AUGUST 19, 2009_ 

Since the series THE APPRENTICE we all know  him as  “George”, Donald Trump
’s right hand man. Ever since Trump wrote  “The Art of the Deal,” he has 
been the world’s most famous negotiator – even  though he didn’t reveal his 
deal-making secrets. 
In Trump-Style Negotiation, George Ross  explains the tactics that took 
Trump to the top and how anyone can use those  same tactics and strategies to 
get ahead in business. This is not a book of  stories about negotiations. It 
is an actual, practical hands-on book to use  every day – at work and/or in 
your personal live. Based on years of experience  and true business wisdom, 
this is the ultimate book for anyone who wants to  negotiate like a proven 
About one and a half year ago, I stumbled on  this book in which George H. 
Ross takes the reader along several aspects of  negotiation. This post 
documents some of the highlights I shared with my  colleagues after reading 
book. I am now sharing these with you. 
George lays out some of his strategies  behind several critical 
negotiations for Trump and other real estate  moguls: 
    *   Build trust, friendship and satisfaction  with the other side. 
    *   Discover what the other side wants,  determine their weaknesses and 
uncover valuable information. 
    *   Convince the other side that they are  getting more than they 
    *   Use pace, timing, deadlines, deadlocks,  and delays to your 
    *   Employ psychological negotiation  tactics. 
    *   Become an expert on the topic you  are negotiating or ensure you 
have expert knowledge available and at hand.  (hmm, that reminds me of _Seth  
  more recently). 
    *   Be flexible and consider multiple  solutions to every impasse. 
    *   Use planning and information management  tools to help you get the 
best results.
Six  Important Negotiation and Deal-making Techniques
George  H. Ross Summarizes his book by providing the following six most 
important  deal-making and negotiating techniques: 
    1.  Keep  exceptional records.
This  keeps coming back throughout the book and he clarifies his method of 
keeping  what he calls a “dealbook” this will be outlined later in this 
file note. The  side best prepared is the side that will usually get the best 
results. Taking  extensive notes is part of that process and serves as a 
safety net as well.  Where you are able to refer back to specific discussions 
a specific date  and time you will have a very compelling argument. 
    2.  Develop  your own forms and create an aura of legitimacy.
The  side that prepares the documents decides what goes in and what stays 
out. The  aura often seems to flow just from the mere existence the document 
itself. It  implicitly says things as “business as usual”, “we always do it 
this way and  if it is good enough for others why not for you?” In addition 
to this the  other side will have the onus of finding out what is not in 
there and because  your provided the documents it makes it harder for the 
other party to change  the deal. Documents –> Control. 
    3.  If  you can use company policy as a negotiation tool. 
The  simple presentation of the argument “that’s our company policy” will 
very  often put an end to any arguments. This argument is rarely probed to 
find out  whether or such a policy actually exists and if any what 
flexibility there is  in this policy. 
    4.  Be  willing to take calculated risks.
The  emphasis in this is on ‘calculated’. Calculated risks may be taken at 
times  since you play to win. When you take such risks however you should 
be willing  to live with the potential consequences. The one that is prepared 
to take such  calculated risks is usually the advantaged party. 
    5.  Use  time as the ultimate negotiation weapon.
Make  sure that you control the delays, deadlines and deadlocks and where 
you are  aware of the deadlines of others, you can use them to your 
advantage. Avoid at  all times that the other side uses time against you. 
    6.  Make  and use general commitments to gain concessions. 
Commitments  of a general nature such as “I will see this through till we 
reach some  agreement’ create a moral commitment not to walk away. You should 
expect  reciprocity.
Discipline  Rules: Prepare, Plan and Document
There  is a human tendency to enter negotiations without a detailed plan or 
strategy  for getting what you want. The more prepared you enter into 
negotiations the  better your chances of getting a good result. The more info 
have about the  people on the other side the greater your advantage 
throughout the negotiations.  A game plan is vital and makes you prepared for 
just knowing where you want  to go but also to prepare you for potential 
contingencies along the road. The  process shows some _similarities to what was 
outlined in a previous post on interviewing scammers_ 
a-scamster/) . 
Questions that need answers in advance are  amongst others: 
    *   What do you plan to say? 
    *   How do you plan to react to what the other  side may say? 
    *   What if the talks come to a  standstill? 
    *   What concessions are you willing to  make? 
    *   What do you expect from the other  side? 
    *   Who will you be negotiating with and what  motivates them?
Two key power tools are preparation and  organization. 
