This week’s selection is “Getting To Yes” by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton.
Often when we buy things we simply click on the “BUY” button, and things proceed from there. But sometimes, particularly on larger purchases, there is an opportunity to negotiate. This could mean a lower price, or better terms.
That sounds good. But are you up for it? Do you actually know how to negotiate?
It’s not as simple as lowballing a number and splitting the difference. It turns out there is a science to negotiation and it’s not something that comes naturally to everyone.
This book is focused on those skills.
It’s one of the classics of negotiation, having been first published way back in 1981 by Fisher and Ury. It’s been so popular that it’s been republished multiple times, with more recent editions being handled by Patton. The book even has a Wikipedia page.
The idea of the book is to create non-adversarial negotiations, where every party benefits. Most people new to negotiations assume an adversarial position, where the goal is to “win” instead of “losing”, but that tends to be an unsuccessful strategy over time.
If both parties gain by the deal, then not only are both sides happy, but future deals become much more feasible.
The Getting To Yes concept revolves around five basic principles:
- Separate People From The Problem
- Focus on Interests, Not Positions
- Invent Options For Mutual Gain
- Insist On Using Objective Criteria
- Know Your Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement
With the skills found in this book, you will be able to much more effectively negotiate agreements at any scale, from agreements with your children to mega-million deals with suppliers. The negotiating process works at all levels.
For companies seeking to buy larger 3D printers where prices tend to be negotiable, these skills could be of considerable value. Remember that the seller will be highly skilled in negotiation, while you might not be — it’s best to level to playing field if possible.
The book is relatively short, but to the point, and the skills you will learn in the book will be with you your entire life. That’s important because we negotiate every day, sometimes in small ways, but occasionally in large ways.
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