Note: I don’t review substandard books. I read a lot. I don’t have a lot of time to review books, so what I do share, I’m sharing because the book has been very influential and helpful to me in my life, and I believe it will also help others. If you are a marketer or entrepreneur, these are must reads.

Getting-More

Quick links/info:

How to know if this book can help you:

  • You were recently taken advantage of in a business deal.
  • You feel like you’re always leaving money on the table.
  • You have a coworker you don’t get along with.
  • You manage someone who just doesn’t seem to get it, and you’re not sure how to get through to them.
  • You have a child whose behavior is out of control, and you’re not sure what to do.
  • Whenever you’re trying to convince someone of something you come on too strong, and you turn them off instead of changing their thinking.
  • Whenever you try to have a talk with your spouse to improve your marriage, despite your best intentions you end up angry at each other for days.
  • You want to change your business.
  • You want to change how government works.
  • You want to change the world.

Review:

Don’t let the title turn you off. I went for years without reading Napoleon Hill’s Think And Grow Rich because the title made it sound like a get-rich-quick book, or that it was for people who are obsessed with making money, and that wasn’t me. Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life, is not about manipulation, control, or domination. Ok, ok, there are some parts where I do feel like the author’s suggestions are slightly manipulative, but those are minor parts you can easily ignore. The goldmines in Stuart Diamond’s book make up for any shortcomings it may have. Heck, he’s even got a credible recipe for world peace (seek areas of common interest with those you disagree with and always keep communication lines open, especially with your enemies).

Diamond is a professor at Wharton, the this book is a bestseller, and not without cause. He claims to have delivered the details of this book to over 30,000 students and others, and that together they’ve been able to track $3B in benefits received as a result. Things like money saved, upgrades received, deals won instead of lost, etc. And that’s not counting the non-cash benefits of “getting more” like saved or improved relationships.

A few of the key points from the book:

  • Don’t use your power to get what you want. It will work one time, and then never again with the same person, who will avoid you ever after.
  • It’s about them. When you want something from someone, don’t focus on yourself, focus on what they want. As a journalist I get this all the time. Someone contacts me to write a story about them and his company, and all he can talk about is himself. He isn’t even trying to talk about why I would want to write about his company. It takes a lot of work for me to write a story. What do I get out of doing this favor for him? See here for more on how to get me (or another writer) to write an article about your company.
  • Trade things of unequal value. What can you give up that is of little to no value to you, but which is valuable to someone else? What can they give up which is of little or no value to them, which is valuable for you? “If I write an amazing review of your hotel can I get a free upgrade on the room?” Upgrading a hotel room doesn’t cost the hotel much, if anything, as long as they have vacant rooms, which hotels generally do. Writing a review only takes a little of your time, but is quite valuable for the hotel.
  • Use standards and exceptions to standards. Standards: “Your company mission statement promises amazingly good customer service. Would you consider the way I’m being treated right now to be amazingly good?” Exceptions to standards: “Sorry, no, you can’t check out of your hotel room late.” “Have you ever allowed someone to check out late?” “Yes.” “Can you tell me what the circumstances were?”

Diamond has 12 points like this in the book, which he explores in quite a bit more detail. The book reads like a coaching session, with Diamond walking you through how to get more with instructions and examples that are easy to apply to your own life.

Diamond’s course he teaches at Wharton on negotiation can be summarized in three steps:

  1. What are my goals?
  2. Who are “they”?
  3. What will it take to persuade them?

The details change, but getting more can all be summed up in the answers to those questions. Once you know what you want, who you’re dealing with and what they want, then you just have to figure out how to show them that by giving you what you want, they’ll get what they want. Easier said than done, to be sure, but easier done when you use Diamond’s tips rather than doing it all the wrong way.

Diamond points out that this book is about getting more, not getting everything. It’s about improving your life, not making it perfect. But the improvements can be large, and that’s plenty enough for me.