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You Can Negotiate Anything

By Herb Cohen
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  • Contains 9 key ideas
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You Can Negotiate Anything by Herb Cohen
Synopsis

You Can Negotiate Anything (1980) shows that negotiations occur in every walk of life and that it is vital to have the skills and understanding to deal with those situations. The book outlines the key factors affecting negotiation success, as well as ways of negotiating for win-win solutions.

Key idea 1 of 9

Most things in the world can be negotiated, so you should learn to do it well.

Life is a constant stream of negotiations. Whether you’re trying to get your son to behave at a fancy restaurant or your boss to give you a raise, any situation where you try to affect someone else’s behavior is basically a negotiation.

Most things in the world are negotiable. Prices at fancy department stores, mortgages or speeding tickets can all be negotiated, as long as you know how. Even notoriously inflexible entities such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will negotiate with you, because the tax officials, at the end of the day, are just people like the rest of us. Because negotiations are so ubiquitous, don’t you think it’s time you started improving your skills in that arena?

Sometimes negotiating is just a matter of talking to the right person. Every organization has a hierarchy, and the lowest rungs always have the least power to grant you what you wish. So if the lackeys can’t help you, demand to speak to managers, directors, and so on, until you find someone with sufficient authority to make concessions.

Once at a Mexican hotel, the author was told that this hotel had no room for him. He calmly asked for the manager, and inquired:

“Would you have room for the President of Mexico if he shows up?”

“Sí, Señor.”

“Well, he’s not coming, so I’ll take his room.”

In general, the only factors that should affect your decision to negotiate for something are whether you are comfortable negotiating for it, whether a negotiation will result in your needs being met and whether it’s worth the effort.

Most things in the world can be negotiated, so you should learn to do it well.

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