complete book review along with my notes which provides a complete summary about the book:
Start With No – The Negotiating Tools That The Pros Don’t Want You To Know by Jim CampJIM CAMP is the founder of Coach2100 Inc., a coaching clinic for senior business managers and teams. He currently serves as a negotiation coach and runs negotiating clinics and group coaching sessions for more than 150 corporations – including Motorola, Texas Instruments, Merrill Lynch, IBM, and Prudential Insurance. Mr. Camp has experience in negotiation strategies in a wide variety of industries including telecommunications, real estate, investment banking, healthcare, import/export, automotive sales, manufacturing, scientific research, and government administration. His website for this book: www.startwithno.com
So, Main Idea about this book:“We’re all professional negotiators. Most of us don’t think of ourselves that way, but we’re all trying to make agreements every day. We’re negotiating. Some of us do so haphazardly, maybe even lackadaisically, while some of us realize that since we’re always negotiating, the more skillfully we do so, the better off we’ll be.” – Jim Camp For many years now, “win-win” has been held up as the ideal to aim for in any negotiation. Why? Probably because win-win has always been considered to be the fairest way to do business. But what happens if the other party in a negotiation are simply using our desire to think win-win to get us to agree to unnecessary compromises? In those circumstances, the negotiation often ends up as win-lose, with us on the wrong side of the ledger. With that in mind, the way to become better at negotiating is to distinguish between what you can control and what you can’t. Win-win is an outcome, and the outcome is beyond your direct control for a host of various reasons. In any negotiation, the only thing you can control is the means by which the outcome is decided. So focus on your behavior and actions, and let the end result take care of itself instead of endlessly obsessing over win-win scenarios. Good negotiators also do something that appears counterintuitive at first glance. They begin with “no”. In other words, they start out by giving the other person an opportunity to say no right at the outset. Doing that relieves the pressure and allows the other person to think more rationally which, in turn, increases the chances something worthwhile will result from the negotiation. And professional negotiators constantly remind the other party they have the absolute right to veto the deal at any point. By consciously and deliberately allowing the other party to feel more in control, the chances of a favorable outcome increase. Always keep in mind negotiations are complicated simply because humans are involved. Every negotiation will be different. The path to becoming a better negotiator is rarely straight and will often require many detours and most certainly loads of discipline on your part. Fortunately, however, the rewards which come with being a more competent negotiator are well worth the effort. As long as you keep working at it, eventually you’ll reach a stage where negotiation becomes easy to do. And at that point, you can start approaching your true potential in business.
1. Why “Win-Win” is the Wrong Approach in NegotiationsThe prevailing paradigm in negotiations is to structure “Win-Win” deals. Yet these are only possible when both parties are equal – which is very rare. Instead, experienced negotiators use the context of structuring a win-win deal to get the other party to make more and more concessions. Don’t fall for it. Instead, stay focused on getting the best deal you can, even if it means saying no to lesser deals and offers. In most real world negotiations, deals that start out as win-win in theory end up becoming win-lose in reality. Why? Win-win sounds fair, but it can only be achieved if both parties are negotiating in good faith and laying all their cards on the table. If that does not happen, it is almost inevitable one party or the other will skew the deal in their own favor. Win-win is defeatist right from the outset. It encourages people to make unnecessary compromises in the pursuit of being “nice” to the other side. Win-win is an emotion based strategy – it plays to the heart on the basis the world will become a “better place” if everyone thinks and acts win-win. Good negotiations, however, are decision based. They evaluate agreements on definitive principles rather than emotions. Win-win implicitly urges negotiators to get to an agreement as quickly as possible, even if that means giving away more than is needed. From the viewpoint of getting the best possible deal, that’s undesirable. Professional negotiators use win-win as an implicit invitation to demand the other party makes compromises. They will even suggest collective bargaining. All of this is intended to do just one thing – to signal to the other side that if they want to do the deal, they’d better be willing to give up something. And making that suggestion alone can actually change the balance of power in the negotiations. In essence, when you think win-win, you set yourself up to make compromises before it is certain they are needed. You enter into a negotiation with a defeatist mind-set which states before this deal can be completed, you’ll have to make numerous concessions. And thus, you’ll most often find what you had hoped will be a win-win agreement ends up becoming win-lose with you on the wrong side of the equation. Your greatest weakness, when negotiating, is how much you need to do a deal. The more you need to get the deal done, the weaker your negotiating position is. And conversely, the less any specific deal means to you, the better you’ll be positioned to negotiate a deal which is in your favor. Thus, the first rule in becoming a better negotiator is to overcome your neediness. In business, neediness comes in many different varieties:
- In Western cultures, most people think of themselves as buyers. Therefore, when they need to act as sellers, they feel like the dependent party. And to overcome that poor self-image, they are prepared to give things away or compromise.
