• Never Split the Difference

  • Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It
  • Written by: Chris Voss
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 2016-05-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • 5 out of 5 stars (462 ratings)

Price: CDN$ 36.22

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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Useable knowledge

Most of these business-type books speak about the same ideas and success stories again and again. The author of this book however, is able to convey real and useable content from an entirely new point of view. The stories from which his teaching derive are both interesting and informative. I walked away from this book satisfied with the story and better at sales than when I started.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Listened to it 2 times in 1 week

As soon as I started this book, the FBI negotiation stories and the practical knowledge pulled me in and I listened to this 8-hour book in one day. I restarted it the next day to review the principles talked about in this book (mirroring, labeling, and tactical empathy) and am enjoying it immensely. 10/10 would recommend~

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Insightful and practical.

I had a couple of successful negotiations as I was reading this book and trying to apply the lessons. I am inherently a wimp win kinda guy and it feels good to actually negotiate and win instead of wimping out.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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#Audible1 - Great Book!

#Audible1 - Good Read! I actually saved my clients some $$$ negotiating a property deal for them using techniques mentioned in this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A must read

Attainable and practical advice to help anyone get the best deal or the best of any situation. Ideal for anyone who is in sales or just wants to understand how to to successfully negotiate their way through any situation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing

The strategies really work. I can't believe how much this book has helped me succeed in negotiations.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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EXCEPTIONAL

This book is very practical. the skills you will learn will elevate you as a person not just a communicator!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Negotiation made interesting

I find most negotiation books interesting because of the real-life examples of the authors, but I particularly enjoyed the different backdrop of the negotiation war stories. A solid 4-5 star book.

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Insightful

This book has an excellent summary of negotiation techniques that are not specific to sales or specific life situations. Even though most of them were taken from hostage negotiation situations, they are universal ways to structure negotiation about any topic. Highly recommended!

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No Splits

Love it.
Should have read this book before my last negotiation....I believe there was more to be had.

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  • John L. Pinkowski
  • 2017-03-07

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

871 of 886 people found this review helpful

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  • Leo
  • 2017-07-04

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!

187 of 197 people found this review helpful

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  • Laurie Ann Murabito
  • New Hampshire, USA
  • 2017-01-21

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.

60 of 63 people found this review helpful

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  • Zach Slade
  • Chicago, IL
  • 2018-02-25

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.

43 of 45 people found this review helpful

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  • JR
  • 2016-10-15

Great info - wished for more business applications

There were a TON of useful and potentially game changing nuggets in this book. Very useful insights into understanding how the other side of the table is thinking during a negotiation.

I will definitely be listening to this one again to help digest the content more and may make a habit of listening on a regular basis to help keep me focused in my negotiating practices.

Only reason I didn't feel I could give a full 5 stars is that I was really hoping for more business applications. But don't let that stop you this is an incredibly valuable book and the time spent with it is well worth it.

98 of 107 people found this review helpful

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  • E.
  • 2017-06-28

Insightful, convincing, and very interesting

The author highlights the human elements of negotiating - the underlying motivations that are largely ignored. He gives terrific examples using real life scenarios that capture the listener, you'll feel like you are in the moment witnessing the negotiation. Great stories! Michael Kramer performed very well, speaking clearly and inflection was used well. I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in improving their interactions with others. The techniques are useful in business, as well as at home. It's understanding basic human motivations and emotions. Great stuff!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Tres Sheetzy
  • Seattle, WA USA
  • 2016-06-26

That's right!

Wow, what a difference there is between "That's right" and "You're right". This single epiphany has changed my approach, removed pressure, and given me stronger connections to all my counterparties.

37 of 42 people found this review helpful

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  • Darrell Moore
  • 2017-01-07

Great Bits of Information

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would say that there is a decent amount of information that is presented to the listener of this book.

Any additional comments?

Once you complete the first couple of chapters the book becomes much more interesting. I do like hearing some of the issues the author has dealt with as a hostage negotiator and the lessons learned from his teams mistakes. I also like the lessons he attributes to those who are untrained but he had been mindful enough to pay attention to tactics that would work and find out what the process was that made it work and then employ those tactics. This has great benefit for bargaining deals. I will be using these tactics in various situations but will find it most helpful when buying real estate.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew Lusk
  • 2016-10-17

Great Insight in Layman's Terms

Excellent read on how to be effective in negotiations. Literally I felt energized to go and do.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Yoshida
  • 2018-04-29

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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Julien Despois
  • 2018-06-23

Outstanding book.

Everything works in this book. The pace, the ideas, the examples, even the touches of humor. Great work!