This is a hard to find book that I picked up for free. After cracking open the book, words like, “negotiation” “power” and “technique” sprang out, and I had to learn more.
“Deal Breakers and Breakthroughs” by John Ilich, an attorney who has negotiated million-dollar transactions, reads like a lite version of Art of the Deal, but goes more into negotiation and persuasive tactics for leverage.
A key theme of the book is to be flexible:
I will tell you the mistake you are always making… You draw up your plans the day before battle when you do not yet know your adversary’s movements, or what positions you will have to occupy.”
The quote is from Napoleon himself, and is quoted throughout the book.
Mindset + Negotiation
Mindset and negotiation are linked and it would be foolish to go into a negotiation with the wrong mindset.
Negotiation is a freewheeling activity in which anything can and often does happen. It is vital that you enter with a mindset that will enable you to react instantly to the unexpected in such a way as to continuously move toward your negotiation objectives. You do that by placing yourself mentally in a position to determine quickly and to implement quickly the best means of persuasion for each specific negotiation situation that arises.
The book explains how food can be used to throw skilled negotiators off their game.
IF you are off your game, you can’t stay on what the book calls your, “primary” and “secondary” bases.
These bases are critical when negotiating. I think of them as your primary and secondary objectives.
Body language is more important than taking notes
Two of your greatest assets are your eyes. Don’t waste them on your own notes, don’t become a slave to pen and paper. Lawyers are particularly prone to whipping out a legal pad and writing down virtually everything said during the negotiation — and missing much vital information in the process. It is better to pay attention to your opponents body language (and to be aware of your own). The way a person moves, sits, smiles, frowns, holds his or her hands, and even coughs tells a lot.
The author also gives an example of leaving the negotiation without smiling. Face control is important before, during, and after a negotiation, because it allows you to command top price.
Powerful people use face control. Such as JP Morgan
Showing indifference is key to commanding top price. Indifference means controlling your body language, mindset, and actions. As the author said before, it’s better to pay attention to body language than to take notes.
Here’s how one such deal went down between JP Morgan and Rockefeller:
When Morgan and the younger Rockefeller finally met, John. Jr., was faced with Morgan’s demand to name a price for the ore fields. John. Jr., replied: “I have no information that he (John D. ) wishes to dispose of his ore properties; in point of fact, I am confident that he has no such desire.””
Morgans demand that John. Jr., name a price was a shrewd move. He wanted the youthful, relatively inexperienced negotiator (John, Jr., was only 27 at the time) to set, in effect, the upper price limit, the maximum Rockefeller could receive for the ore fields.
Morgan could then counter with a lower figure and hope to arrive at a price somewhere between the two, but certainly lower than, opening price quoted by John, Jr.
The young man did not take the bait, however. By refusing to make the initial offer, he hit the ball right back into Morgan’s court. The financier knew he had been stymied, and he remained silent rather than lead with an offer. Thus the initial meeting ended, but both parties knew that Morgan still needed the ore fields and would have to make the next move.
When John , Jr., reported to his father, the elder Rockefeller meditated for an instant and advised his son, “… If I had been in your place, I should have done precisely what you did.””
Meanwhile, Morgan had decided on his next approach: he would call in Henry Clay Frick to assist in the negotiations. Rockefeller respected Frick and agreed to meet with him. At the meeting, he told Frick he wasn’t seeking to sell his ore fields but wouldn’t stand in Morgans’s way if Morgan needed them. This, of course, was an excellent strategy. By establishing Morgans’s need and his own indifference, Rockefeller had set the stage for demanding a premium price for the ore fields.
The young Rockefeller did a few things right. He didn’t take the initial offer (explained in more detail in the book.) Showed indifference to selling the ore fields, and controlled his mindset.
Other Topics Disscussed in the Book
- Let your power show
- Veriety is the spice of repetition
- Equalization (Counter-offers and selling strategy)
- The “Power Think Time” technique
- Closing techniques
Overall this book is short, sweet, to the point, contains many rich examples of persuasion, and negotiation examples.