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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Review: Everything is Negotiable

I am including book reviews on this blog. I read a lot but I never find people to share the joy with, and thus I forget almost as fast as I learn. I believe that by including book reviews, I'll attract some comments, which imply discussion and thus, better understanding for me.

Everything is Negotiable by Gavin Kennedy falls under the category of non-IT books that I occasionally pick up (and do not regret). The guy runs a company in UK which helps break deals and negotiate for you, apart from training your people to do better at deals.

The books starts off with a simple question:
Faced with a difficult opponent, it is better to concede something of little value in order to create goodwill. True or False?

Many people will tend to concede. That something is of little value to you, right? and the opponent is somebody overly demanding as well! Gavin Kennedy tends to disagree and he has sound reasons for that:
  1. Goodwill is a myth! Business is about offering what you have in exchange for what you want. Why is the other person bargaining for that something of little value?

  2. You are encouraging the behavior of your difficult opponent by conceding in the first deal. He/ she will become more and more unrealistic in future. On the other hand, you will have little ground to behave differently.

This remarkable opening is followed by around 24 chapters, which include various negotiating scenarios (not all of them provide insight, though). The book is around 350 pages lengthy, and available as paperback. Below is a content outline, with some of my comments:
  1. Of Owls, Foxes, Sheep and Donkeys

  2. Why you must revive long forgotten negotiating skills (learn from children!)

  3. The worst thing you can do to a negotiator (accept the first offer!)

  4. How not to get your room changed (don't just complain, negotiate a remedy!)

  5. Why seven "no's" are no way to get a "yes" (seven successive proposals!)

  6. The negotiator's most useful question (what if?)

  7. The Myth of Goodwill

  8. How to make them cut their prices (shock'em with your opening offer)

  9. Why ONO is a NO NO? (ONO = or nearest offer)

  10. How to handle difficult negotiators (don't let the intended damage to happen)

  11. Who has the power? (depends on who believes it to be with the other person)

  12. If you haven't got a principal, invent one! (my brother says you must not accept less than £615)

  13. There ain't no such thing as a fixed price!

  14. How to stop conceding?

  15. Don't change the price, change the package!

  16. All that glitters is not gold

  17. On being Russian-Fronted (hijacking countered by buying time -> makes them tired)

  18. How the hard bargainers make it hard to bargain (creating issues at the last moment --- when the real cost of moving away from the deal is too high for you)

  19. How addressing other people's interest gets them interested (what we want vs. why we want)

  20. The long distance negotiator (local hero going global)