5 Negotiations Quotes That You Can Apply to Your Next Negotiation

When I started this blog, I swore I would never do a list style post. And yet, here we are. But if you’ll forgive me, I think this type of post requires a list. We’re fortunate to live at the time that we do. There have been so many great business people, philosophers, and educators that have gone through hell in tough negotiations and they’ve crystallized their negotiation and communication wisdom and learning for us into short quotes that we can use to perform our negotiations at the highest level. I think of these quotes as our own negotiation flash cards to remind us of how negotiations should be run. What follows are 5 incredible quotes that I reference all the time to help remind me about how to respond in certain situations.

5 Negotiation Quotes that You Can Apply to Your Next Negotiation:

1. “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” – John F. Kennedy
This is one of my absolute favourites. What most people don’t know about this quote, is that JFK said this in his inaugural address (you can listen to it here). Here, he was speaking about his country and the Soviet Union. He was being clear about the need to negotiate and about exploring what problems united them instead of belaboring those problems which divided them. It was a beautiful speech that has never been matched by any president since.

2. “You must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals.” – J. Paul Getty
I’ve always found this quote interesting because Getty was known to have been infamously cheap. And so this quote is somewhat revealing, that even the cheapest of men believed that the other party needed to make money in negotiations.

3. “Anger can be an effective negotiating tool, but only as a calculated act, never as a reaction.” – Mark McCormack
Mark McCormack was THE sports agent. His first clients were Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus. Not impressed? He also wrote several bestsellers on negotiation and business. Still not impressed? How about this: He was essentially responsible for creating the official world golf ranking system. Okay, only golfers get excited about that one, but it’s still pretty cool.

4. “Never forget the power of silence, that massively disconcerting pause which goes on and on and may last induce an opponent to babble and backtrack nervously.” – Lance Morrow
Lance Morrow is an amazing writer. And while not a business person, he’s been able to effectively capture one of the most important things you can do in a negotiation, staying silent.

5. “Power is based on perception. If you think you got it, you got it, even if you don’t got it.” – Herb Cohen
Herb Cohen is my negotiation hero. One thing that I 100% align on with Herb is the power of perception. Perception is everything in negotiations. And here with this quote, Herb perfectly and succinctly identifies the reason power exists, perception.

There are so many more amazing negotiation quotes. Which are your favourites?