Start with No: The Negotiating Tools That the Pros Don't Want You to Know

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Think win-win is the best way to make the deal? Think again. It’s the worst possible way to get the best deal. This is the dirty little secret of corporate America.

For years now, win-win has been the paradigm for business negotiation—the “fair” way for all concerned. But don’t believe it. Today, win-win is just the seductive mantra used by the toughest negotiators to get the other side to compromise unnecessarily, early, and often. Have you ever heard someone on the other side ...

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Start with No: The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don't Want You to Know

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Think win-win is the best way to make the deal? Think again. It’s the worst possible way to get the best deal. This is the dirty little secret of corporate America.

For years now, win-win has been the paradigm for business negotiation—the “fair” way for all concerned. But don’t believe it. Today, win-win is just the seductive mantra used by the toughest negotiators to get the other side to compromise unnecessarily, early, and often. Have you ever heard someone on the other side of the table say, “Let’s team up on this, partner”? It all sounds so good, but these negotiators take their naive “partners” to the cleaners, deal after deal. Start with No shows you how they accomplish this. It shows you how such negotiations end up as win-lose. It exposes the scam for what it really is. And it guarantees that you’ll never be a victim again.

Win-win plays to your emotions. It takes advantage of your instinct and desire to make the deal. Start with No teaches you how to understand and control these emotions. It teaches you how to ignore the siren call of the final result, which you can’t really control, and how to focus instead on the activities and behavior that you can and must control in order to negotiate with the pros.

Start with No introduces a system of decision-based negotiation. Never again will you be out there on a wing and a prayer. Never again will you feel out of control. Never again will you compromise unnecessarily. Never again will you lose a negotiation.
The best negotiators:
* aren’t interested in “yes”—they prefer “no”
* never, ever rush to close, but always let the other side feel comfortable and secure
* are never needy; they take advantage of the other party’s neediness
* create a “blank slate” to ensure they ask questions and listen to the answers, to make sure they have no assumptions and expectations
* always have a mission and purpose that guides their decisions
* don’t send so much as an e-mail without an agenda for what they want to accomplish
* know the four “budgets” for themselves and for the other side: time, energy, money, and emotion
* never waste time with people who don’t really make the decision

Start with No offers a contrarian, counterintuitive system for negotiating any kind of deal in any kind of situation—the purchase of a new house, a multimillion-dollar business deal, or where to take the kids for dinner. It is full of dozens of business as well as personal stories illustrating each point of the system. It will change your life as a negotiator. If you put to good use the principles and practices revealed here, you will become an immeasurably better negotiator.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Jim Camp offers easy-to-apply strategies to help make you a more effective negotiator. You’ll learn techniques that you can use immediately to improve your negotiating skills by reading this book.” —Joe Mansueto, Chairman, Morningstar Mutual Funds

“This book is an amazing read and right on target.” —John Kispert, Chief Financial Officer, KLA-Tencor corporation

“Jim Camp’s negotiating system is a powerful set of disciplines and tools that helped our salespeople function in our customers’ world—which ultimately led to a better negotiating process with our customers. Start with No describes his approach in detail and is recommended reading for our entire staff.” —Scott Sturm, vice president of Sales, Entegris Corporation

“Jim Camp’s book is a sophisticated course in applied psychology that shows how you can change your behavior so you can sell your ideas, especially in sales situations and other negotiations. The most effective executives will find the results astonishing.” —Bob Boehlke, Member, Board of Directors, DuPont Corporation

Publishers Weekly
Negotiation coach Camp has been under the radar since 1989, helping clients reach deals at Motorola, Merrill Lynch and IBM. He now brings his advice to the general public. Asserting that the term "win-win" has become a clich , he suggests readers enter into every negotiation knowing that if the offer doesn't meet their expectations, they should walk away. He also advocates leaving emotions out of negotiations. "Whether we like it or not, it really is a jungle out there in the world of business, and it's crawling with predators." Camp's solid advice will help people control negotiations and prepare themselves for anything. (July 16) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
A Contrarian's Guide To Better Negotiations
With twenty years of experience as a negotiation coach, Jim Camp challenges many of the assumptions that have been taken for granted during personal and business negotiations. The first assumption he tackles is the myth of the win-win model of negotiation. He writes that win-win is hopelessly misguided as a basis for good negotiating, and explains that win-win negotiating is the worst possible way to get the best possible deal. He blames this win-win strategy for grinding many businesses into the ground.

