This $15 book on negotiation has helped me save $560 in the last 2 months: Book Review ‘Getting More’

It has been about 2 months since I have read the book Getting More by Stuart Diamond. The back cover of this book reads:

This new model of human interaction has been chosen by Google to train the entire company worldwide (30,000 employees), is the #1 book for your career chosen by The Wall Street Journal’s website,….

The hype about the book is true and I do think that this is one of most helpful books I have read in my entire life. I have tested the strategies outlined in the book in many situations. Here are the 5 situations where I have gained financially by applying these strategies. I did not expect that these strategies will work so well, but they did.

  1. As I was half-way through the book, I wanted to apply what I am learning. I bought 5 ebooks from an online retailer at various points in the last one year, but I was not in need of them any more. The retailer’s refund policy allows for returns within a week. But I bought these books almost a year back. Anyway, I tried to apply a few strategies suggested in the book and I got a full refund for all the 5 books without any question – that is a value of $125.
  2. I booked flight tickets in a budget airlines in Europe. But there was a mistake in our booking. The airline will charge $215 to change the tickets – that was almost 50% of the ticket price. After doing a bit of preparation based on the strategies from this book, I called up the customer service and got the ticket changed at no cost – that is a value of $215.
  3. I wanted to subscribe to an online book service. I wrote to the customer service and was able to get the yearlong subscription which normally costs $473 for $359. That is a saving of $114.
  4. I subscribed to a french learning site and got a 20% discount on a 6-month subscription – that is a saving of $16.
  5. Today, I got a mail from another french learning website offering me 70% on their annual subscription – that is a saving of $90. Initially, I got a negative response from them, but after writing another mail using the principles suggested in the book, I got a positive response today.

Now that you have seen the results from the strategies, let us talk about what the book teaches and how well it does it.

Strengths:

  • The book gives an array of innovative and jargon-free negotiation strategies. Most of the strategies mentioned in the book have been covered by other books and some of them are common-sense. I have studied the book ‘Getting to Yes’ by William Ury, which is considered to the Bible of negotiation, during my MBA course. But this book presents the strategies in a very different way – a way that inspires you to take action.
  • The author advocates using tested and tried human relationship strategies as opposed to the power tips which are often advocated in these kinds of books, which recommend you to hide things and to take advantage of the other party. The author comes across as a very genuine person and he even advocates admitting to your weaknesses in a negotiation – very counterintuitive, but very insightful advice.
  • The book covers a wide variety of strategies for a wide variety of situations from dealing with kids to doing international negotiations.
  • There are so many examples given for each kind of situation. Just reading through the examples opened my eyes to possibilities that I never thought existed. Last week, I had to prepare for a negotiation in my professional life and I quickly read through the chapter on work – though the examples were not directly applicable to my situation, I got a handful of ideas to try to improve the negotiation.

Weaknesses

  • The organization of the book is very poor. The book gets into many strategies and techniques, but it is not done in a way that helps you to understand the concepts at a higher level first and then to dig into the details. The 4-quadrant model is mentioned somewhere in the middle of the book – you can’t really find in one place a list of all strategies/techniques.
  • As many of the Amazon.com reviewers noted, this book is very long as it filled with lots and lots of examples. I liked the fact that there were so many examples, but a little better organization would have helped me to refer back to the relevant examples when needed. Last month, I wanted to help a friend in a difficult negotiation situation and there was an example I read from the book that I wanted to reread – after spending 15-20 minutes flipping through the book, I gave up as I could not locate the example.

My overall verdict: despite the disadvantages mentioned above, buy the book, read it and apply the techniques. The author talks about the importance of preparation in every negotiation – you can be a genius but if you don’t prepare, the strategies in this book will not work well. So, read the book, pick a negotiation situation, select the right strategies for that situation and take a plunge – let me know what you have been able to achieve with this book.

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2 thoughts on “This $15 book on negotiation has helped me save $560 in the last 2 months: Book Review ‘Getting More’

  1. Siraj June 13, 2012 at 9:07 am Reply

    Today, I had yet another negotiation that saved me a lot of money. I got a discount of 33% off the listed price resulting in a savings of around 900 USD.

    This was possible because
    1. I realized that some discounts might be available
    2. I asked for the discount in a polite way providing a justification that appeals to them
    3. I used standards to reframe my request

  2. Jay June 13, 2012 at 9:01 pm Reply

    Thanks Siraj for recommending this book. I am looking forward to reading it.

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