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Start with No: The Negotiating Tools That the Pros Don't Want You to Know
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Start with No: The Negotiating Tools That the Pros Don't Want You to Know

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,310 ratings  ·  104 reviews
Start with No offers a contrarian, counterintuitive system for negotiating any kind of deal in any kind of situation--the purchase of a new house, a multimillion-dollar business deal, or where to take the kids for dinner.

Think a win-win solution is the best way to make the deal? Think again.

For years now, win-win has been the paradigm for business negotiation. But today,
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 9th 2002 by Currency
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  1,310 ratings  ·  104 reviews

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May 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biz-and-econ
Was a decent read, with good overall tips, but seemed to be more self-help driven. My key takeaway from this book was that you should never deny a person their ability to say "no", as it can cause people to feel stiffed and cornered. However, I had a major issue with the premise of the book.

Camp declared the win-win approach to negotiations the wrong approach because it forces people to compromise, and even references Roger Fisher's and William Ury's Getting to Yes as the antithesis of his argu
Josh Rensch
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great inverse thinking to Negotation

I read this after Never Split the Difference and that sent the stage for me reading this book. A lot of the counter-intuitive approaches were out lined in that book first. But both support and augment each other. I like his idea about the rule of 3 and living in the adversary's world.
Andrey T
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Overall great insights, but they are few and far between in a sea of fluff. Parts are confusing, not elaborated adequately, or are self-contradicting. Way too many obscure sports references. Also many of the real-world examples sound contrived and even fictitious, no obvious reason why the author chose to obscure real companies.
Aug 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Sound and logical advice. I appreciated the author's perspective that you gain an edge in negotiations not by focusing on scheming (which generally carries negative connotations), but by understanding where your adversary is coming from; what is in their best interest and your best interest, and how to present the best possible case for what you want to happen. I also really appreciated his focus on honesty--being honest with yourself about what your goals are, being honest with your adversaries ...more
Nastya Khyzhniak
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't read many negotiation books, to be completely honest. Thus, I don't have any examples to compare "Start with No" to. However, listening to it has been a very educational experience - every chapter I had at least one eye-opening moment. While I was listening to it, I was following several negotiations on different subjects with different parties involved and imagine my surprise when the mistakes made by participants were exactly the ones Jim Camp describes in his book. I definitely recomm ...more
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very insightful. The author's last name could easily be Contraire and not Camp. He throws conventional wisdom out the window and while that window is open allows a fresh perspective to enter. This book is more than a guide for salesman, it's for anyone who had to have difficult conversations with others.
Scott Wozniak
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a blunt, tactical book on big deal negotiations. He opens by trashing the win-win idea, saying that if you try to help the other side win you will lose. So, get ready for a guy who calls the other side “the adversary” all book long. However, if you can get past the bluster there are some good methods in here. He is not advocating anything dishonest at all. And he eventually encourages you to be kind and even nurturing.

So, I don’t want to follow his overall philosophy but he does have so
Paul LaFontaine
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We are taught by conventional wisdom and a large number of books on negotation to get the client to "yes." Jim Camp proposes we do the opposite. By getting the client to say "no" we find their limits, and we open a conversation about further possibilities. In addition to this, we should always have a plan and never demonstrate neediness.

I first read this book back in 2013 when I was negotiating M&A deals and loved it. I returned to it recently and still think it excellent work.

Highly recommend
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Personal favorite when it comes to books on negotiation. It very convincingly disproves the typical „win-win“ approach to negotiation which doesn’t make it „evil“ but rather realistic.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: selfhelp
I thought it was just OK.

Didn't really seem to say too much that was original.

The main contribution is that you should be willing to state your demands up front and ENCOURAGE the other side to say "NO" if they can't deal with them.

The idea is that this will prevent you from making unnecessary compromises.

He also advocates that you should not get emotionally involved and you shouldn't go in with any expectations. Not bad ideas, but not terribly original either.

Here are a couple of books on the sa
Jessica Faust
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
I would love to read more negotiating books, but I really did not like his voice and just couldn't get through this.
Danylo Bilokha
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: soft-skills
This book tweaked the perception of today world deals.

From everywhere you've been hearing about Win\Win and compromise system since you can understand words. Thus, in reality, you'll try to get a deal at any costs, believing that it would be a win for everyone eventually. However, down the pass, things would start to open up and earlier or later you would understand that giving up on some your terms and signed a deal you were not a win at all.
Nevertheless, we have another way of dealing with t
Oct 22, 2020 added it
ethnocentric and pessimistic. Doesn't grasp or address the fact that the problem is in an adversarial system that feigns "win-win" and often limits it to business environments. The problem isn't "win-win" as a possibility, but the fact that it is abused to cajole impracticable preliminary agreements. The book dismisses "win-win" entirely however.

It fails to see that the culture at the center of its view does not so adhere to "win-win" in the first place. Mentions sports but how many of those ar
Inna Grynova
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"Only "no" tells you something real, gives you something to go on with your nextquestion."

This book was recommended to me so I figured I'd check it out.

I think I get what this book is saying, no is a full sentence and a final answer and it's a helpful way to work with the person you're negotiating with to get a yes if you have a better idea of what they're looking for and you know how to get there. But some of the examples are convoluted and there seems to be a lot of jumping around. I was hopi
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I went in expecting typical sales and negotiation nonsense, but I was really surprised. The so-called "Camp System" doesn't preach pushy sales tactics, it suggests that honesty and management of expectations (among other techniques) are the best way to close sales. Sales and negotiations have always been tough for me—always wary of disappointing anyone or putting anyone off—but this feels like a system I could implement. The book makes it crystal clear that negotiations need to work for everyone ...more
Chris N
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
The content sounds dated (it was published in 2002, so I guess no surprise here).
I found some parts rather cheesy with a lot of self-help styled paragraphs and stereotypical business images. The book feels like a collection of business stock images.