To understand Camp's system of negotiating, one must understand the dangers that are inherent in win-win negotiations. He writes that compromise is a poison that lurks "at the heart of the big lie that is win-win." Although he advocates bargaining and negotiating in good faith, Camp also wants negotiators to be aware of the negotiating sharks who have studied the weaknesses of win-win and have devised their own "cost optimization" and "supply systems management" programs to benefit from negotiators who believe in the win-win mantra. He warns that the negotiators for many of the dominant multinationals are tigers who are ready to pounce on smaller devotees of win-win. He writes, "Win-win and compromise are a defeatist mind-set from the first handshake." Using clear stories from the real world of business, Camp demonstrates how many smaller companies have been cheated out of their true value by negotiators who used their win-win strategy against them.

Emotion-Based Negotiating Vs. Decision-Based Negotiating
Camp reminds negotiators that the people on the other side of the bargaining table are not their friends. He writes that those who will be negotiated with should be thought of as adversaries or respected opponents, rather than the friends they might pretend to be. Start With No refutes all emotion-based negotiating and presents decision-based negotiating as an alternative. By helping negotiators focus on what they can control (the means) rather than what they cannot control (the end result), Camp offers a system that teaches them how to control what can be controlled in a negotiation, such as their own actions and decisions. He also explains that politely walking away from a negotiation can be considered a success in some situations.

Camp writes that the guiding principle behind the "Start With No" system is based on the understanding that "no" is a real decision. Plus, it helps you maintain control while giving everyone something to talk about. Another principle he details is the idea of "No Closing." He explains that, rather than "closing" in the usual sense of the word, deals "come together" through vision and decision, over weeks, months and maybe years. Camp's system is based on the idea that negotiators should be more concerned with making sound decisions than winning.

Missions and Purposes
Each chapter of Start With No takes one of the 14 principles that make up Camp's system for better negotiations and expands on ways that it can be put into use during bargaining. The first principles help negotiators become prepared for the negotiation, and later principles take them into the nuts and bolts of the structure of the negotiating process, including agendas, budgets, presentations, missions and purposes. Some of these principles include:

  • Your Greatest Weakness In Negotiation: The Dangers of Neediness. Humans and other predators often take advantage of the vulnerable and the needy.
  • The Columbo Effect: The Secret of Being "Not Okay." By allowing an adversary to feel in control, you are actually in control.
  • Success Comes From This Foundation: Develop Your Mission and Purpose. If you have a valid mission and purpose, and the results of a negotiation fulfill this mission and purpose, the negotiation is worthwhile.
  • Quiet Your Mind, Create a Blank Slate: No Exceptions, No Assumptions, No Talking. As a serious negotiator, you must learn to recognize expectations and assumptions and set them aside because they only work against you.

Why Soundview Likes This Book
Start With No takes a contrarian's perspective and reveals the logic behind an alternative to accepted norms of negotiation. Camp's straightforward language and numerous real-world examples of negotiation efforts that could have benefited from his bargaining system provide the details and the backbone to support his unique negotiations method. By breaking down his theories into simple, concise principles that are spelled out in clear language and detailed with colorful stories that illustrate his experience and wisdom, he provides strong support for those who want to "dance with the tiger" and get more from the negotiation process. Copyright (c) 2003 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609608005
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/9/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 266,579
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Camp has coached people through thousands of negotiations at more than 150 companies, including Motorola, Texas Instruments, Merrill Lynch, IBM, and Prudential Insurance, as well as many other smaller companies in a wide range of industries. He has lectured at graduate business schools in the United States and has been a featured speaker at Inc. magazine’s “Growing the Company” conferences. Jim runs Coach2100, Inc.
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Read an Excerpt

1 Your Greatest Weakness in Negotiation The Dangers of Neediness

Why are the tiger's eyes set in the front of the head, facing forward? Because the animal is a predator always on the lookout for prey. Why are our own eyes also set in the front of the head, facing forward? Because we are predators as well. Watching children in a playground is delightful, but it is also cautionary, as every parent knows, because we see the king-of-the-hill, one-upmanship, bullying, competitive instincts emerge at a very early age. These instincts last a lifetime, as anyone who has spent much time in a nursing home knows. They accompany some of us right to the grave.

