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You Can Negotiate Anything: The World's Best Negotiator Tells You How To Get What You Want
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You Can Negotiate Anything: The World's Best Negotiator Tells You How To Get What You Want

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,550 ratings  ·  141 reviews
Herb Cohen believes the world is a giant negotiating table and, like it or not, you're a negotiator. Whether you're dealing with your spouse, boss, department store, bank manager, children, solicitor, or best friend - in every encounter with other people, negotiating is always taking place. And how well you handle those encounters determines whether you prosper happily or ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 1st 1982 by Bantam (first published September 1980)
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Mar 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Books with titles like this one often promise more than they deliver. It's hard to find the good needles among the haystack of books of this kind that fill up the business and self-help sections of bookstores. However, this short book is refreshingly concise, and offers a lot of valuable wisdom for negotiations. Some of my take-aways are these:

1. legitimacy (the written word, lawyers/law department, policies, rules, even laws), while appearing inflexible, can still often be negotiated. We should
Mar 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to learn to negotiate
Recommended to Jeremy by: professor
I recommend reading the book for its countless minor lessons, but the two major lessons for me were:

(1) Everything that is produced by negotiation is subject to negotiation. Just because the store puts a sign up doesnt mean you (or they) have to abide by it. The person with whom youre dealing decides whether to do what you wantnot the sign. So dont be afraid to ask.

(2) Find the real problem. A lot of times when were negotiating, we think its just a matter of whose number wins, but its really a
Aug 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
Overall, I hated this book. The techniques presented here are contradictory and inconsistent. Some of them are also downright immoral. The author claims to present some unethical techniques so the user can identify, but no utilize them. However, I do not see his point. Simply, when battled with evil, you may want to resort to immorality to balance things out and this is not something I would like to be responsible for.

This book sank from 2 stars to 1 star because of the author's offensive
Mar 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Interesting, though probably rather obvious to people more savvy than I am about such things. The basic point is that usually one can achieve a win-win situation- IF one is trying for that rather than a win-lose. There are definitely some tips for making this happen- and for recognizing when someone else is not cooperative with that. I was pleased to discover that in some ways I'm doing the "right thing" instinctively, though I appreciate the tips.
Francis Dostie
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent instructive book. Teach us different kind of negotiation and how to handle them.

Clearly, people who complain about this book haven't read 1/3 of it... After I bought the book I red the comments and I was disappointed about this book might not be as good as I expected. However, critics against it are B.S.
Lewis Van Osdel
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think some of the strategies mentioned in the book are rather useful. I have used some of them to avoid being taken advantage of the other people. Some the examples in the book are rather dated and his strategies on getting out of a speeding ticket you can't really do them anymore. It isn't a prefect book, but it does give some ideas on how to interact with other cultures, lessen the chances you will be taken advantage, and gives you some basic strategies.
Nelliey Makena
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Herb Cohen presented his lessons with real life scenarios that were easy to relate to which made his tips a bit more practical.
Overall the book left me with some smart tips to nailing Win-Win negotiations, so that both sides go home happy.
In addition, he presents the 3 crucial variables to any negotiation, different negotiation styles, their characteristics and a look at both sides of each style, telephone negotiations, making negotiations personal and the benefits of moving up the ladder, in
Ngoc Le
I don't have impression about this book.
Hoàng Nhật
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Extremely useful. Mind sharpening tool to master.
Omar Halabieh
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
As the title indicates, this book is about negotiation, which the author defines as: "What is negotiation? It is the use of information and power to affect behavior within a "web of tension." If you think about this broad definition, you'll realize that you do, in fact, negotiate all the time both on your job and in your personal life." Herb then summarizes the three pillars of negotiation, the main premise of the book: "In every negotiation in which you're involvedin every negotiation in which ...more
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
The first chapters made me angry, the lesson seemed to be that there was just no great secret to it, to win negociations meant being a lying, manipulative, prick, ready to waste other's people time and resources, to gain leverage on them. The kind of person that ruins everyting that's good. Then things got a little more positive, of course, using such tactics is not sustainable in long term relations, commercial or otherwise, and seeking win-win results is much more interesting, the book discuss ...more
Lasse Olsen
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book because Herb Cohen (the author) was name dropped on several episodes in Silicon Valley _(ツ)_/. To my pleasant surprise however, the book was really great!

It's packed with insightful information on how to be a better negotiator - both privately and in business. I especially liked how he displayed multiple ways of styles, for example "soviet style" vs "win-win", and what the pro's and con's were for both.