How to Prepare 
Know  Who You Are Dealing With (WHOIS+): Due Diligence
The  first important step is knowing who your adversaries are: 
    *   What are their backgrounds? 
    *   Do they have a track record and what is  that telling you? 
    *   Has anyone you know dealt with them  before? 
    *   Reputation?
Use available sources internet, business  directories, associations and 
third parties and other available sources to  obtain information and use this 
to your advantage. Also during the negotiations  make note of new 
information. At all times keep  asking probing questions to  find out as much 
as you 
can about the other party. Make sure you have a good set  of documentation in 
relation to the deal you are trying to make and have it with  you on 
meetings and readily available in other communications such as phone  calls and 
Printed  Documents create an aura of legitimacy. 
When  you go into a meeting take everything you may need in terms of 
documents along,  so you can refer back to them. 
Your  most powerful tool; a Deal Book
George  Ross basically distinguishes between a “general ledger” or “journal
” and you use  it to record all things that happen during your day. It is 
important that it is  associated with a filing system because that way you 
can ensure that vital  information is preserved and retrieved easily and 
George Ross makes a compelling case for  keeping deal book: a checklist and 
organizer in one. The deal book, contrary to  the normal journal is 
dedicated to one specific deal and in that sense more of a  case specific 
case and information management system. Keeping such a  deal book takes a 
lot of time, thought and effort but it gets easier and easier  once adopted as 
a habit and it enables you to keep detailed oversight where  deals are 
longer running processes. Besides that it enables you to delegate  negotiations 
and ensures that the party taking over is completely  informed. 
Things to record in the deal  book: 
    *   Checklist of negotiation points (or things  to cover during the 
    *   What has been agreed upon 
    *   What is still open for  discussion 
    *   Claims and promises made by the other  party and yourself 
    *   A We-They List: a side by side listing of  the points under 
negotiation or coming up for negotiation with the position of  the parties such 
price, timeframe to close the deal/deadlines,  compromises 
    *   A wish list: a summary of what you want to  get out of it and a 
prioritization of these wishes, so where required you can  give in on some 
minors to win the important ones 
    *   A POST document: post stands for Persons,  Objectives, Strategies, 
Tactics. Before you enter the arena you should have  this completed for each 
    *   Role or level of authority 
    *   Background information on the  person
    *   What is the objective or purpose of the  meeting? 
    *   Define it in a measurable  objective!
    *   How to appear, demeanor, point of view  (excitement, boredom, 
    *   Good Cop / Bad Cop 
    *   Note Taker along? 
    *   Allocation of roles and responsibilities  on your team and who will 
be responsible for the implementation of which  strategy. 
    *   Reviews of every meeting or phone/skype  call. Document what went 
on during the meeting, what was discussed, agreed  upon, not agreed upon, 
newly introduced facts, changed positions, and  everything else that was 
    *   Was the objective achieved and if not why  not? 
    *   What went well and what went not  well? 
    *   Do any of my assumptions need  revision? 
    *   How should I schedule and time the next  meeting? 
    *   What should happen with my  notes?
It is an appropriate tactic and/or technique  to provide the other party a 
summary and status of the negotiations in longer  running projects. By 
providing this you keep the control of what goes in and  what stays out. Most 
often the other side just takes these for granted an never  reads them anyway 
but it provides you the stronger argument when the other party  tries to 
change position at a later stage. By documenting the progress to a  certain 
point it has a tendency to become fact and makes it very difficult for  the 
other party to disagree on these points later in the negotiations. You do  not 
need to do this after each meeting, you can use this approach at certain  
Documents  Rule
It  is strongly recommended that you prepare yourself also by having an 
appropriate  level of documentation available. Depending on the nature of the 
project this  could entail: 
    *   MOU/LOI 
    *   NDA 
    *   Business plan/ proposal including  “standard agreement” (for 
instance “standard” joint venture agreement or  “standard” agency agreement or 
partnership agreement) 
    *   Supplementary documents (research reports,  financial 
documentation, legal opinions, letters of recommendation or  references and 
You may not necessarily use them but you  come across as prepared and when 
you need them you have them. 
All I can say is that the book is a definite  recommend for those that want 
to develop or brush up their negotiation skills.  It has helped me 
tremendously in my own work in the last year and a half; in  negotiating 
in fraud interviews (especially extended ones that were  performed over more 
than one session), in negotiating settlements or other out  of court 
solutions for my clients......... 
There is something in there for everyone.  Life is all about negotiations 
so make sure you get as good at it as you can.  This book will most certainly 
contribute to  that.

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