Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It, by Chris Voss
The Value-Add of this Book
This is simply the best book on negotiation that I have ever read. For many folks, negotiating is uncomfortable. Negotiation, for many, signifies confrontation where there must be a winner and loser. Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator, dispels that winner/loser myth in this book. Instead, he goes into great detail about how negotiation is really a matter of leading the other person in the direction you want them to go.
Why You Will Enjoy It
I loved his focus on the importance of non-verbal communication when it comes to negotiating. You all have heard the expression that 90% of all communication is non-verbal. This book gives great examples of how the same is true in the context of negotiation. The author highlights the importance of rapport-building, which is often a product of non-verbal communication. Things like the pace of your words, smiling, mirroring of body language and strategic silence and listening can all put the other person in a position to like you, open up to you and indicate their true intentions and desires.
This book also highlights exceptionally well that negotiation is not about convincing the other person that your logic is correct. We are emotional persons, and when emotions are involved, as they often can be in negotiations, logic goes out the window. This is worth keeping in mind if your desire to convince ever kicks in.
Some other amazing negotiating tips included in this book are to do such things as set deadlines for offers to create a fear of loss, always let the other side make the first offer and negotiate using non-round numbers.
How You Will Benefit
As a real estate investor, I have used that last tip to my own benefit, and you can as well. The last property I bought I had decided that I was going to offer $95,000 to the seller. After reading this book, I decided to have a bit of fun with it and the “non-round numbers” approach. I offered the seller $91,612, and the seller accepted! The logic of this strategy is that if you give an oddball number like this the other side is more likely to believe that it has some basis to it than if you simply threw out a round number (say, $100,000). That $100,000 is more likely to be seen as an opening offer versus a highest and best offer. That $100,000 invites a counter-offer because there does not appear to be much thought behind it. The math on this one is easy.
I picked this book up for about $9.00 and used just one piece of advice to save almost $3,400 in my first negotiation after reading it. Your return on investment with this great book will also be astronomical. Real estate or not, after reading this book you are going to get the upper hand in your next negotiation.