Ask The Entrepreneurs Series: 11 Books to Help Entrepreneurs and Freelancers Negotiate Smarter
Negotiation is an essential skill for any entrepreneur or freelancer looking to succeed in business. However, not everyone is born with the natural ability to negotiate effectively. Luckily, there are many books available that can help you develop your negotiation skills, giving you the confidence and tools you need to get what you want without sacrificing your integrity.
In this article, we have compiled a list of 11 books to help entrepreneurs and freelancers negotiate smarter. These books have been recommended by members of the Young Entrepreneur Council, who have put them to the test and found them to be helpful for negotiating deals, partnerships, and other business arrangements.
1. “Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher and William Ury
Getting to Yes is a classic book on negotiation based on the work done at the Harvard Negotiation Project. One of the key takeaways from the book is the importance of understanding your counterparty’s interests and respecting them. By focusing on interests instead of positions, negotiators can create value and find mutually beneficial solutions.
2. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
Written almost 100 years ago, How to Win Friends and Influence People has withstood the test of time for teaching people how to become likable and effective communicators. The book emphasizes the importance of becoming interested in others rather than becoming interesting to others. By focusing on the needs and desires of others, individuals can build trust and rapport, leading to more successful negotiations.
3. “Negotiation Genius” by Deepak Malhotra
Negotiation Genius outlines five research-backed principles that can be applied in any negotiation. One of the central insights of the book is the importance of approaching negotiations from an investigative viewpoint, rather than assuming you already know what the other party wants. By asking tough questions and gathering information, negotiators can increase their chances of achieving win-win outcomes.
4. “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch
While not a negotiation book per se, The Last Lecture teaches readers how to think more productively and focus on what’s important. The principles outlined in the book can be applied to negotiations, helping individuals to prioritize their goals and communicate effectively.
5. “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is a classic negotiation book that shows readers how to effectively persuade others. The book outlines six principles of influence – consistency, reciprocation, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity – that can be used to sway others and get what you want.
6. “The Thirty-Six Strategems”
The Thirty-Six Strategems is an ancient Chinese book that is not specifically about business but can be applied to everyday business life. The book outlines strategies like “partnering with an enemy to take out a larger enemy” (strategic business partnerships) and “focusing on a weakness” (aligning your solution with the prospect’s central pain point) that can help entrepreneurs and freelancers negotiate more effectively.
7. “Beyond the Chicken Dance” by Charles Newman
Beyond the Chicken Dance is a negotiation book that begins by outlining the principle that everything in life is negotiable. The author, Charles Newman, then gives readers actionable strategies for negotiating more effectively, making it a fun and fast read for anyone looking to improve their negotiation skills.
8. “Power Up; Speak Up; Be Heard” by Kay White
Power Up; Speak Up; Be Heard is a guide on how to become more confident, clear, and effective in communicating with others. The book is perfect for any career professional and teaches readers how to stand up for themselves and their ideas while navigating negotiations and other business interactions.
9. “Pitch Anything” by Oren Klaff
Pitch Anything is a powerful guide to cognitive psychology, social dynamics, and message framing written by successful investment banker Oren Klaff. The book has generated buzz in the startup and venture capital communities, making it a must-read for any entrepreneur or freelancer looking to improve their pitching skills.
10. “Crucial Conversations” from VitalSmarts
Crucial Conversations is a negotiation book that focuses on how to keep your cool when emotions run high. The book teaches readers how to have a building conversation – avoiding destructive ones – ensuring that both parties will understand each other. This book helps entrepreneurs negotiate better and avoid misunderstandings, ensuring a good relationship.
11. “The Networking Diary” by Nancy Nguyen
A big part of negotiation is networking, and The Networking Diary, teaches readers how to be more successful at it by revealing simple networking secrets. These people know what it takes to succeed and they want to share it with you. Learn their secrets to get an edge when networking to expand their network and make the right connections for career advancement.
In conclusion, these 11 books can help entrepreneurs and freelancers improve their negotiation skills, build relationships, and close better deals. By learning the principles outlined in these books, you can become a more effective communicator and achieve greater success in business. There is no shortcut to becoming a great negotiator, it requires hard work, practice, and continuous learning. If you want to level up your negotiation skills, give these books a chance and see the difference it makes in your personal and professional life.