This is a harsh truth with which to begin the first chapter of this book, but it's a vitally necessary point. Like all predators, we humans often take advantage of the fear-racked, the distressed, the vulnerable, the needy. We're capable of wonderful altruism as well, but we don't find too much altruism in the business and negotiation world, despite all the sweet talk of some cagey win-win negotiators. In a negotiation, "dog-eat-dog" may not do justice to the hidden ferocity. In your life as a negotiator, even in your life as a private citizen of the world, you are dealing with some serious predators who are looking for the slightest sign of distress and neediness.

It is absolutely imperative that you as a negotiator understand the importance of this point. You do NOT need this deal, because to be needy is to lose control and make bad decisions.

How vulnerable are you to predators when you lose control? Very vulnerable. I'll illustrate the point with the movie To Walk with Lions, starring Richard Harris and set in East Africa, naturally enough, where the character played by Harris has many "friends" among the animals, including a certain lion. One day Harris slips and falls on a hillside--and the lion is on him in a flash! Harris manages to fire his gun and scare the lion away, but he doesn't shoot him, because he has always known and never forgotten that the lion is a predator, first and foremost, and will behave like a predator when given the opportunity and sensing weakness. Every animal trainer knows the same thing: with a predator, it's all about power.

Many negotiators are the same way. Many win-win negotiators are the same way. When I cover this subject in workshops and seminars, some people seem to think that I'm exaggerating about this neediness business. I am not. In fact, if I polled my clients over the past years to name the one idea of my system that had the greatest and most immediately beneficial impact on their negotiating work, I'm pretty sure that a plurality, maybe even a significant majority, would identify this simple warning about neediness. With experience they have learned that neediness can have--will have--a dramatic, always negative effect on their behavior. You must overcome any neediness at the negotiating table. Neediness Comes in Many Varieties

Perhaps the category of negotiation in which this neediness dynamic is most powerful and dangerous is the straight retail sales negotiation, in which the golden rule of business is the implicit understanding of both sides: "The one with the gold rules."

In Western culture, we see ourselves as buyers, don't we? We proudly buy and consume as much as we can. The salesperson, on the other hand, has a problem with his or her self-image. The very term "sales" is being replaced in many fields by "business development," because the image of the salesperson is that of the huckster on the street, almost. More important, the salesperson is definitely the dependent party in the negotiation. He or she must be prepared to give, to compromise, while the buyer takes everything he or she can get. After all, the buyer can go elsewhere, in most cases, but the poor seller needs this deal. The self-image of the individual in the selling role traps him or her in a neediness mode and often leads to bad deals.

Tough negotiators are experts at recognizing this neediness in their adversaries, and expert in creating it as well. Negotiators with giant corporations, in particular, will heighten the expectations of their supplier adversaries, painting rosy, exaggerated scenarios for mega-orders, joint ventures, global alliances, all for the purpose of building neediness on the part of their adversary for this once-in-a-lifetime, career-making deal. Then, when the neediness is well established, they lower the boom with changes, exceptions, and a lot more--demands for concessions, all of them. Throughout this book we'll see in ugly detail how this works.

Sometimes, however, the buyer, not the seller, finds himself in the potentially needy position. A classic example from history is the Lewis and Clark expedition. When these intrepid explorers really needed fresh horses, the Native Americans somehow knew this. If the local residents were negotiating to sell less valuable and necessary goods, they came to quick agreements, but when they were selling vitally needed horses to the explorers, they pitched their teepees and settled in for the long haul. They were instinctively tough negotiators. (The journals of Lewis and Clark are excellent reading for any negotiator, because these two great Americans encountered dozens of unusual negotiating situations.)

