary because as a small business owner, it's real money I am playing with. But it worked, and I have changed. This isn't something they teach in business school, but they should. I'm not kidding about it being life changing. My new favorite book of all time for non-fiction. Bravo, Chris Voss.

153 people found this helpful

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Should come with warning label

While the author tells a compelling story and expertly conveys his methods, he fails to realize the limitations of the narrow scope of his experience and the dangers of employing those methods in most situations. One friend told me how he was using what he learned in his business. He didnt seem to realize that his "success" was partially due to his clients momentary disadvantage, that they may be letting him "win" rather than risk confrontation, or that their "remedy" to his petty, overly lopsided "negotiation" was to shop elsewhere and potentially leave a damning review. Recently I was in a legal dispute and it was immediately obvious that the opposing lawyer had also read this book and, at the time, he had an advantage. He "went for it" and stuck to his guns on all of his demands. When a key hearing didnt go his way, he realized his error and offered me 2.5 times what I tried to sell it to him for previously. Unfortunately for him I recognized how the tide had turned and very much resented his heavy handedness. He "might" get my land now for 10 times the price I had previously offered, but more than likely I wont sell it to him at all because not doing so will cost him 20 times what I would have sold him the land for. This book is great for one-off negotiations where you have the only deal in town and repeat negotiations are unlikely. However, if you have competitors or you may need something from the other party in the future - not only may you be unsuccessful with these techniques, but you may inspire a desire for retribution.

25 people found this helpful

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A Must (and fun...) Listen on Human Interaction!

Really enjoyed this extremely entertaining listen on effective negotiation tactics and human behavior patterns. The content is highly applicable to numerous types of human interaction.

I hardly ever read sales books because so much is either outdated or the same. I’ve found this book to have profound implications applied to selling that certainly act contrary to the “Client is Always Right” garbage that may have worked in the 1980's. This will help you cut through the crap (of any interaction) and ripen conditions for a true win/win to occur. It’s helped me to identify the type of people I truly enjoy working with and helped me to effectively leave the table on those who may not be a good fit. It’ll help you save time through identifying the true motives and negotiation style of the other party.

Chris Voss does an exceptional job of translating extreme life or death scenarios into useful business tools. I read this book thinking he must be oversimplifying, but as I apply these tactics I’m learning he’s probably just this good. His methods are simple, effective, mostly clean, and far less manipulative than some other negotiation material that has left me wanting to shower after reading. The tools he describes that aren’t necessarily 100% clean, such as mislabeling, he does so in a way that will prevent them from being used on you! Regardless, this book has vast applications and is highly relevant to business today.

155 people found this helpful

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NOTHING SHORT OF LIFE-CHANGING

I have never been one to negotiate; I have always been terrified of it whether for my job or in interpersonal situations. This book helped me unearth not only new ways for me to build confidence but also has some incredible negotiation techniques and tips that I had never imagined I would encounter. Worth EVERY penny. I would recommend to you, but I don't want you to know what I now know in case I ever face you. ;) Oh, and outstanding work by the narrator. Kept me engaged the whole time. I couldn't stop listening!

478 people found this helpful

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It Just Works - Seriously

Would it be a crazy idea for a former FBI hostage negotiator to successfully apply their approach in the business world? I'm getting a lot out of this and I'm currently on my second listen-through, taking notes, and I've got a paperback version on the way. I'm not a negotiator, not in sales, or real estate - but I've already used some of this stuff to smooth over situations at work, and with friends. Could this approach work on... your asshole boss your lazy employees your flaky girlfriend your loser boyfriend you nosy landlord your deadbeat tenant some random crazy person????? Well.. look at it this way. The seeds of this approach came from a suicide hotline, then were adapted to deal with kidnappers and terrorists... total antisocials, killers, rapists, religious freaks. And hell yes it worked. (Think of how Clarice made friends with Hannibal Lecter) My only complaint is the narrator. I'm sure he's a lovely narrator, but he ain't no FBI hostage negotiator. He sounds like... a damn narrator. Would it really be a problem for the author to republish the audio version and narrate it himself? I've heard the author speak on several YouTube videos, and wow, I'd just much rather it be him.

103 people found this helpful

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Start at No in Negotiations

The book should have been titled "Start at No in Negotiations." Often, a "no" means "wait" or "I'm not comfortable with that." Probe deeper and listen carefully to uncover key information behind the "no" (such as "I want to but I don't have the money now" or "it is actually my spouse, not me, who doesn't agree"). This is a much more effective approach than trying to get the counterpart to say "yes," which the person might say just to get rid of you.

The author, who is a former FBI hostage negotiator, included too many hostage stories. These situations where lives are on the line, the negotiator would never split the difference (e.g., you take 2 hostages and I take 2 hostages) and hence, the book title. But for everyday situations (like negotiating with a family member, buying a car, or working with colleagues), the stories aren't that useful and such a perspective on negotiations isn't practical.

I recommend starting with Chapter 9 to understand the types of people in negotiations:
Analyst - methodical and diligent; need time to go over facts and consider the options
Accommodator - builds rapport through a continuous free-flowing exchange of information; not necessarily focused on the desired outcome
Assertive - direct and candid; getting it done quickly is more important than spending more time on getting it done right

Then start from the beginning and practice the skills, including:
Mirror - repeat the last three words (or the critical one to three words) of what someone has just said to draw out more information from the person
Label - validate someone's emotion and fears by acknowledging it (such as "it seems like you feel you're not being appreciated")
Accusation List - list the worst things the counterpart could say about you (such as "you probably think I don't spend enough time on this project") and state the goals (such as "I could trust you to do your part without supervision" and "we all want this project to be successful").

Ask questions, collect information, and consider creative ways to get to your goals (such as non-monetary items - amenities, upgrades, positive reviews, and referrals). There is much more in the book that goes through the nuances of what to say, how to say it, and how to behave. It is a book that you need to read slowly, take notes, and practice the tips before moving on to the next chapter.

257 people found this helpful

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Second time around

What did you love best about Never Split the Difference?

The book and science is fascinating! I'm listening to it a second time because I believe we pick up or learn what we can on the first time around. I enjoyed the book so much, I purchased the hardcover book to read and take notes.

What did you like best about this story?

The stories bring the techniques to life.

Any additional comments?

I believe if you are in business, have children you negotiate with or customers/clients....OK, everyone should listen to this knowledgeable, wonderful book and learn from the author. I would love to sit and have lunch with Christ Voss.

111 people found this helpful