- Small businesses always tend to feel like they are more needy than large corporations who can pull off large mega-deals. Negotiators use this perceived imbalance to extract more and more concessions from the small business, more than they need to give.
- People who like to talk a lot need to feel important and to show that they know it all. A good negotiator will feed that need for recognition while structuring a deal which extracts as many compromises as possible.
- Those with a fear of rejection need to be liked. They try and deal with logical issues at an emotional level instead of maintaining a balanced perspective.
2. Why Good Negotiations Always Start With “No”To become a better negotiator, establish right at the outset you’re prepared to accept a “no” answer to everything you propose. Not only will this clear the air but it will also let everyone else relax and look at things more realistically. It will also signal to a shrewd adversary that you aren’t prepared to give away the entire farm in pursuit of the mythical win-win deal. Saying no right at the outset lays the foundation for a good negotiation. The worst possible outcome for any negotiation is to end up with “maybe”. When you say maybe, neither party knows where things stand. It muddies the water on where you should go from here, and is the kiss of death for successful negotiations. In fact, if you cannot progress them past the maybe stage, you should cut your losses early and move on to the next negotiation because this one is going nowhere. Good negotiators don’t fear the word “no”. Just the opposite, in fact. Effective negotiators invite their prospects to say no many times, predominantly because they understand every no is reversible. Therefore, they don’t take no personally. Specifically, the best negotiators:
- Make it as clear as possible to the other party that saying no is perfectly acceptable at any time.
- Expect people to say no at first – and therefore the sooner the other party says no, the better.
- Invite the prospect to say no frequently right from the very start of the negotiation.
- Understand that until the other party says no, they will feel loads of emotional pressure. As soon as they give a negative response, that pressure is lifted – allowing the real negotiation to move forward much faster.
- Use phrases like: “You know, I’m not sure that what I have to offer will fit your circumstances, so if this doesn’t make good sense to you, just let me know and I’ll leave you alone. Is that okay with you?”
- Don’t worry about trying to save a relationship with the other party. Instead, good negotiators provide the other party numerous opportunities to say no at any point during the negotiation – and then let the other person be responsible for the consequences.
- Aren’t interested in friendship, only in respect – for the value they can deliver with the products and services on offer.
- Help others overcome their natural fear of being wrong by allowing them to change their mind and do an about-face at any point rather than persevere with a bad decision.
3. The Camp Negotiating Tactics for Getting to “Yes”
The Camp Negotiating Tactics #1Know your mission & purpose To negotiate effectively, you have to be able to make good decisions yourself. The only way to do that – especially in protracted negotiations – is to specify your mission and purpose. Quite simply, a good negotiation will serve your mission and purpose whereas a bad negotiation will not. Understanding your mission and purpose is the very essence of success in negotiations. A valid mission and purpose:
- Will be expressed from the perspective of the most important constituents – for example, from the customer’s perspective for a business or from the perspective of the team sitting across the table for a negotiator.
- Will avoid false assumptions – which can creep in and color every negotiation.
- Expresses what you want to accomplish and how you want to achieve that.
- Creates in the other party to the negotiation a vision that will move them to take action.
- Needs to be committed to writing – in order to make it stronger, avoid ambiguities and reinforce commitment.
- Must be adaptable – and able to be changed as circumstances dictate or demand.
- Will help you understand what it is you really do.