The fact that the author keeps referring as to the other side of the negotiation as "the adversary" was kind of a turn-off.

Overall, it was an ok read, but I found "Never split the difference" by Chris Voss a much more relevant and real take on the s
Luca Marchesotti
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book, super concise and dense of recommendations, gems and lessons learned. If you put into practise 10% of what is shared in this book, you are already doing great in negotiations ;)

The book is actually full of examples and real world scenarios so the concepts preached in here can actually relate to what you are doing. I ll keep getting back to this book in the future I guess, one of those you want on your desk open all the time.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great book, it took me 5 days to get through it (I have a day job) and I took notes. I’m going to immediately read it again. I wish I could give it 6 Stars. Why isn’t there an audio version of this? Criminal.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book gives you an interesting insight in better negotiating: focus on the world of your adversary. Some other interesting tips i'll remember: always have a mission and purpose, never start a negotiation without an agenda, you don't 'need' it, you 'want' it.
Glenn Burnside
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thirty Three points to help you get past win-win

This overlaps a lot with Sandler selling techniques that I learned years ago. Framed in terms of negotiating vs selling - but in consulting, those two are almost always the same thing.
Peter Nelson
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fantastic non-traditional view at negotiating that challenges your preconceptions. When you are looking to sharpen your game, isnt an alrernate perspective exactly what we need? Smooth conversational writing style~
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Less negotiation than sales

But still very useful. I would recommend, but understanding that it really addresses successfully closing a sale with a great price, and doesn’t seriously address any other setting in which negotiation matters.
A great book that explains the rationale of a sane negotiation. Especially helpful is the emphasis on not being needy, as well as this rule: Your job is not to be liked, it's to be respected and effective. Now to put this into practice...
Johnson tan
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book

Read the book and use the principles in it.. you can always say no without feeling guilty and best of all, saying no starts the negotiation in the right track.. really amazing stuff..
Ayman Haddad
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's a book that changes the old concept of "always aim for a win-win deal", the author made it well clear why we should always start with "NO", it's a very good book that highlights key points for a successful negotiation.
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great asset on negotiations!

One of the best books I ever read about negotiation - it’s very well structured and straight to the points that matter.

I strongly recommend it to anyone intending to master the art of negotiation.

Patrick Brentlinger
Yes, no is the way to begin

The title is intentionally contrarian but Camp is like that. His system is very practical in its approach to negotiating outside of the ivory tower. He accepts the terrain as it is and seeks to build a system that can cope with it.
Parker Schwartz
Jun 21, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was not as structured and well-organized at Chris Voss' book on negotiation, "Never Split the Difference." With that being said, Camp shares some fantastic insights and easy-to-remember learnings that make this worth referring to for future negotiation situations.
Iron Ic
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
good for practice in life & business. ...more
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“Consider this appeal for an appointment: “Mr. Smith, this is Bob Jones. I’m with First Advantage Venture Fund, and I want to see if I could get ten minutes on your calendar so I can show you how we can work with you in the future.” Remember, new companies aren’t the only parties who can be needy. Some start-ups are well funded and choosy regarding any venture capitalist they may bring in. The investors can also get into the needy mode, just as Bob Jones did while more or less begging for this appointment. Bob should have said: “Bill, my name is Bob Jones. I’m not quite sure that we as a venture fund fit where you’re going. I just don’t know. What I’d like to do is meet with you so we can see where you’re going and you can look at where we’re going at First Advantage and see if there’s a fit. When’s the best time on your calendar?” 0 likes
“The Thirty-three Rules • Every negotiation is an agreement between two or more parties with all parties having the right to veto—the right to say “no.” • Your job is not to be liked. It is to be respected and effective. • Results are not valid goals. • Money has nothing to do with a valid mission and purpose. • Never, ever, spill your beans in the lobby—or anywhere else. • Never enter a negotiation—never make a phone call—without a valid agenda. • The only valid goals are those you can control: behavior and activity. • Mission and purpose must be set in the adversary’s world; our world must be secondary. • Spend maximum time on payside activity and minimum time on nonpayside activity. • You do not need it. You only want it. • No saving. You cannot save the adversary. • Only one person in a negotiation can feel okay. That person is the adversary. • All action—all decision—begins with vision. Without vision, there is no action. • Always show respect to the blocker. • All agreements must be clarified point by point and sealed three times (using 3+). • The clearer the picture of pain, the easier the decision-making process. • The value of the negotiation increases by multiples as time, energy, money, and emotion are spent. • No talking. • Let the adversary save face at all times. • The greatest presentation you will ever give is the one your adversary will never see. • A negotiation is only over when we want it to be over. • “No” is good, “yes” is bad, “maybe” is worse. • Absolutely no closing. • Dance with the tiger. • Our greatest strength is our greatest weakness (Emerson). • Paint the pain. • Mission and purpose drive everything. • Decisions are 100 percent emotional. • Interrogative-led questions drive vision. • Nurture. • No assumptions. No expectations. Only blank slate. • Who are the decision makers? Do you know all of them? • Pay forward.” 0 likes
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