The one sentence summary

You can be a better negotiator by preparing properly, holding your nerve, staying calm, and making your offer first.

WHAT THE BOOK SAYS the-negotiation-book

  • The book introduces the Negotiation Clock Face, a wheel of approaches roughly ranging from hard to soft: bartering, haggling/bidding, hard bargaining, dealing, concession trading, win-win, partnership joint problem solving, relationship building.
  • The main influencing factors in negotiation are:
  1. The level of dependency
  2. The power of the brand and relative size of both parties
  3. History/precedents
  4. Competitor activity and changing market conditions
  5. The party with more time
  6. The nature of the product, service or contract
  7. Personal relationships
  • The 10 important traits of successful negotiators are:
  1. Nerve. Believe in your position, never offend, and always remain calm.
  2. Self-Discipline. Understand what to do, do that which is appropriate.
  3. Tenacity. The equivalent of stamina in sportspeople.
  4. Assertiveness. Tell them what you will do, not what you won’t do.
  5. Instinct. Trust it – you will be right more often than not.
  6. Caution. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  7. Curiosity. Ask why because you want and need to know.
  8. Numerical reasoning. Know what it’s really worth, what it really costs.
  9. Creativity. Explore and build on possibilities.
  10. Humility. People make agreements, and humility breeds respect.
  • The six primary variables are: price, fee or margin, volume, delivery, contract period, payment terms, and specification.


  • Pressure points are things, times or circumstances that influence the other party’s position of power.
  • Good negotiators need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
  • The complete skilled negotiator uses silence, where appropriate. This means listening to everything the other party is saying, and not saying, to work out their true position.
  • In negotiation there is no good, bad, right or wrong: do not allow your sense of fairness to come into it.
  • In most cases, negotiators who make their offer first will come out ahead.
  • One of the most important ways of building power is by developing a BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement).
  • No options = no power. Find out and read their breakpoint.
  • Think clearly when faced with conflict, and maintain self-control.
  • Open extreme yet realistically to shift their expectations.


  • It contains a lot of good advice.