Think win-win is the best way to make the deal? Think again. It’s the worst possible way to get the best deal. This is the dirty little secret of corporate America.
For years now, win-win has been the paradigm for business negotiation—the “fair” way for all concerned. But don’t believe it. Today, win-win is just the seductive mantra used by the toughest negotiators to get the other side to compromise unnecessarily, early, and often. Have you ever heard someone on the other side of the table say, “Let’s team up on this, partner”? It all sounds so good, but these negotiators take their naive “partners” to the cleaners, deal after deal. Start with No shows you how they accomplish this. It shows you how such negotiations end up as win-lose. It exposes the scam for what it really is. And it guarantees that you’ll never be a victim again.
Win-win plays to your emotions. It takes advantage of your instinct and desire to make the deal. Start with No teaches you how to understand and control these emotions. It teaches you how to ignore the siren call of the final result, which you can’t really control, and how to focus instead on the activities and behavior that you can and must control in order to negotiate with the pros.
Start with No introduces a system of decision-based negotiation. Never again will you be out there on a wing and a prayer. Never again will you feel out of control. Never again will you compromise unnecessarily. Never again will you lose a negotiation.
The best negotiators:
* aren’t interested in “yes”—they prefer “no”
* never, ever rush to close, but always let the other side feel comfortable and secure
* are never needy; they take advantage of the other party’s neediness
* create a “blank slate” to ensure they ask questions and listen to the answers, to make sure they have no assumptions and expectations
* always have a mission and purpose that guides their decisions
* don’t send so much as an e-mail without an agenda for what they want to accomplish
* know the four “budgets” for themselves and for the other side: time, energy, money, and emotion
* never waste time with people who don’t really make the decision
Start with No offers a contrarian, counterintuitive system for negotiating any kind of deal in any kind of situation—the purchase of a new house, a multimillion-dollar business deal, or where to take the kids for dinner. It is full of dozens of business as well as personal stories illustrating each point of the system. It will change your life as a negotiator. If you put to good use the principles and practices revealed here, you will become an immeasurably better negotiator.
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