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Trump Style Negotiation - George Ross

Love Trump or hate him, there is no doubt that he is good at getting other people to do his work for him. George Ross provides an interesting insight into the negotiation techniques that he has refined over a career of deal making.

Some of the key messages:

  • Rule number one, people are lazy. This means you need to make things easy for them & remember that they will only ever do things when they have to... that's at the very last minute. In being lazy people expect things to be as they seem. This can be hazardous as standard documents may not be as standard as they seem and there could be important details hidden in the fine print!

  • Make the other party work for their win. If you make it easy for the other side it doesn't feel like a victory for them. If you haggle, and push backwards and forwards before conceding it will be much more satisfying for the other party and they will walk away from the deal happy. A good way to achieve this is to concede minor points but make them out to be major and trade them for major point you want to win. A good deal is when both parties leave feeing satisfied.

  • Deals are done between people, great deals are done between friends. It will be a lot easier to work with someone if you both like each other. Its worth doing background research with someone to find common ground and help you connect as human beings.

  • Never underestimate the value of long term relationships with people. It's possible that you will do deals again and again in years to come.

  • Create a reputation. People are more comfortable doing a deal with someone that they trust. Use your personal brand to become a reliable, known quantity.

  • All is fair before signing a deal. That means that until the ink is dry anything can be changed & renegotiated.

  • Leverage common concepts that are considered fair. E.G. "Let's be fair and split the difference". This is a simple proposition that is hard to disagree with. Splitting anything 50/50 sounds fair. Even when it's 100% not. For instance a builder once quoted me for a job then wanted to change part of the price and suggested, why don't we split the change 50/50? There was no reason for me to pay more than what he had originally said the work would cost!

  • Investigate. The other side may give you false information. Such as trying to pressure you into a deal using a deadline. It could be valuable to research into a deal to know exactly what is going on.

These were some of the favourite highlights from the book, but there is a lot more in there, such as different negotiating techniques like Salami Tactics.

I would highly recommend doing negotiation tactics training. I went on a course provided by Bonaccord through Informatics Ventures CEO masterclasses & the I use the tactics that I learned in that class nearly every day. In everything from negotiating the salaries of new team members through to contacts with new clients. My favourite negotiation tactic that Patricia from Bonaccord taught me was Anchoring.

Last but not least here is a little fun on the subject - The Art Of Negotiation - "Monty Python - Life of Brian: Haggle Scene"


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