1. Getting Past No by William Ury
Here is an excerpt:
There is a story of a man who left seventeen camels to his three sons. He left
half the camels to his eldest son, a third to his middle son and a ninth to his
youngest. The three set to dividing their inheritance but soon despaired of
their ability to negotiate a solution—because seventeen could not be divided by
two, three or nine.
The sons approached a wise old woman. After pondering the problem, the old woman
said, “See what happens if you take my camel.” So then the sons had eighteen
camels. The eldest son took his half—that was nine. The middle soon took his
third—that was six. And the youngest son took his ninth—that was two. Nine and
six and two made seventeen. They had one camel left over and gave it back to the
wise old woman.
Like the seventeen camels, your negotiations will often seem intractable. Like
the wise old woman, you will need to step back from the negotiation, look at the
problem from a fresh angle and find an eighteenth camel!
Roger Dawson, world renown negotiation expert and author of three books on the subject, always says "You will never make more money [doing anything else] than you will negotiating". I've found this to be true and here's what he means:
Say you spend 15 minutes negotiating for an extra $2,500 per month on a monthly retainer on a 3 month engagement? That translates into an hourly rate of of $30,000 an hour!
Or one time we spent 20 minutes negotiating down the price for ad space in the Wall Street Journal (for a client). It was initially $18,000 but they agreed to run the ad for $13,500. The $4,500 savings is equivalent to making $13,636 per hour.
Unfortunately we didn't get to run the ad. It was for an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) and the client's lawyers argued it would attract unwanted attention from the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission).
Lastly, last year we paid an executive recruiter $100 an hour to help a recent grad family member negotiate a job offer with a BigCo. She managed to get $5000 more in stock in about 90 minutes of preparation and actual negotiating. That is a 33x ROI!
The other books in this series are Power Negotiating Secrets (the original and best one) and Persuasion Secrets. While there are redundancies in all three, each is useful for the situations it is meant to be used in.
Here is a story excerpt from the resource:
There was once an old couple who lived in a dilapidated thatched hut on a remote
pacific island. One day a hurricane blew through the village demolishing their
home. Since they were much too poor and old to rebuild the hut the couple moved
in with their daughter and her husband. This arrangement precipitated an
unpleasant domestic situation.
As the daughter’s hut was barely big enough for her, her husband and their four
children, let alone the inlaws, the daughter went to the wise person in the
village and asked “whatever will we do”. The wise person puffed slowly on a pipe
and then responded: “You have chickens, don’t you?” “Yes” she replied. “We have
“Then bring the chickens into the hut with you”
This seemed ludicrous to the daughter but she followed the wise person’s advice.
The move naturally exacerbated the problem and the place was soon unbearable as
feathers and hostile words flew around the hut. The daughter returned to the
wise person, pleading again for advice. “You have pigs, do you not?”
“Yes we have three pigs”. You must bring your pigs into the hut with you as
well, said the wise person. That seemed to be ridiculous advice but to question
the wise person was unthinkable, so she brought the pigs into the hut.
Life was now truly unlivable with eight people, ten chicken and three pigs
sharing one tiny noisy hut! The next day the daughter approached the wise person
with a final desperate plea. “Please she cried, we cannot live like this. Tell
me what to do but please help us.” This time the wise person’s response was
puzzling but easier to follow.
“Now remove your chickens and the pigs from the hut.” She quickly evicted the
animals and the entire family lived happily together for the rest of their days!
Another great resource but the techniques are difficult to master and require a lot of practice. But they are all practical and 'battle tested'. Chris was the lead hostage negotiator for the FBI for several years and has since used his experience to coach business execs in high stakes negotiation deals.