The Camp Negotiating Tactics # 2Focus on your behavior, not the outcome Too many aspiring negotiators make the mistake of focusing on what they cannot control – the outcome of the negotiation – rather than what they can control – their own behavior and actions. Never fall into that trap. Set goals only in the one area you can have any lasting influence – how you as a negotiator act. The wisdom of setting goals to control what you can control and forgetting everything else may seem obvious but very few people do this in practice. If you try and set goals in areas over which you have little or no control, all you end up doing is adding to your personal frustration levels. In other words, think behavior and forget results. Or to use a golfing analogy, concentrate on putting a good swing on the ball each shot you take rather than breaking par for the hole. In genuine negotiations, the other party always has the right to say “no” irrespective of whether you agree with their reasons for doing so or not. Successful negotiators work hard to increase the amount of time spent on activities that relate directly to the negotiation at hand rather than administrative tasks that support those negotiations. They try and act as far as possible in a disciplined, systematic way rather than chasing vague dreams of huge deals. One effective way to become better at this is to keep a written daily record which identifies their strengths and highlights their weaknesses. This regular self-examination and assessment allows them to monitor their behavior and emotions, and to track their impact on the results they achieve. Weaknesses are pinpointed, strengths are identified for further work in the future and self-esteem grows as a rigorous daily record is kept. The discipline of doing this also encourages the person to think about how their time is used. “Say you’re a salesperson and you’ve ‘got your number’ for the week, and it’s only Wednesday. You might be tempted to think, ‘Man, I’m great. I can kick back and relax now for the rest of the week’. See the problem? Worse, what if you don’t have your number toward the end of the week? You tend to work harder, not smarter, all in the service of what’s not valid anyway. You end up working on the wrong problem or with the wrong activities and habits and dig a deeper hole. And if you’re into the win-win thing, you very likely end up making a classic win-win mistake: the unnecessary compromise in the course of chasing an invalid goal. That’s a killer.” – Jim Camp “If I were a beginner in the study of decision-based negotiation (as opposed to emotion- and compromise-based negotiation), my initial goals would be to focus at all times on my mission and purpose, to control my neediness and never demonstrate neediness, to always allow my adversary to be okay, to have no fear of saying or hearing ‘no’. Right there you have four very straightforward, obtainable, valid goals that, if carefully followed, would make you an excellent negotiator relative to the field. But the real point I want to get across here is the distinction between a goal and a result (or an objective as it is commonly labeled). Goals you can control, objectives you cannot. By following your behavioral goals, you get to your objectives.” – Jim Camp “Think behavior, forget results.” – Jim Camp
The Camp Negotiating Tactics #3Ask good questions Good questions are the single most important fuel of the Camp negotiating system. To become a better negotiator, you must increase your ability to ask good questions. Most people like to appear smart, and the best way to look smart is to answer the questions other people ask. Good negotiators, by contrast, ask good questions so as to learn about the world where the other person lives. Effective questions:
- Serve as a catalyst – encouraging the other person to think about their own vision and to make a decision.
- Are short – no more than nine or ten words.
- Come one at a time – so each point discussed can be absorbed and considered.
The Camp Negotiating Tactics # 4Have no preconceptions Two things that can stop negotiations dead in their tracks are expectations and assumptions. Successful negotiators avoid both – by creating a mental “blank state”. Doing this consistently enables the negotiator to learn what’s really going on in this negotiation – what’s holding things up. What’s the problem with expectations and assumptions?
- If a negotiator has positive expectations an agreement is imminent, they can get suckered into offering an outlandish discount just to help the deal move forwards. Then, when the promised volume gets watered down, the customer will still expect that unreasonably low price to be available.
- Similarly, if a negotiator has negative expectations (a string of negotiations which led nowhere perhaps), the natural tendency is to try and buy their way out of a slump and create some forward momentum by coming down in price further than they should.
- In a similar vein, assumptions are dangerous. They cause people to move in the wrong direction all the time, and expend effort in areas that are unrelated to the business at hand.
- You end up doing less talking – which is good.
- You are forced to listen to what the other person has to say – which is what you want.
- You relax a little more – which helps you make less emotional and more rational decisions.
- You have a permanent record of the key points agreed to.
- There is less chance you’ll blurt out something useless – like a price concession.
- You will have less opportunity to spill the beans – about your internal cost structure.
- You become less likely to fall for traps – like promises of future global alliances or huge pending purchases.
The Camp Negotiating Tactics # 5Identify the key pain point As a negotiator, you need to have a clear vision of what the other parties real problem is, where they feel pain. Until you find that hot button, you’re just stabbing in the dark. Once you know where their pain point is, you then have precisely what you need to move forward – a way to structure your product or service as a way to alleviate their current or future pain. Most people in a negotiation won’t tell you right away what’s causing them pain. Instead, you’ll have to do a little digging, a little detective work. Your objective here is to uncover their pain and then paint it as clearly as possible for them so they become motivated to action. It’s only natural that most people will be reluctant to discuss what causes them pain. So how do you do that?
- Create a nurturing climate – where the pain will be discussed empathetically in an attempt to develop a solution rather than off-handedly and casually, or even worse, where the other party will try to take advantage of them because of that pain. For example, you might say: “OK folks, now I ask you to be a little patient with me here. Maybe I misunderstand the situation, and everything I say may be wide of the mark, but with your permission, I’d like to tell you what I see here. Maybe by working together, we can come up with something that makes sense.”
- Give the client permission to say “No” – and let them correct your analysis of where their pain point is.
- Show genuine empathy – by putting yourself in their position.
- Remember you’re trying to uncover the pain that already exists, not create more pain for the other party.
- Keep reminding yourself you’re really not trying to tell the other party anything – rather you’re trying to see things from the same perspective they already use to identify their needs.
