Negotiate to Win: The 21 Rules for Successful Negotiating


Discover the Power
Of Better Negotiating

Negotiation is one skill everyone needs in order to get more of what they want ? to sell more, to keep costs down, to manage better, to strengthen relationships ? to win! Thomas shows you exactly how the best negotiators reach long-lasting positive solutions that build profits, performance, and relationships.

This indispensable guide ...

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Negotiate to Win: The 21 Rules for Successful Negotiating

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Discover the Power
Of Better Negotiating

Negotiation is one skill everyone needs in order to get more of what they want — to sell more, to keep costs down, to manage better, to strengthen relationships — to win! Thomas shows you exactly how the best negotiators reach long-lasting positive solutions that build profits, performance, and relationships.

This indispensable guide covers all you'll ever need to know about negotiating, including:

  • The 21 rules of successful negotiating — and how to defend against them!
  • "Quickies" — specific tips on how to successfully negotiate with bosses, children, car dealers, contractors, auto mechanics, and many others
  • Why Americans are among the worst negotiators on Earth
  • How to overcome your natural reluctance to bargain
  • Why win-win negotiating is so vital
  • How to thoroughly prepare for your negotiations
  • How to deal with counterparts who intimidate or harass you
  • How to negotiate ethically — and deal with those who don't
  • How to negotiate more successfully across cultural lines
  • Thomas's Truisms — 50 memorable negotiating maxims
  • The psychology of negotiating, historical illustrations, day-to-day applications, and much, much more!
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Editorial Reviews

June Blocklin
“The only negotiating book you’ll ever need. It’s required reading for anyone who wants the edge in negotiating.”
Mike Matz
“Jim Thomas offers keenly practical guidance on how folks like you and me can become successful negotiators.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060781064
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/6/2005
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 198,260
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Thomas is owner and director emeritus of Common Ground Seminars. He is a graduate of UCLA and the Georgetown University Law Center, and served as a U.S. Air Force helicopter rescue pilot in Vietnam, receiving the distinguished Flying Cross. Jim has two teenage children and lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Read an Excerpt

Negotiate to Win
The 21 Rules for Successful Negotiating

Chapter One

Haggling Is Hot

We are all going to die. Aside from that, it's negotiable.

Among animals, only humans negotiate. We negotiate unceasingly, from our first cry to our last breath. We dicker with bosses, subordinates, colleagues, customers, vendors, parents, spouses, children, merchants, laborers, craftspeople, bureaucrats, policemen, lovers, friends, and enemies. We haggle with individuals and groups, at home and at work, day and night, rain and shine. Negotiating is part of practically every human activity. Any time two or more of us confer for agreement&#8212about anything&#8212we could be negotiating.

If you think a lot of haggling is going on now, just wait. Society is being hammered by revolutionary social, political, and economic changes that will sharply raise the stakes on skillful negotiating. New economic realities. It's not just your imagination-things really are getting tougher. It's harder than ever to manage a business, make a profit, raise a child, balance a family budget, or run a government. And the tougher things get, the more important good negotiating becomes.

As I write this, the average net after-tax profit margin of S&P 500 companies is a razor-thin 4%. 4%! Margins of10 to 20% and more used to be typical; only grocery chains and a few other high-volume businesses had 4% margins. Yes, in some years margins will get better. And in others, they'll get worse. They constantly fluctuate with economic cycles. But, on average, they've been steadily shrinking for the past half-century. I'm no economist, but this looks likea trend to me.

What happens when the sellers and buyers in a company with a 4% net after-tax margin start negotiating 1% better? Just 1%? That 1% drops straight to the bottom line&#8212increasing profit by 25%! Imagine the effect on the price of that company's stock.

Scarcity is the mother of better bargaining. When times are good and margins are fat, you can get away with a little sloppy negotiating now and then. When margins are 4%, you can't. The economic landscape has changed, probably forever. We share a future of constrained resources&#8212of 4% margins&#8212in which ever-smaller advantages will determine who succeeds and who doesn't; a future in which better negotiating can make all the difference.

New globalism. The doors to the Mother of All Bazaars are open. Electronically exchanged information and capital are quickly making international borders irrelevant. We are all citizens of&#8212and competitors in&#8212a wired, global state.

An obvious consequence of our connected world is a huge upsurge in transactions between individuals and organizations with vastly different cultural backgrounds. Westerners just entering the international marketplace are often shocked to discover that the rest of the world negotiates like crazy! New globalism requires successful negotiators to quickly adapt to the ways of other cultures. Chapter 10,International Negotiating examines these issues and highlights some of the shortcomings of the traditional American "one size fits all" approach to cross-cultural negotiating.

New management and work styles. Today's organizations are smaller, flatter, faster, and increasingly dependent upon capable negotiating. Corporate pyramids topped by shouting, imperial bosses have been replaced by unstructured, collaborative enterprises. Today's employees, more self-interested and nomadic than their careerist forebears, have little tolerance for dictatorial treatment. Good "office negotiation" skills have become almost indispensable to managerial success.

The rapid growth of strategic alliances between companies has been another boon to bargaining. Members of these alliances trade their traditionally predatory relationships for shared forecasts and technology, pooled financial and human resources, and joint design and production decisions. Maintaining the health of these alliances requires the constant renegotiation of delicately balanced burdens, benefits, rights, and responsibilities.

New frugality. Yet another trend helping make negotiation a growth industry is the "new frugality" movement in America. Many Americans have joined a subtle but widespread retreat from unrestrained conspicuous consumption in favor of simpler pleasures, thriftier ways, and more practical lifestyles. Besides bag lunches, bulk buying, and recycling, negotiating is de rigueur for growing numbers of "new frugality" adherents. Even in day-to-day retail dealings, they're rejecting the traditional American taboo against bargaining.

You ain't seen nothin' yet. The future will test our negotiating skills as never before. Haggling is hot, and it's getting hotter all the time.

Negotiate to Win
The 21 Rules for Successful Negotiating
. Copyright © by Jim Thomas. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2008

    A reviewer

    This is a well written book and offers a lot for the novice/mid-level negotiator. 60-70% of this book are vital gems. Things that you cannot afford to miss. 20-30% of the book will be page turners for people who have been in the negotiating business as it overly simplifies topics. For example, the 'Ethics' topic is one that is just for the PC folk. No decent person in their right mind is going to read something that states, 'Being unethical is not an option' and then go., 'oh wow., I never thought about that...' Duh.. that's a given. The last couple chapters are just great however. The author touches on negotiation topics in the areas of: Business, car buying/selling, house buying/selling, dealing with bosses for raise/severance package, dealing with retailers, wholesalers and much more. Definitely recommended for the budding negotiator.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2007

    A reviewer

    Negotiate to Win by Jim Thomas is an excellent book for anyone in the business that would like to brush up on their negotiating skills. The advice is practical and easy to follow -- no fancy formulas or slick acronyms here. Jim's ideas are based on real world experience not just academic research. Whether you are buying or selling, this book will help you improve your negotiating approach and tactical skills. Every time I read the book a new idea pops that helps me negotiate better deals. A must read!

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