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Negotiation & Me


An essay written about fine points and usefulness

 of erudite negotiation.





The Book is called How To Outnegotiate Anyone (Even a Car Dealer!) by Leo Reilly and after reading it I do have to admit that I feel that it did live up to its title. How To Outnegotiate Anyone (Even a Car Dealer!) takes a step by step approach to negotiating that almost makes it seem easy.  The way that Leo Reilly does this, it appears, is by breaking the book up into easy to read, step by step chapters that range form what to do and not to do before negotiations start, to what to do if you feel bad after negotiations have concluded.

In the first part of the book Reilly writes about the different types of negotiation and when to use them.  According to Reilly there are two major types of negotiation witch are win-win and win-loose.  He writes that one should use win-win negotiation when it becomes necessary to work a problem out with a friend or loved one.  In addition, win-win negotiation also comes in handy when it is important to keep a sustained and healthy business relationship with the other party. On the other hand though, win-loose negotiation can also be very important and is also what the majority of the book seems to focus on.  Win-loose negotiation is what one needs to use when it come to buying a car or a house because in the long run either the buy or the seller is going to get the better deal.  In essence one wins and the other looses.

After one has figured out what type of negotiation he or she is going to use, Reilly insists that they need to be patient.  Patience, with him, is the key to a successful negotiation.  “If you absolutely, positively have to have something today” Reilly writes, “buy it tomorrow.”  Furthermore, Reilly insists that patience can and will stop one from giving away to much information to the other party.  If, for instance, one lets the other party know that they need something by a certain time, or in other words they have a deadline, than the other party can use that information against him or her by stalling the talks.  If, on the other hand, one waits in order to gain information from the other party, than he or she can potentially use that information to benefit them selves.   

Lastly, Reilly writes that one needs to know where they and the other party stand regarding the value of what is being negotiated and the necessity of a successful negotiation.   One should know the other parties perceived value what ever is being negotiated before they share their own value.  If, for instance, one wants to buy an old lawn mower from a neighbor, then they should find out what the neighbor is selling it for before they make an offer.  This could help to avoid a situation in witch the offering price is higher that what the asking price would have been.  Reilly writes that everybody has a different perceived value of what they are trying to buy or sell so it is important to find out what the other party’s value is before one sticks their foot in their mouth.  Also Reilly insists that it is important to know who is in charge during the negotiations.  In most cases it’s the buyer.  Reilly found that a whole lot of car buyers, for example, would think that the dealer was in charge during the negotiation process, but what the buyers failed to recognize was that the dealer needs to sell cars in order to make a living.  In most cases the dealer should be willing to make a few dollars over making no dollars at all.  In other word, the dealer should be willing to make a lot of concessions in order to avoid the buyer buying the car somewhere else.

So basically then, Reilly actually takes a subject like negotiation and condenses it in to a short book so that it, in all reality, seems doable.




So now I am going to tell what I thought of the book How To Outnegotiate Anyone (Even a Car Dealer!) by Leo Reilly.  I’m sure that by part one of this essay most reader would come to the conclusion that I liked the book, well I did.  Leo Reilly brings to attention the importance of having good negotiation skills in more than just a business environment.  And, in retrospect, after reading his book I can’t help but agree.  There has been many times in my life in witch, had I been a better negotiator, perhaps things would have turned out much better for me.   In my personal life, at work, and as a consumer, I just know that the points and advice brought up in How To Outnegotiate Anyone (Even a Car Dealer!) will be very useful to me in times to come.

The wonderful tool of erudite negotiation will undoubtedly be of great use to me when it comes to my personal life.  Since Reilly goes into great detail of what to do and what not to do when one is trying to convince someone of something it should come in handy when I am arguing with my girl friend.  As things were, my girlfriend was the more powerful negotiator.  The affects of a deadlock in negotiations would, it seemed, be much more detrimental to me then it would have been to her.  For instance, she can go much longer without our “special hug” than can I.  What Reilly points out, though, is that I needed to find a negotiating tool that would help level the playing field.  After reading the book and considering my assets, it dawned on me that my girlfriend can not stand to sleep alone.  So even though sleeping on couch may appear to be a punishment for me, in all actuality, it may be indeed more difficult for her.  So using this and hopefully a few other leveling tools I can make the consequences of a deadlock just as difficult on her as they are on me.  This being the case, I can hopefully one day walk away from an argument with the woman I love thinking to my self “wow I got all the concessions that I needed, I sure won that fight!”

Along with being useful at home, knowing how to negotiate should be very useful at my work.  There have been many times when I’ve needed to settle a dispute between a customer and one of us regarding a price or one of our policies.  To make thing difficult, my boss absolutely hates to make concessions.  She takes the position that the customer is always wrong. One of the most important things to remember in this situation, Reilly states, is to “be optimistic, or at least act like you are.”  In other words, if I act as though a deal can be made and as though I believe a deal truly will be made, most likely a deal will be made.

In addition to being useful with the customers at my work, hopefully my new found negotiation skills can be of some use with my boss.  As I stated before, my boss absolutely hates to make concessions.  Unfortunately this attitude does not stick solely to the customers that wonder into the store, she is very hard to deal with as an employer.  For the most part, it would appear that she thinks she is always right, or at least that’s what she want everyone else to believe.  What the book has taught me though, is to view my boss’s attitude as her negotiation tactic and then find a way around it.   The way I have found to do this is to simply prove her wrong.  Reilly points out, though, that when one is negotiating with his or her employer it is important to recognize that, for the most part, the employer has a higher status.  I would normally agree, but in my situation as things are, maybe I have the higher status.  What I know and she doesn’t know is that three out of her four employees are planning to quit within the next couple of months.  So if, for example, I ask my boss for a raise and she says “no” I can subtly suggest to her that I am a good employee and am an asset to her business.  I could also very subtly suggest to my boss that I could be an asset to another company as well.  If and when she disagrees with me the news that her other three employees are leaving would most definitely prove her wrong, essentially crushing her whole negotiation tactic.  To some it up, I would win and she would loose.

Aside from being useful at home and work, skillful negotiation should be useful as a consumer as well.  It seems that when I would step into a store to buy, for example, a new computer I would end up buying what the salesman wanted to sell me and not what I necessarily wanted to buy.  It is all too easy to be intimidated by a sales person, especially if they seem to know what they are talking about.  Reilly suggests, though, that every time a sales-person tries to up sell, the consumer should force the sales-person to logically explain why the more expensive product would be beneficial to his or her needs.  If the sales person comes up with good logical reasons then perhaps the consumer should take his or her advice.  If on the other hand the sales-person does not have a logical reason then the consumer should not listen.  I found in practice that the latter of the two seems to be the case more often than not.   For the most part, sales men don’t have a logical reason why an up-sell is good for the particular consumer.  Additionally, Reilly says that the consumer is always the dominate negotiator.  What an epiphany!  When thinking about it, it truly makes sense.  If a sales person can’t sell, they don’t get paid.  On the other hand if I don’t, for instance, buy the computer well then I can always buy it somewhere else.  In other words, the consequences of a deadlock are much more detrimental to the sales-person than they are to me.

So now that I have my well rounded knowledge of negotiation I can run out at the world at full stride.  There will be no looking back, only looking forward.  The influence of manipulation will empower me to take complete control of my social environment and essentially make me a better, more powerful person. Or if this isn’t the case, I can at least perhaps win a fight with my girlfriend, get a raise at my work, and buy the computer that I actually wanted.  Either way my life ends up being a little better.


© All words and music written and owned by Shawn Nelsen.