Sometimes Lewis and Clark were needy, plain and simple. Sometimes they really were desperate for horses and other supplies. Today, in the twenty-first century, we're not needy. We're just not, but we nevertheless still hear people say, "I need this jacket." Or "I need this car." Or "I need to make this call." Or "I need this job." Or "I need to talk to you." Or "I need this deal." We use the word "need" much too casually. The only things we truly need are the basics of physical survival--air, water, food, clothing, shelter--and everyone reading this book already has these. We also need the basics of intellectual and emotional well-being--love, family, friendship, satisfying work, hobbies, faith--each reader has his or her own list here. But it's a short list, and it does not--or should not--include the $500 jacket or the $100,000 car, because there are other jackets and cars. It should not include this particular job or sale or deal, because there are other jobs and sales and deals.

Nevertheless, neediness is everywhere. Let me tell you the most instructive experience on this subject I've had in my own life. The time is 0-dark-30 hours (military lingo for early a.m.) on a cold, damp, foggy January morning in West Texas. This is the first morning on the flight line for my group of fighter pilot trainees. The room is full of young men, all second lieutenants, dressed in new green flight suits and black high-top boots, waiting for the flight commander. In walks Major Dave Miller, slightly gray at the temples, the perfect specimen of a fighter pilot, a veteran of the Red River Valley in Vietnam, site of some of the most intense aerial combat in history. "Atten-hut!" We jump to our feet and stand ramrod straight.

In a deep, confident voice he commands "Seats!" You never saw men sit down as quickly as this group did. Immediately he says, "Lieutenant Camp." I'm startled but gather my wits as best as I can, leap back up to attention, and answer, "Sir, yes Sir!" Dave Miller says, "You have just taken off, you are three hundred feet above the ground and climbing. Instantly, everything goes quiet and you feel like someone is putting on the brakes. Your airspeed is at two hundred fifty knots and slowing. You suddenly realize both engines have quit. What are you going to do?"

My mind goes blank and my heart goes into orbit. It seems like forever, but then I hear myself say, "Well sir, which runway am I on?" And believe it or not, I proceeded to debate this man, a seasoned veteran, my teacher, about how I should have handled that hypothetical situation. The correct answer to Miller's question was eject. Eject? He must be out of his mind. I'd never ejected in my life--never even considered it during my prior training. And on that morning I never considered that Miller was trying to save my life, while I was trying to show off by arguing that I could make it to a certain runway.

There's another word for all that early chutzpah and ego on my part: neediness, plain and simple. In that "negotiation" with my instructor, I needed to be a top gun, to know it all, to be right. Sometimes neediness is blatant and easy to spot, as in that flying story, but more often it is subtle and insidious. The trained negotiator sees neediness of all sorts all the time, in big ways and in little ways. It is so easy to slip into such a state, often without even being aware of it.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Win-Win Will Kill Your Deal 1
1 Your Greatest Weakness in Negotiation: The Dangers of Neediness 21
2 The Columbo Effect: The Secret of Being "Not Okay" 35
3 Start with No: How Decisions Move Negotiations Forward 43
4 Success Comes from This Foundation: Develop Your Mission and Purpose 69
5 Stop Trying to Control the Outcome: Focus on Your Behavior and Actions Instead 89
6 What Do You Say?: Fuels of the Camp System: Questions 101
7 How Do You Say It?: More Fuels of the Camp System 115
8 Quiet Your Mind, Create a Blank Slate: No Expectations, No Assumptions, No Talking 136
9 Know their "Pain," Paint Their "Pain": Work with Your Adversary's Real Problem 159
10 The Real Budget and How to Build It: The Importance of Time, Energy, Money, and Emotion 180
11 The Shell Game: Be Sure You Know the Real Decision Makers 203
12 Have an Agenda and Work It: Ride the Chaos Inherent in Negotiation 215
13 Present Your Case - If You Insist: Beware the Seductions of PowerPoint 234
14 Life's Greatest Lesson: The Only Assurance of Long-Term Success 245
Conclusion: Dance with the Tiger!: Thirty-three Rules to Remember 251
Acknowledgments 261
Index 265
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 16, 2010

