Apply lessons you read to your life, don’t just read
I remember reading or hearing something Warren Buffet did in a negotiation where he wrote to the company that he was buying, and asked ‘is this your best offer?’. This was a large equity transaction and his objective was to shave cents off of the share price. With that very simple statement, the company ended up reducing the share price by a few cents as Buffet predicted. They were scared that he is going to take his money elsewhere. His tactic worked.
I applied the same tactic to a negotiation I was conducting in China last year when I was a buyer for marketing agency services. After I spent time negotiating with three different agencies on fees/retainer, I wrote to each CEO and said that I was going to make a decision on Friday and if what they proposed was their best offer. I literally had multiple new proposals over the week, with one agency lowering their costs by almost 50%.
Remember, when you read these lessons from these great business and life figures, think about how to apply them in your life based on your own style of doing things. I like to jot down tactics that I read and then write down where in my life I can apply them. Once you apply the tactic 2 or 3 times, it becomes part of the way you do business.