Chris Voss - How to negotiate your best deals | Summary and Q&A

October 26, 2020
Behind the Brand
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Chris Voss - How to negotiate your best deals


Finding your passion requires exploring different paths, while effective negotiation involves collaboration and creating win-win outcomes.

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Key Insights

  • 💇 It is crucial to determine whether you are the favorite or the fool in a negotiation to avoid cutting your price unwisely.
  • 🦟 Finding your passion often involves taking unexpected paths and being willing to quit activities or jobs that no longer bring fulfillment.
  • 👨‍💼 Negotiation in hostage situations focuses on saving lives, while business negotiation aims to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
  • 😉 Effective negotiation requires collaboration, creative problem-solving, and a focus on building productive relationships rather than merely winning.


in any interaction there's a favorite and a fool you and if you don't know who the fool in the game is then it's you all right but what does that mean if you're the favorite you should never cut your price so the favorite is the one that's expected to win or you know maybe it's you know people want to go with it's the yeah the top top person if you... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How can I determine if I am the favorite or the fool in a negotiation?

Voss suggests asking the other party why they have chosen to negotiate with you. If they provide reasons that make you the favorite, such as expertise or reputation, it is important not to lower your price. However, if they deflect the question back to you, it indicates that you may be the fool and should not cut your price.

Q: How can I find my passion and avoid getting stuck in something that doesn't fulfill me?

Voss recommends being open to exploring different fields and pursuits. He advises quitting activities or jobs if they no longer bring happiness or fulfillment and pursuing opportunities that sound fun and exciting. By being adventurous and spontaneous, you can discover your passion.

Q: How does negotiation in business differ from hostage negotiation?

While both forms of negotiation involve influencing others, hostage negotiation focuses on saving lives and creating a peaceful resolution. Business negotiation, on the other hand, aims to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes for all parties involved. Effective negotiation in both contexts requires understanding the other party's perspective and finding creative solutions.

Q: How can I negotiate successfully without burning bridges or damaging relationships?

Voss emphasizes the importance of collaboration and finding win-win outcomes. By viewing negotiation as a collaborative process, you can work together to create a better deal than either party anticipated. This approach ensures that both parties feel involved and valued, leading to long-lasting and productive relationships.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Chris Voss, author of "Never Split the Difference," discusses the importance of identifying whether you are the favorite or the fool in a negotiation and why the favorite should never cut their price.

  • Voss advises being willing to go off into new fields and exploring different opportunities to find your passion.

  • As a former hostage negotiator, Voss found fulfillment in using words to save lives and help people surrender peacefully.

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