Negotiation is something we do every day, with many people we come across, not just in business. Learning the skills of a great negotiator (Chris was the former lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI), I knew would come in handy as a business owner, which is a major target audience for this particular book.
This book was recommended by SPI audience member Matt (@mds on Twitter and Instagram). As Matt mentioned, Chris has some remarkable stories, and they are my favorite part of the book. These are gripping, edge-of-your-seat kinds of stories; stuff you’ve never heard before. All of the lessons Chris teaches in the book are based on his real life findings in the field, and he translates them so we as readers can apply them to everyday life and in business negotiations with others. The stories were so compelling, especially in the audio format, I couldn’t wait to get to the next one, and the next, and the next.
Most of the stories were about hostage situations during his career at the FBI—some of which didn’t turn out the way he wanted—and the negotiation techniques and explanations were very clear throughout. I personally use some of the techniques learned in the stories in my own business already, and I’ve seen clear results because of it.
For example, the mirroring technique, which is simple and sounds silly, but is very powerful. This is when you literally repeat the last 1-3 words a person says, sort of in the tone of a question, and this makes the person who first said those words want to further the explanation, often revealing important information that could be used in the discussion in some way.
There were a lot of parallels between Voss’s techniques, and what I learned in The Coaching Habit. For instance, having the person you’re speaking to come up with the answer, which empowers them, but gets you the results you want, too.
There’s info specifically about price negotiations, and negotiating a higher salary that were really interesting and on point, too. That’s definitely something we can all relate to at some point in our careers.
I actually listened to this book twice through because I enjoyed it so much, and felt the real life application of the teachings almost right away after implementing what I learned. I didn’t want to miss anything.
And I think Matt would agree with me that everyone should read Never Split the Difference, especially if your business is constantly something where you’re in negotiation with others, and not just for buying out a business or product pricing and bid wars, but even when working with team members and dealing with angry customers. There’s lots of value here, and a top recommendation for sure!