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You Can Negotiate Anything: The World's Best Negotiator Tells You How To Get What You Want Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1982
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About the Author
Herb Cohen has been called “the world’s best negotiator” by Playboy magazine. Cohen’s expertise is harnessed in business, government, commercial dealings, corporate management, and crisis management. Cohen has written several books and publications and has given speeches around the world.
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More importantly today's consumers have a wealth of information on the internet so his example of people buying a fridge spending a lot of time researching prices at other shops seems a bit obsolete.
Finally I don't like a lot of his attitude. He's surprised that people check out on time - "just because some little sign says so". He suggests spending multiple hours and visits with a salesman so that he's invested and you can wrangle a few more bucks off the price. really?
So its worth a quick read if you can pick it up second hand for next to nothing. Its not worth the $7 I paid.
The book proved it's worth for me on at least 2-3 practical occasions in the past (2 car-buying and one house-buying experiences). In some regards those transactions and the negotiations, which I (and most people I suspect) usually dread - were actually kind of enjoyable. The key is to never put yourself in the position of having to close the deal (on whatever) right then. Time urgency-driven need will kill you, because you always have to be willing to walk away from a deal, and have the attitude that this is not the last car or the last house on the face of the planet. This isn't always easy when you're in partnership with a desparately pleading spouse who isn't helping much with statements of "this house is perfect", "we've got to have this house", and "we can't let this one get away no matter what" - right in front of the seller, the seller's real estate agent and your real estate agent. Because at that point you should pretty much realize you've surrendered virtually any negotiating leverage you might have had.
I've got my employees at work now reading this book, because I find that for some of our employees negotiating appears to have become a totally lost art. When they're all fully "read-in" on the book, I plan on trying to develop a negotiating "primer" for our organization's recruiters - because I believe their current understanding of negotiating with job candidates on the issue of salary, is limited to: would you like a little more or a lot more?!?! Whether purchased New or Used, this book is a timeless winner, with practical value for everyone - buy it.
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:
1- "Within reason, you can get whatever you want if you're aware of our options, if you test your assumptions, if you take shrewdly calculated risks based on solid information, and if you believe you have power. "
2- "You have more power sources at your fingertips than you realize! 1. The power of competition...2. The power of legitimacy. Legitimacy can be questioned and challenged. Use the power of legitimacy when it's advantageous for you to do so and challenge that power when ifs advantageous for you to do so...3. The power of risk taking You must be willing to take risks while negotiating. Risk taking involves mixing courage with common sense...4. The power of commitment...By syndicating your risk you put yourself in a position to exploit the favorable opportunity because the risk is only moderate for you...5. The power of expertise...Establish your background and credentials early in he confrontation. If you do, your statements may not even t challenged. In other words, cash in on the fact that in complicated negotiations, participants often lack specialized knowledge of certain aspects of the matter being discussed...6. The power of the knowledge of "needs" for: for: 1. The specific issues and demands, which are stated openly. 2. The real needs of the other side, which are rarely verbalized...7. The power of investment...My point is this: If you have something difficult to negotiate--an emotional issue, or a concrete item that can be stated numerically, such as price, cost, interest rate, or salary-cope with it at the end of a negotiation, after the other side has made a hefty expenditure of energy and a substantial time investment...8. The power of rewarding or punishing...If I'm aware of your perceptions and needs, and if I know you think I have power over you, I can control your behavior...9. The power of identification...You will maximize your negotiating ability if you get others to identify with you...10. The power of morality...11. The power of precedent...12. The power of persistence...Persistence is to power what carbon is to steel. By gnawing through a dike long enough even a rat can drown a nation. Most people aren't persistent enough when negotiating...13. The power of persuasive capacity...even if you present me with overwhelming evidence that I understand, should the conclusion depress me, I will remain unconvinced. Your facts and logic may be unassailable, but their acceptance will not meet my existing needs and desires...14. The power of attitude...Try to regard all encounters and situations, including your job, as a game, as the world of illusion. Pull back a little and enjoy it all."
3- "1. Since most concession behavior and settlements will occur at or even beyond the deadline, be patient. True strength often calls for the ability to sustain the tension without flight or fight. Learn to keep your automatic defense responses under control. Remain calm but keep alert for the favorable moment to act. As a general rule, patience pays. It may be that the thing 5 do, when you do not know what to do, is to do nothing. 2. In an adversary negotiation your best strategy is not to reveal your real deadline to the other side. Always keep in mind that since deadlines are the product of a negotiation they are more flexible than most people realize. the benefits and detriments that will ensue as you approach, or go beyond, the brink.3. The "other side," cool and serene as they may appear. always have a deadline. Most often, the tranquility they display outwardly masks a great deal of stress and pressure. 4. Precipitous action should be taken only when ifs guaranteed to be to your advantage. Generally speaking you cannot achieve the best outcome quickly; you can achieve it only slowly and perseveringly. Very often as you approach the deadline a shift of power will occur, presenting a creative solution or even a turnaround by the other side. The people may not change, but with the passage of tune, circumstances do."
4- "Watch the increments of concession behavior, since they send a strong message about the real limits of authority."
5- "A negotiation is more than an exchange of material obj« It is a way of acting and behaving that can develop understanding, belief, acceptance, respect, and trust. It is the manner of your approach, the tone of your voice, the attitude you convey, the methods you use, and the concern you exhibit for the other side's feelings and needs. All these things comprise the process of negotiation. Hence, the way you go about trying to obtain your objective may in and of itself meet some of the other party's needs."
6- "Let me now elaborate on how the negotiating process and reconciling opponent's needs can be used to bring about collaborative Win-Wm outcomes: I. Using the process to meet needs 2. Harmonizing or reconciling needs...In general, the reason we are at odds on an issue may stem from three areas of difference: 1. Experience 2. Information 3. Role...3. Role...Successful collaborative negotiation lies in finding out what the other side really wants and showing them a way to get it, while you get what you want."
7- "Accomplishing mutual satisfaction using the collaborative Win-Win style involves emphasis on three important activities: 1. Building trust 2. Gaining commitment 3. Managing opposition."
8- "How can you ensure that you do not make visceral opponents? My two rules are stated in terse negative terms: 1. Never forget the power of your attitude 2. Never judge the actions and motives of others."
9- "Much like a great chess master, a winning negotiator needs to know every possible strategy from the opening gambit to the end-game play. Then he can enter the event with confidence that he is prepared for every possible eventuality that might occur. Nonetheless, he strives for the best outcome that can give everyone what he wants. And he knows that compromise may be acceptable, but it's not mutually satisfying. It is a back-up, a concluding strategy that he may ultimately have to use to avoid the consequence of a deadlock."
10- "Characteristics of Phone Negotiations: 1. More misunderstanding 2. Easier to say no 3. Much quicker 4. More competitive 5. Greater risk 6. Advantage--caller...The following are some suggestions that can be effortlessly customized to help you achieve success: 1. Be the caller/ not the callee 2. Plan and prepare 3. A graceful exit 4. Discipline yourself to listen 5. Write the memorandum of agreement."
11- "To maximize your impact as a negotiator-- no matter whom you are dealing with--you must personalize both yourself and the situation...Try not to negotiate on behalf of an institution or organization, no matter how large or small. Negotiate on behalf of yourself, representing the institution."