Home Education Never Split The Difference Summary: 9 Powerful Tactics

Never Split The Difference Summary: 9 Powerful Tactics

Never split the difference summary will teach you the art of negotiation. These 9 tactics will take your negotiation skills to the next level.

How to negotiate?

never-split-the-difference-summary

We think negotiations are done only by businessperson, salesperson, lawyer etc. But no, everyone is involved in negotiations on a daily basis. We might want our sibling, friends, and colleagues to agree to something, we are in a negotiation.

So the question is how to become a good negotiator? How to make others listen to you? Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss teaches tactics on how to build trust and have a strong position while negotiating.

Never Split The Difference Strategies

Never Split The Difference Summary

Never split the difference summary

Active listening

People want to feel that they are being heard carefully; it makes them comfortable around you and eventually builds trust. And not to forget if they feel listened to they tend to talk more and reveal more information which puts you in a stronger position when negotiating.

active listening

We often engage ourselves in passive listening; we tend to listen to only what we want to and ignoring every other information. Active listening is genuinely listening to what others are speaking. Believe me trust is the beginning of every negotiation.

Mirroring

Now as we know that to build trust and putting ourselves in a stronger position in a negotiation we must actively listen to the counterpart and make them feel heard. Now the question is; how can we make some feel heard? The answer is mirroring.

As the name says it ‘mirroring’ is reflection of the sentences that others are speaking. When you repeat the last 2 or 3 words of your counterpart with a question tool or a question mark it is called mirroring.

Learn never split the difference car buying: How to negotiate to buy a car.

Examples

Counterpart: You know today was a long day.

You: A long day? Or today was a long day?

Counterpart: Yes, there was a ton of work.

You: A ton of work?

Counterpart: Yeah I had to read 3 documents, mail them with a few correction and call and meet three clients.

Now what has happened here is that you kept mirroring what others told and they further kept talking and kept sharing more information. They did this because they felt heard and were comfortable talking to you. Do it with high level of confidence.

Tactical empathy

We people are emotional beings we don’t only want to be heard we also want our situations to be felt by others. Tactical empathy is all about putting yourselves in the counterparts’ shoes and understanding their situation, problem, feelings and perspective and vocalizing it.

This helps you in not only understand the others situation, you will get to know what exactly the other person wants or what the problem is. By knowing what the problem is it will help you get what you want. And that’s how to negotiate anything.

Labeling

Now in order to apply tactical empathy we need to practice labeling. Labeling is simply vocalizing others emotions or situations. Labeling others feeling will calm their negative emotions and increase their positive emotion.

When someone is angry just tell them “hey it sounds like you are angry or upset about something”. Their emotion will calm down and they will become less angry here. If they are seemed happy tell then “hey its looks like you are happy for it or excited for it”. This shows that you actually care about them.

Example

Counterpart: Your products price is too high.

You: It sounds like you are upset about the price.

Counterpart: Yeah…. You know…it’s kind of out of my budget. My budget is 10% less than your price.

Here what happened is that you labelled, that the other person looks upset, then they calmed down and told you what exactly the problem was instead of being angry and leaving the conversation.

Mastering “NO”

We from the start of the negotiation want to hear “yes” as an answer to every question we ask. Now there are three types of “yes”

1) Confirmation – I might say “yes” or sometimes “ok”

2) Commitment – When I am agreeing to something

3) Counterfeit – When I feel like I am trapped or forced to say yes. “Yes” makes people feel like they are committing to something they are not yet ready for. “Yes” makes people uncomfortable. Thus “yes” can be the first step to getting rejected.

The value of no

“NO” make people comfortable as they feel like they are the one in control and leading the conversation. It makes them feel protected. So instead of striving for “yes” as answer strive for getting “no” as an answer.

Let’s take an example to better understand how to apply this tactic.

Example

You: Hey! I am John from xyz ltd, would like to enroll in our online educational program?

Counterpart: Hmm…maybe, can you call me later or can you mail the details please.

Here the counterpart didn’t felt comfortable and so he didn’t reply with much enthusiasm and didn’t share his issues or interests. Now let’s take another example.

You: Hey! I am John from xyz ltd, is it a ridiculous idea for you to enroll in our online educational program?

Counterpart: No, but here there’s an issue with the price. I saw it in an advertisement it’s really high for me.

Here what happened is that as the person was comfortable talking to you he was fine telling you what his issue was.

Two magical words

The two magical words better than “yes” are “that’s right”.

Now that the counterpart is sharing his problems and sharing more information, you just have to summarize their situation to them. They will often reply with “that’s right”. By doing this you create an opportunity to show them how you or your product can solve their problem.

Enjoying never split the difference summary? Also read Getting things done

Blending reality

Blending reality includes the use of lose aversion, fairness and avoiding deadlines. People tend to focus more on avoiding a loss then on gaining a profit, they fear losing something specially money.