Bottom line, helping the other party in a negotiation paint their pain is an art the skilled negotiator develops. Good negotiators don’t try and save or browbeat their adversaries. Nor do they try and overpower them intellectually. In fact, if they are excessively positive or too negative, it can be detrimental to the negotiation process. What’s needed most is a simple painting of the pain the other party currently experiences. Uncover those genuine pain points and the negotiation will move forward quickly.“Your greatest strength is your greatest weakness.” – Emerson “The clearer your adversary’s vision of his pain, the easier the decision-making process.” – Jim Camp “The vision has to be clear, but so does the solution you offer. You must not frighten or anger the adversary, you can’t appear to be lauding it over your adversary, you must nurture at all times. Painting the pain is one of the real arts of negotiation. You must wield the brush with the touch of an Old Master.” – Jim Camp “Pain is whatever the negotiator sees as the current or future problem. People make decisions in order to alleviate and take away this current or future problem – the pain. Put in these terms, what else would any negotiation concern?” – Jim Camp
The Camp Negotiating Tactics # 6Build Your Budget The “budget” in any negotiation is more than just money. The real budget has three components: time-and-energy, money and emotional investment. And not all of these factors are of equal importance – if time has a value of x, then energy will be calculated as 2x, money as 3x and emotion as 4x.Your job as a negotiator is to be certain you know both your own real budget and that of the other party. Budget is the way you keep track of the real price of any negotiation, which goes way beyond just dollars and cents. The basic principle, naturally, is to keep your own budget as low as possible and the other party’s budget as high as feasible. A real budget has three components: 1. Time-and-energy budget Everyone has the same number of hours in the day. The challenge in business is to use those hours as productively as possible, and ideally more productively than competitors. In any negotiation, the value of the other person’s time and energy must be taken into account. Many negotiators try and get the other party to invest so much time in the process they feel pressured to come up with something that justifies their investment. Be aware, however, that is a two-way street. Great negotiators are careful about maximizing the value of their time just as deliberately. Building the other party’s time-and-energy budget is a way skilled negotiators get them to focus their attention. Time can intensify pain quite vividly, and the thought of wasting energy can be a powerful motivator to act. Good negotiators build the time-and-energy budgets of the other party constantly. 2. Money budget Money is relative. The same given sum will mean different things to different people. Successful negotiators understand the other party’s frame of reference and then try everything available to drive up their money budget during a negotiation. That encourages the other party to make a compromise to get the deal done before it gets more expensive. Professional negotiators assess their own and the other party’s money budgets at regular intervals. 3. Emotions budget Emotions have the highest value of all in any negotiation. When emotional pain is involved, the value of the negotiation increases by many multiples. For most people, any decisions about money are highly emotions driven. Quite simply, it comes down to the “thrill of victory” vs. the “pain of defeat”. Good negotiators find ways to build their adversary’s emotional budget during a negotiation. Similarly, the other party will do the same – with threats, promises, outlandish requests, arbitrary deadlines, exclamations the deal is dead in the water and so forth. Whoever manages to keep their emotional budget in control is positioned to extract a better deal from the other party in the negotiation. “Know your budget. Control your budget. Know their budget. Build their budget. These rules apply for time-and-energy, for money, for emotions. When you master them, you really can’t fail. You must not expect to manage the actual wins and losses, because you can’t do this. You can only manage the means to the end: stay within your system, manage your activity, manage your behavior. This is all the armor you need.” – Jim Camp
The Camp Negotiating Tactics # 7Negotiate with the real decision makers It’s critically important that you know who’s actually calling the shots and making a decision for the other party in any negotiation. Why? Mainly because until you know who the key decision makers are, it will be impossible for you to paint the pain effectively. If you don’t get to know your opponent’s decision-making process right at the outset, you hand them a golden opportunity to drive up your time-and-energy, money and emotion budgets. And just to make things more interesting, the bigger the organization you’re negotiating with, the more complex and confusing their internal decision making process is likely to be. Many times, even they won’t really be clear about who will make the final decision within their own organization. To move things forward, you will need to help them sort that matter out. So how do you actually do that? There’s usually no simple answer, but a starting point would be to ask some pertinent questions:
- “Of course, I understand you make the decisions. But who else is there you might want to talk with about this offer?”
- “Who else in your organization do we need to get on-board with this before we can move ahead?”
- “Who in your organization would be upset if they were left out of the loop on this decision?”
- “How will a decision be reached on this – and what paperwork needs to be in place first?”
- Try starting at the top – and approach the CEO. If he has the time to talk with you, the usual blockers will respect that and do likewise.
- Feed the blocker’s ego – by telling him you’re happy to get his okay first before making a presentation to the key decision makers so long as you make that presentation to the key decision makers in person. Then go ahead and make your full presentation. Sell the blocker on the idea first, and enlist the blocker as your ally in figuring out how to sell the real decision makers.
- Coach the blocker – by telling him the points he needs to present to the key decision maker for them to understand the proposal. Offer to wait in the hall or in their office while he or she makes the presentation in case there are questions that arise. This option gives you a chance to build the blocker’s role in the entire process so if the decision works out well, they will be positioned to take all the credit.