Never Split the Difference is one of the best books there is about negotiating. It teaches you skills that one of the authors, Chris Voss, used during his time as an international hostage negotiator for the FBI. So from what we’ve learned in the book’s Blinkist summary, here’s Never Split the Difference Summary: Top 5 Things To Know.
1. BUILD A CONNECTION WITH THE OTHER PARTY
Having relevant information about the other party can be beneficial to you when it comes to negotiating. In Never Split the Difference, we learned that successful negotiation is about building trust and getting information.
This means that when you are negotiating with someone, a good approach is to let them carry the conversation and talk a lot. Because in this way, you can piece out every relevant information that slips out of their tongue, which you can use later on to your advantage.
2. BE EMPATHETIC
Be empathetic. In Never Split the Difference, we learned that closely listening to and even repeating what your counterpart says can build trust.
Enter mirroring, a behavior in which we repeat two to three words from your counterpart’s previous statement. According to one of the authors Chris Voss, mirroring gets them talking and creates the opportunity to present you with your deal, only they thought it was their idea.
So when you’re in a situation where you have to negotiate with someone, try to mirror their statement, and you’ll be surprised that you’re getting the deal you wanted effortlessly.
3. USE A SLOW AND REASSURING TONE
Use a slow and reassuring tone. In Never Split the Difference, we learned that the tone of your voice could do wonders for negotiation.
This came in handy one time for one of the authors, Chris Voss, during a bank robbery negotiation. Using this technique, Chris took communication over from his colleague smoothly, preventing the bank robber from being upset and more hostile.
Furthermore, using a slow and reassuring tone can radiate calmness and reason to your counterpart, giving them more reason to trust you and give you the deal you want.
4. DON’T ACCEPT THE OTHER PARTY’S DEMANDS
Don’t accept the other party’s demands. In Never Split the Difference, we learned that giving in to a bad deal or even compromising is always a mistake.
It may seem counter-intuitive to say that you should never accept the other person’s offer even when it looks and sounds reasonable. Because the thing is, it is hard to know if that’s what they really want.
So if you’re trying to make a deal with someone, make sure that you have the upper hand so you can reject any demands from your counterpart.
5. DON’T RUSH
Never rush the negotiation. In Never Split the Difference, we learned that it’s essential to take your time, even when the other party sets deadlines.
Because when we are pressured with time, our judgment gets clouded. And when our judgment gets clouded, chances are we would end up compromising or agreeing to a bad deal.
So when you are negotiating with someone, make sure to be thorough with all the details before accepting or proposing an offer.