So when you as a negotiator tell them what they are going to lose if they didn’t take you deal, there are more chances of landing the deal.

Watch Chris Voss teach Never Split The Difference Salary negotiation

Example

Counterpart: The deal is attractive but right now we don’t need it.

You: I get it, but the thing is if you don’t take it right now you will lose the opportunity of getting an addition 10% discount.

Talking about being fair, if the counterpart feels that they being are treated unfairly they will never accept the deal no matter how good it is. And even if the deal is not that good, if they are treated fairly they might just accept the deal.

How to avoid being unfair? It’s simple, in the beginning of the negotiation say something like “My intention is to treat you fairly, if at a point you feel unfair do let me know”.

To avoid deadline you have to start with labeling: “It sounds like you are under pressure because of the deadline” the start asking questions like: what will happen if we miss the deadline? How can repair the situation to if we break the deadline? With the answers they give you can the issue.

Illusion of control

In a negotiation you can get an upper hand if you create an illusion that counterpart has the control of the conversation. These never split the difference calibrated questions help you to force the other party to be empathetic towards you.

You can do this by simple shifting the burden of solving a problem to them. How are you supposed to do that?

I just did it with you by asking you “how” question. When you ask “how” and “what” questions to the counterpart the burden of solving the problem shifts to them.

Example

  1. What makes it so necessary to do it this way?
  2. How am I supposed to do that?
  3. How will I face the challenges of doing it?

Calibrated Questions like these make the counterpart empathetic towards us. Don’t ask why are you doing it? It will make them feel accused of something.

Bargaining (Price Negotiation)

Although after learning so many tactics there will be no need to use bargaining tactic but in case you need, here it is:

The Ackerman System

The Ackerman System
Source: Gold start negotiations

Price negotiation

According to this system, you need to set a target price, then tell to the counterpart 65% less than your target price they will try to push your price up so you increase it by 20% and again they will try to push up then you increase in by 10% and again you increase to an odd number then increase it to your target amount.

For example while bargaining with a vendor or a seller who is selling a $150 product, you set a target price, let’s say $100, it’s the price that you want to pay.

You have told the salesperson that you are willing to pay $65 but not directly first you have to say something like this:

“The price that I can really afford is $65 and I know it can make you angry”, which is 65% less that you target price then the seller will insist to increase your amount so increase it to $85 and again to $95 and again to an odd number maybe $97.40 and if the seller still insist make him feel empathy for you and you also apply tactical empathy and increase it to $100 which is you target amount.

Before and after applying these negotiation tactics

AFTERMEANINGBEFOREAFTER
MirroringIt is reflection of the sentences that others are speaking. When you repeat the last 2 or 3 words of your counterpart with a question tool or a question mark it is called mirroring.You might not that you are genuinely listening.  The counterpart knows that you are a good listener.
LabellingLabelling is simply vocalizing others emotions or situations.The counterpart will not feel that they are being empathized.The counterpart feels you understand their perception and situation.
Mastering “no”“NO” make people comfortable as they feel like they are the one in control and leading the conversation. It makes them feel protected.The counterpart might say yes because they feel trapped.Getting “no” as answer you can make the counterpart comfortable.
Two magical wordsThe two magical words better than “yes” are “that’s right”. You can get them to say this by just summarizing their situation.Might not be able to build trust.By summarizing you can show that other are being heard and gain trust.
Blending realityBlending reality includes the use of lose aversion, fairness and avoiding deadlines.Might not be able to show fairness, what the counterpart is missing and get caught up in their deadlineWill be able to maintain fairness, use of loss aversion and never get caught up in the deadline.
Illusion of controlIn a negotiation you can get an upper hand if you create an illusion that counterpart has the control of the conversationMight not be able to put the burden of solving a problem on the counterpart and create illusion of control.Will be able to put the burden of solving a problem on the counterpart and create illusion of control.
Never split the difference summary in a tabular form

Conclusion

It’s one of the best negotiation books by the great negotiators: Chris Voss and Tahl Raz. Hope you learned how to negotiate effectively negotiator. But only reading never split the difference summary will not help you have practice and become better at it. You are free to comment below to give your suggestions, recommendations and feedback.

FAQs

1. Who is the author of “Never Split The Difference”?

Christopher Voss, is an American businessman, author, and academic. Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator, the CEO of The Black Swan Group Ltd, and co-author of the book Never Split the Difference.

2. What is the book “Never Split The Difference” about?

The book teaches some brilliant strategies to build trust with you counterpart and be in a strong position when negotiating.

3. What are the best negotiation strategies?

Active listening
Mirroring
Tactical empathy
Labeling
Mastering “No”
Two magical words
Blending reality
Illusion of control
Bargaining

I am currently pursuing MBA in Marketing and Sales specialization (2018-2020) from Amity Business School, Noida.

Reshabh Deep Singh
I am currently pursuing MBA in Marketing and Sales specialization (2018-2020) from Amity Business School, Noida.
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