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The Optimal Negotiator

A Companion for Serious Deal Makers

Each “chapter” in the book contains a page and a half of capsulized negotiating wisdom. The advice includes:

1.      Always distinguish wants from needs.
2.      “No” is just a position in time.
3.      People need time to accept new ideas.
4.      The less you care, the better the deal.
5.      Aspirations are self-fulfilling.
6.      Quick is synonymous with risk.
7.      Dumb is better than smart.
8.      People support what they help to create.
9.      Planning never ends.
10.    The two most critical 5 minutes.
11.    It’s never “last and final.”
12.    Questions are windows to the mind.
13.    Understand your rights.
14.    Change the shape of the deal.
15.    Disguise, don’t deceive.
16.    The first number is not the number.
17.    Make concessions wisely.
18.    Self-control precedes the control of others.
19.    Don’t violate the norms.
20.    Be empathic, not chauvinistic.
21.    Cultural strengths can be weaknesses.
22.    Know your adversary’s needs.
23.    Know yourself better.
24.    Winning can also mean losing.
25.    Build acceptance through pacing.
26.    The eyes reveal lies.
27.    Gain credibility through disclosure.
28.    Conflict and tension are good.
29.    Build power incrementally.
30.    Define the reason for “no.”
31.    Time changes everything.
32.    Alter your communication ratios.
33.    Proposals advance negotiations.
34.    Power is perceived.
35.    More things are negotiable than we realize.
36.    Every negotiation has the same purpose.
37.    Open realistically.
38.    Giving gets.
39.    Specify conditions before offers.
40.    Make 80/20 into 80/80.
41.    Know the architecture before building.
42.    Keep things simple and flexible.
43.    Beware electronic negotiating.
44.    The telephone isn’t the answer either.
45.    Persistence can pay huge rewards.
46.    Read their signals.
47.    Objections are masked opportunities.
48.    Be wary of assumptions.
49.    How you say it is important.
50.    The best concessions cost nothing.
51.    Make the pressure explicit.
52.    Agendas are assets worth having.
53.    The first offer is not the final offer.
54.    A change can break an impasse.
55.    Deadlock is not a dirty word.
56.    Know when to close.
57.    Close with magic.
58.    Critically assess your performance.
59.    Practice when it doesn’t count.
60.    Avoid dialogues of the deaf.
61.    Craft a message that appeals.
62.    Be a non-directional listener.
63.    Ask the right questions.
64.    Learn the language of hidden meanings.
65.    All of you is communicating.
66.    A tactic perceived is no tactic.
67.    Leverage the power of your team.
68.    Choose thy team carefully.
69.    Team size matters.
70.    Price is a point of view.
71.    Price and terms are symbiotic.
72.    Reinforce your opening.
73.    Deadlines are of your own making.
74.    When you don’t know what to do, do nothing.
75.    Always write the agreement.
76.    Exceptions disprove the rule.
77.    Promote your credibility.
78.    Negotiate with decision makers.
79.    Humanize yourself.
80.    Trade expendables to achieve essentials.
81.    If it seems “too good,” it probably is.
82.    Acknowledge gender differences.
83.    Listen for telltale traps.
84.    Say “yes” when you’re happy.
85.    Risk-taking is its own reward.
86.    Heed the 90:10 rules.
87.    You have to enjoy it to be good.
88.    These things you NEVER do.

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