Some of the examples you have to see what matches your lifestyle though.
Swamy Atul
Sep 17, 2018 rated it liked it
My learnings from this book:
Everything is negotiable.
Avoid Soviet-style negotiators, i.e. those who treat a negotiation as a win-lose war than a win-win.
Do not waste time negotiating with lackeys who do not have power to give concessions. Escalate and talk to managers.
Behave like you know more than the other side.
Hint that you have an option to walk away.
Make it hard for the other party to say "No". This can be done by 1) making them invest a lot of time in the discussion, and 2) slowing down
Sandeep Mehta
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
There was nothing new in this books, the same that we have been using for a long time and that we have seen in society and are being used by some people. It basically describes the psychology between the two persons, the one who wants to negotiate and the other. And some of the concepts described are not even moral, means if you use them it shows that you are not a man of character.
I don't recommend it to others, I also won't read it again.
So Feier
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Whats with the negativity around this book? Its brilliant and provides a wide spectrum of advice sometimes deviating from just negotiation techniques, and applies to life in general as well. There are some parts that got me laughing as well! If you read between the lines, there are lessons on life, chicken soup stuff and teach you how to improve your EQ. Definitely love the episode where he runs from the Mexican serape! Enjoyable read! ...more
Monica Harvey
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Um I noticed one fairly Islamaphobic sentence in the book when talking about being aware of appealing to people with different values "Shiite Muslims can't comprehend our concepts of forgiveness, cheek turning, and extended olive branches. What they understand is power, opportunism, and revenge." This sentence is ironically in the chapter titled "The Power of Morality". So if you can get past that it has some practical tips.
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good read for learning the art of negotiation,
The author talks about three elements to keep you ahead of your counterpart viz. Information, Time and Power, the book also covers how one should talk some risk while negotiating and break free from its past experience and challenges to raise your aspirations and expectations.
Real life example including the some of the top level war negotiation shows why the negotiation works.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
You Can Negotiate Anything is an interesting guide to negotiations that definitely makes some great points. Namely the concept of legitimacy and moving up the chain of command was particularly insightful and something I'd seldom considered.

It is definitely an incomplete guide but the worthy points it makes are absolutely worth reading.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
A must read book if you are into marketing or negotiation type of thing.
Herb Cohen has written it in such a manner that you won't feel that you are reading a book on some strong and important subject but it rather feels like a story book which makes is much easier and better to read.
The book also has some real life example where negotiation is done. Giving it a more real life look.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: business, audible, 2017
This was an audible book. The author also narrated it. His thick northeast accent made for an entertaining listen, but it also reminded me of a slicked back guy pushing pink sheet stocks to senior citizens. His thoughts seemed mostly a rehash of ideas I have seen elsewhere. One major place being Getting to Yes and Getting Past No.
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Randomly found on a buddys bookshelf. Full of chuckle-worthy anecdotes that recall the spirit of ones old man, uncle or grandpa. Definitely written a while ago based on of the social norms mentioned and terms used.

That said gives a broad outline on negotiation and basic tips, ideas and strategies with plenty of examples. Fun and easy to read.
Artem Dubowiecki
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unlike "Getting to YES," which is a guidebook based on theory and extensive research, "You Can Negotiate Anything" is the memoir of the immensely experienced negotiator. Throughout 250 pages, Herb convinces that you may play a greater role in your life by talking to people on every occasion when it's beneficial to you.
Many examples, engaging conversation-style writing, easy to read.
Steven Perry
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Great short read for basics of negotiating. It may seem really basic if you have read other books on the topic but the author moves through topics quickly never staying any one topic too long. If you have interest in the subject and want to "dip your toe" in the water before diving in to much longer, more detailed/involving books....this is a good choice
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2014
This book looked a bit dated and I have to admit a certain level of skepticism picking it up so many years after it was published. It didn't help that I had a dusty old copy.. Nonetheless I enjoyed this quick read and found the content I found the content to be reasonable.
Denis Abramov
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Basic idea here is to make everything sound official, deadlines are a joke and try to understand the people you are negotiating with and their reasons. Nothing novel here but the book was interestingly written in a way that pulls you in.
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Entertaining, easy read with negotiating techniques that anyone can use. This book is not just for professional salesmen, it is for everyone since we all have to do some form of negotiating from time to time.
Mashal Buhamad
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Herb looks down at others. However, he have a story to tell when it come to negotiation. I enjoyed his book and I learned quite a lot. I might lose my job due to this book since I came to know from this book that I'm working with what Herb call soviet.
Judith Huang
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
A bit dated now (cf all the references to the soviets and how ruthless they are) but still handy with an unforgettable first chapter about negotiating on the price of a fridge in a fixed price store.
David Skinner
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Cohen makes some good points. Many of the examples are too specific and too out-of-date to be useful. The book could have been 1/3rd of the size and contributed added value. Actually, it would have contributed more value because I would have saved a few hours. LOL.
Minh Thang
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book takes you through basic steps and alternatives in the progress of negotiation. It is quite effective for systemizing your practical experiences in order, and also giving you other approachs for negotiation.
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For more than three decades, Herb Cohen has been a practicing negotiator, intimately enmeshed in some of the worlds headline dramas from hostile takeovers to hostage negotiations. His clients have included business executives, entrepreneurs, sports and theatrical agents plus large corporations - as well as governmental agencies, such as the Department of State, FBI, CIA, The US Conference of ...more

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