Keypoints on how to negotiate. Is there a recommended "cheat sheet" or handbook?


I'm looking for bullet points on how to negotiate. I know there are entire tomes written on this. But I also know that the essence of negotiation can be boiled down to a few essential points - that is what I'm after (particularly, since I will not have the time to read a tome before I need to negotiate on the terms of a joint venture partnership).

So, can someone summarize the keypoints (and sequence of steps/phases) involved in negotiation?

Failing that, is there a recommended "cheat book" or handbook guide I can refer to?


asked Sep 15 '11 at 01:31
11 points
  • Don't know of any cheat sheets but one tip. Try to remember that the negotiation doesn't end until its OVER. People often relax after they get some concessions, think the job is done and an hour later carelessly accept a term that they wake up to regret tomorrow. Use that to your advantage if you can :P – Permas 13 years ago

2 Answers


I don't know of a cheat sheet, but I would recommend a book: "You can Negotiate Anything " by Herb Cohen. I read it a long time ago and I remember at least two important points from it. First, if you are negotiating for something that you have to have no matter what, you will pay whatever is asked. Second, you should never negotiate for yourself. Herb Cohen called that Soviet style negotiating. We would always send our top guys to negotiate with the Russians while they would never send anyone who could make a decision. We would give up points to reach a compromise, they would have to confer with a higher up to accept it. Guess who got the better half of those deals.

The book is old but it is still worth reading.

answered Sep 15 '11 at 02:27
Jack Rodenhi
607 points


Depends on what you are selling and if it is a commodity or unique. A lot will depend on what else is available to them in the marketplace and how you are positioned.

Or, what side of the table you are on... selling or buying.

Also, if you are a salesman and you have to make this sale to get your commission check or you are ever in a position where you can't just walk away. Then you will have a difficult time negotiating. You have the upper hand if you don't 'need' it or have the appearance of not needing it.

If I do negotiate when selling, I always make them give something up. I wouldn't lower the price just because. I made it that price for a reason... the only thing that would possibly change that if I was going to deliver less in features, extend the time line to deliver, or there were some payment terms that were to my advantage eg: Pay 100% today and get a discount.

I'm a big fan of all of jeffery gitomer's books. Here is a post he did about negotiating - but his sales bible, sales answers and a couple others are easy reads and solve all the issues around negotiating so people just want to buy what you have to sell.

answered Sep 15 '11 at 09:01
Ryan Doom
5,472 points

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