    WOW it is a must

    I am starting the book is about negotiation and why the "win win"approach doesnt work. It has a lot of examples and interesting social studies too, the author propose new methods and ways to interact in business I cant stop reading it, it is a must for any business or organization it will chage your view on income and outcome, it is very logical and very interesting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2002

    no mystery negotiating

    jim has it all down cold ; some may disagree philosophically , they are not true negotiators but maybe fit the category of compromisers ; jim has new ideas and energizes and crystalizes tried and true techniques ; jim makes it a system or a play book to draw from ; blank slating : easy technique to remember and use even in pressure situations ; i think robert ringer came close when he said "the maintenance of a positve attitude by expecting a negative response or outcome " nice idea but is it handy like blank slating ? is there a ready picture in your mind to seize and use ? i approached a real estate deal final negotiation with a blank slate ; i asked the seller for an additional discount to make the deal a win for me ; i was blank meaning i was ready to accept either reply ; "no i can't do it" in which case i walk and use my money for something else or "yes i can" and we finalize the deal ; win lose is another of jim's headlines ; in my real estate deal the seller later grumbled he was angry with him self for giving the final discount ; he had ample opportunity to bail ; another of jim's headlines ; to wit : give the adversary 3 + chances to bail ; my real estate seller had that and more ; sandler selling systems has a similar approach in "stripping line " let the fish swallow the hook all the way before reeling ; jim makes it more of a crystallized rule ; more immediate better defined ; 3 times shake the adversary to give him the chance to bail ; other headlines are obvious ~ ~ ~ the instant jim points them out <S> such as speaking in the adversary's world at all times ; painting vivid pictures of the adversary's pain and how buying your product or selling you his problem will make heavenly music sound for her/him ; jim's chapters on neediness = mandatory reading ; jim's defining the adversary relationship between you and the other person in the deal : essential to understanding the whole tone of the system ; reversing old hard sell ideas is jim's forte ; holding back or not spilling all your beans at once : price terms etc can keep you from being shopped like a sack of corn ; wait until you have gone thru other processes and you have identified the buyer and her pain ; any more and this is going to be cliff notes* ; get jim's text book ; quick read ; keep it handy before next appointment ; use this game plan [did vince lombardi preach win/win outcomes ? ] use this game plan to get yourself set [correctly positioned ] and confident for the upcoming deal ! doug young

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2006

    Tricks of the Trade

    PROS: The book focuses almost exclusively on tactics--what to do when negotiating. I haven't seen other books that offer a toolchest for negotiation. Almost all of the advice is concrete and can be used immediately. The book's fundamental message is useful for keeping a cool head and staying focused. The message is that you don't NEED what you're negotiating for, you only WANT it, and there's nothing wrong with 'No' from the other side or from you. Conjointly, you have to stay focused on the process, not the outcome. Because of its unique behavioral approach, the book is a valuable addition to the negotiator's library. CONS: There are times when you do need what you're negotiating for, and the author's definition of 'need' as opposed to 'want' is artificially narrow. Consequently, 'no' is sometimes not an acceptable answer. Sometimes agreement has to be reached when the alternatives are grim or simply impractical or unaffordable. The book stresses the tactic of 'Painting the other side's pain,' i.e., what the other side loses by not agreeing. But there are times when the other side loses next to nothing by not agreeing, particularly when there's a great disparity in bargaining power. The author tends to ramble. The book could be cut by at least a quarter.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2003

    No Is NOT A Four Letter Word!

    I couldn't believe my eyes-- someone wrote a whole book about the word NO! As I was developing a suggested reading list for my own book titled, Rat Race Relaxer:Your Potential & The Maze of Life, I found this gem by Jim Camp! I encourage readers and workshop attendees to "Learn to say no -- put YOU first sometimes" and Jim Camp proves that NO is a powerful message!

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