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Start with NO...The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don't Want You to Know Hardcover – July 9, 2002

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Editorial Reviews Review

Start with No, by negotiation coach Jim Camp, is a tenaciously contrarian guide to the art and science of give-and-take that proposes a viable alternative for today's prevailing "win-win" approach. Beginning with an inverse premise--that having the right to say "no" and veto any agreement is actually the key to favorably concluding the various deals and transactions we face every day--Camp's procedure counters the common emotion-based urge to compromise ("a defeatist mind-set from the first handshake") with a series of less intuitive decision-oriented actions. "My system teaches you how to control what you can control in a negotiation," Camp writes. "When you do so, you can and will succeed (understanding that success sometimes means walking away with a polite good-bye)." Emphasizing the importance of this underlying attitude, his method combines related steps like defining a mission, understanding the adversary, assessing fiscal and emotional investments, preparing an agenda, and tracking behavior. Each is fully explained, as are associated skills such as how to structure a question to elicit a truly helpful response (e.g., "What else do you need?" vs. "Is there anything else you need?"). Despite its unorthodox manner, if diligently applied, the route that Camp details here may indeed produce winning results. --Howard Rothman

From Publishers Weekly

Negotiation coach Camp has been under the radar since 1989, helping clients reach deals at Motorola, Merrill Lynch and IBM. He now brings his advice to the general public. Asserting that the term "win-win" has become a clich‚, he suggests readers enter into every negotiation knowing that if the offer doesn't meet their expectations, they should walk away. He also advocates leaving emotions out of negotiations. "Whether we like it or not, it really is a jungle out there in the world of business, and it's crawling with predators." Camp's solid advice will help people control negotiations and prepare themselves for anything.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (July 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609608002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609608005
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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81 of 85 people found the following review helpful By R. Shaff on November 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jim Camp is new to me but will most likely become quite a bright albeit controversial figure in management circles. Mr. Camp's new offering, START WITH NO, specifically debunks the methodology we were all taught in Negotiation 101...achieve "win-win" at all costs. Mr. Camp says NO, with a capital N, to this weak, antiquated negotiating objective.
Mr. Camp introduces his theory, "...I believe win-win is hopelessly misguided as a basis for good negotiating, in business or in your personal life or anywhere else." So begins his treatise encapsulated in contrarian thinking toward negotiations of any type. Win-win, posits Mr. Camp, is an invitation to lose. While conventional tutelage is grounded in give-and-take compromise, Mr. Camp's negotiating foundation begins with giving or taking a No. Empowering an opponent to say No is power, according to Camp.
Mr. Camp quotes the ever-popular negotiating gem, GETTING TO YES, and its basic definition of a "wise agreement." A wise agreement meets the legitimate interests of each side to the extent possible, resolves conflicting interests fairly, is durable, and takes community interests into account. Camp's theory is that compromise is implicit within this definition, perhaps explicit. His question: Why in the world compromise before you're certain you have to?
Mr. Camp offers the reader an indepth view of why saying No is beneficial to a negotiator amongst an abundance of wisdom, tactics and observations from years of negotiation coaching. In the end, Mr. Camp leaves us with "The Thirty-three Rules" of negotiating. A few of these, which fly in the face of the conventional win-win theory:
- Your job is not to be liked. Its to be respected and effective.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was VERY impressed with Jim Camp's "Start with No." In under 300 pages, the author gets his point across succinctly and powerfully; negotiations don't begin with "Yes" (which might even be a lie) or "Maybe" which is worse than useless. They begin with "No" and giving permission for the other party to say "no."
The brilliance of the "no" can be the important "way out" in a negotiation, where one party is offered a graceful exit to avoid the sense of feeling trapped or tricked. And it's also the path to finding out what they really need or really can accept. But it's much more than that.
Camp informs the reader that previous theories of negotiation such as "Win-Win" are pure bunkum; in negotiation, sometimes someone wins and someone else loses. But the long-term outcome may be quite different--what might have been compromised into a mediocre solution by win-win can often be better for both parties when one loses at the outset. Case in point; a contract is drawn up with terms that one party can no longer fulfill. It's time to renegotiate the contract despite the terms and conditions. Why? What if the contract specified that a vendor sell at a price that would drive them out of business? If the buyer NEEDS that product, they'd better negotiate rather than fail to receive the product. Going elsewhere to find it could be more costly than the re-negotiated price.
Camp's experiences are in direct contrast to some of business guru Stephen Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Successful People", which I thought was quite interesting.
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72 of 79 people found the following review helpful By louienapoli on March 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It's probably impossible to accurately review a book on negotiation until you've had time to try the book's ideas. Having just read it, it's difficult to say whether the techniques will be effective. That said, the book is a collection of negotiating tactics--behavior, really. Some sound very useful, e.g., "Blank slate" your mind, meaning take your focus off of the desired outcome and concentrate on the process itself. Which dovetails with another point about never letting yourself be driven by a sense of neediness, only by a detached sense of "I want it but I can live without it if the terms aren't right." The book's tone is slick. You won't find the dispassionate, thoughtful voice in books like Getting To Yes (Camp's nemesis) or Bargaining for Advantage. Camp's unwitting mentor seems to be Herb Cohen's books on negotiating, and he borrows Cohen's slick conversational style. One problem with Camp's approach is that it is his retort to "win-win" negotiating, a style Camp claims is harmful, and for which he blames Getting to Yes for introducing. But if you check Yes, you'll find that nowhere does it advocate the softheaded approach Camp ascribes to it. And whereas Yes advocates preserving the relationship with the other side if possible, Camp asserts that you cannot worry about this and must not let it be a concern. As for the title, Start With No, it never seems to be entirely clear what it means, other than a catchy slogan that seeks to position the book as an answer to Getting to Yes. Camp uses the book as a less-than-subtle advertisement for his training seminars and programs, and hints that while the book is useful, it might not impart real negotiating chops in itself--without further instruction from the master.Read more ›
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